The Yankees and Red Sox fight for the wild card spot. The Blue Jays continue to try to move up and the Rays remain in first place. Let’s see what happened this week and what is to come this weekend in the American League East.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays faced the O’s for a four-game set. Collin McHugh pitched two scoreless innings. Josh Fleming pitched the bulk of the game with 5.2 innings and gave up two runs. Kevin Kiermaier hit his 4th home run of the season. Brandon Lowe went 3-for-4 and hit two home runs in the game. Brett Phillips went 2-for-4. The Rays won 9-2.
Drew Rasmussen went four scoreless innings for the Rays on Tuesday. Mike Zunino hit his 26th home run of the season. Nelson Cruz hit two home runs in the game. Randy Arozarena went 4-for-5. The bullpen kept the O’s scoreless. The Rays won 10-0.
BOOOOOOOOOOOOM@ncboomstick23 got all, and we mean ALL of this one pic.twitter.com/pvD11j65U8 — Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 18, 2021
Louis Head was the opener for the Rays. He gave up two runs in the inning he pitched. Ryan Yarbrough took the bulk of the game and pitched five scoreless innings. Wander Franco went 3-for-4 and Ji-Man Choi went 2-for-4. The Rays won 8-4.
The Rays completed the sweep with Shane McClanahan giving up one run in five innings. Lowe hit his 29th home run and went 2-for-4. The Rays won 7-2.
In McClanahan we stan https://t.co/76BTP4EA8d — Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 19, 2021
NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankees played the makeup game against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels. Gerrit Cole was reinstated from the COVID-19 IL and started the game. He went 5.2 innings and gave up the only run the Angels scored. Joey Gallo hit his 29th home run. Aaron Judge went 2-for-3. Yankees won 2-1.
Tuesday was a doubleheader against the Red Sox. Game one belonged to Jordan Montgomery, who returned from the COVID-19 IL. He went 4.2 innings and gave up three runs. Rougned Odor and Tyler Wade went 2-for-2. The offense scored three runs in the 5th to take the lead and win. Yanks won 5-3.
The final game of the series had Andrew Heaney on the mound. He pitched seven innings and gave up one run. Anthony Rizzo returned from the COVID-19 IL and went 1-for-4. Andrew Velazquez went 2-for-4. Gary Sanchez also went 2-for-4. Aroldis Chapman returned from the IL and pitched the 9th inning but couldn’t finish it. He gave up a home run to Renfroe, walked Bogaerts, and got the second out with Rafael Devers before giving up a hit to J.D. Martinez that knocked him out of the inning. Lucas Luetge ended up getting the save getting Kevin Plawecki out with the help of Velazquez. They completed the sweep against the Red Sox 5-2.
Velazquez ➡️ Rizzo to secure the W. pic.twitter.com/zLbksXagpO — New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 19, 2021
Jameson Taillon pitched in the first game against the Twins. He went 5.1 innings and gave up three runs in the 6th inning. Fortunately, it was enough for the team as the offense had scored six runs earlier to have a 6-0 lead. Kyle HIgashioka went 2-for-3 and hit his 8th home run. Stanton hit his 20th home run. Velazquez went 2-for-3. Zack Britton and Chad Green both gave up a run but held on to the lead as the Yankees won 7-5.
20th for Big G 💪 pic.twitter.com/OvcpYAFpAt — New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 20, 2021
The series against the Twins continues over the weekend. Nestor Cortes Jr. Gerrit Cole, and Jordan Montgomery are scheduled to pitch.
BOSTON RED SOX
Tanner Houck pitched in the first game of the doubleheader in the Bronx. He went four innings and gave up two runs. Christian Vazquez hit his 5th home run of the season and went 2-for-3. Garrett Whitlock and Josh Taylor gave up a combined three runs to give the Yankees the lead after being down by one. The Red Sox lost 5-3.
Nick Pivetta was on the mound for the Sox as they looked to avoid the sweep. He didn’t last very long. He gave up four runs in 1.2 innings. Garrett Richards took over and pitched four scoreless innings. Xander Bogaerts hit his 19th home run in the first inning. Hunter Renfroe hit his 22nd off of Chapman in the 9th. They lost 5-2.
The Rangers come into Fenway Park this weekend. Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nathan Eovaldi are scheduled to pitch in the series. The Sox have to get back on track if they want a spot in the playoffs again.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Jays faced the Nationals for a quick series. Alek Manoah went three innings and gave up seven runs. Teoscar Hernandez went 2-for-4 and hit his 21st home run of the year. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.went 2-for-3 and Bo Bichette went 2-for-5. The Jays lost 12-6.
Jose Berrios took the mound to try to split the series. He gave up three runs in five innings. Hernandez hit his 22nd home run and Corey Dickerson hit his 4th. Marcus Semien went 2-for-5 with two home runs in the game. Bichette went 2-for-5. It wasn’t enough as the Nationals won 8-5.
John Means gave up seven runs in four innings. Mateo went 2-for-3. The O’s lost game two 10-0. Spenser Watkins gave up four runs in four innings. Cedric Mullins hit his 21st home run of the season. Ryan Mountcastle hit his 20th. Maikel Franco went 2-for-4. They lost 8-4.
Jorge Lopez only lasted for two innings and gave up four runs in the series finale. Ramon Urias hit his 6th home run of the season and went 2-for-4. Mateo also went 2-for-4. The O’s lost 7-2. The Braves come into town for the weekend. Keegan Akin, Matt Harvey, and John Means are scheduled to pitch.
LET’S SPIN IT
The Yankees took second place in the American League East during the series against the Red Sox and now lead the Sox by two in the loss column. The Rays are still five games ahead in the division. The Jays remain two behind in the loss column behind the Red Sox. This weekend can shake things up a bit with the Rays facing the White Sox while the other three contenders face weaker teams.
Featured Image via Ken Blaze – USA TODAY