The Yankees were set to take on their archrivals in Boston on Monday, but the weather had other ideas and instead both teams were inactive. As they sat out the rain, the rest of the playoff field was out and at it trying to nail down those elusive postseason berths, so let’s see how they did.
Texas Rangers (79-64) 10, Toronto Blue Jays (80-64) 4
After trading a few runs back-and-forth to open the game, Texas had a 3-2 lead entering the sixth inning against Chris Bassitt. There Robbie Grossman and Leody Taveras slapped back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners, and Bassitt tossed a wild pitch that allowed a run to come home. Jonah Heim drove a double to right field that scored Taveras, and just like that Texas opened up a 5-2 lead.
Toronto got one back in the bottom of sixth, but the Rangers got a golden opportunity and cashed it in immediately in the seventh. With the bases loaded and one out Grossman got one across on a sacrifice fly, and Taveras walked to re-load the bases. Heim stepped up and launched a ball to left-center, a grand slam that put all remaining doubt to bed. The Blue Jays got a run across in garbage time in the ninth, but it was over the moment the ball left Heim’s bat.
Los Angeles Angels (68-77) 8, Seattle Mariners (79-65) 5 (11 innings)
Texas’ win puts the pressure on Seattle, who had been pulling away before a losing streak suddenly has them in danger of getting bumped back out on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. Despite a magnificent night from Julio Rodriguez, they did indeed meet that fate.
Seattle looked good out of the gate with a 3-0 lead after one, but the Angels got two back on a Logan O’Hoppe homer in the second and tied it in the fourth on O’Hoppe’s second blast of the night. For the rest of regulation that was it for the offense, so onto the 10th we go, where Brandon Drury ripped a two-run shot to put the Halos up. Rodriguez, who was three-for-four entering the bottom half, stepped up and matched Drury with a two-run blast of his own to tie things back up.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, the Angels went right back to work in the 11th. Randal Grichuk singled home the ghost runner, and after another runner was thrown out at home a fielding error allowed the ball to leave the infield and bring Grichuk home from second. For good measure Nolan Schanuel added to the lead with a single to center, but it was unnecessary — the Mariners went down in order in the bottom of the 11th.
Oakland Athletics (45-99) 4, Houston Astros (82-63) 0
It’s truly a rare thing when the Athletics can play spoiler in the playoff race as much as they have of late, but after salvaging a series against Toronto and picking up a win in their opener against the Rangers, the A’s got another win against a quality opponent in the Astros. This one was a methodical win, with Oakland finding a run in the second, fifth, seventh, and ninth innings and three of them came on solo shots. Former Yankee farmhand Ken Waldichuk threw the bulk of Oakland’s shutout after an opener got through the heart of Houston’s lineup, going six no-hit innings with three strikeouts and a single walk.
Tampa Bay Rays (89-56) 7, Minnesota Twins (75-69) 4
Sonny Gray got worked by the Rays’ lineup, forcing the Cy Young candidate to throw 89 pitches over just four frames while allowing two runs (one earned). That was enough for Rocco Baldelli to lift his ace for Dylan Floro, which proved to be an instant mistake as he allowed a three-run homer to Taylor Walls. Brent Headrick entered for the sixth inning and also added to the deficit, giving up a solo shot to Yandy Díaz and an RBI groundout to Vidal Bruján on a contact play bunt. The Twins cut into that lead in the sixth on a Royce Lewis three-run blast, but they went down without much resistance the rest of the way.
Baltimore Orioles (91-52) 11, St. Louis Cardinals (63-81) 5
The Cardinals struck first with a first-inning run and had an explosive three-run third inning to briefly lead this game, but Baltimore took it over for good in the fifth inning. Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson started the rally with back-to-back singles, and after an Anthony Santander strikeout Ryan O’Hearn doubled home Rutschman. Ryan Mountcastle walked to set up a chance for Cedric Mullins with the bases loaded, and Mullins delivered:
From there, it was an easy coast for Baltimore. Henderson added a run on a solo shot in the sixth, and in the eighth Austin Hays singled home a pair of runs to complete the stomp.