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MLB AL East Week Preview – 8/9/21

The Red Sox look to get back on track with winning games again. The Yankees and Blue Jays are trying to gain ground in the division. The Rays look to stay put in first place. Let’s see what happened over the weekend and what’s to come this week in the American League East.


The Rays pitching staff was pretty lucky that their offense was able to come from behind in almost every game. They sent Ryan Yarbrough on the mound to start against the O’s. He went five innings and gave up five runs. The Rays ended up tying the game in the 6th inning. Nelson Cruz hit his 22nd home run of the season and went 2-for-6. Wander Franco went 2-for-5 and Manuel Margot went 3-for-4 with a walk. The Rays then scored five in the 8th inning to win 10-6.

Shane McClanahan went seven innings and gave up three runs. Yandy Diaz, Cruz, Brandon Lowe, and Franco all homered. Lowe and Cruz went 2-for-5. Joey Wendle when 3-for-5 and scored four runs. The Rays won 12-3.

The Rays completed the come from behind sweep against the O’s. Michael Wacha pitched five innings and gave up five runs. Austin Meadows went 2-for-5 and hit his 21st home run of the season. Brett Phillips hit two home runs in the game with one of them being a grand slam. He went 2-for-4. They won 9-6.

Can we interest you in a @Brett_Phillips8 go-ahead GRAND SLAM? — Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 8, 2021

The Rays look to keep adding on to their lead over the Red Sox in Fenway this week. Luis Patino is the only named starter for the series so far. The Rays then head to Minnesota to face the Twins.


When the starting rotation isn’t doing great, relying on one guy is really unfair. That guy for the Red Sox was Nathan Eovaldi. And when you rely on a guy so much to help ease the bullpen use, a fifth-inning can be disastrous. Eovaldi was cruising along keeping the Jays scoreless until the 5th inning. In the 5th, he gave up 7 runs. Eovaldi is the kind of pitcher you know can get out of jams even after tying the game.

That said, it was obvious that the Jays had his number at some point and I will never understand why managers start to warm up someone when it seems like it is too late. By the time Hansel Robles was brought in, the Jays had taken a healthy lead. Even for an offense like the Red Sox, that can be discouraging.

They added two more runs off of Robles and three more off of the rest of the bullpen. This included Jonathan Arauz pitching an inning and gave up one run in the 8th. The offense scored four runs. Hunter Renfroe hit his 18th home run of the season. Sox lost 12-4.


Saturday’s doubleheader against the Jays started with bad news. J.D. Martinez was placed on the COVID-19 IL with flu-like symptoms. He joined Jarren Duran on the list waiting for the test results. The first game of the doubleheader ended as quickly as the inning game. Nick Pivetta had a no-hitter going through four innings. In the 5th inning, he gave up a hit but not before Kevin Plawecki got the game’s first hit in the top of the 5th. Arauz got the second hit for the Sox. Matt Barnes came into the 7th to pitch and try to bring the game to the 8th inning but Semien ended the game on a walk-off home run on the first pitch. Sox lost 1-0.

Game two was a bit better for the Sox. Tanner Houck went 3.2 innings and gave up the only run the Jays scored. Alex Verdugo went 3-for-4 and hit his 11th home run. The Sox tied the game in the 6th and took the lead in the “extra inning”. Sox win 2-1.


What seemed like a good win for the Sox turned into a heartbreaker. Garrett Richards went five innings and gave up four runs. Martinez was cleared to join the team and had a 4-for-5 day with 3 RBI. Duran also returned and went 2-for-5. Plawecki went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Hirokazu Sawamura got two outs after relieving Josh Taylor. In the 7th, Sawamura had to leave due to an injury. Adam Ottavino replaced him and both runners inherited scored. Barnes then replaces Ottavino after Breyvic Valera gets on with a hit. After walking Reese McGuire, Springer hits a 3-run homer to take the lead. The Sox lost 9-8.

The Sox looks to get revenge on the Rays and be within one of first place in the standings. After a much-needed day off, Eduardo Rodriguez, Eovaldi, and TBD are scheduled to pitch. The O’s come into town over the weekend where Chris Sale will be making his season debut on Saturday.


Continuing the series against the Mariners, Friday’s game took 11 innings. The Yankees went with a bullpen day since they needed to fill in the spot. None of the pitchers pitched two innings. Wandy Peralta, Stephen Ridings, Joely Rodriguez, Lucas Luetge, Jonathan Loaisiga, Zack Britton, Chad Green, Clay Holmes, and Albert Abreu all combined to give up only two runs. The offense was able to tie the game twice in the 8th and 10th innings. Brett Gardner got the walk-off hit that brought Joey Gallo in. The Yankees won 3-2.

