A single baseball game in May can only hold so much importance, but yesterday’s Yankees win, their third in four games in Toronto, felt huge. The team has seemingly stabilized with a nice stretch of play against tough competition (not to mention a sweep of Oakland last week) and has remained in contact in the AL East. Now, were their efforts compounded by some good news on the rivalry front? Let’s take a look.
New York Mets (22-23) 3, Tampa Bay Rays (32-13) 2
Right now, it’s Pete Alonso’s world. Hours after Alonso walked off the Rays with a three-run extra-innings bomb Wednesday night, Alonso came back and gave the Mets the lead with a homer in the fourth. Alonso’s league-leading 16th dinger gave New York a 2-1 lead, and though Tylor Megill allowed a game-tying homer to Josh Lowe two innings later, Tommy Pham’s RBI infield single in the bottom of the sixth was just enough to nudge the Mets in front for a second-consecutive one-run victory.
Megill was solid overall, tossing six innings of two-run ball with four strikeouts against one walk, modestly outpitching Rays rookie Taj Bradley, who allowed two runs over five. Megill turned the 3-2 advantage over to his bullpen, which saw it through, with Brooks Raley, Jeff Brigham and David Robertson each covering an inning. Things got a little nervy in the ninth, when Randy Arozarena doubled with one out, putting the tying run on with the middle of Tampa’s order up, but D-Rob retired Harold Ramírez and Brandon Lowe to earn his eighth save. The Mets remain below .500 and at a bit of a crossroads, but they did enough this week to do their crosstown rivals a favor.
Los Angeles Angels (23-22) 6, Baltimore Orioles (28-16) 5
For a minute there, it looked like this would be something along the lines of a “Tungsten Arm O’Doyle” type loss for the Angels. Both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout hit their 10th homers of the year to put the Angels ahead 3-0 early on, but they had little help. Starter Tyler Anderson gave up three runs in the fifth to surrender the lead, thanks to a two-run homer from Anthony Santander, and after Zach Neto put the Angels back up 4-3 with an RBI single, Chris Devenski let two more home in the seventh on an Adley Rutchsman homer, giving Baltimore a 5-4 advantage through seven.
But Baltimore’s bullpen, absolutely dynamite so far this season, had a rare misstep. Bryan Baker entered play with a 1.77 ERA, but put two runners on in the eighth. Austin Voth came in and allowed a game-tying RBI single to Gio Urshela, and after hitting Trout with a pitch, Ohtani came through one more time:
Ohtani flashed his elite speed to beat out an infield single and provide the winning margin for the Angels. It was a frustrating loss for the O’s, but they remain in strong position in second place in the AL East.
Cleveland Guardians (20-23) 3, Chicago White Sox (16-29) 1: Two of the league’s more disappointing clubs wrapped up their three-game set, with the Guardians salvaging the finale to avoid a sweep at the hands of the White Sox. Rookie Logan Allen impressively went toe to toe with Chicago ace Dylan Cease, holding the White Sox to one run over 5.2 innings. Cease wasn’t bad, keeping Cleveland to three runs on five hits over 6.1 innings, but that was enough to saddle him with the loss as his uneven 2023 campaign continued apace. Most of the damage for Cleveland came courtesy of Gabriel Arias, who homered, doubled, and drove in two.