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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Rays walk off Blue Jays amidst tight playoff race

The playoff race is heating up, and there were a ton of close games across the American League.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees game against the Arizona Diamondbacks postponed due to weather, all of the eyes were directed across the rest of the MLB landscape, specifically the other American League teams. So, what happened across the league in tonight’s matchups?

Tampa Bay Rays (95-61) 7, Toronto Blue Jays (86-69) 6

In another extremely important game in the battle for American League playoff position, the Rays and Blue Jays had an exciting contest full of runs and back-and-forths.

In the bottom of the first inning, Yandy Díaz got the scoring started with a solo home run. Then, Josh Lowe hit a three-run home to add to the Rays’ lead.

Junior Caminero registered his first career hit in the bottom of the third, and in the bottom of the fourth, the Rays added another run off the bat of Christian Bethancourt to make the game 5-0.

The Jays began their comeback in the bottom of the top of the sixth, starting with a George Springer single. Then, two RBI singles from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio brought the game within one run. In the top of the eighth, the game was tied on a wild pitch, and then the Blue Jays took the lead on a bases-loaded walk by Whit Merrifield.

The heroics came from the Rays in the bottom of the ninth, when Curtis Mead had two runners on first and third with no outs and brought home the first runner to tie the game. Then, Lowe was clutch again, hitting a walk-off single to win the game.

Baltimore Orioles (96-59) 2, Cleveland Guardians (74-82) 1

The Orioles and Guardians squared off in Cleveland in an important game for Baltimore (especially with the Rays winning tonight).

The Orioles got off to a good start with an Anthony Santander RBI double off Guardians starter Cal Quantrill. From there, the scoring dried up. Neither team could get on the board until Santander and the Orioles struck again on an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning.

John Means was really the story of this game, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Andres Giménez cranked a hanging slider into the seats for his 14th home run of the year.

Means ended up pitching 7.1 innings with four strikeouts, one walk, and only the one earned run off the homer. The Orioles were able to shut down the Guardians offense for the rest of the night and Baltimore came out victorious.

Texas Rangers (86-68) 2, Seattle Mariners (84-70) 0

After some solid defensive performances in the first inning, the second inning saw the Rangers put up the first run of the game on a Mitch Garver RBI single, which had an expected batting average of .060.

And in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Rangers added another on a Jonah Heim RBI single over the top of the left side of the infield to put Texas up 2-0.

Former Yankee Jordan Montgomery had an impressive outing keeping the Mariners offense at bay, pitching 7.0 innings with no runs allowed, two walks, and six strikeouts. He would end up getting the win, as the Rangers bullpen would do their job and keep the Mariners to no runs through the game.

Kansas City Royals (53-102) 3, Houston Astros (85-70) 2

The Royals took the lead early with an MJ Melendez sacrifice fly ball to center field, and it took a few more innings for any more runs to be scored, but the Royals got on the board, but thanks to Bobby Witt Jr. they added another run with the bases loaded and no outs on a groundball to third base. The Royals scored their game-winning run on a wild-pitch with a runner on third base.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Chas McCormick hit a solo home run (his 22nd of the year) to bring the game within two runs for the Astros.

Kyle Tucker managed to bring the game within one in the bottom of the 8th inning, but the Royals closed it out away from home and took their second victory of the series.

Los Angeles Angels (70-85) 1, Minnesota Twins (82-73) 0

After winning the American League Central last night against the Angels, the Twins came into this game looking to continue their good fortune. And even though the game didn’t finish in their favor, it was close to the end. The game was tied at 0-0 until the top of the fourth inning when Jo Adell blasted a solo home run 428 feet over the left-center field wall. Sonny Gray, the Twins starter on the day, has had a fantastic year, but he wasn’t able to win the battle against Adell.

In other news for the Angels offense, Nolan Schanuel extended his on-base streak to 26 games after beating out a groundball to the shortstop in the top of the eighth inning. It’s the fourth-longest on-base streak to open a career in AL/NL history since 1900 per MLB. If it weren’t for Kyle Farmer and an excellent throw from the outfield to gun down an Angels runner, Los Angeles would have gone up two runs, but instead, a fantastic defensive play kept the game close until the very end. With one runner on base, the Angels closer Carlos Estévez brought home the win.