Gleyber Torres ensured that Yankees fans head off to the All-Star break with a sour taste in their mouths. His lapse in concentration on a routine ground ball that should have been converted into an inning-ending double play turned into three runs for the Cubs, evaporating the Yankees’ lead as they went on to lose the final game of the first half, 7-4, to drop to fourth in the division, just one game ahead of the last-place Red Sox. Hitting coach Dillon Lawson has been fired.
Other teams around the AL wrapped up their first halves so let see how it all unfolded.
Toronto Blue Jays (50-41) 4, Detroit Tigers (39-50) 3
The Blue Jays nabbed an extra-innings win in their final game of the first half to leapfrog the Yankees in the divisional and Wild Card standings. Detroit actually led this game, 3-0, through the first six innings thanks to a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the second, a Riley Greene home run to lead off the third, and a Spencer Torkelson RBI single in the fifth as well as four scoreless innings from Tarik Skubal, making his second start after recovering from flexor tendon surgery last season.
The Blue Jays clawed their way back into the contest scoring one in the seventh before a Danny Jansen two-run bomb off Tigers closer Alex Lange — who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the previous night’s combined no-hitter — sent the game to extras, where Toronto would win, 4-3, it on a pinch-hit RBI double by Nathan Lukes.
Baltimore Orioles (54-35) 15, Minnesota Twins (45-46) 2
The Orioles stamped an exclamation mark on their first half, putting up two touchdowns and a two point conversion against the Twins. A baker’s dozen of those runs came in two innings as Baltimore hung a seven-spot in the fifth and a six-spot in the sixth.
The O’s launched a half-dozen home runs in the contest including a pair from Anthony Santander and one each from Adley Rutschman, Austin Hays, Aaron Hicks, and Ramón Urías. Baltimore starter Kyle Gibson tied a career high with 11 strikeouts while Joe Ryan tallied ten, albeit while allowing five runs. Edouard Julien accounted for all of Minnesota’s offense with an RBI double in the first and a solo shot in the sixth, but it was only enough to avoid the shutout, 15-2.
Washington Nationals (36-54) 7, Texas Rangers (52-39) 2
The Nationals took two out of three from the first place Rangers with Patrick Corbin having a rare impressive outing — seven innings giving up a run on five hits against six strikeouts. Joey Meneses homered for the fourth time in the series while Dominic Smith and Stone Garrett also left the yard.
CJ Abrams went 3-for-5 while fellow promising youngsters Keibert Ruiz and Luis García logged a pair of hits each. Adolis García drove in both the Rangers’ runs but they ultimately drop this one, 7-2, to head into the break having lost four of five.
Tampa Bay Rays (58-35) 10, Atlanta Braves (60-29) 4
The Rays snapped their seven-game losing streak, the offense waking back up after scoring a run in each of their losses in the first two games against Atlanta. They jumped exciting rookie Bryce Elder for four runs in the first, two coming on Isaac Paredes’ 16th home run of the year. Tampa Bay added a further three to Elder’s final line in the fourth, punctuated by Yandy Díaz’s two-run bomb — part of a 3-for-5 four RBI performance for the first baseman.
He would also add a two-run double in the eighth. Jonathan Aranda had a two-run double in the first while Taylor Walls and Christian Bethancourt each drove in a run to round out the Rays’ scoring. As for the Braves, Travis d’Arnaud homered in the fourth while Matt Olson and Michael Harris II each chipped in an RBI, but it wasn’t enough for the sweep as they fall, 10-4.
Seattle Mariners (45-44) 3, Houston Astros (50-41) 1
Logan Gilbert followed up a complete game shutout with another impressive start — one run on three hits against six strikeouts in seven innings. His offense did all of their scoring in the fourth, with Julio Rodríguez reaching on an error and Ty France getting plunked before a Teoscar Hernández double drove the former in followed by a Jarred Kelenic double to plate the latter pair.
Martín Maldonado’s solo shot in the sixth represented the lone blemish on Gilbert’s final line while José Abreu and Chas McCormick provided the only other hits for the Astros in the contest. Even with the 3-1 loss, the Astros maintain a grasp on a Wild Card spot courtesy of the Yankees’ pissing away their own game.
This was a close affair throughout until Masataka Yoshida’s solo shot in the eighth broke the 3-3 deadlock. Adam Duvall had a two-run homer in the sixth while for the A’s Brent Rooker went 3-for-3 including his 16th home run of the year.
AL Central Rock Fight
Ryan Yarbrough pitched his best game for the Royals since signing with them in the winter from the Rays — one run on six hits against five strikeouts in six innings. Meanwhile, the KC offense jumped Shane Bieber for four runs with Michael Massey going 3-for-4 with a two-run triple and Kyle Isbel 2-for-4 with a solo shot.
Losses by the Guardians and the Twins ensure that the AL Central will have zero teams over .500 heading into the break. Fun.