The Yankees had an off day last night, traveling home for their final homestand of the regular season. They probably don’t have much concern over what the rest of the league is doing anymore now that they’ve secured the AL East, but there is potential to scout out their possible opponents still and if nothing else it makes for something to watch while taking it easy. So, let’s run through the relevant parties and their results from last night:
Cleveland Guardians 2 (88-68), Tampa Bay Rays 1 (85-71)
For 90 percent of this game the Rays were in the driver’s seat — they took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and then Jeffrey Springs put up zeroes to preserve the lead. Shawn Armstrong was called in for the seventh inning and kept the line moving, but he was relied on for a second inning and things unraveled fast. A leadoff single and a Steven Kwan double two batters later suddenly knotted the game at one, and Oscar Gonzalez made them pay for intentionally walking José Ramírez to pitch to him by slapping an RBI single in front of first base. Cleveland somehow had a save situation and called on Trevor Stephan to lock it down, and though he walked the bases loaded he managed to hold on and secure the win.
Seattle Mariners 10 (85-70), Texas Rangers 9 (66-89)
This started out as a solid game for Seattle, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning. It quickly turned in the third when Sam Huff led off with a homer and Texas rallied for four runs, beginning the ping-ponging of the lead. Seattle responded right away with a two-run Mitch Haniger bomb, and in the fourth Jared Kelenic homered to give Seattle back the lead. Kelenic went deep again in the seventh inning to tack on a run, but Texas cut into the deficit thanks to back-to-back solo shots from Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe.
In the eighth inning, Texas had a great opportunity to take the lead when the first two batters both singled. Kevin Plawecki dampened those odds with a double-play, but solid baserunning allowed Bubba Thompson to score and tie the game at seven all. From there we went to extras, where both teams scored their automatic runner in their first attempt. Texas did so again in the 11th, but three straight singles by the Mariners pushed across the winning run for a wild walkoff.
- Boston Red Sox 5 (75-81), Baltimore Orioles 3 (80-76): Baltimore’s game was the decisive factor for a few things this night. J.D. Martinez smashed a go-ahead two-run homer that won Boston the game, clinching a postseason berth for the Blue Jays by default as they weren’t playing. It also meant that, combined with the Mariners’ win later on, the Mariners’ magic number is down to just one. Baltimore’s slide has them on the brink of elimination, with a loss or a Rays win tonight assuring that the young upstarts will not make it into the postseason just yet.