The Yankees struck back against Boston last night, securing a 3-1 win on the backs of the likely hero of late (Gleyber Torres) and the unlikely one (Willie Calhoun). Domingo Germán also shoved outside of one mistake to Rafael Devers, which he can hardly be blamed for seeing as how he torches anyone wearing pinstripes.
The win sets up a rubber match, but more importantly it prevented the Yanks from falling behind double-digits to the Rays. Instead, they could hope that the Rangers did them a favor in the battle between the two best teams so far, and that’s right where we’ll start our recap at.
Texas Rangers (41-22) 8, Tampa Bay Rays (47-20) 4
The Rangers’ offense was too good to be held down for two nights in a row, and Taj Bradley did not fare nearly as well as Tyler Glasnow did. Texas tagged him for five runs (four earned) in 3.2 innings, and held a 6-0 lead early thanks mainly to the scorching bat of Corey Seager. Seager hit a two-run double in the second inning and followed that up with a two-run blast in the fourth, ultimately ending the day with a career-best five hits in a single game.
Tampa briefly closed the gap in the bottom of the fourth, rallying for four runs to make it 6-4 Rangers. The big blow came off the bat of Francisco Mejia, a three-run bomb that stayed inside the foul pole out in right. However, the Rays couldn’t get anything else going against Nathan Eovaldi, who stayed in until the seventh inning despite the gut punch frame. Texas added some insurance in the sixth when Adolis Garcia doubled home a pair, and then they cruised through the last two innings without incident.
Houston Astros (37-28) 6, Cleveland Guardians (3-34) 4
After duking it out for 14 innings the previous night, Houston wasn’t letting Cleveland get another one on them. They jumped Tristan McKenzie for three runs in the opening frame, capped off by a two-run José Abreu bomb. A Josh Naylor sac fly got one back right away for the Guardians, but the Astros plated two more in the fourth inning to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
J.P. France did well to hold onto that lead, inducing multiple double-plays that eliminated threats in the third and fourth innings before working around a pair of walks in the fifth. Another double-play bailed him out of a jam in the sixth, but he wouldn’t get away unscathed in the seventh — Jose Ramirez singled home a run to knock France out of the game, and Naylor singled Ramirez home after the pitching change. Bryan Abreu got Josh Bell to strike out to end the threat before it got any worse, and though both teams tacked on a run in the ninth there wasn’t much of a threat to Houston’s lead.
Minnesota Twins (33-32) 9, Toronto Blue Jays (36-30) 4
For six innings, this game was all Blue Jays. They sent Trevor Williams to the mound in a bullpen game and he gave them three shutout innings before handing it over to Tim Mayza, who kept it going for another 1.1 innings. In the meantime, some small rallies in three different frames earned them a three run lead. All was going well, but a blip appeared in the seventh when Bowden Francis served up a solo shot to Trevor Larnach that got the Twins on the board.
Then chaos broke out in the eighth. A trio of singles opened up the inning, and then Carlos Correa launched one to left for a grand slam. Suddenly the Twins were up, but they were just getting started — Larnach and Willi Castro got on base, setting up Max Kepler to yank one out of right field. Just like that, the Twins dropped seven runs on the Jays, and they added another one in the ninth just for fun. Toronto strung together the start of a comeback with three consecutive baserunners and a run scored in the bottom of the ninth, but a double-play ended their hopes.
Seattle Mariners (31-32) 6, Los Angeles Angels (35-31) 2: Shohei Ohtani homered to get all of Los Angeles’ runs, but Pablo Sandoval got roughed up by Julio Rodriguez and company for five runs in five innings to keep it out of reach. The Mariners added a run in the seventh, and collected 16 hits overall on the day to keep clawing at that .500 mark.