With the Yankees’ bats struggling the way that they are these days, they don’t make many wins more stressful than the one yesterday. A solo shot by Billy McKinney was the only run support offered, and Luis Severino combined with the Yankees’ bullpen to make it stand up. The Rangers out-hit the Yankees, 8-4, but by the final out, the one part of the scorebook that mattered read “1-0, Yankees.” Excellent work from Sevy and company, to say the least.
Here’s what else went on around the top American League action on Saturday.
Baltimore Orioles (46-29) 6, Seattle Mariners (37-38) 4 (12 innings)
The Charm City fans who got to attend the late-afternoon showdown yesterday at Camden Yards got to see a helluva game — one with lead changes, multiple outs at the plate, and defensive greatness.
Baltimore got the scoring started in the second on an RBI single to right by Adam Frazier with runners on first and second. Gunnar Henderson scored, but the throw was cut off to force Frazier into a rundown. The second runner, Ramón Urías, tried to come home himself and got thrown out to end the inning.
Former #NextManUp Yankee Mike Ford then tied the score with a towering homer off Dean Kremer, and when J.P. Crawford whistled one just over the right-field wall, the Mariners were ahead, 2-1 ... for less than a half-inning anyway. This time, it was Anthony Santander’s turn to play solo shot hero, and the game was knotted again.
Santander was on the case once more in the fifth, as his single plated Frazier for the lead. Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez made his presence felt by clubbing a 395-foot shot to make it 3-3, but in the home half of the sixth, Aaron Hicks launched his fourth homer since finding the Fountain of Youth in Baltimore. Baltimore was back ahead, 4-3, and they would’ve seized a bigger advantage had Julio not intervened:
The dude isn’t quite as incredible as he was during his Rookie of the Year-winning 2023, but make no mistake: he is always the most talented Mariner on the field.
O’s setup man Yennier Cano wriggled out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the eighth when Henderson threw Crawford out at the plate, and once Danny Coulombe retired Jarred Kelenic to end the eighth, Baltimore fans had to be sitting pretty. They had Félix Bautista ready to slam the door in the ninth.
Although they would get the win eventually, it wasn’t in the way they expected. An out away from defeat, Ford timed up a 100-mph heater from Bautista down the middle that bounced onto Eutaw Street, tying the game again:
Ford suddenly has six homers in June after tallying 8 in 101 MLB games from 2020-22 combined.
Paul Sewald tossed a scoreless ninth, so extra innings commenced. Michael Baumann did his part by getting a comebacker and a pair of strikeouts, so all Baltimore needed to walk it off was a single. Ryan McKenna did more:
What a delightfully bonkers game. I would’ve preferred Seattle to come out on top, but oh well.
Toronto Blue Jays (42-36) 7, Oakland Athletics (20-59) 3
The Jays avenged a series-opening loss to the dismal A’s on Friday by taking care of business fairly easily yesterday. George Springer and Bo Bichette jumped on Shintaro Fujinami for a single and double to start the game for the Toronto offense, and the runners came home on a Brandon Belt sacrifice fly and Matt Chapman single to right.
Seth Brown got one back on a solo shot in the second ... which Hogan Harris promptly reissued by plunking Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on the foot with the bases loaded in the home half. He struck out Matt Chapman to escape the jam and a Ryan Noda RBI double brought it back to a one-run affair, but Harris got into trouble again in the third. Catcher Danny Jansen found a foe not wearing pinstripes to homer against for once, giving Toronto a 5-2 lead.
José Berríos settled in from there for Toronto and Guerrero clubbed an insurance two-run shot in the sixth that sailed 436 feet to center. It’s a good thing that the Yankees salvaged that win yesterday too because if they hadn’t, the Jays would’ve passed the Yanks in the standings. As it stands, they remain half a game behind New York.
Kansas City Royals (22-55) 9, Tampa Bay Rays (53-27) 4
For the third day in a row, one of the worst teams in baseball did the Yankees a favor by taking down a division rival. First, it was the Royals coming back late against the Rays on Thursday to win, 6-5. Next, it was the A’s ekeing out a one-run win in Toronto on Friday, when Shea Langeliers went deep in the ninth. Then yesterday, lowly Kansas City shocked at the Trop again, and by the late innings, it wasn’t even really close.
