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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Nothing good!

Recapping how the Yankees’ top AL opponents fared on August 4th.

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

After a couple fun nights (at least on the field), the Yankees were back to their losing ways last night. Luis Severino started against a terrifying team and unsurprising results ensued. The Yankees only scored two runs but Sevy just isn’t even giving them a shot. If their stated purpose is to stay in the pennant race, they sadly can’t keep playing this former Baby Bomber great.

Anyway, it wasn’t a good day for the Yankees even outside of the Bronx. More below.

Toronto Blue Jays (61-50) 7, Boston Red Sox (57-52) 3

If you’re a “glass half-full” person, the Red Sox didn’t put any distance between them and the last-place Yankees (they remain half a game apart). But when you’re using phrases like “last-place Yankees,” you’re not going to find many “glass half-full” kind of folks.

The Jays added to their final Wild Card spot lead by beating Boston, which somehow they hadn’t done all year long. Toronto was 0-7 against the Red Sox until taking them down 7-3 on Friday night. Alek Manoah had stumbled himself in three of four starts since returning from his Rookie ball sabbatical but he at least turned in a modest effort at Fenway: 6.2 innings of three-run ball, with a two-run shot by Jarren Duran in the third representing Boston’s only real strike off him until his final frame.

The Red Sox elected not to move James Paxton at the deadline, taking a Yankees-esque approach of standing pat. They might have received at least a modest prospect for him, but instead they held on. The Jays smoked Paxton in his first start of August, as Whit Merrifield led off the game with a dinger, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched one himself, and the third Jays dinger in two innings turned out to be the first of rookie Davis Schneider’s career.

The aforementioned Duran dinger brought it to within one, but an RBI double by George Springer in the next inning added a bit of insurance, and Toronto did more on a blast from Daulton Varsho and Guerrero got an RBI two-bagger of his own. They’re now 3.5 games up on the Yankees, who also trail Boston and Seattle.

Tampa Bay Rays (67-45) 8, Detroit Tigers (48-61) 0

Yeah, the Rays rolled over the Tigers. Is anyone surprised?

It was an early blitz in Detroit, as Kevin Cash’s ballclub tallied a pair of runs in the first and the second off rookie Reese Olson. Two came in on an Isaac Paredes double and an error by Javier Báez, and Jose Siri launched a two-run shot to make it 4-0.

Zack Littell allowed just three Tigers hits across six shutout innings and the Rays bullpen was perfect, though a mildly cool note is that one of them was the 620th double of Miguel Cabrera’s career and the future Hall of Famer doesn’t get as many extra-base hits as he once did. He’s four shy of the legendary Henry Aaron for 13th all time.

Baltimore Orioles (68-42) 10, New York Mets (50-59) 3

Tampa Bay didn’t gain any ground on Baltimore because ... yeah, the Orioles rolled over the Mets. Is anyone surprised?

In an especially cruel twist of fate for the Amazins — as if they needed another one in 2023 — the man who drove in the most runs for the O’s was the catcher who the Mets discarded prior to the season after a disastrous first two seasons to his four-year contract: James McCann.

McCann entered the year with a .197/.231/.339 triple slash and 10 RBI in 43 games on the year as Adley Rutschman’s backup. Naturally, he went 3-for-3 with five RBI. Naturally.

Texas Rangers (64-46) 6, Miami Marlins (58-53) 2

Yeah, the Rangers rolled over the Marlins. Is anyone surprised?

Okay, okay, on this one, I’m exaggerating. A four-run win doesn’t qualify as “rolling over,” and the Marlins are a much better team than the Mets or Tigers. They’re even still just half win out of the NL Wild Card picture! But the Rangers won this one pretty handily after the two sides traded runs in the first couple innings.

The Fish were able to counter Corey Seager’s first-inning bomb with one from Jon Berti that put Miami ahead 2-1, but Leody Taveras tied it up with a double that plated Mitch Garver and Adolis García took Jesús Luzardo yard twice:

Jordan Montgomery made his Rangers debut and churned out a perfectly Jordan Montgomery effect: six innings of two-run ball to earn the victory. Another Trade Deadline addition from St. Louis, Chris Stratton, tossed the final two frames to close it out. That helped them keep pace with the victorious Astros at 1.5 games ahead.

Other Games:

Seattle Mariners (58-52) 9, Los Angeles Angels (56-55) 7

So the Angels are just fully doing it again, huh? This was a chaotic back-and-forth affair but the fourth consecutive game, the Halos came out on the losing end. They’re now five games back in the Wild Card. Uh-oh.

A three-run blast from Ty France in the first helped make it 4-0, Seattle, but Team Ohtani fought back, even with Luis Castillo on the bump. After Luis Rengifo and Dylan Moore traded solo shots, the Angels tied it up on an run-scoring hit by C.J. Cron and another three-run crack — this one from Mike Moustakas. Julio Rodríguez and Mickey Moniak hit countering two-run homers to make it a 7-7 game after five.

Seattle’s bullpen outlasted LA. Eugenio Suárez drove in the go-ahead run on a hit in the eighth and Cal Raleigh provided insurance with a dinger in the ninth. The M’s are now the closest team to Toronto in the Wild Card race at 2.5 games back.

AL Central Rock Fight

Minnesota Twins (57-54) 3, Arizona Diamondbacks (57-54) 2
Cleveland Guardians (54-56) 4, Chicago White Sox (43-68) 2

Even both AL Central teams won on Friday! What a time. Dingers from Max Kepler and Michael A. Taylor in the sixth and seventh led Minnesota to a victory, and the Guardians held serve at 2.5 games back by driving in four in five innings against Mike Clevinger with Andrés Giménez launching a two-run dinger for the game’s decisive blow.