Whereas Tuesday’s baseball slate featured almost exclusively night games, we got a slew of matinees or at least late-afternoon/early-evening matchups yesterday. That makes nights a little more restful, so your friendly neighborhood Yankees blogger appreciates it! And isn’t that the most important thing in the world?
Anyway, onto the Rivalry Roundup, which is at least a teensy bit more interesting today with the Yankees now back over .500 and 6.5 games back in the Wild Card. They’re still not making it, but I won’t stop anyone from dreaming!
Wild Card Mix
Oakland Athletics (43-97) 5, Toronto Blue Jays (77-63) 2
It’s hard to sweep any team in their own ballpark, even ones that might lose 110 games. That being said ... the Blue Jays really should’ve swept this series in Oakland. Carlos Pérez and Kevin Smith clubbed homers to give the A’s their five runs, and their pitching showed up today. For the second day in a row, a former Yankees farmhand capably handled the Toronto lineup. JP Sears didn’t go six shutout innings like Ken Waldichuk, but he did hold them to one run on four hits in five — perfectly serviceable.
Better yet, skipper Mark Kotsay actually deployed a couple good arms from the normally dismal A’s bullpen. Rookie starter Mason Miller, who had been on the IL since early May, was activated yesterday and threw a pair of shutout innings in relief. Dany Jiménez gave up solo shot to Davis Schneider, but from there, closer Trevor May shut the door.
Toronto’s lone solace is that Texas lost again, so the Jays remain in the final Wild Card spot by half a game.
Tampa Bay Rays (85-55) 3, Boston Red Sox (72-68) 1
Tyler Glasnow needed 103 pitches to get through six innings on Wednesday, but what an performance it was while it lasted! The Red Sox could only muster one run on three hits and a walk against him, and the lanky right-hander tied a career-high with 14 punchouts:
The only other time Glasnow fanned 14 in a game was on April 12, 2021, against Texas.
With their ace rolling, the Rays just needed to push a few runs across home plate to win it, and they did. Brandon Lowe followed his walk-off homer from Tuesday night with a solo blast against Nick Pivetta to tie it in the third, and Isaac Paredes put Tampa Bay ahead in the fourth with a bomb of his own off Pivetta.
Seattle Mariners (78-61) 8, Cincinnati Reds (73-69) 4
The M’s blew a three-run lead late on Tuesday, but they rebounded nicely on Wednesday with a smooth-sailing win that wasn’t as close as the score above indicates. Old friend Mike Ford clubbed a two-run homer off Lyon Richardson to put Seattle ahead in the second, 2-1, and it only got worse for the rookie righty from there. The Mariners plated five in the fourth on the strength of an RBI double by Ty France, a three-run jack from J.P. Crawford, and a Cal Raleigh solo shot.
Logan Gilbert bent but didn’t break and Seattle won, 8-4. They kept pace with Houston in the AL West at one game back.
Houston Astros (80-61) 12, Texas Rangers (76-63) 3
What a horrid series for series. Hoping to claw back the edge they lost to Houston in recent week, they instead got swept in their own ballpark and outscored 39-10 in the process. Trade Deadline addition Max Scherzer coughed up seven runs in three innings while getting outpitched by former teammate Justin Verlander, and José Abreu slugged two bombs while driving in seven for Houston.
Baltimore Orioles (88-51) 10, Los Angeles Angels (64-76) 3
The Orioles are good, and the Angels are not. While I’m tempted to just leave it there, I’ll shout out Austin Hays for knocking four hits and coming a triple shy of the cycle as the O’s swept away the Halos. His homer was part of a back-to-back display in the eighth from him and Anthony Santander.
Baltimore has a 3.5-game lead on Tampa Bay in the AL East.
Cleveland Guardians (67-73) 2, Minnesota Twins (73-67) 1
Cleveland is basically toast and will not be covered in this daily update unless they’re playing one of the other rivals, but they at least avoided a home sweep at the hands of the Twins. Andrés Giménez and Will Brennan were the Guardians’ lone sources of offense, as they alternated doubles and singles in the second and fourth to put Cleveland up, 2-0. On Wednesday, that was enough, as after 28 Twins runs in 2 days, Gavin Williams and the Guardians’ bullpen combined to hold Minnesota to a solitary run on two hits. Cleveland is still 6 games back with only 23 to play and no head-to-heads remaining.