It all started off sunny for the Rays, as Wander Franco cracked a home run in his first game since being benched. Tampa Bay tallied three more runs off Jordan Lyles and with a 4-0 lead at home against a 21-55 team, it already felt like this game was already in the books.
Credit to the Royals, though. They looked at Rays starter Yonny Chirinos, thought “Eh, he’s not quite Shane McClanahan,” and rallied. Drew Water went deep to start the third, and they scraped together a couple more runs on a single, a walk, a wild pitch, a groundout, and a sacrifice fly. Then with two outs and two on in the top of the fourth, No. 9 hitter Freddy Fermin stunned the crowd with a go-ahead, three-run bomb:
Kansas City didn’t just rest on that either, as back-to-back doubles from Nick Pratto and Bobby Witt Jr. tacked on another run. A couple more come across as the game entered the later innings, and by that point, the Tampa Bay offense had been lulled to sleep by Lyles, Carlos Hernández, and Nick Wittgren. The last 17 Rays went down in order.
Los Angeles Dodgers (43-33) 8, Houston Astros (41-36) 7
There were fewer lead changes in this Dodgers/Astros than in M’s/O’s, but it was no less chaotic. NL Comeback Player of the Year candidate Jason Heyward led the charge for LA in the first with a two-run blast that granted the Dodgers to a 3-0 lead. Jose Altuve chipped away with an RBI single in the third, but the wheels really came off for LA’s Bobby Miller in the fifth.
Corey Julks led off with a single to right, and after a walk to Jake Meyers, Altuve reached on a bunt single to load the bases for Alex Bregman. Their old 2017 World Series nemesis turned the screw again with a slam:
Suddenly, the Astros were out in front, 5-3, and before long, they’d tacked on two more runs for a decisive four-run edge.
The Dodgers began to make a comeback after the seventh-inning stretch. Heyward got plunked and pinch-hitter David Peralta smoked a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 7-5. Then in the eighth, Houston reliever Bryan Abreu almost singlehandedly started another Dodgers threat. The first three Dodgers to bat all walked to load the bases, and Heyward lifted a fly ball deep enough to make it 7-6.
Next up was rookie James Outman, and things got weird:
The strange ground-rule double had tied the game, and the Dodgers were just a bit unlucky that they weren’t able to snatch the lead on the drive to the wall.
When Ryne Stanek entered the game for the Astros though, the Dodgers found that lost luck. With Miguel Rojas batting, Stanek oh-so-briefly flinched his knee, and a balk was called:
Stanek and the Astros were furious, but the call stood. The Dodgers had completed the comeback, taken the lead, and held on in the ninth to secure a series victory.
The two pairs of Sox went back and forth with dingers for most of this one, and after Luis Robert Jr. and Andrew Vaughn went back-to-back in the sixth, the ChiSox carried a 4-3 lead to the ninth. An out away from victory, Kendall Graveman lost it on an infield single, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and a single from Justin Turner to tie the game. An out away from extras though, Kenley Jansen suffered a similar fate for Boston. Once again, an infield single sparked it, as Zach Remillard pinch-ran and stole second before Elvis Andrus walked it off with a hit to right.
After Milwaukee’s win on Friday, Cleveland punched back in The Battle of Underwhelming Second-Place Central Division Teams. The Brewers’ 2-1 lead in the sixth fell apart on three hits in a row from Amed Rosario, José Ramírez, and Josh Naylor. That knotted things up, and right fielder David Fry atoned for his early error by singling to put the Guardians ahead. The bullpen took over from there with three shutout innings of one-hit ball.
Although the Tigers only scored in one inning, they made it count with three in the second. It wasn’t a shining day for the Minnesota offense, who left eight runners on base and went hitless with runners in scoring position against a not-so-intimidating Detroit staff.
Also we’re not including the Angels just yet, but lol look at what they did to the Rockies in Coors last night: