All the results from a busy Saturday.
The Yankees were washed out last night, with the game called early enough that fans didn’t have to wait around at Fenway Park. There was still plenty of baseball on the calendar, though, including more than a couple tight games featuring the Yankees’ rivals.
San Diego Padres (34-36) 2, Tampa Bay Rays (51-23) 0
Facing his former club for the first time, Blake Snell was tremendous at home against the Rays. Striking out 12 over six shutout innings, Snell paired his fastball and changeup to power 23 swings and misses overall, making a powerful Tampa lineup look awful foolish.
Zac Eflin had a strong start of his own, allowing Juan Soto’s sac fly and Manny Machado to slug an RBI single, but otherwise handling the Padres lineup well. Watching his offense strike out 17 times, tied for the most in any Rays game this season, must have been deflating, and the two teams will meet in the rubber match today.
Texas Rangers (43-27) 4, Toronto Blue Jays (39-33) 2
Josh Jung is in a tight race to be named the AL’s starting third baseman for the All Star Game, and added to his case after the Blue Jays went up 1-0 early.
Back-to-back jacks off Trevor Richards were the first of four total home runs in this contest, as Daulton Varsho also went deep to claw back a run for the Blue Jays. Dave Dunning was strong otherwise, if not dominant, as he struck out just three Jays over six innings of work.
Corey Seager added clutch insurance in the seventh:
Chicago Cubs (33-37) 3, Baltimore Orioles (43-27) 2
Justin Steele continued his strong start to the season, throwing five innings and making just one mistake:
Adley Rutschman’s two-run shot tied the game, after Nico Hoerner put the Cubs up with a double that scored a pair. The Cubs responded to the long ball almost immediately, with our old friend Mike Tauchman slapping a sac fly to put Chicago back on top. A trio of Cubbie relievers combined for four shutout innings, allowing just two hits, to seal the series victory over the O’s.
Cincinnati Reds (36-35) 10, Houston Astros (39-32) 3
Just a week ago we seemed resigned to Houston climbing back atop the AL West table, but dropping both of the first games against the Reds has put a slight damper on those aspirations. Jonathan India took Brandon Bielak to deep left center to put the Reds up 2-0 in the top of the first inning, and they added three more earned runs against the righthander before Dusty Baker went to his bullpen.
The Astros did club a pair of home runs, including one from Jose Altuve, to get themselves a little bit closer, but a huge ninth inning put the game out of reach. With two out, Kevin Newman had a bases-loaded single to bring in a pair, and Matt McLain’s triple scored two more as the dagger in the Astros’ third straight loss.
Minnesota Twins (36-35) 2, Detroit Tigers (29-40) 0: In the Twins’ ongoing flirt with .500, they climbed above water with a shutout win over the Tigers. Six Twins hurlers combined to ice Detroit, and although each team only managed three hits, Minnesota made the most of their limited opportunities. Alex Kirilloff drove Royce Lewis home with a single in the fifth, followed by a double play that plated a run to give the Twinkies all they needed.
Arizona Diamondbacks (43-28) 6, Cleveland Guardians (32-38) 3: As is so often the case, this one came down to one big inning. We were all knotted up headed to the eighth, 2-2, before the Diamondbacks hammered three home runs in their half of the frame. Jake McCarthy, Corbin Carroll and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. all went deep to put Arizona up and seal a win for one of the NL’s best sides.
Chicago White Sox (31-41) 4, Seattle Mariners (34-35) 3 (11): The Mariners staked themselves to a 2-0 lead early, bringing a run home on a passed ball and seeing JP Crawford clobber a solo home run. Down 3-2 headed into the ninth, Sox second baseman Zach Remillard tied the game up with a single and sent us to extras. Nobody could push the Manfred Man across in the first free frame, but Remillard did it again with the eventual game-winning hit, a line drive in the 11th that gave Chicago the lead.