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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Mariners get back on track to heat up Wild Card race

Recapping how the Yankees’ top AL opponents fared on September 26th.

Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Yankees have been officially eliminated, but since we’re all fans of baseball as a whole anyway, Pinstripe Alley is going to see this series through to the end of the regular season. We’ll keep you posted on the end of the American League playoff race as the final spots are determined. Stay tuned for more postseason coverage as well.

Here’s what went on yesterday, September 26th.

Seattle Mariners (85-72) 6, Houston Astros (86-72) 2

I think it’s fair to say that at this point in the season, the Mariners are pretty much in must-win territory since they entered play Tuesday on the outside looking in of the Wild Card race, and since they’re playing one of the the teams in front of them, they couldn’t afford to give away another game — especially at home. For Team Entropy’s sake anyway, we’re glad the M’s pulled this one out over Houston to creep to within a half-game of those dastardly Astros. They’re also only two back of the Blue Jays now since Austin Wells and Michael King led the Yankees to a victory in Toronto.

As for the game itself, George Kirby silenced some of his critics by stepping up against the defending World Series champions with six shutout innings. The M’s scratched out a few runs off Cristian Javier, and reliever Rafael Montero didn’t retire a single batter as Seattle built up a 5-0 lead. Houston twice got the tying run in the on-deck circle anyway, but again, the M’s held on. Phew!

Los Angeles Angels (71-87) 9, Texas Rangers (88-69) 3

Texas was riding high after taking six in a row, but even against the ever-ugly Angels, it’s hard to win when Cody Bradford is the guy you’re tabbing to start. A 1-0 lead over Reid Detmers quickly evaporated on a three-run homer in the first by Brandon Drury, and the Halos went on to plate six runs off the rookie Rangers starter. Reliever Chris Stratton got roughed up too, and the Texas winning streak came to a halt in a blowout. It was almost an even more painful loss too, as star Corey Seager left the game after getting plunked on the forearm, though X-rays were negative. At least their magic number fell to three with the Astros’ loss.

Tampa Bay Rays (96-62) 9, Boston Red Sox (76-81) 7

The Rays beat the heck out of Tanner Houck and zoomed to a 7-0 lead after just lead three innings, with a 423-foot bomb by René Pinto serving as the final blow.

But you never know what can happen at Fenway Park. Thanks to a shaky night from Zach Eflin and the Tampa Bay pitching staff, the Red Sox stormed back with a three-run shot by Enmanuel Valdez in the fifth, a two-run double from Wilyer Abreu in the sixth, and an RBI single from Justin Turner that made it a one-run ballgame. The Rays scrambled for some insurance runs though, and ultimately held on.

Minnesota Twins (84-73) 11, Oakland Athletics (48-109) 3

Blah blah blah, yeah the Twins played the A’s and clobbered ‘em, what a surprise, I know you just want to see this titanic grand slam from Matt Wallner:

Holy Moses, that was destroyed. Technically, it was “only” 462 feet and looked further because of how Target Field was built (ask a Twins beat writer), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool as hell watching this ball go far. Also, Chris Paddack looked nasty out of the bullpen, so that is very good news for Minnesota.

Baltimore Orioles (98-59) 1, Washington Nationals (69-89) 0

We end the roundup on a somber note, as the Orioles’ actual result — even a positive one for Kyle Bradish in particular that brought their magic number down to two — took a back seat on Tuesday night at Camden Yards. The organization mourned the loss of Hall of Famer/MVP/defensive whiz/franchise icon/all-around great person Brooks Robinson, who passed away at the age of 86. If you’ve never seen his absolute mastery in the 1970 World Series in particular, then check out some of the clips in Baltimore’s tribute below (and also listen to Jim Palmer and Ken Singleton words).

Brooks was a gem, and the baseball world is worse off without him. Rest in peace.