The Yankees offense continues to sputter in Aaron Judge’s absence. They had a chance in the ninth to mount a comeback against the Red Sox, but Anthony Volpe popped out to strand a pair as New York dropped the series opener, 3-2. It was a baseball-packed Friday afternoon so let’s jump right into the results of the other games involving the Yankees’ AL rivals.
Tampa Bay Rays (47-19) 8, Texas Rangers (40-22) 3
A showdown between the lone 40-win teams in MLB ended with the Rays extending their lead atop the pile. Tyler Glasnow was triumphant in his third start back from injury, holding the Rangers to a run on one hit and three walks against six strikeouts. However, this game was all about Isaac Paredes’ massive night at the plate. He opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first, followed by a three-run home run in the third and a two-run bomb in the Rays’ four-run sixth.
All three of the Rangers’ runs came via the solo home run. They actually managed just one run through the first seven innings on a Leody Taveras blast in the third before making the score slightly more respectable via Taveras’ second solo job in the eighth and a Josh Jung no-doubter in the ninth, but the Rays proved they are the class of the AL with their 8-3 victory in the series opener.
Baltimore Orioles (39-24) 3, Kansas City Royals (18-45) 2
Another day, another productive outing from Aaron Hicks in an Orioles uniform. With a hit and a walk, Hicks is batting .333 in eight games with the Birds with a wRC+ approaching 200. Rookie Gunnar Henderson was 3-for-3 as he continues to find his feet in the majors while Austin Hays was 2-for-4 including a home run to lead off the first.
The Orioles scored again in the second on a Jorge Mateo RBI single and one final time in the fifth on an Anthony Santander RBI double to barely outpace the Royals, 3-2, who scored in the fourth on a Nick Pratto sac fly and the seventh on a Mike Baumann wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Minnesota Twins (32-32) 3, Toronto Blue Jays (36-29) 2
Michael A. Taylor provided all three runs in the Twins’ extra-innings victory over the Blue Jays. He got his team on the board with a two-run home run in the fifth before his sac fly in the tenth plated the decisive run in the contest.
Further down the Twins lineup rookie Royce Lewis went 4-for-4 while starting pitcher Sonny Gray continued his dominant start to the season. He held Toronto to a run on five hits and two walks against five strikeouts in five innings and averted disaster with his final contribution of the game escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to limit the Blue Jays to just a run in the frame on a Bo Bichette RBI single. Toronto’s other run came an inning later on a George Springer RBI double, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Twins, 3-2, in ten.
Cleveland Guardians (30-33) 10, Houston Astros (36-28) 9 (14 innings)
In an instant classic and easily the longest game of the MLB season thus far, the Guardians scrapped and clawed their way back from multiple deficits to walk off the Astros, 10-9, in the 14th inning. When the Astros jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on a José Abreu three-run blast in the first and Mauricio Dubón RBI groundout in the second, it was easy to assume Houston had already wrapped up a victory over a Cleveland offense that struggles desperately to score runs.
Cleveland got on the board thanks to a Josh Naylor RBI single in the third, but saw it cancelled out on Alex Bregman’s RBI double in the fifth. The Guardians provided an immediate response of their own, tallying three runs in the bottom-half on three straight doubles from Myles Straw, Steven Kwan, and Amed Rosario (the latter pair each plating a run) to open the frame followed by a single, walk, and Andrés Giménez sac fly before knotting the scores at six when José Ramírez led off the seventh with a home run.
A Yainer Diaz sac fly in the eighth put the Astros back on top and Houston found themselves on the precipice of victory twice in the bottom of the ninth. However, Ramírez worked a two-out, full count walk against closer Ryan Pressly, who quickly went up 0-2 on the following batter, but hung a curveball which Naylor crushed for a double to plate Ramírez and send the game to extras.
Houston scored a run in the top of the 12th, 13th, and 14th, but the home team responded each time to extend the game. In that fateful 14th frame, Tyler Freeman led off with a double to plate the Manfred Man and level the scores once more, allowing Will Brennan a chance to win the game on an RBI double to right.
Los Angeles Angels (35-30) 5, Seattle Mariners (30-32) 4: Shohei Ohtani continues to do Shohei Ohtani things. He may not have been at his sharpest on the mound — three runs on three hits and five walks in five innings — but he more than made up for it with the bat, going 3-for-4 including a two-run bomb in the third to tie the game after Jarred Kelenic opened the scoring with his own two-run shot in the first. Mickey Moniak’s two-run homer in the sixth proved the decisive blow as the Angels held on to win this one, 5-4.