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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Rays finally slip, implode versus White Sox

For what feels like the first time this season, the Rays showed that when you cut them, they bleed.

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Well, the Yankees just had what hopefully will amount to the worst game of their season. If it’s any consolation to all those smarting after a brutal week of Yankees baseball, there were at least some excellent contests played over the weekend by the Yankee rivals (no, it probably isn’t much consolation). Comebacks were on sale on Sunday, and a couple games went down to the wire.

Seattle Mariners (12-16) 10, Toronto Blue Jays (18-10) 1 (10 innings)

The Mariners opened up against Chris Bassitt with one of the stranger two-out rallies you’ll see. After retiring the first two hitters of the game, Bassitt walked two and hit a batter, and Taylor Trammel unloaded for a grand slam, and just like that it was 4-0:

Yet Bassitt was pretty much locked in other than that horrid four-batter stretch, allowing hardly any other threats through five innings. That allowed his offense to get back in the game against Marco Gonzales, who got rocked for eight runs in three innings. Matt Chapman doubled home two in the bottom of the first to quickly get Toronto back in the game, and Bo Bichette pushed them right back in front with a three-run dinger in the second:

Danny Jansen added an RBI double, and Santiago Espinal a two-run single in the third and the Jays were up 8-4.

But the M’s didn’t go quietly, with Teoscar Hernández hitting a solo shot against his former team, and Cal Raleigh getting Seattle within one via a two-run dinger. And with two outs and a runner on second in the ninth, J.P. Crawford came up huge, singling home the run and tying the game off Yimi Garcia (typical Toronto closer Jordan Romano was off after pitching the last two games.)

Not to be outdone, Raleigh came back in the tenth and put the Mariners in front 10-8:

It hasn’t been a fun season so far for Seattle, but this might’ve been their most fun win of the year.

Houston Astros (15-13) 4, Philadelphia Phillies (15-14) 3

The Astros pulled out a tight one to avoid a sweep in this World Series rematch, doing enough to scratch Phillies starter Bailey Falter and holding on at the end.

Houston had a chance to open things up early, but let Falter off the hook, with José Abreu grounding into a run-scoring double play in the first to put the Astros up 1-0 (the 36-year-old’s 57 OPS+ in the going is one of Houston’s ongoing concerns). J.T. Realmuto tied things up with an RBI double off of Jose Urquidy in the second, but Houston scratched another off Falter in the second thanks to Martín Maldonado’s RBI double.

A Jake Meyers solo shot extended Houston’s lead in the fourth, and gave Urquidy just enough breathing room. Urquidy surrendered another solo homer to Kody Clemens in the fifth, and departed in the sixth having allowed two runs on three hits across 5.1 innings.

Houston took a 4-2 lead into the eighth, where Philly came within one thanks to an error by Alex Bregman, but stranded one man on base with the score still 4-3. That gave Ryan Pressly the chance to come on for the save in the ninth, which he navigated in 1-2-3 fashion. The Astros still sit two games back of Texas for the AL West lead.

Chicago White Sox (8-21) 12, Tampa Bay Rays (23-6) 9

Could the lowly White Sox salvage a game from the mighty Rays? Chicago scraped a run off a sac fly in the first against Drew Rasmussen, but Rasmussen mowed them down over the next four innings, providing plenty of opportunity for Tampa’s red hot offense to surge in front.

It took until the fourth, but the Rays got to Mike Clevinger in the form of back-to-back dingers, with Taylor Walls and Luke Raley hitting consecutive solo shots for a 2-1 lead. But that was all they could do against Clevinger and, Rasmussen faltered in the sixth. Eloy Jiménez led off with a single, and Yasmani Grandal followed with a go-ahead dinger:

Chicago added an insurance run in the seventh when Jiménez singled home a run, but missed a big opportunity to blow open the game from there, failing to score again with the bases loaded and one out.

It seemed that would come back to haunt the White Sox, with the Rays surging in front with a five-run eighth. Raley smacked his second home of the game, a two-run blast, and Christian Bethancourt added a solo job. Manuel Margot later scored on an error that put the Rays back up 7-4. The White Sox got one back in the bottom of the eight, but Tampa added two more in the top of the ninth to seemingly ensure another comeback win.

Instead, Chicago threw off the yoke what’s been absolutely horrid season so far from them to rally once more and stun Tampa. Jake Burger doubled home a run, and after an Oscar Colas sac fly and an Elvis Andrus RBI single, the White Sox found themselves still down 9-8 with one on and two down. Two more singles tied the game, and then Andrew Vaughn delivered one of the only bright moments of 2023 for the Sox:

This season probably won’t amount to much for Chicago, but at least they can say they shocked the Rays.

Other Matchups

Baltimore Orioles (18-9) 5, Detroit Tigers (10-16) 3

The Orioles built the proverbial picket fence in this one, nickel and diming Spencer Turnbull for one run in four consecutive innings to take a 4-0 lead. But the Tigers rallied for three in the fifth off of Kyle Bradish, with Jake Rogers mashing a two-run dinger and Javier Baez showing a sign of life with an RBI double. That was all they could muster though, and the O’s took the series with Detroit 3 to 1.

Minnesota Twins (17-12) 8, Kansas City Royals (7-22) 4

Minnesota jumped all over poor Brady Singer, quickly turning this one into a snoozer. Up 1-0 in the bottom of the second, the Twins hung a seven-spot, with Bryon Buxton leading the way with a three-run dinger. The Twins continue to quietly play quality baseball, as they extend their lead in the AL Central to 3.5 games.

Boston Red Sox (15-14) 8, Cleveland Guardians (13-15) 7

Chris Sale has had a very up-and-down season, but yesterday was an up, tossing 6.1 strong with one run allowed and five strikeouts against zero walks. Boston’s offense started slow, but brought the thump by the middle innings, with Alex Verdugo singling home two in the fourth, and Connor Wong, smashing a two-run homer in the fifth. Verdugo added a solo shot in the seventh to complete a nice day for him. With the Yankees’ loss, the Red Sox are now at least not the only ones in the AL East cellar.