Gardyin’, Gardyin’, yeah. — New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 7, 2021

Saturday had another close game against the Mariners. Andrew Heaney went six innings and gave up four runs. I will admit, I didn’t think he was lasting six innings. Holmes, Rodriguez, and Loaisiga kept the Mariners scoreless as the offense took the lead. Aaron Judge hit his 23rd home run and Rougned Odor hit his 13th. Anthony Rizzo went 0-for-4. DJ LeMahieu went 2-for-5 and Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4. Tyler Wade was playing for Gleyber Torres and went 2-for-2. The Yankees won 5-4.


After winning the first three in the series, the Yanks were looking to sweep. Luis Gil made his second major league start and boy did he impress. He went five scoreless innings. He got into trouble at times but it seemed to not phase him. Luke Voit returned to the lineup after it was announced that Rizzo tested positive for COVID-19. At that point, Gil was called up as a replacement player. Gleyber Torres went 3-for-4 and left the game in the 9th with a thumb injury that he is getting an MRI on. Luetge gave up the two runs that sealed the deal for the Mariners. The Yanks lost 2-0 but still took the series.

8 Ks for the King of the Gil 🔥 — New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 8, 2021

Next, the Yanks head to Kansas City to face the Royals. Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes, and TBD will pitch for the team before heading to Iowa to play against the White Sox at Field of Dreams.


Alek Manoah pitched five innings and only gave up two runs. That was enough to hold the Sox down until the 5th inning when the Jays offense exploded. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.hit his 12th home run of the season and went 2-for-5. George Springer and Marcus Semien also went 2-for-5. Teoscar Hernandez went 3-for-5. The Jays won 12-4.

Game one of the doubleheader was scoreless until the 7th inning. Robbie Ray pitched a no-hitter through four innings along with Pivetta. He lasted six innings and gave up only two hits. Semien hit the walk-off home run in the bottom of the 7th. Jays won 1-0.

Jose Berrios pitched six innings and gave up one run that tied the game in the 6th. Adam Cimber later gave up the winning run in the 8th inning. Corey Dickerson went 2-for-2. Jays lost 2-1.

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched 3.2 innings and gave up seven runs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.went 2-for-4 and hit his 35th home run. It seemed like that the game was headed towards the Sox way until the 8th inning. Springer went 2-for-4 and hit his 14th home run, which was the game-winning hit. Hernandez went 3-for-4. The Jays ended up winning 9-8.

This atmosphere is EVERYTHING 🇨🇦 — Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 8, 2021

The Jays next face the Angels and start with a doubleheader on Tuesday. The first game is a makeup game for April 11th. That will have the Jays as the home team even though they are on the road. The second game will start at 10 PM EST. Steven Matz, Ross Stripling, Alek Manoah, and Jose Berrios are scheduled to start. The Jays then stay on the west coast over the weekend to face the Mariners.


John Means started for the O’s. He went five innings and gave up 2 runs, only one earned. Trey Mancini went 2-for-4. Pedro Severino hit his 9th home run and Austin Hays hit his 12th. The O’s were leading 5-2 until the 6th inning. Conner Greene gave up three runs to tie the game. Paul Fry and Dillon Tate gave up five more runs in the 8th inning, giving the Rays the lead. The O’s lost 10-6.

The O’s had the lead again in game two and lost it in the middle of the game. Spenser Watkins went six innings and gave up five runs. The rest of the bullpen gave up seven runs. Cedric Mullins hit his 19th home run of the season. Hays went 2-for-4. The O’s lost 12-3.

Jorge Lopez went six innings and gave up two runs. The bullpen combined gave up seven runs to the Rays. Mullins hit his 20th home run. Anthony Santander went 3-for-5 and hit his 7th home run. Franco went 2-for-5 and Richie Martin went 2-for-4. The O’s lost 9-6.

The O’s head back home to face the Tigers this week. Keegan Akin, Matt Harvey, and John Means are scheduled to pitch. Then they face the Red Sox over the weekend in Fenway.


The Red Sox look really bad right now. Fans are dealing with what the Yankee fans have dealt with this year. The Jays are now one game behind the Sox in the loss column while still behind the Yankees by one game. Kyle Schwarber was said to have a minor setback and although it may not affect his timetable to return, the Red Sox are taking precautions to not further the injury. The Rays now have the best record in the American League by two games. This week should be interesting for the AL East.

Featured Image via Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP

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