The Yankees ended the Jhony Brito experience yesterday on a win, albeit not one due to him, optioning the young right-hander after he allowed four runs in four innings. The offense came to back him up however, led by a 4-for-4 day from Aaron Judge and three RBI from both Judge and Anthony Rizzo. Ben Rortvedt even made his Yankees debut, proving once and for all that he is a real person!
All that action has them at 28-20, solidly near the top of the AL but only in third place in their own division. Thus, we have a wide range of teams to check-in on, so let’s get into it:
Tampa Bay Rays (34-13) 8, Milwaukee Brewers (24-21) 4
Harold Ramírez and Yandy Díaz launched homers in the first and second innings respectively to get the Rays off to a cozy 4-0 lead, and though the Brewers clawed back within one run at a point they couldn’t get enough off of Zach Eflin to make it a game. Eflin was beat on a pair of pitches for long balls but otherwise cut through the Brew Crew for seven dominant innings, striking out eight without allowing a walk.
Meanwhile, the Rays continued to extend their lead. A solo homer from Christian Bethancourt, a single from Manuel Margot, and walks from Isaac Paredes and Taylor Walls drove in four more Rays runs and put it away for good.
Baltimore Orioles (30-16) 6, Toronto Blue Jays (25-21) 5 (10 innings)
Strap in, folks. The Orioles struck first in this bout, scoring in the second and third innings thanks to an Adam Frazier triple and a Cedric Mullins solo shot, but after that Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah settled in. He shut the door on any more potential scoring opportunities until the sixth inning (more on that in a second) while the Jays bats went to work getting him the lead. They tied the game in the fifth inning when George Springer went deep for a two-run shot, and in the sixth Danny Jansen lifted a blast to put Toronto ahead.
So Toronto had the lead, but by that point Manoah wasn’t in line for the win. That’s because in the top of the sixth, Blue Jays manager John Schneider went out for the team’s second mound visit of the frame to talk to Manoah after two batters reached base. Schneider clearly just wanted to talk strategy around the upcoming at-bat, but apparently unbeknownst to him the rules state that he had to make a pitching change on the second visit. He was unprepared to do so, but nevertheless had to pull Manoah at just 85 pitches for Tim Mayza.
The Blue Jays were forced to remove Alek Manoah from the game because John Schneider did not realize it was the second mound visit pic.twitter.com/e5eK64ZeaZ— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 20, 2023
The Blue Jays got another pair of runs in the seventh to pad their lead, but it all fell apart for them in the eighth inning. With two outs and two men on Schneider went to Erik Swanson to preserve the lead, and he promptly hung a changeup that got clobbered for a three-run bomb by Ryan O’Hearn. After an unsuccessful rally in the bottom of the ninth to walk it off we were going to extras, where the Orioles managed to manufacture a run out of the ghost runner while the Jays struck out in order. That’s your ballgame, and that’s how you slide into last place in the division.
Houston Astros (26-19) 3, Oakland Athletics (10-37) 2
This was a surprisingly competitive game considering one of these franchises just recently earned their 10th win of the season. Former Yankee JP Sears was able to handle Houston’s mighty offense outside of a shaky first inning, coughing up two runs before lasting six innings with seven strikeouts to one walk. Hunter Brown matched him step for step, continuing to be a valuable bolster to the bottom of Houston’s rotation, and were it not for a Martín Maldonado throwing error he would’ve been in line for the win.
Instead, the game was tied entering the eighth inning when Richard Lovelady faced off with Yordan Alvarez. That battle went in favor of the slugger, who bopped a homer to right to put the Astros back on top.
Not much is going right for San Diego to start this year off, tempering massive expectations in the preseason that they were going to expand off of their NLCS appearance from last year. Joe Musgrove turning into a pumpkin after two excellent years with them isn’t helping, and he got beat by Enmanuel Valdez for a three-run shot in the second inning that put the Padres behind the eight-ball the rest of the way.
The Twins continue to build their lead in the “someone has to win this division” AL Central with a win over a hapless Angels squad, who got a solo homer from Shohei Ohtani and not much else. Kyle Farmer had himself a 3-for-5 night and old friend Joey Gallo launched his 11th homer of the year to lead Minnesota’s offense.
The Rangers absolutely buried this game from the jump, thanks to a bevy of singles and some sloppy defense from the Rockies. A total of eight runs came in the first two innings, aided by a passed ball from Elias Díaz and a fielding error by Ryan McMahon. The Rockies scored four runs in garbage time to make the score look more respectable, but this was a rout through and through.
The Mariners’ quest to get back to .500 is still alive, and they found major production from the middle of their lineup to get the job done in this one. Jarred Kelenic’s revival continued with a 2-for-5 day with a pair of runs, Julio Rodríguez worked three walks and scored on Eugenio Suárez’s two-run blast in the seventh that put this game out of reach.