Here on trade deadline day, the story is much the same as it’s been for weeks; we all might be better off with a distraction from Yankees baseball. Well, there will certainly be plenty of trades to interest you across today, and last night, some interesting series kicked off across the American League, including a clash between two strong AL East squads. Let’s go over what went down.
Baltimore Orioles 4 (65-41), Toronto Blue Jays (59-48) 2
Another big series for these clubs, and the Orioles got off on the right foot. They hit Toronto starter Chris Bassitt very hard to open the game, and held on late to maintain their 1.5-game lead in the AL East.
After Bassitt struck out the first two batters of the game, a walk and single put two on for Ryan Mountcastle, who doubled both home for a 2-0 lead:
The O’s extended their lead in the third thanks to Gunnar Henderson’s solo shot:
Mountcastle drove in another later in the inning with a sac fly, and Baltimore had a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Bassitt settled in from there, going on to finish with six innings and seven strikeouts to go with the four runs allowed. He was outdone by Kyle Gibson, who held Toronto to one run over six. The Jays tried to get back into it in the eighth, with Whit Merrifield hitting a solo homer off Yennier Cano to make it 4-2. Cano put a couple runners on from there as Toronto threatened, but all-world closer Félix Bautista came on to escape a two-on, one-out jam.
Bautista returned for the ninth, and actually ran into trouble after putting two on with one out. The Jays really seemed like they were in business when Merrifield lined one in the gap, but Austin Hays did this:
The sensational grab put Baltimore one out away from victory, and Bautista fanned the next batter to escape with the save.
Houston Astros (60-47) 7, Cleveland Guardians (53-54) 2
Making his first start for Cleveland, Noah Syndergaard had a nice day, and the Guardians were in the driver’s seat early. Bo Naylor doubled home a run off JP France in the second, and the Guardians added another later in the inning thanks to Myles Straw’s sac fly.
Syndergaard was scoreless through five, and Cleveland was cruising with a 2-0 lead, but the Astros finally broke through in the sixth. Thor walked the leadoff batter, than took a comebacker up the middle. He recorded the out, but left the game in favor of Eli Morgan.
Houston made short work of Morgan. Kyle Tucker singled home a run, Alex Bregman walked, and Yordan Álvarez pushed the Astros in front with a three-run dinger:
The Astro lineup is starting to look formidable once again with their superstar slugger back in the fold. If only the same could be said about the Yankees.
- Los Angeles Angels (56-51) 4, Atlanta Braves (67-37) 1: The Angels are working hard to validate their decision to go all-in at the deadline, and they managed a big win against the vaunted Braves to start this series. It was a trio of solo homers that mostly propelled them, from Luis Rengifo, Chad Wallach, and the newly-acquired Randal Grichuk. Shohei Ohtani reached base three more times, while Atlanta’s lone run came on Matt Olson’s 36th homer of the year.
- Seattle Mariners (55-51) 6, Boston Red Sox (56-50) 2: Nick Pivetta entered this one on a bit of heater, not having allowed a run over his last three appearances, and he kept rolling, holding Seattle to two runs over seven innings while striking out ten and walking none. But the two blemishes on his line were two solo homers from Cal Raleigh, which was enough to provide the winning margin for the Mariners. George Kirby lasted only five innings but allowed one run, and the Seattle bullpen held Boston in check. Seattle hung a four-spot in the eighth once Pivetta departed to grant themselves some breathing room and ease their way to victory.