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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Vlad destroys baseball, Blue Jays lose

Catching up after a busy night in baseball

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

A lot of things happened in last night’s Yankee game, far more than the average 4-3 ball game. As long as they come out on the right side of that score, we really can’t complain, but you may have missed a lot of baseball given the goings-on in the Bronx. That’s where we come in, with our daily recap of all things American League.

San Francisco Giants (13-17) 4, Houston Astros (16-15) 2

You may have guessed that the Yankees and Astros would have near-identical records by this point in the season, but I bet you wouldn’t have guessed what that record was. Houston continued their underwhelming start to the season, after Giants righty Logan Webb slung a gem over 7.2 innings. He had just five strikeouts against two walks, but was able to grind through the Astros’ order and deliver a win.

Framber Valdez nearly matched him, albeit only for six innings instead of 7.2. He did manage eight strikeouts while Webb out-ground-balled one of the game’s best. The Giants didn’t even get on the board until the sixth, punching a pair of run-scoring singles to go up 2-0 before Joey Bart’s double in the seventh pushed the lead to three.

Alex Bregman had the only big hit for Houston, a two-run shot in the eighth that made a comeback appear possible, even if it would ultimately fall short.

Tampa Bay Rays (25-6) 8, Pittsburgh Pirates (20-11) 1

Even when the Pirates are good, you can’t trust ‘em. The Bucs dropped their second straight to Tampa down in the Trop, clubbed down by homers from Wander Franco and Josh Lowe, as well as allowing two runs to plate on self-inflicted errors. Old friend Andrew McCutchen opened the scoring with a solo shot in the third, but that was the best the away team could muster.

Shane McClanahan continued to be as good as it gets in the AL, with the home run the only real blemish on his six innings, which also saw him notch nine strikeouts. He didn’t quite match his 34 whiff performance from a couple of weeks ago, but his now-2.05 ERA speaks for itself.

Boston Red Sox (18-14) 8, Toronto Blue Jays (18-13) 3

Vlad Guerrero Jr., man.

That is a 450-foot home run right out of Fenway Park, a titanic shot that also served as pretty much the only offensive highlight for the Jays. Daulton Varsho had a long ball of his own, but the rest of this game was all Boston, whose win again kept the Yankees all alone in last place.

Five consecutive innings bringing a man home spelled victory for the Red Sox, although not a single ball left Fenway off one of their bats. Masataka Yoshida had two RBI hits, one a double, and in total five guys were responsible for run-scoring hits. Boston’s pitching is a problem, but that lineup looks deeper all the time.

Kansas City Royals (8-23) 6, Baltimore Orioles (20-1) 0

Baseball’s a funny game. The Orioles are ascendant in the AL this season and the Royals are one of the worst teams in baseball, but KC kicked Baltimore right in the teeth.

Although perhaps, more accurately Vinnie Pasquantino kicked Baltimore right in the teeth. Kansas City’s first baseman drove in three runs, including introducing starter Kyle Gibson to the Kauffman Stadium bullpen:

Bobby Witt Jr. scored two runs, a beneficiary of Vinnie’s big day at the plate. Zack Greinke finally recorded his first win of the year, spinning five shutout innings and hopefully getting his lackluster season back on track.

Seattle Mariners (14-16) 7, Oakland Athletics (6-25) 2

The Mariners have had a bad start to the season and the Oakland A’s should be investigated by California’s Attorney General for falsely claiming to be an MLB team. Both teams are on the West Coast to boot, so of course they went into extra innings.

Seattle is extremely lucky that the tenth inning went their way. Their formidable top four — Julio Rodríguez, Ty France, Jarred Kelenic and Eugenio Suárez went just 2-for-13 in the first nine innings.

If it weren’t for AJ Pollock’s ninth inning heroics, the Mariners would have been off to an even worse start. The game-tying home run sent us to free baseball, where Suárez woke up and crushed a three-run home run, and J.P Crawford cashed in two more to put the game away.

Other Matchups

Chicago White Sox (10-21) 6, Minnesota Twins (17-14) 4: The rumors of the White Sox demise may be exaggerated.

Okay, probably not. They’re probably still a terrible baseball team but they did finally capture their first series win of 2023 and can sweep the Twins right out of the Windy City today. After going down 3-0 early, thanks to Luis Robert Jr.’s three-run home run, the Twins did everything they could to claw back, actually taking the lead when Nick Gordon put them ahead with a solo home run. The White Sox ground away the Twins bullpen however, with two RBI singles in the fourth and seventh innings to retake the lead, before Elvis Andrus iced the game with a run-scoring groundout.