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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Woes continue for Rays, Rangers

The top two teams in the American League continued to fall back to the pack on Wednesday.

Philadelphia Phillies v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Yankees lost a tough one on Wednesday night, with five shutout innings from Randy Vásquez going by the wayside thanks to a rare off game from the bullpen. They missed a chance to gain some real ground, on the Orioles of course, and on the Rays, who, as we’ll see in a moment, continued to struggle. In any event, with the exception of the Blue Jays and White Sox getting rained out, it was another busy night across the American League, so let’s get to it.

Boston Red Sox (44-43) 4, Texas Rangers (51-36) 2

Brayan Bello is quickly becoming the young ace of the Boston staff. The Red Sox rode another strong start from the right-hander to down the Rangers and pull back above .500.

Bello shut out the potent Texas lineup over the first five innings, allowing Boston build a 3-0 lead, thanks to Justin Turner and Adam Duvall’s first-inning RBI singles, and Turner’s RBI knock in the fifth. The Rangers finally got to Bello in the sixth, as Adolis García (the latest entry into the Home Run Derby) went deep for the 22nd time this year, a two-run shot to bring Texas within one. But that’s all they could muster, as Bello finished with seven innings of two-run ball, and three strikeouts against zero walks.

Boston added an insurance run in the sixth on David Hamilton’s RBI double, and Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen handled the eighth and ninth innings to deliver the win. That drops the Rangers to just two games ahead of the Astros in the AL West.

Houston Astros (49-38) 6, Colorado Rockies (33-55) 4

Don’t look now, but the Astros might be heating up. Houston jumped all over Rockies starter Chase Anderson, with young catcher Yanier Diaz hitting two home runs to lead the Astros to their fourth-straight win.

Diaz crushed a solo shot in the second and a two-run homer in the fourth. Jeremy Pena added a two-run homer of his own two batters later, and Houston had a 5-0 lead.

Colorado did well to stay in the game, scoring three off of starter J.P. France over the next two frames. The right-hander France finished with six innings of three-run ball, and ultimately earned the win as the Astros eased to the finish line over the final innings. Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly were sharp in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, with Pressly securing his 19th save.

Philadelphia Phillies (46-39) 8, Tampa Bay Rays (57-32) 4

The Rays’ slow slide continues, as they dropped their fourth straight yesterday and their 10th in their last 16 games. The Phils won a second straight in Tampa with the big names in the middle of their lineup doing the heavy lifting.

Trea Turner went 2-for-5 with a homer, Bryce Harper went 2-for-5, JT Realmuto went 3-for-4, and Nick Castellanos hit his 13th homer of the year. Zack Litell opened for the Rays and surrendered two runs in two innings, and Philly pounded follower Yonny Chirions for eight hits and three runs over 2.2 innings.

The Rays had gotten off to a good start, tagging Philly starter Taijuan Walker for four runs over the first three innings to take a 4-3 lead. But the Phillies retook the lead off Chirinos in the fifth, and then added some insurance runs late. Walker settled in nicely after the early trouble, ultimately working seven innings for the win.

Other Games

  • San Diego Padres (41-46) 5, Los Angeles Angels (45-44) 3: For the Angels, it’s more insults being added to injury. With Mike Trout looking at a weeks-long IL stint (and Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon each exiting Tuesday’s loss early), the Angels dropped another game, their seventh loss in eight games. Matt Thais hit a solo homer and Jo Adell stroked an RBI double as he tries again to establish himself in the bigs, but Manny Machado went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI, while Fernando Tatis Jr. went 3-for-4 to help lead San Diego. Seth Lugo picked up the win, allowing one earned run over six innings.

AL Central Rock Fight

Minnesota Twins (45-43) 5, Kansas City Royals (25-62) 0

Atlanta Braves (58-28) 8, Cleveland Guardians (42-44) 1

The Braves did what the Braves do, pounding out 18 hits against the Cleveland staff in an easy win. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the Twins rode an absolutely start from Pablo López to a win over Kansas City. López fired a four-hit shutout, striking out 12 and walking none. He needed precisely 100 pitches do dispatch the Royals, narrowly missing out on a Maddux. That extends Minnesota’s lead in the AL central to two games.