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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Rays and O’s get blanked

It was a good day of results for the Yankees as they began their west coast trip.

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Yankees had a nearly perfect night to start off their West Coast trip, crushing the Mariners off of bats of Aaron Judge (expected) and Jake Bauers (surprising!). Unfortunately, they did lose Harrison Bader to a hamstring injury midway through the game, marring the night somewhat considerably. Hopefully he won’t be out for long, but you never know with these types of injuries.

Anyway, the win gave the Yanks an opportunity to gain ground on both of the teams above them. Both the Rays and Orioles held up their half of the bargain as well, as you’ll see shortly!

Chicago Cubs (23-30) 1, Tampa Bay Rays (39-17) 0

Marcus Stroman was absolutely dealing in this outing, and he kept the Rays offense off-balance the entire game. Through six innings, the only baserunner that the Rays got was due to Stroman plunking Luke Raley. Their one chance with a runner in scoring position came in the seventh when Wander Franco led off with a single and Brandon Lowe walked, but a timely double play eliminated the threat. Stroman cruised from there, taking the complete game shutout and lowering his ERA nearly half a point in the process. Chicago got their one run to back up Stroman in the fourth when a single and an error got Seiya Suzuki into scoring position and the Cubs brought him home on a pair of sacrifice flys.

Cleveland Guardians (24-29) 5, Baltimore Orioles (34-20) 0

If one shutout was nice, two shutouts against key rivals is even better. This one also featured a superb pitching performance from a starter, as Logan Allen carved through the O’s offense for seven innings and picked up 10 strikeouts in the process. They had two chances to eliminate the goose egg, first in the fourth when the O’s got runners on second and third with two outs, but Adam Frazier struck out. Then in the ninth, Baltimore put men on first and third with no outs, but Trevor Stephan got the next three batters to close it out.

Meanwhile, the Guardians’ big inning came in the seventh inning. Already up 1-0 entering the inning, a string of four straight hits and an error on a fielder’s choice expanded the lead to 5-0. From there, the Guardians cruised to a comfortable win.

Minnesota Twins (28-26) 7, Houston Astros (31-22) 5 (10 innings)

Minnesota jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third, striking after making two immediate outs in the inning. Carlos Correa walked and Alex Kirilloff singled, setting up the recently-recalled Royce Lewis for a three-run blast into right field. They added another run in the fourth on a Michael A. Taylor base knock, but Houston countered with a run of their own in the bottom half on a double play that allowed the runner from third to advance.

That’s the type of run that you’ll live with up four runs and with one of your better pitchers on the mound, and through six innings Sonny Gray was dealing. He ran into trouble when he went back out for the seventh, however, allowing a leadoff double and a walk before getting pulled. Brock Stewart came in and got two strikeouts, but a Mauricio Dubón single set the stage for Jose Altuve to launch a grand slam to put the Astros ahead.

Down to their last out in the ninth with runners on first and second, Lewis punched a ball into center that tied the game. Extras went the way of the Twins, thanks to Ryan Jeffers smashing a two-run homer right away. The Astros went down in order on their opportunity to keep the game alive, and that was that.

Other Games:

Texas Rangers (34-19) 5, Detroit Tigers (25-27) 0

The Rangers continue to hold their modest lead in the AL West, getting five innings from Nathan Eovaldi before a trio of relievers came on to continue the shutout. Texas got all the runs they needed on a Corey Seager three-run blast in the fifth, but they added two more runs for good measure in the seventh on a sac fly and another RBI hit from Seager.