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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Orioles fall in extras, Rays shock the Diamondbacks

On a night the Yankees were perfect, their rivals were busy playing some back-and-forth affairs.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been watching Yankees baseball lately, you’ve probably become accustomed to pitchers duels (and perfect games!). If you’re in the mood for fireworks, you’ll typically have to look elsewhere, but fortunately enough, the rest of the AL slate was jam-packed with offense last night. We saw multiple see-saw affairs featuring crooked numbers, with the Yankees’ rivals throwing punches and counterpunches all night.

Cincinnati Reds (43-38) 11, Baltimore Orioles (48-31) 7 (10 innings)

The rubber game of this enticing matchup of young teams lived up to its billing, with the two lineups exchanging big swing after big swing. It featured a wild first inning, one in which Elly De La Cruz, Jake Fraley, and Joey Votto each drove in runs to put Cincinnati up 3-0. The Orioles immediately struck back, tagging journeyman starter Luke Weaver for four runs in the bottom of the frame, thanks largely to a bases-clearing, three-run triple from Gunnar Henderson that had the Orioles up 4-3.

But the Reds weren’t done, coming right back in the top of the second with four more hits off Kyle Gibson, tallying three runs to retake a 6-4 lead. From there, both Weaver and Gibson both settled down a bit, and the Reds ultimately took a 7-4 lead to the bottom of the eighth. Rookie Jordan Westburg drove in a run with an RBI single, and Adam Frazier tied the game with a dramatic two-run homer.

That would lead the game to extras, where the Reds at last put the game away with an emphatic four-run 10th inning. Will Benson’s leadoff triple scored the zombie runner to put the Reds ahead, and TJ Friedl followed with a two-run homer for insurance.

With that, the Reds took what was a fun series in Baltimore, and stayed half a game up on Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Toronto Blue Jays (44-37) 6, San Francisco Giants (45-35) 1

A nightmare first inning for Logan Webb and the Giants turned this into a bit a snoozer right away. George Springer, Bo Bichette, and Brandon Belt went double, single, double to open the game immediately put Toronto up 2-0. Webb retired the next two batters to almost escape with minimal damage, but doubles from Daulton Varsho and Whit Merrifield, plus a single from Danny Jansen, had the Blue Jays up 5-0 before much of the crowd had even settled in.

Webb settled in from there and shut out the Jays over the next four frames, but the damage was done. Trevor Richards opened with three shut out, and JP Francis followed with four innings of one-run ball as Toronto cruised without much trouble. An Austin Slater solo shot off Francis in the seventh accounted for San Francisco’s only run

Houston Astros (43-37) 10, St. Louis Cardinals (33-46) 7

Oddly enough, just as Cincinnati-Baltimore saw the home team exit the first inning with a 4-3 lead, so did this matchup in St. Louis. Kyle Tucker, José Abreu, and Jeremy Peña drove in runs to put Houston ahead quickly against Miles Mikolas. But Cristian Javier gave it all back, with Nolan Arenado smashing a three-run homer to tie things up in the bottom half. Alec Burleson doubled home a run, and it was 4-3 Cardinals.

The usually-dependable Javier could only last four innings, with the Cards getting to him for six runs, and St. Louis ultimately headed to the eighth leading 7-5. That’s where Houston erupted. Jose Altuve notched his eighth homer of the year with two on, giving the Astros an 8-7 lead. Three batters later, Abreu went deep, and suddenly Houston led 10-7.

Ryan Pressly came on to close a game that felt pretty crucial for a Houston team that’s scuffled lately. Much like the Yankees, the defending champs have struggled to score runs without their superstar slugger, and needed to see a game where their offense held up its end of the bargain.

Texas Rangers (49-31) 10, Detroit Tigers (34-45) 2

The Yankees’ series win over Texas last weekend looks more impressive and improbable by the day. After leaving the Bronx, the Rangers have gotten right back to throttling the competition, crushing Tigers pitching for the second straight day to secure a series win.

The Rangers jumped all over Joey Wentz, putting seven baserunners on in the first inning and scoring four runs. Josh Jung and Ezequiel Duran added solo homers in the third for a 6-0 lead. In the sixth, it was Adolis Garíca’s turn with a two-run homer for an 8-0 advantage. And in the seventh, García doubled home another run and Josh H. Smith singled one home for an even 10-0 lead.

Dane Dunning was the beneficiary of all the support, not that he needed much help. Dunning nearly shut out Detroit, silencing the Tigers until there were two outs in the ninth, when Kerry Carpenter knocked Dunning out with a two-run homer. The outing still stands as the best of Dunning’s career, with the right-hander striking out 10 and walking none.

Tampa Bay Rays (55-28) 3, Arizona Diamondbacks (48-33) 2

It’s just hard to put away these Rays. Arizona looked like they had the second of this three-game set in hand, carrying a 2-0 lead into the final inning thanks to seven shutout from veteran starter Zach Davies. But recently-minted closer Scott McGough quickly ran into trouble in the ninth, surrendering three straight singles to put two on, none out, and a run in.

McGough buckled down a bit, striking out Randy Arozarena and inducing a groundout from Isaac Parades to get Arizona one out away. But he couldn’t push things across the finish line, with Josh Lowe crushing a two-run, two-out double for a 3-2 lead. Pete Fairbanks nailed down the save in the ninth as Tampa snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Other Games

Miami Marlins (47-34) 6, Boston Red Sox (40-41) 2

The Marlins worked around a rain delay to ease past the Red Sox to cinch the first two games of this series. Jazz Chisholm Jr. continued to look good in his return from the IL, hitting his eighth homer of the year, while Garrett Cooper also homered in support of Braxton Garrett, who managed five innings of one-run ball.

Atlanta Braves (53-27) 3, Minnesota Twins (40-42) 0

Kolby Allard, once a top prospect, hadn’t started a game since 2021, and hadn’t started for the Braves since 2018, the team that had once drafted him in the first round. Allard’s had a rough go of it as a major leaguer, but he got called up for a spot start after returning to Atlanta from Texas last offseason, and he looked sharp. He struck out eight Twins over 4.2 scoreless innings against just one walk and three hits. Matt Olson stroked a solo homer and an RBI double to provide enough offense to run the Braves’ record in June to 20-4.

Cleveland Guardians (39-40) 14, Kansas City Royals (22-58) 1

Cleveland’s offense, putrid for much of the year, had a rare monster day, with a seven-run sixth inning highlighting the action. José Ramírez led the way with a homer, double, and five RBI, while Josh Bell chipped in his eighth homer of the year, and Bo Naylor found his first career dinger. The win pulled Cleveland within one game of .500, and somewhat pathetically, actually pushed them into first place in the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox (35-47) 9, Los Angeles Angels (44-38) 2

As is fitting as we elevate the Angels into this space, they immediately lose to a moribund White Sox club. It wasn’t a full Tungsten Arm O’Doyle game, as Shohei Ohtani merely went 3-for-5 with a triple, a far cry from his Tuesday night performance. But the White Sox slammed the Angels staff, with Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez each homering, and Seby Zavala going deep twice.