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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Mariners’ late rally bests Blue Jays

The AL had plenty of action to parse through on Friday.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees managed to stem the bleeding at last, ending their losing streak with a narrow 5-4 win over the Royals in their first game back at home. There’s plenty that could be said about the quality of the win, but we’re not above a bad win at this point — wins have been too far and few between as it is.

As the Yanks took care of their own business for once, the rest of the league was battling each other as well. Outside of the Red Sox, whose game with the Mets got suspended due to the weather, every other contender was on the field, so let’s see what went down:

Tampa Bay Rays (61-40) 3, Baltimore Orioles (59-38) 0

After their thriller on Thursday, Friday was a more mundane result in this series. The Rays evened the score with a balanced attack of solo home runs from Isaac Paredes and Jose Siri and seven shutout innings from the arm of Zach Eflin.

Kyle Bradish was far from ineffective for Baltimore, but he was susceptible to a few bad pitches that wound up costing him. The first came in the second inning when Brandon Lowe got a changeup hung in the center of the plate that he slapped to right field for a double, and Harold Ramirez capitalized with a single to score him. Then in the sixth, Paredes got a sinker that had no bite over the plate, and he crushed it.

Bradish’s day ended after the sixth, but the newest Oriole Shintaro Fujinami entered and made a similar mistake to the first batter he faced. Siri saw just the one pitch, and deposited it a few sections over from where Paredes targeted.

Seattle Mariners (49-48) 3, Toronto Blue Jays (54-44) 2

The first half of this game seemed like a dream for Blue Jays fans. There were plenty of them in the building, making the trek down from Vancouver to invade T-Mobile Park, and they saw Yusei Kikuchi deal for 5.1 innings. The left-hander scattered five hits and a walk against eight strikeouts, keeping the Mariners off the board entirely while the Jays got a slim lead off of Danny Jansen lifting a solo shot in the fifth.

Toronto expanded their lead in the top of the seventh thanks to a wild pitch, but from there the tide turned. Seattle broke the shutout in the bottom frame, getting a double from AJ Pollock and a single from Mike Ford to push him across, and then tied it in the eighth when Ty France doubled in Tom Murphy. That set the stage for some prime drama in the ninth — the Mariners put runners on second and third with two outs via a pair of walks and a fly ball to advance them with former Blue Jay Teoscar Hernandez due up. Hernandez won the matchup against closer Jordan Romano, nearly launching a homer but settling for a walk-off single:

Los Angeles Dodgers (56-40) 11, Texas Rangers (58-40) 5

Neither starter was particularly effective from the jump, with Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney both allowing four runs over five innings. From there the Dodgers got the better of the Rangers’ bullpen, working three walks off of Alex Speas and smacking plenty of hits against Grant Anderson. Cody Bradford worked 1.1 innings between them and only allowed one hit, but that batter was later allowed to score as well. When all was said and done, the Dodgers put up seven runs against the trio in the final three innings to pull away.

Houston Astros (55-43) 6, Oakland Athletics (27-73) 4

The result isn’t surprising, but the process was. The Athletics managed to touch up Framber Valdez for four runs in just five innings, in particular staging a rally for three runs in the fifth. The first three batters of the inning all found holes in the outfield to spray singles into, and then Jordan Diaz worked a walk to bring in a run. A sacrifice fly scored the second, and then a well-placed ground ball allowed the lead runner to score on contact and briefly make it a close contest.

Of course, the Astros still had the lead despite all of this. That’s because they took J.P. Sears to task for five runs, striking right away in the first with a Kyle Tucker solo shot and then scoring a pair of runs in the third and fifth respectively on Bregman and Tucker homers. Tucker continued his monster day with an insurance solo shot in the seventh inning, marking the first time in his career that he had a three-homer day.

The bullpen stepped up alongside Tucker, tossing a combined four innings of one-hit ball to secure the win and continue to take advantage of the hapless Oakland A’s.

Other Games

Los Angeles Angels (50-48) 8, Pittsburgh Pirates (42-55) 5: Shohei Ohtani didn’t add to his monstrous highlight reel in this start, getting walked three times at the plate while giving up five runs on the mound in 6.1 innings. He got rocked for four home runs, but his team had his back for once and gave him a five-spot in the fourth plus three more runs in the fifth to make it a non-concern that their superstar had an off day.

AL Central Rock Fight

Minnesota Twins (51-48) 9, Chicago White Sox (41-58) 4

Cleveland Guardians (48-49) 6, Philadelphia Phillies (52-45) 5

The Twins got all the offense they’d need in the first inning, scoring five off of Lance Lynn, who otherwise gutted out 6.2 innings. Joe Ryan was missing most bats, racking up 10 strikeouts, but he also allowed two homers and four runs overall on the day. Meanwhile, the Guardians kept pace by outlasting a Phillies team that nearly managed to tie it up in the seventh with a three-run rally, but fell a run short and couldn’t get anymore baserunners the rest of the way.