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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Jays survive Cardinals, Astros get shut down

A trio of pitchers’ duels, and a slugfest in St Louis.

MLB: MAR 12 Spring Training - Blue Jays at Phillies Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Yankees did their job on Opening Day, brushing aside the Giants with a tidy 5-0 win. All 30 teams were in action across the league, giving us plenty of material to resurrect our Rivalry Roundup series, beginning with looks at the 2022 playoff field.

Tampa Bay Rays (1-0) 4, Detroit Tigers (0-1) 0

This one seemed kinda predictable. Shane McClanahan threw six shutout innings, stymying a Tigers lineup that still seems to be looking for an identity. Tampa’s offense only managed six hits, the same as Detroit, but the difference in the game was two home runs, one off the bat of Wander Franco.

Evidently his feet were not too small for that at-bat.

Jose Siri, Randy Arozarena and Luke Raley also added some offense with a home run and RBI single each, respectively. Despite playing in a dome, the Rays will be off tomorrow like most of the league before resuming action on Saturday.

Toronto Blue Jays (1-0) 10, St. Louis Cardinals (0-1) 9

A wild interleague game broke out in St Louis, as neither Alek Manoah nor Miles Mikolas got out of the fourth inning. They both pitched remarkably similar lines, 3.1 IP with five hits and five earned runs, neither factoring in the decision.

George Springer had a five-hit game while Bo Bichette added four of his own, with the two combining for six runs. Not to be outdone, Nolan Arenado drove in three while new Cardinal Wilson Contreras had a pair of hits and pair of runs scored.

A total of 34 combined hits injected the “action” that new rules were supposed to help with, and the Jays ended up pulling ahead on Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s sac fly.

And for those that thought Laz Diaz was the only substandard umpire yesterday ...

Chicago White Sox (1-0) 3, Houston Astros (0-1) 2

From an all-time slugfest to a classic pitchers’ duel.

Framber Valdez threw five innings, allowing zero runs only to be outdone by Dylan Cease’s 6.1 IP with 10 strikeouts. Cease was charged with a single run, being yanked in the seventh in favor of Aaron Bummer after allowing two of the first three men to reach. Bummer walked Kyle Tucker to load the bases, before spiking a pitch to bring Yordan Alvarez home and put the Astros on the board.

The vaunted Astros bullpen couldn’t hold the lead though, as Yasmani Grandal took Rafael Montero deep to right center to tie the game at one, before Andrew Vaughn gave the Sox the lead for good:

The Astros did claw a run back in the ninth, but for at least one more day, the Yankees boast a better record than their rival.

Seattle Mariners (1-0) 3, Cleveland Guardians (0-1) 0

From one pitchers’ duel to another.

Luis Castillo and Shane Bieber, not bad bets for Cy Young finalists, combined to throw 12 innings while allowing no runs, striking out nine between them and walking nobody. Bieber did allow six hits while Castillo gave up just one, but no matter what side you were on, it was a tough day to be a hitter.

Both bullpens started their outings strong, before James Karinchak left a meatball to Ty France:

Other Matchups:

  • Orioles 10, Red Sox 9: The Orioles ran wild on the Red Sox, stealing five bases and being paced by Adley Rutschman’s 5-for-5, 3-RBI performance. Although Boston did mount a comeback with five runs in the final two innings, Baltimore’s lead was too great to overcome and the O’s took the season opener, 10-9.