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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: O’s take three of four from Rays

Baltimore created separation atop the division with a huge series win over Tampa.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Yankees completed their first sweep since the third week of May over the Reds, taking all three games against the Royals at the Stadium. Anthony Rizzo hit his first home run since that aforementioned series in Cincy as part of a 4-for-4 day while several of the Yankees’ scuffling veterans showed signs of breaking out. The upturn in play could not come at a better time as the Yankees try to keep pace with the Wild Card pack.

Baltimore Orioles (61-38) 5, Tampa Bay Rays (61-42) 3

Baltimore jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to their pair of budding superstars. Gunnar Henderson led off the game with a single, allowing Adley Rutschman to drive him home with a double in the first before the former launched a mammoth two-run bomb in the second.

The Rays fought back to tie the game in the middle innings, scoring one in the fourth and two in the fifth on a two-run shot from Yandy Díaz. Ryan O’Heard immediately responded, leading off the following inning with a homer to reclaim the lead, and they’d get an insurance run in the seventh on an Anthony Santander RBI single to win this one, 5-3, taking three of four from the Rays to open a two-game lead atop the division.

Texas Rangers (59-41) 8, Los Angeles Dodgers (57-41) 4

When Max Muncy clubbed a grand slam in the top of the first, it was easy to think we’d get a repeat of the Dodgers’ 16-3 drubbing of the Rangers last night.

However, their offense would stall out for the rest of the game with Martín Pérez steadying the ship for five more scoreless innings followed by a scoreless inning each from a trio of relievers. Texas would go on to score eight unanswered runs against rookie starter Emmet Sheehan. Jonah Heim cut the deficit in half with a two-run double in the first, Marcus Semien, Nathaniel Lowe, and Josh Jung added RBI singles in the second, Leody Taveras smacked a two-run double in the third and Ezequiel Duran an RBI double in the fourth to secure the sweep-avoiding win, 8-4.

Houston Astros (56-44) 3, Oakland Athletics (28-74) 2

After two impressive performances from a pair of young starters — six innings of two-run ball by the Astros’ Hunter Brown and five innings of one-run ball from former Yankee prospect Luis Medina — this game came down to the bullpens. Houston won that battle, receiving three scoreless innings from their relievers while Oakland’s bullpen gave up two late runs to fumble the game away.

The A’s struck first on a first inning solo shot by JJ Bleday, but Yainer Diaz responded by leading off the fifth with a home run to level the scores. The two sides would again trade runs in the sixth and seventh, Tyler Soderstrom’s RBI single getting cancelled out by a Corey Julks walk with the bases loaded. Mauricio Dubón broke the deadlock in the ninth, homering off Chad Smith to win the contest, 3-2.

Toronto Blue Jays (55-45) 4, Seattle Mariners (50-49) 3

The Blue Jays narrowly avoided the sweep in this tight, tense series of three games each decided by one run. Mike Ford opened the scoring for Seattle in the second with a two-run homer off of Alek Manoah, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. negated it with his own two-run bomb in the fourth.

Brandon Belt solo homered in the top of the sixth only to have pinch-hitter Dylan Moore respond with an RBI-single in the bottom-half. With the game tied at three, Santiago Espinal laced a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh to hand his bullpen a lead to protect. Seattle had a chance in the ninth, putting men on second and third with one out against closer Jordan Romano, but he slammed the door to hang on to victory, 4-3, and maintain a two game lead on the final Wild Card spot.

Other Matchups

Boston Red Sox (53-47) 6, New York Mets (46-53) 1

Carlos Carrasco got tagged for five runs on 10 hits in just 2.1 innings including a string of seven consecutive base knocks in Boston’s four-run third. Eight of the nine Red Sox starters hit safely as Boston went on to win, 6-1, to remain in a tie with the Yankees for last place in the division, two games back of the third Wild Card-holding Blue Jays.

Los Angeles Angels (51-49) 7, Pittsburgh Pirates (43-56) 5

Shohei Ohtani clubbed his league-leading 36th home run while leadoff hitter Luis Rengifo left the park twice against the normally stellar Mitch Keller. The Angels scored four in the fifth to seemingly put the game out of reach, but the Pirates responded with their own four-run inning in the seventh to keep it close until the Angels eventual 7-5 victory.

AL Central Rock Fight

Philadelphia Phillies (53-46) 8, Cleveland Guardians (49-50) 5

Minnesota Twins (53-48) 5, Chicago White Sox (41-60) 4

The Phillies and Guardians went to extras tied at four apiece where Philadelphia blew the doors off the contest, scoring four on a Bryce Harper RBI single, J.T. Realmuto sac fly, and Alec Bohm two-run double to guarantee victory, 8-5. The Guardians continue to lose ground to the division-leading Twins, who capped off a sweep of the White Sox with their own extra-innings victory. They could manage nothing against Lucas Giolito — five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts — but scored three in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extras, where Ryan Jeffers walked it off with an RBI single.