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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Shane shines, Manoah flatlines

One ace threw a gem, one (former) ace laid an egg.

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

It was a slow Monday across Major League Baseball. The Yankees were off as they get set to take on the White Sox tonight, and only eight games in total were on the calendar. Three of them featured potential playoff matchups for New York, so let’s dive in and see how they did.

Tampa Bay Rays (43-19) 4, Boston Red Sox (30-30) 1

It looks like it might be that kind of year for Shane McClanahan. Among the favorites for the AL Cy Young, the lefthander lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.02, second best in baseball among starters. Six innings of one-run ball propelled the Rays to a series opening win over the Red Sox, even if Shane wasn’t quite as dominant on a per-inning basis as he normally is.

He engineered seven ground ball outs against just five strikeouts, but this contact-happy Red Sox group only got on the board when Justin Turner went deep in the sixth inning:

The Rays brought in a trio of runs in the top of the fifth against Sox starter Brayan Bello, with a pair of RBI singles and run-scoring groundout. The dagger came in the seventh, where reliever Nick Pivetta loaded the bases before walking Taylor Walls to bring in Tampa’s fourth run of the day.

Houston Astros (36-24) 11, Toronto Blue Jays (33-28) 4

Saying this without an ounce of venom or irony, it is no longer fun to enjoy watching Alek Manoah struggle (at least for me). The Blue Jay righty is at a point where he has absolutely no answer, looking more like a Low-A arm than a former Cy Young finalist in Monday’s nightmare against the Astros. Manoah recorded just one out, surrendering six earned runs.

I think Manoah is a jackass, and I think he’s a jackass because I’m not sure how much latitude my editors give me to call people other names. And yet, I can’t get enjoyment out of this, it’s just sad at this point. Get better, Alek, but maybe at the MiLB level. The Astros didn’t stop after the first inning. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker went back to back in the fourth, before Jake Meyers’ two-run shot in the fifth broke the ‘Stros into double digits.

Alejandro Kirk, Bo Bichette, Vlad Guerrero Jr., and Daulton Varsho all drove in runs for the Blue Jays, but by 7:30 p.m. this game was a formality.

Texas Rangers (39-20) 4, St Louis Cardinals (25-36) 3

The Power Rangers keep coming.

St. Louis went up 1-0 early in this one, with Paul DeJong driving in Wilson Contreras in the second inning, before Texas responded with three in the bottom frame. Martín Pérez took over from there, throwing seven innings with a 5:1 K:BB ratio. Grant Anderson blew what was then a 3-1 lead in the eighth, after Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado tagged him to tie the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, the heart of the Rangers order came through. Marcus Semien worked a walk, Corey Seager had a single to bring Semien to second, setting up Nathaniel Lowe to send the crowd home happy: