The Red Sox and Yankees take a break from each other before playing four in Fenway Park. The Rays try to use the Orioles to catch up to the Red Sox in the standings and the Jays try to keep their spot in third place for now. Let’s see what happened this week in the MLB American League East.
BOSTON RED SOX
Alex Cora decided to shake up the lineup a bit after losing two of three to the Triple-A Yankees over the weekend. He looked like a genius against the Blue Jays right off the bat in game one. Jarren Duran hit his first MLB career home run in the first inning. Hunter Renfroe hit his 14th. Enrique Hernandez hit his 12th and 13th home runs while going 3-for-4. Rafael Devers hit his 23rd home run and Danny Santana hit his 4th. J.D. Martinez went 4-for-4 with a walk while batting 5th in the lineup. The offense scored 13 runs and Nick Pivetta gave up four runs in 6.2 innings.
"That's what [the stats] say? DANG, I didn't know that" J.D. Martinez calls Alex Cora a "genius" for tonight's line-up and is shocked to find out he's never had a 5-hit night 😂@JDMartinez28 | @RedSox | @WebsterOnTV pic.twitter.com/4oN5lssJdK — NESN (@NESN) July 20, 2021
The second game was postponed due to rain and will be made up in a doubleheader in Toronto during their next series in August.
The lineup pretty much stood the same on Wednesday. Garrett Richards pitched 5.2 innings and gave up four runs in the series finale. Hernandez hit his 14th home run of the season, Renfroe hit his 15th, and Michael Chavis hit his 2nd of the season. Devers hit his 24th of the season and Martinez hit his 20th of the season. It was a lot of home runs in the two wins for the Sox. MLB American League East
FOUR AGAINST THE YANKEES
Tanner Houcke pitched 4.2 innings and gave up one run before the rain delay. Adam Ottavino gave up two runs against his former team. Matt Barnes got the win but not before he gave up the go-ahead run in the 10th. Hernandez brought in the tying run against Chad Green in the 9th inning. After four wild pitches by Brooks Kriske, Renfroe brought in the winning run on a sac fly.
Step inside the celebration. pic.twitter.com/VLZgk1xNNn — Red Sox (@RedSox) July 23, 2021
TAMPA BAY RAYS
Shane McClanahan pitched five innings and gave up one run during the second game. Arozarena hit his 11th home run of the season and went 2-for-4. Francisco Mejia hit his 4th and also went 2-for-4. The Rays won 9-3.
Michael Wacha pitched five innings and gave up three runs in the series finale. Arozarena hit his 12th and 13th home run and went 3-for-5. Austin Meadows went 2-for-5. The offense ended up winning the game in the bottom of the 9th after the O’s took the lead in the 6th.
The Rays kept their streak going against the Indians. Luis Patino pitched 5.1 innings and gave up four runs. Brandon Lowe went 2-for-4. Yandy Diaz went 4-for-5 with a home run. Wander Franco went 2-for-5. The offense tied it in the 9th inning and then won it in the 10th. Diego Castillo got his 14th save of the season.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Jays only played two against the Red Sox due to rain. Ross Stripling only lasted for one out in the first and gave up six runs. Anthony Kay, Trevor Richards, and Tayler Saucedo gave up the remaining seven runs. Cavan Biggio hit his 7th home run of the season. George Springer went 3-for-4.
Wednesday night wasn’t great for the Jays either. Robbie Ray pitched five innings and gave up four runs. The offense tried to come back and was within one run but Jordan Romano gave up back-to-back home runs that sealed the deal. This was the last series in Buffalo before the next homestand that will be in Toronto.
The Jays head to NYC to face the Mets over the weekend. Steven Matz will pitch against his former team tonight. MLB American League East
NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankees faced the Phillies for a two-game set. Domingo German went four innings and gave up two runs. Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman also gave up a run each. The offense hit four home runs. Brett Gardner hit his 4th, Giancarlo Stanton hit his 16th, Gary Sanchez hit his 17th, and Estevan Florial hit his first MLB career home run. They won 6-4.
The Yanks only completed three sweeps this season prior to Wednesday’s game. This sweep took more work. Asher Wojciechowski pitched four innings and gave up two runs. The offense featured Gleyber Torres hitting his 6th home run and Rougned Odor his 11th. Everyone but Tyler Wade and Chris Gittens got a hit in the game. Zack Britton only lasted for one out and left with the bases loaded. Nick Nelson then came in to give up the three runs charged to Britton which tied the game. Aroldis Chapman pitched in the 9th inning and looked pretty good. The offense couldn’t get the winning run in the 9th. Brooks Kriske pitched in the 10th and the offense won it with a single by Ryan LaMarre.
Ryan hit it LaFar enough 😃 pic.twitter.com/RqdMeZNwcT — New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 22, 2021
FOUR AGAINST BOSTON
Jordan Montgomery pitched 5.2 scoreless innings. After Sal Romano, Lucas Luetge, and Luis Cessa kept the Red Sox offense scoreless, Chad Green gave up the tying run in the 9th trying to get the save. With Chapman and Britton not available, it was up to Kriske to get the save in the 10th with a one-run lead. Four wild pitches and a sac fly won the game for the Red Sox.
Dude was sharp. pic.twitter.com/4FlMrxGxJk — Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 20, 2021
John Means returned from the IL and pitched in game two. He went five innings and gave up five runs. Shaun Anderson gave up three more runs in the inning he pitched. Anthony Santander went 2-for-4. O’s lose it 9-3.
The O’s offense had a lead going into the 9th inning but it wasn’t enough. It started with Alexander Wells pitching 5.2 innings and gave up three runs. Valaika hit his 2nd home run and Ryan Mountcastle hit his 15th and went 2-for-3. Tanner Scott gave up the two runs in the 9th. It is his second blown save of the season.
The O’s face the Nationals in the “highway” series. Game one will be Jorge Lopez on the mound.
LET’S SPIN IT
The standings are getting interesting. The Rays are only one game behind the Red Sox. The Yankees and Jays have switched places with the Yankees leading by one in the loss column after Thursday night’s bad loss. The Rays announced that they acquired Nelson Cruz from the Twins. They are the first of the top 4 teams in the division to make a big move as the trade deadline approaches. Time will tell if it will be enough for the Rays.
The Yankees still need pitching and an outfielder. They were rumored to be checking in on the possibility of trading for Trevor Story from the Rockies. If that move were to happen, Gleyber Torres would certainly be moved over to second with DJ LeMahieu playing first base. The Red Sox expect Chris Sale to return soon. They may add another player or two at the deadline. Let’s see how crazy the deadline will be for the AL East.
Featured Image via (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) MLB American League East