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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Astros, Blue Jays get shut out

The Mariners jump the Blue Jays in the Wild Card standings.

Toronto Blue Jays v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With Jhony Brito’s horror start, the Yankees dropped their sixth in a row to sink even further in last place and out of the Wild Card race. Their 60-62 record is the worst it’s been at this point in the season since 1992, but hey, at least Aaron Judge homered! Friday night saw plenty of other action around the AL, so let’s see how it all unfolded.

Cincinnati Reds (64-59) 1, Toronto Blue Jays (67-56) 0

A pitchers’ duel between the two starters carried over into the bullpens, with the Reds eventually walking it off in dramatic fashion. José Berríos gave the Blue Jays 5.2 scoreless innings yielding a hit and four walks against eight strikeouts while Cincy journeyman Brett Kennedy went five scoreless surrendering three hits and a walk with a pair of punch outs.

The Blue Jays had their chances early, putting a pair on in each of the first and third without cashing in while the Reds put a pair on in the second, sixth and eighth to no avail. The breakthrough came with one swing of the bat in the ninth, with Reds fourth-ranked prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand going yard on a hanging 2-2 slider from Toronto closer Jordan Hicks to eke out a 1-0 win.

Milwaukee Brewers (66-57) 9, Texas Rangers (72-50) 8

This interleague matchup between two playoff hopefuls came right down to the wire, with the Brewers barely hanging onto victory over the Rangers. The Brewers opened the scoring with a three-run third on leadoff doubles by Christian Yelich and Willam Contreras, an RBI double from deadline pickup Mark Canha, and an RBI single by Willy Adames. The Rangers responded with their own three-run fourth courtesy of a Nathaniel Lowe two-run home run and a Mitch Garver solo shot. They even briefly grabbed the lead on an Adolis García RBI single in the sixth, but the Brewers turned it on from there.

Milwaukee scored three in each of the following two innings, a three-run bomb by deadline add Carlos Santana in the seventh and a two-run Contreras single and Canha RBI groundout in the eighth to seemingly put the game out of reach. However, the Rangers stormed back scoring four in the ninth on doubles by Robbie Grossman, Ezequiel Duran, and Travis Janikowski and came within feet of tying the game but for a impressive catch by Sal Frelick on a Corey Seager deep fly ball as this barnburner ended in the Brewers’ favor, 9-8.

Seattle Mariners (67-55) 2, Houston Astros (70-53) 0

Mariners rookie Bryce Miller pitched one of the best games of his young career to keep his team in the Wild Card hunt. His 6.1 scoreless innings allowing just three base runners against the almost-full-strength Astros lineup couldn’t come at a better time as his offense went 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

It wasn’t all dire for the Mariners offense, as they managed just enough to pull out the win. Julio Rodríguez opened the scoring with a homer to lead off the third. It was part of a four-hit night for the phenom, making him the first Mariner to record four hits in three straight games and the seventh player since 1900 with 13 hits in a three game stretch.

Mike Ford’s solo shot in the seventh wrapped up the scoring, but not before some last minute drama from the hosts. The Astros put a pair on via singles by Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez, but Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz induced a game-ending double play to seal the 2-0 victory.

Out of Reach:

Baltimore Orioles (64-50) 9, Oakland Athletics (54-59) 4

The opener strategy didn’t quite work out for the A’s, with the Orioles scoring three in the first before bulk man Luis Medina had a chance to enter the game. Franchise cornerstones Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson continue to mash atop the Baltimore lineup, with the former going 3-for-4 and the latter 3-for-5 with a home run and three driven in as the Orioles take the series opener, 9-4.

Tampa Bay Rays (74-50) 9, Los Angeles Angels (60-63) 6

Shohei Ohtani continues to do superhuman things, and his team continues to find ways to lose in spite of him. This particular night saw him mash a grand slam to tie Matt Olson for the MLB home run lead (43). In fact, this game featured everything, including a triple play turned by the Angels to preserve a tie game in the ninth. Things came unraveled in the tenth, with the Rays scoring three on a trio of singles to sink the Angels, 9-6, further dashing LA’s playoff hopes.

AL Central Rock Fight:

Detroit Tigers (64-50) 4, Cleveland Guardians (54-59) 2 (Game 1)

Cleveland Guardians (54-59) 4, Detroit Tigers (64-50) 1 (Game 2)

Minnesota Twins (64-59) 5, Pittsburgh Pirates (54-68) 1

The Guardians and Tigers split the doubleheader with a three-run first doing the damage for the Tigers in Game 1 followed by a four-run eighth by the Guardians in Game 2. Meanwhile, the Twins continue to pull away from the pack in the AL Central with Pablo López going six scoreless while Michael A. Taylor’s two-run bomb in the fourth sealed the deal.