The Yankees played a pretty garbage game in Minnesota to continue their underwhelming funk. Jhony Brito got out of the first against the Twins this time, but he was still sent to the showers after three runs in 2.2 innings of work. It hardly mattered how much he gave up though because the Yankees’ sorry offense had nothing on a vengeful Sonny Gray.
Around the American League, a couple of the Yankees’ rivals were going head-to-head, while the Mariners were off. Let’s check in on some of those matchups.
Tampa Bay Rays (20-3) 8, Houston Astros (12-11) 3
The Astros entered a tough series at the Trop without their best hitter, as Yordan Alvarez was sent back to Houston from Atlanta for tests on his sore neck. Mauricio Dubón got them going from the jump anyway with a leadoff triple against Rays rookie Taj Bradley. One out later, Kyle Tucker brought him in with a sacrifice fly, and Alex Bregman launched one 386 feet to left field, giving José Urquidy a quick 2-0 lead.
However, the Rays haven’t gotten off to such a hot start by rolling over after a punch. With one man down, Wander Franco singled, stole second, and scored Tampa Bay’s first run when Randy Arozarena tripled to on a misguided dive by Astros left fielder Corey Julks. Arozarena was originally ruled out at third, but replay overturned the call. That helped the Rays tie the game at 2-2 when Harold Ramírez doubled him home.
The back-and-forth continued in the third. Jeremy Peña smacked a dinger off Bradley to put Houston back in front, 3-2. In the home half, the Rays countered with a furious four-run rally to send Urquidy to the showers:
- Yandy Díaz single
- Franco double
- Arozarena sacrifice fly (3-3 tie)
- Brandon Lowe strikeout (a brief respite; Lowe actually tied a team record with five K’s)
- Ramírez walk
- Isaac Paredes walk
- Josh Lowe infield single (4-3, Rays)
- Christian Bethancourt double (6-3, Rays)
Because that outburst wasn’t enough, the Rays shined on defense a half-inning later too, as Franco made an unbelievable barehanded catch in foul territory.
The Rays tacked on to eventually win, 8-3. They are 14-0 at home to start 2023 (the first team since 1900 to do so) and 20-3 overall. What a strange time we live in.
Colorado Rockies (7-17) 6, Cleveland Guardians (11-12) 0
The Rockies might have a crappy record, but they do have a lineup with a good chunk of experienced big leaguers who have a solid idea of how to handle a young pitcher off his game. That was the case for Cal Quantrill on Monday night, as No. 2 hitter Jurickson Profar jumped on him for a solo shot to quickly put Colorado up, 1-0.
Rockies starter Austin Gomber wriggled out of his own first-inning jam sparked by Steven Kwan’s leadoff double, and after a couple quiet frames from both sides, Colorado took it to Quantrill in the fourth. They loaded the bases on hits from Elias Díaz and Mike Moustakas, and a walk to Brenton Doyle. That last one was the real mistake, as Doyle was in his MLB debut, but Quantrill threw only one pitch in the strike zone. Another rookie, Ezequiel Tovar, made it hurt by plating two on an RBI single, and after Charlie Blackmon worked a walk, Profar ended Quantrill’s evening with a two-run single of his own to make it 5-0, Rox.
Gomber might have entered the day with a 12.12 ERA in four starts, but the Guardians sure didn’t make him look that bad. He ended up going five shutout innings, and while he walked three batters, he only surrendered three hits. Jake Bird, Pierce Johnson, and Justin Lawrence combined to throw four shutout innings of relief and that was game.
Toronto Blue Jays (14-9) 5, Chicago White Sox (7-16) 2
The White Sox tried for a hot second. They really did. Andrew Vaughn belted a two-run double in the third to put Chicago up at Rogers Centre, 2-0, and they even got some highlight-reel defense from Luis Robert Jr., who robbed a homer from Matt Chapman in the bottom of the fourth:
The vibes were briefly good on the South Side, but as has been the trend in recent years, they didn’t last.
Out of seemingly nowhere, the Jays ambushed Lance Lynn in the home half of the fourth. It started innocently enough with a walk to Alejandro Kirk and a single by Brandon Belt. But then Whit Merrifield doubled Kirk in and Cavan Biggio slugged a huge three-run homer to put Toronto in front, 4-2.
Toronto only scored once more after this, but the Biggio dinger was enough to deflate the White Sox like a balloon. Their lineup mustered only one hit for the rest of the game as the Blue Jays kicked the Yankees down to fourth place in the AL East.
Baltimore Orioles (15-7) 5, Boston Red Sox (12-12) 4: Dean Kremer didn’t bring his best stuff to Camden Yards last night. Triston Casas cracked a solo shot in the second off him to give Boston the early edge, and after an RBI single from Alex Verdugo in the third, Rafael Devers blasted a two-run homer to give the Red Sox a solid 4-0 lead, but in the hands of the 2023 version of Chris Sale, it was far from secure. A stretch of four doubles in three innings not only tied it up, but gave the O’s a 5-4 edge when Austin Hays singled Jorge Mateo home after a two-bagger from the former Baby Bomber. Kremer and the Baltimore bullpen combined for shutout ball from the fourth inning onward to save it.