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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Mariners just keep on winning

The Mariners keep winning, the Astros earn a sweep at Fenway for the first time in franchise history, and extra innings galore across the American League.

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The New York Yankees took home another win against the Detroit Tigers, and for the first time in what has felt like a million years, they’ve won a series and have a chance today to put a sweep in the books before heading to face the daunted Houston Astros. But outside of the Yankees earning another win, what other fun went on around the American League?

Wild Card Mix

Houston Astros (77-58) 7, Boston Red Sox (69-65) 4

The Astros and the Red Sox have had their fair share of playoff success in recent history, and in this race for the top of the AL West and the AL Wild Card, this was a matchup to watch. It wasn’t as exciting as some of the other games on the slate tonight, as the talented Astros team took advantage early in the game and didn’t look back. The Astros got off to a hot start in the top of the second, plating three runs and then adding another three in the top of the third to take a 6-0 lead early in the game. And in the fourth, Alex Bregman hit an RBI double off the Green Monster to separate them even more from the Red Sox.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Red Sox would appear to start a rally, scoring their four runs off Framber Valdez. Connor Wong brought Luis Urías home, rookie Ceddanne Rafaela hit an RBI double off the Monster, and each of Justin Turner and Rafael Devers brought runs in on groundouts. But that would be all the Sox could muster against the Astros’ pitching.

Toronto Blue Jays (73-61) 7, Washington Nationals (62-72) 0

The Blue Jays did exactly what one would expect a team with the firepower of the Blue Jays to do against a team like the Nationals. Of course, the Nats shouldn’t be taken lightly, but they’re still not a very good team. The Jays took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an Alejandro Kirk double off the wall against Patrick Corbin, and they didn’t need to worry about the rest of the game, as the Nationals only recorded five hits in total and only three of them came against Chris Bassitt, who had an incredible start. The Jays added two runs in the fourth, two runs in the sixth, and one run in the seventh to seal the deal.

Bassitt finished the game after pitching a total of eight innings, allowing only three hits and one walk. He only recorded three strikeouts, but it’s not like he needed any more to get the job done. It was his eighth start with six or more scoreless innings, which is one fewer than Roger Clemens’ franchise record. It also leads the major leagues. Corbin didn’t have a stellar day for the Nats even though he got through five innings. He allowed 10 hits and 6 total runs with five strikeouts and one walk.

Division Contenders

Chicago White Sox (53-81) 10, Baltimore Orioles (83-50) 5

The Orioles are a phenomenal team. But they’re not invincible, and that was shown today at Camden Yards. The O’s went up 4-0 in the bottom of the first inning thanks to efforts from Anthony Santander, Ryan O’Hearn, Adam Frazier, and Jordan Westburg all driving in runs. But the White Sox fought back a half inning later when Andrew Vaughn and Oscar Colás both hit two-run bombs to tie the game. And in the top of the third, Luis Robert hit a solo home run, which is his 35th ball hit out of the park this season.

The White Sox continued to add runs in the top of the third with a Vaughn RBI double and an Elvis Andrus RBI single to make the score 7-4 at this point. Despite a Santander solo shot in the bottom of the third, that was all the Orioles would be able to muster for the rest of the game. Tim Anderson hit a two-run triple against Austin Voth to make the score 9-5, and former Yankee Andrew Benintendi brought Anderson across home with an RBI double.

Tampa Bay Rays (82-52) 3, Miami Marlins (66-67) 0 (10 innings)

If one of your goals was to watch a defensive game with zero offense until the very end, this would have been the game for you. The two Florida teams played each other and boy was it a defensive battle. Some solid pitching and great defense in the infield and outfield allowed the game to be 0-0 for nine innings. It was in the top of the 10th when the Rays finally did what they do and overcame adversity to take a lead. Josh Lowe was the one who got the first run on the board with an RBI single, and then it was Randy Arozarena who added the insurance on a two-run single. Pete Fairbanks shut the game down in the bottom of the 10th.

Seattle Mariners (76-57) 5, Oakland Athletics (39-95) 4

The Mariners are hot, hot, and even more hot. They just don’t stop winning. However, this game was closer than they probably wanted it to be. In the top of the second inning, Lawrence Butler hit a 431-foot home run to give the A’s a 2-0 lead, and then Ryan Noda hit an RBI double to tack on another. But in the bottom of the third, the Mariners would do what they have been doing lately: fighting back with their talented offense. Teoscar Hernández hit a three-run bomb to left field to tie this game up at three runs a piece.

The two pitchers in this game would take over until the top of the seventh inning when Esteury Ruiz would hit an RBI double down the first base line to give the Athletics a one-run lead. And when it looked like they could go up two runs, Hernández made sure that didn’t happen on Ruiz’s tag-up from third base, throwing him out at the plate. In the bottom of the seventh, J.P. Crawford hit a two-run single to get the Mariners back on top, and they would hold the one-run lead for the rest of the game, securing a historic month for the franchise. They are tied with the Astros atop the AL West, with Texas right behind.

New York Mets (61-73) 6, Texas Rangers (75-58) 5 (10 innings)

A tight game through and through, the Rangers and Mets delivered a fun game in Queens. In the bottom of the second inning, Daniel Vogelbach got the offense started with a pulled solo home run to right field. Then, DJ Stewart hit a solo home run to put the Mets up 2-0. Brandon Nimmo hit a ground-rule RBI double as well to add to the lead. Corey Seager would hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth as a response, but it would be a couple of innings before the Rangers would be able to get on the board again.

The Rangers loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning, and Adolis García stayed disciplined in the batter’s box and walked home a run. Then, in the top of the eighth, García did it again, but this time instead of walking on a fourth pitch, he was hit by former Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino with no outs to tie the game at 3-3. Jonah Heim would then drive in two runners on a two-out single to left-center field. But the game wasn’t over, as Stewart again hit a home run, this time a two-run no-doubter off José Leclerc, to bring the game back even at 5-5.

He also made a tremendous running grab in the outfield to keep the runner from first from potentially getting across home plate. In the top of the 10th, the Rangers really put the Mets in a jam, but Jeff Brigham was able to get out of it by inducing a ground ball that led to a double play, the first throw going to get the force out at home and the second coming from home back to first. And the Mets took advantage of the momentum in the bottom of the 10th, when, guess who, DJ Stewart was hit by a pitch from Aroldis Chapman with the bases loaded to win the game for the Mets, 6-5.

Cleveland Guardians (64-70) 5, Minnesota Twins (69-65) 2 (10 innings)

The first few innings of this game were more about the defensive play and the pitching than it was about the offense. No runs were scored, but Carlos Correa, Max Kepler, and even pitcher Sonny Gray made some great defensive plays to keep runners from getting on base. And in the bottom of the fifth, that defense was rewarded when Jorge Polanco hit a two-run single to give the Twins a lead they would hold going into the end of the game.

The Guardians were down two runs all the way until the top of the eighth when Steven Kwan drove home a run from a single through the hole on the left side of the infield. Then, disaster would strike as two runners got on base in the top of the ninth and Jhoan Duran threw a pitch way in the dirt, allowing Andres Giménez to score on the wild pitch and tie the game.

In the top of the 10th, Kole Calhoun would get the best of beautifully-named Twins reliever Kody Funderburk in a lefty-on-lefty matchup and blast a three-run home run to the second deck of right field.

The Twins would go down without a fight in the bottom of the 10th, giving the Guardians the big win in extra innings.