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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Rookie pitchers shine

Grayson Rodriguez and Bryan Woo got the ball rolling on eventual shutouts of their opponents.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

The Yankees are at least providing some excitement in the lead-up to the final month of the regular season. Luis Severino tossed seven brilliant shutout innings while Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres both left the yard in the Yankees’ 4-1 series opening win against the Tigers. Let’s see how the other games around the AL shook out.

Wild Card Mix

Toronto Blue Jays (72-60) 6, Washington Nationals (61-71) 3

The Blue Jays did to the Nationals what any legitimate contending team should do to a cellar-dweller, cruising to a 6-3 victory in a game that never looked out of hand. That was helped by Toronto’s four-run second — with RBI singles by George Springer and Davis Schneider and a two-run double by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — which put Washington in a hole too deep to climb out of.

AL Cy Young contender Kevin Gausman tallied seven strikeouts in five innings of three-run ball, putting him over 200 for the season. Danny Jansen added a solo shot as every member of the Toronto starting lineup except Daulton Varsho had a hit. As for the Nationals, CJ Abrams had three hits and three stolen bases while Joey Meneses drove in all three of his team’s runs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit.

Houston Astros (75-58) 13, Boston Red Sox (69-63) 5

The Astros were quite rude to Boston reliever and former Yankees Triple-A arm Kyle Barraclough, tagging him for 10 runs on 11 hits in 4.1 inning. This included a six-run sixth in which Jose Altuve smacked a two-run triple and Yordan Alvarez a three-run bomb as the pair each had four hits and four RBI on the night. José Abreu also added a home run and a pair driven in as the Astros have now scored 30 runs across their last two games in what has become a neck-and-neck three dog scrap in the West.

The most impressive performance belonged to Altuve, who got his night started with a double in the third. He followed it up with a single in the fifth and the triple in the sixth before completing the 344th cycle in MLB history — and the first of his career — with a two-run blast in the eighth.

Division Contenders

Baltimore Orioles (82-49) 9, Chicago White Sox (52-80) 0

Grayson Rodriguez endured a rocky start to his major league career, getting sent down for a month-and-a-half, but has since found his footing in the bigs. That continued tonight with arguably his best career start — six scoreless innings allowing a hit and a walk against six strikeouts. His team was in control throughout, leading 4-0 through four before finishing the game in emphatic style with a five-run ninth punctuated by an Anthony Santander three-run blast. Chicago managed just two hits and two walks, dropping the series opener to Baltimore, 9-0.

Seattle Mariners (75-56) 7, Oakland Athletics (38-94) 0

Bryan Woo alongside fellow rookie Bryce Miller have been surprise boons to the Mariners rotation, giving Seattle a formidable unit from top to bottom for the foreseeable future. Woo just completed the best start of his young career, holding the Athletics scoreless across six innings, allowing three hits and a walk against five strikeouts.

Meanwhile, the Mariners offense continues to mash, with Julio Rodríguez in particular continuing his stretch as the hottest hitter in baseball in the month of August. Since August 4th, he’s slashing .453/.505/.767 with six home runs, 26 RBI, and a 252 wRC+ entering play today, producing over two wins in just 19 games. Those numbers all figure to go up after tonight’s 4-for-5 performance with a home run and three driven in.

Texas Rangers (74-57) 4, New York Mets (60-72) 3

Jon Gray and Tylor Megill battled for six innings, with the Texas starter barely edging his counterpart in the strikeout department, nine to eight. The Mets scored all three of their runs via the home run — a two run shot by Brandon Nimmo and solo shot by DJ Stewart — but the bullpen just couldn’t hold the lead. The Rangers looked in danger of slipping to third in the division, trailing 3-0 after five and 3-2 after eight, but pulled off the comeback in the ninth scoring two off Mets reliever Trevor Gott on an Ezequiel Duran RBI double and Nathaniel Lowe RBI single.

Minnesota Twins (69-63) 10, Cleveland Guardians (62-70) 6

Both offenses did their scoring early, with Kenta Maeda and Xzavion Curry each getting tagged for six runs on their starts before the bullpens halted the scoring from the fifth inning on. Cleveland scored four in the second including a two-run shot by Bo Naylor, but Minnesota responded with six of their own in the bottom-half, the big blow a grand slam off the bat of Royce Lewis. A Jorge Polanco three-run jack in the fourth sealed the deal on the Twins’ 10-6 victory.