The Yankees’ series against the Orioles wrapped up in less than ideal fashion as they took a loss on Thursday. After taking the opening two games of the set, the Yankees lost a lead on Wednesday and then never came close to one in the finale, dooming them to a 2-2 split.
As that was happened, there was plenty of action going on elsewhere around baseball, so let’s check in on what went down with the Yankees’ AL rivals.
Toronto Blue Jays (47-40), Chicago White Sox (37-51) 2 (11 innings) - Game 1
The opener of the doubleheader was a pitcher’s duel that went the regulation nine innings without a run being scored. Then suddenly, the 11th inning happened. A bit out of nowhere, the Blue Jays broke things open with a six run top half of the frame. The White Sox got a couple runs back, but they had dug themselves too big a hole.
Starters José Berríos and Lance Lynn were both dominant, each allowing just one hit in their seven inning outings. Lynn in particular finished the game with 11 strikeouts. The closest either team came to scoring before extras came in Toronto’s half of the third. The Jays managed to put two on thanks to their lone hit off Lynn and a hit by pitch. However, that — along with any other minor chance — didn’t lead to much.
Finally in the 11th, there was some semblance of offense. George Springer’s one-out single plated the game’s first run, and the Jays got going from there. In total, Toronto recorded seven hits in the inning, including six in a row at one point. That allowed them to pile on the enough runs to hold off a Chicago mini-rally in the bottom half of the inning.
Toronto Blue Jays (48-40) 5, Chicago White Sox (37-52) 4 - Game 2
The second game also went down to the wire, albeit thanks to some different weirdness. Despite 16 hits, the Blue Jays managed just five runs, and had to rally past the White Sox.
After Toronto took the lead in the second inning, the White Sox battled back with three runs in the third and would eventually knock out Jays’ starter Yusei Kikuchi after four runs in five innings. A Matt Chapman homer helped Toronto eventually get the game to 3-3, but the White Sox had a 4-3 lead after five innings.
Toronto then answered back with a run each in both the sixth and seventh innings. They ended up taking the lead for good thanks to a Vladmir Guerrrero Jr. RBI double.
And with that, the Yankees and Blue Jays are now exactly even in the standings.
Philadelphia Phillies (47-39) 3, Tampa Bay Rays (57-33) 1 (11 innings)
Played out in a similar-ish fashion to the just Toronto/Chicago game, the Phillies broke a tie in the top of the 11th and hung on to knock off and sweep the Rays.
Cristopher Sánchez for the Phillies and a Johnny Wholestaff effort from the Rays kept the game low-scoring throughout most of it. Each team scored a run in fifth with Darick Hall and Isaac Parades each hitting a solo homer. Both then had other chances to push across some runs, but neither could taken advantage, as the teams finished the day a combined 3-for-22 with runners in scoring position.
With the game in the 11th, the Phillies finally broke through with Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner each recording RBI singles. Matt Strahm then finished things off in the bottom of the inning, getting Wander Franco to ground into a game-ending double play.
Boston Red Sox (45-43) 10, Texas Rangers (51-37) 6
A six-run seventh inning saw the Red Sox storm past the Rangers despite allowing five early runs.
While Boston got the game’s first run in the bottom of the first and took a 3-1 lead in the third, Texas took control of the game when they scored two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
The Red Sox got back within a run in the sixth, but they put up a crooked number to take the lead for good in the seventh. Enrique Hernández gave Boston the lead with a bases loaded single that scored two runs in very odd fashion.
The Red Sox added five more hits in the inning as they not only took the lead, but opened up a sizeable one. That lead held up despite a late Corey Seager homer.
Seattle Mariners (43-43) 5, Houston Astros (49-39) 1
George Kirby put in 6.2 good innings and Eugenio Suárez went 3-for-4 with three RBI as the Mariners cruised past the Astros.
Seattle jumped out to a quick lead when Suárez hit a two-run homer in the second inning and J.P. Crawford added a solo shot in the third.
After that, Kirby went to work. In his 6.2 innings, Kirby allowed just one run on six hits and one walk. The run didn’t come until his final inning of work, when a Corey Julks RBI double knocked him out of the game. By then, Seattle had gotten a fourth run, and then added a fifth on Suárez’s second homer of the day in the ninth.
AL Central Rock Fight
With the Twins off, the Guardians were able to gain some ground in the mess that is the AL Central race. Their pitching combined to hold the Royals to one run, while José Ramírez, Josh Naylor, and Andrés Giménez all had multi-hit days in a winning effort.