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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: O’s win nail-biter in Houston

The two first place teams gave a preview of a tasty potential ALCS matchup.

Baltimore Orioles v Houston Astros Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Yankees got the day off traveling back home from a successful road trip that saw them go 5-2 against the Red Sox and Pirates. Despite the Red Sox winning their game over the Rangers, the Bombers still hold a 1.5 game lead to avoid the distinction of finishing last in the division. Boston wasn’t the only AL rival to take the field Monday so let’s see how everyone else did.

Cincinnati Reds (79-73) 7, Minnesota Twins (79-72) 3

Reds rookie Connor Phillips got his first taste of success at the major league level in just his third big league start, holding the Twins to two runs on three hits against seven strikeouts in seven innings. His offense gave him a nice 4-1 cushion through four, scoring a pair in the second on a Noelvi Marte RBI single and Will Benson sac fly that would have left the yard if not for a robbery at the wall by Michael A. Taylor followed by another pair in the fourth on a two run blast by Benson to give him his second and third RBIs on the night.

They’d put the game out of reach scoring three in the seventh on a Spencer Steer RBI single — his third hit of the contest — and a two-run Joey Votto single. Minnesota scored their runs on a Royce Lewis solo shot — the rookie’s 15th in just 57 games — an Alex Kirlioff solo shot, and a pinch-hit RBI double from Kyle Farmer, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the 7-3 defeat.

Boston Red Sox (75-76) 4, Texas Rangers (82-68) 2

Kutter Crawford followed up his successful night against the Yankees with another against the Rangers, limiting them to two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts. His opposite number Jordan Montgomery shoved for seven innings, holding Boston to a run on five hits with eight strikeouts, only for his replacement Will Smith to give it all back and then some in the eighth. He coughed up three runs on two hits and two walks while only recording one out to waste his starter’s gem.

Marcus Semien accounted for all of his team’s scoring, leading off the first with a home run before singling Evan Carter home after the left fielder’s triple to lead off the sixth. Every game is critical for the Rangers as they simultaneously jockey with Houston and Seattle for first in the West and with Toronto and Seattle for the final Wild Card spot.

Baltimore Orioles (94-56) 8, Houston Astros (84-67) 7

This topsy-turvy affair started with decent outings from the starters — John Means’ five innings of one-run ball versus Justin Verlander’s six innings of three-run ball — only for the game to truly get turned on its head with the introduction of the relievers. Baltimore’s trade acquisition Shintaro Fujinami surrendered three runs on three hits in the Astros’ four-run sixth while recording only one out, only for Houston reliever Rafael Montero to give two of them back on four hits in the seventh.

Jose Altuve had was the big contributor for the Astros with two RBI on a pair of doubles while José Abreu and Martín Maldonado both added solo shots. As for the Orioles, Gunnar Henderson went 3-for-5, and Ryan O’Hearn 5-for-5, but it was Cedric Mullins who won the day with his double, home run, and four RBI. Trailing 7-5 in the ninth, O’Hearn and Hays singled with one out off Astros closer Ryan Pressly, allowing Mullins to win the game with a towering three-run blast to maintain a 2.5 game lead over the Rays atop the AL East.

Seattle Mariners (82-68) 5, Oakland Athletics (46-104) 0

Seattle rookie Bryan Woo turned in his third scoreless performance in his last four starts, tossing five shutout innings allowing three hits and four walks against six strikeouts to lower his season ERA below four. His offense loaded the bases against JP Sears without scoring in the first, but from that point forward he always looked liable to cough up a handful of runs.

Those came in the form of a J.P. Crawford RBI single in the second, a José Caballero two-run blast in the fourth and a Luis Torrens RBI double in the sixth. Seattle would score one more run in the ninth on an Eugenio Suárez RBI single while their bullpen tossed four scoreless innings to lock down the shutout of the A’s, 5-0, to tie the Rangers for the final Wild Card spot, though Texas do hold the advantage in the head-to-head matchup.