The Yankees really ought to sweep the Athletics this week, as Oakland is sending out a squad of players that may be the worst in the game’s history. If you’re serious about being a playoff team, this is exactly the kind of run you need to go on, but perhaps more importantly New York was able to gain ground on all the teams ahead of them in the division.
Baltimore Orioles (23-13) 4, Tampa Bay Rays (29-8) 2
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and I wore orange all day yesterday. It is terrifically disappointing that Wander Franco may have adjusted to play at the MLB level with feet his size, but regardless the Rays’ shortstop opened up the scoring as the second batter of the game. Franco took a 99-mph fastball to center field to put the Rays up 1-0, but that lead would not last.
indeed, it was one of Baltimore’s own young phenoms that gave the Orioles the lead:
Austin Hays added an RBI single for insurance, and although Taylor Walls did make it a little bit closer, the vaunted O’s bullpen did their job. Three Baltimore hurlers combined to go 3.1 innings, allowing no runs and seeing Félix Bautista lock down his eighth save of the year.
Philadelphia Phillies (17-19) 8, Toronto Blue Jays (21-15) 4
A matchup of 2022 Cy Young finalists, both Aaron Nola and Alek Manoah have gotten off to tough starts this season. Of the two, Nola came out of this one looking cleaner, with six innings allowing two runs, and striking out three times as many men as he walked. Blue Jays starter Manoah didn’t get out of the fifth, with an ugly 4:1 BB:K ratio.
Nick Castellanos finished a triple short of the cycle, getting the Phillies on the board with a big two-run home run in the fourth.
Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh both had multi-RBI hits, a single and double respectively, to chip in and build the lead. For the Jays, this was really the Bo Bichette game, as the star shortstop had an RBI double and absolutely crushed a solo bomb:
The Jays stay just a full game ahead of the fourth-place Red Sox, although that squad didn’t do anything to help themselves in their own contest.
Houston Astros (18-18) 3, Los Angeles Angels (20-17) 1
Shohei Ohtani’s rough patch continues. After allowing nine runs in his last two starts, the phenom still had a relatively weak start by his own standards. Martín Maldonado took him deep, while Yordan Alvarez brought two in with a single of his own.
Ohtani still threw seven innings, striking out a batter per, but was undone by nominal Astros ace Framber Valdez. Valdez threw eight innings, allowing a single run on three hits, and his patented ground ball style was working as he engineered seven of them on the night. Rookie Zach Neto was the only Angel who could tough the lefty, taking him deep on a solo shot in the third inning.
Cleveland Guardians (17-19) 2. Detroit Tigers (16-19) 0
In many ways, the knee is nature’s little inside joke. So much weight and movement to support, and so many ways it can fall apart. The AL Central is baseball’s version of this, with so many fans supporting so many teams, and so many ways its been upturned into nonsense. Shane Bieber threw seven shutout innings against a deeply weird Tigers lineup, while José Ramírez and Amed Rosario drove in runs to pace the offense.
Atlanta Braves (25-11) 9, Boston Red Sox (21-16) 3
The Braves feature a monster lineup for any pitcher, and the Sox do not feature the best arms in the game. Ronald Acuña Jr. and Matt Olson teamed up from the very start, with a leadoff single and two-run home run to get Atlanta on the board before a number of fans even found their seats. The Braves added two more runs in the first inning, part of a dreadful start for Nick Pivetta, who went just four innings allowing seven. Justin Turner provided almost all the offense for Boston, with an RBI double and solo home run.
Seattle Mariners (18-18) 5, Texas Rangers (21-14) 0
Following news that Jacob deGrom would miss more time than expected, the Rangers landed a goose egg against George Kirby, he of the seven inning, no-run outing. Tom Murphy went deep to plate two Seattle runs in the seventh, icing the game and making it 4-0. With the loss, the Rangers remain just two games ahead of the Angels for first in the AL West.
San Diego Padres (19-17) 6, Minnesota Twins (19-17) 1
Two 19-17 teams, with one in third place and one in first. The Padres kicked the Twins all over Target Field, with the Twinkies’ only run coming on a Jose Miranda single. Matt Carpenter and Aaron Nola drove in runs for the Padres, but the big blow was struck by Manny Machado: