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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Rays drop a series, Astros pummel Rangers

Finally, the Yankees make up a game on the division leaders.

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Yankees didn’t start their series against Minnesota as well as they wanted, getting blown out before blowing a lead to drop the first two games. They got back in line yesterday with a smooth 6-1 win featuring a dominant performance from Domingo Germán and homers from Kyle Higashioka and Anthony Rizzo. Not a bad rebound. Now let’s see what the rest of their contemporaries did around the league:

Tampa Bay Rays (13-2) 2, Toronto Blue Jays (10-5) 5

The Rays dropped their first game of the year yesterday, and then ran out an opener in Calvin Faucher to try and get back in the win column. He didn’t do too bad in the first two innings, earning a quick 1-2-3 first and stranding a runner in the second, but he got into a jam when they sent him out for a thing frame. Danny Jensen led off with a single, got swapped for Kevin Kiermaier on a force out. George Springer worked a walk and then the Jays pulled off a double-steal, and a ground out got the first run of the game on the board.

Faucher was pulled for Trevor Kelley who got the last out — it ended a bit shaky but all things considered they got a quality performance from Faucher. The Rays even got that run back for him right away in the top of the fourth thanks to a Taylor Walls homer, but a two-out rally culminated in Whit Merrifield and Jansen both knocking in a run in the bottom half. Toronto added their insurance in the sixth and seventh innings, first working four walks (one intentional) to push a run across and then slapping three singles to get another.

The Rays got a lead-off double in the eighth that they successfully sent home on back-to-back groundouts, but at that point the outs were more valuable to the Blue Jays. Tampa Bay threatened in the ninth, loading the bases with just one out, but a Yandy Diaz strikeout and Wander Franco lineout ended it.

Cleveland Guardians (9-6) 6, Washington Nationals (4-11) 4

After dropping two of three to the Yanks, Cleveland rolled up to Washington for some rejuvenation. The Nats haven’t disappointed, dropping the first two of this series — albeit in close fashion. They even got out to a strong start in this one, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after the first thanks to a flurry of hits and an error from José Ramirez.

From there though, it was almost all Guardians. They got back one run in the second, and then posted back-to-back frames scoring two in the fourth and fifth. The first rally started with a pair of walks before Will Brennan and Miles Straw laced singles to drive home the runs, and the second was thanks to Ramirez making up for his mistake by smashing a two-run shot for his first homer of the year. That was enough for Zach Plesac to hand the ball off to the bullpen, who proceeded to deliver four shutout innings to secure the win.

Texas Rangers (8-6) 2, Houston Astros (7-8) 8

Houston continues to try and crawl out of their early April slump, smashing their in-state rivals. Hunter Brown delivered his second straight excellent start, tossing seven strong with only a pair of unearned runs in the third inning marring his day.

Yordan Alvarez got those runs back in the bottom of the third with a big two-out, two-run double, and then they manufactured a lead in the fourth with a sacrifice fly. The real damage came in the seventh, however. Ian Kennedy came on in relief and got the first out of the inning on a grounder, but then coughed up a pair of singles and a pair of walks to force one in. Jose Abreu bounced a ball to short that took a high hop and fooled Josh Smith, allowing a pair of runners to go home and ending Kennedy’s night, and later Jeremy Peña delivered the final blow with a two-run double off of Josh Sborz.

Seattle Mariners (7-8) 9, Colorado Rockies (5-10) 2

The M’s disposed of Colorado in workmanlike fashion on Saturday. Starter George Kirby did his part with 6.2 innings of two-run ball, and Seattle tossed crooked numbers up on the scoreboard in two different frames. First came a five-run fourth started by Eugenio Suárez’s solo homer to tie the game and finished on a three-run triple from the sensational Julio Rodríguez.

Abysmal Rockies pitching in the sixth created a four-spot that put this game to bed. Rookie Ezequiel Tovar dropped a throw at second base that would have been a force for the second out. Instead, a subsequent walk loaded the bases, a run scored on a successful force, and back-to-back hit by pitches brought home another Mariner. Next came a bases-loaded walk by Cal Raleigh and then finally an actual hit to score a run on a Teoscar Hernández single. The 2023 Colorado Rockies, everyone.

Other Scores

Baltimore Orioles (8-7) 6, Chicago White Sox (6-9) 7 (10 innings): A back-and-forth game went against Baltimore against the South Siders, as they could only scratch across a single run in extras and weren’t able to hold their lead or outlast the Sox hitters. Yasmani Grandal and Oscar Colas combined to drive home a pair to seal the deal in the 10th, breaking a three-game losing streak for Chicago.

Los Angeles Angels (7-7) 7, Boston Red Sox (7-8) 9: Oh the ways that the Angels manage to lose ballgames. The Angels staked a 4-0 lead out of the gate thanks to a grand slam by former Yankee Gio Urshela but immediately gave back two of those runs on a Rafael Devers blast. From there, three catcher’s interference calls against Los Angeles and a 2-for-4, 4 RBI day from Yu Chang (who had been 0-for-16 previously) secured the win for Boston.