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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Rays remain unbeaten, Astros fall in extras

Tampa Bay cruised as they kept their winning streak alive, as the Astros fell to the Twins in extras.

MLB: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Friday saw the Yankees open up their first road trip of the young season, as they travelled down to Baltimore to take on the Orioles. Unfortunately, the game ended up being a bit of a frustrating one. Despite taking a late-ish lead, the Yankees’ bullpen couldn’t hang on, as they fell, 7-6.

Elsewhere, it was a busy day around baseball, so let’s check in on how some of the Yankees’ rivals did in Friday’s action, as bunch of teams opener up their home slates for 2023.

Tampa Bay Rays (7-0) 9, Oakland Athletics (2-5) 5

A six-run second inning propelled the Rays to a win as they continued their undefeated start to the season after sweeping the Tigers and Nationals.

The A’s actually took the lead in the top of the second on a Jace Peterson RBI single. However, Tampa Bay immediately answered on Harold Ramírez’s homer to lead off the bottom of the second and didn’t look back from there. The Rays would bat around, scoring six runs, which was led by Isaac Paredes’ grand slam.

Oakland actually ended the game with more hits than the Rays, but the they found themselves down by too much after that second inning.

In addition to his grand slam, Paredes had a big game, finishing with three hits.

Toronto Blue Jays (5-3) 4, Los Angeles Angels (4-3) 3

Bo Bichette’s go-ahead seventh-inning home run gave the Blue Jays the lead and an eventual win after the Angels had spent most of this game in front.

The Angels took the lead fairly quickly thanks to a two-run Mike Trout homer in the first inning. That plus a solid outing from starter Patrick Sandoval allowed them to take hold a 3-1 lead going into the later innings.

Once the Angels went to the bullpen in the seventh, Toronto was able to flip things around. With two outs and two on, Bichette came up big, with a homer to flip things and put the Jays in front.

Toronto’s bullpen held things down from there, with Shohei Ohtani’s eighth-inning double representing the only real chance the Angels had at rallying.

Minnesota Twins (5-2) 3, Houston Astros (3-5) 2 (10 innings)

Down to their last two outs after squandering many chances over the first nine innings, the Twins rallied in the 10th to pick up a walk-off win in their home opener.

Former Yankee Sonny Gray put in an impressive effort for Minnesota, allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings, having struck out 13 batters. Unfortunately for him, his offense didn’t give him much support. Despite nine hits through the regulation nine innings, the Twins had only scored just one run themselves, and even that came on a wild pitch.

Letting Houston hang around like that will often backfire, and it appeared to as the game moved to extra innings. In the top of the 10th, automatic runner David Hensley moved to third on a groundout, and then scored when Mauricio Dubón singled.

The Twins’ response didn’t get off to the best start as Carlos Correa struck out against his former team. A wild pitch allowed Minnesota to put the tying run at third in an at-bat that saw Trevor Larnach walk. Juan Miranda then punched through a single to tie the game. After Houston reliever Ryne Stanek threw yet another wild pitch, the Astros then opted to walk the bases loaded to set up the double play. Kyle Farmer had other plans, and squeezed through a single to win the game.

Seattle Mariners (3-5) 5, Cleveland Guardians (5-3) 3

After spotting the Guardians a 3-0 lead through four innings, the Mariners came storming back, thanks in part to a big day from Julio Rodríguez.

Playing in their home opener, Cleveland got off to a good start as Josh Naylor’s RBI single capped off a three-hit top of the first. They then added to that lead in the third and fourth innings with Josh Bell and Myles Straw each driving home a run.

The Mariners started their rally with two runs in the fifth, but the big blow came in the sixth. With Cleveland an out away from escaping the sixth, J.P. Crawford drove home Jarred Kelenic. That also flipped Seattle’s order back to the top and brought Rodríguez to the plate. He did this:

That ended up being enough, as the Mariners’ bullpen combined to allow just one hit and one walk over the last five innings.