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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: AL West race still tight after all three contenders win

The AL West is shaping up to have quite an interesting final week.

Baltimore Orioles v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite a brilliant outing from Michael King, the Yankees took another loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday night. Austin Wells hit his first big league home run, but other than that, it was a quiet night from the offense, who were held in check by Toronto pitching.

While the Yankees’ countdown clock to elimination continued to tick (they could be officially toast as soon as tomorrow), there are still plenty of other races that are being hotly contested. Let’s check in on the American League action from yesterday.

Minnesota Twins (81-72) 5, Cincinnati Reds (79-75) 3

The AL Central’s meh-ness has been noted a bit this season, but the winner will be at least .500 as the Twins got to 81 wins and lowered their magic number to 1. They did so with a three-run rally in the ninth inning, taking the lead for good on a big Jorge Polanco single.

Reds starter Hunter Greene was very impressive for most of the game, allowing just one run in seven innings, striking out 14. However, said run came in his last inning of work, and that got Minnesota going. They scored another in the eighth, and then stole the win with three in the ninth. The Twins are off today but can clinch the division anyway if both Cleveland and Detroit lose.

Texas Rangers (85-68) 15, Boston Red Sox (75-78) 5

The Rangers held steady in their spot in the AL West race thanks to a blowout win over the Red Sox. Boston opened up a 4-0 lead through the top of the second, as they pounded Jon Gray, who only lasted 2.1 frames. However, Texas’ offense then went off for six runs in the bottom of the second, on their way to 15 for the day.

All of the Rangers’ starters recorded at least one hit, with Josh Jung and Evan Carter each putting up three. Marcus Semien and Jonah Heim each drove home three RBI, as Texas took it in a rout. They remain tied with the Mariners for the final Wild Card spot and half a game back of Houston in the AL West.

Houston Astros (85-68) 2, Baltimore Orioles (95-57) 1

With both Texas and Seattle breathing down their neck and both only half a game back going into Wednesday, the Astros held onto the division lead by the skin of their teeth. They needed a late rally and a walk-off hit from Mauricio Dubón to get the win.

The Orioles took a led in the top of the first and then got six shutout innings from Kyle Bradish, who allowed just two hits in that time. However, Baltimore’s offense wasn’t able to provide any additional run support, and that eventually came back to haunt them. Jeremy Peña came through with a game-tying hit in the eighth, and Dubón got Houston the win an inning later.

Seattle Mariners (84-68) 6, Oakland Athletics (46-106) 3

The Mariners also held their ground in the playoff race with a fairly comfortable win over the A’s. Seattle took an initial lead in the second inning, but they truly broke things open with a four-run fifth. That frame included back-to-back homers from Julio Rodríguez and Cal Raleigh, plus a two-RBI double from Dominic Canzone.

Oakland threatened a bit later on, scoring two runs in the sixth and putting runners on in the seventh and ninth, but Seattle ended up not getting into any real trouble.

Los Angeles Angels (69-83) 8, Tampa Bay Rays (93-60) 3

The Rays missed out on a chance to gain some ground on the Orioles, as the Angels jumped on them for six runs over the first two innings and never trailed after that.

The Angels got going quickly against Trade Deadline acquisition Aaron Civale. They scored two runs in the first, but they broke things open with four in the third. The big blow came via a three-run home run from Brandon Drury.

Drury would add a second home run later on.

As for the Rays, they put up three runs and had their chances. However, they went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position on the day, and that wasn’t good enough to overcome the struggles from their pitching.