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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Astros blast off over Blue Jays

Houston rides big first inning to dominant victory over Toronto while the Rays were outclassed ... by the Reds?

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

The Yankees enjoyed a well-earned day off yesterday, battling back to split the series with the Twins after dropping the first two games. While they rested, the Rays, Blue Jays, Astros, Mariners, and Red Sox all saw action, so let’s see how New York’s AL rivals fared.

Tampa Bays Rays (14-3) 1, Cincinnati Reds (7-5) 8

Tampa Bay’s season-opening barnstorming tour against the cellar-dwellers of the league continued. At least, that’s what they must’ve been thinking as they rolled into Cincinnati to face the perennially-hapless Reds. The home team had different ideas however, led by exciting young pitcher Hunter Greene. Unfortunately, Greene had to leave the game in the third after being struck in the shin by a come-backer, becoming the second fireballer forced from a dominant start on the day after Jacob deGrom exited a no-hitter with wrist soreness.

The Reds seemed to manage in his absence, holding the Rays to just a Josh Lowe solo shot in the ninth. On offense, they had no trouble against a cobbled-together bullpen game. Kevin Newman went 3-for-4 with a pair driven in including a leadoff home run in the second to open the scoring. TJ Friedl drove in four on the day, three coming on a bases-clearing double in the fourth.

Cincinnati ended up scoring one in the second, three in the fourth and two in the seventh and eighth as they easily brushed aside the Rays, 8-1.

Toronto Blue Jays (10-7) 2, Houston Astros (8-9) 9

What was set up to be one of the mouthwatering pitchers duels of the first month only half-delivered on that promise. Kevin Gausman and Cristian Javier both appeared on the shortlist for preseason AL Cy Young favorites, with only the latter bringing his effectiveness to the ballpark. Gausman, on the other hand, got torched for seven runs in the first inning, giving up eight total on the outing.

Gausman did manage to settle down to give the Jays 4.2 innings, but by that point the damage had been done. Javier, meanwhile, went five innings giving up three hits, the only run coming via a Matt Chapman solo shot in the second. Corey Julks and Jake Meyers each went 2-for-4 with a home run and three driven in as the Astros continue unearthing productive hitters from within the organization. Following the fireworks of the opening frame, this game wound down to an uneventful finish, 9-2.

Milwaukee Brewers (12-5) 7, Seattle Mariners (8-9) 3

The Brewers have established themselves as the second-most impressive team behind the Rays through the early going, and gave another example last night. Staff ace and preseason NL Cy Young favorite Corbin Burnes gave up two runs over 5.1 innings while Brian Anderson was the standout performer on offense, going 3-for-5. The coolest moment might’ve been when Burnes picked off Eugenio Suárez in the fourth. He had disengaged with the rubber twice during the plate appearance, meaning that a failed pickoff would result in a balk. So, he waited until the pitch timer ran down to one second before spinning to pick off Suárez, who by that point had already started his movement toward third. Clever!

Milwaukee opened the scoring with a three-spot in the second courtesy of a Luke Voit RBI double, Owen Miller RBI single, and Joey Wiemer RBI groundout. Cal Raleigh led off the bottom half with a home run to snatch a run back for Seattle. Both teams scored a run in the sixth, but the Brewers managed to put the contest firmly out of reach in the seventh thanks to a Brice Turang leadoff bomb and William Contreras RBI single. Julio Rodríguez notched a solo home run in the eighth while Milwaukee scored on an error in the ninth to bring us to our final score, 7-3.

Other Matchups

Los Angeles Angels (8-8) 5, Boston Red Sox (8-9) 4

On the day of the Boston Marathon, this one took longer to complete than many of the top finishers. Shohei Ohtani got the start and gave up a run against three strikeouts in two innings, but had his outing cut short by a roughly hour-long rain delay. The Angels did most of their damage in a four-run first highlighted by a Hunter Renfroe three-run bomb over the Monster as he took revenge against the team that traded him winter before last.