Though the Tampa Bay Rays were inactive on Monday, plenty of craziness took place in the AL East. After the standings did not change on Sunday, that was certainly not the case yesterday.
Baltimore Orioles 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
A day after losing two out of three to the Oakland Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles did their best to avoid a similar a fate against the Oakland’s division-rival Angels. The O’s received a huge start from Bud Norris, who went 6.2 innings allowing just 2 runs, 1 earned, with 8 strikeouts against 2 walks. At least for one start, he pitched like the pitcher Baltimore thought would be a big trade deadline acquisition a year ago. Then, on the offensive side, it was the Adam Jones show as Jones drilled 2 home runs, both 2-run shots, to give him 19 on the season. Nick Markakis scored on both–he and Jones had 4 of the Orioles’ 6 hits. The Orioles’ opportunities were scarce against Matt Shoemaker, who wound up striking out 10 in just 5.2 innings pitched, but Jones delivered twice and Norris plus the bullpen did the rest.
Boston Red Sox 14, Toronto Blue Jays 1
This was the type of game the Red Sox dream about, and now they have to hope it happens more often. John Lackey tossed 7 innings of 1-run, 2 hit ball, and the Boston offense ensured that this game would turn lopsided quickly. David Ortiz had a huge game, drilling a pair of 2-run home runs, but even more encouraging was Stephen Drew, who went 2 for 4 with a homer, a walk, 4 RBI, and 2 runs scored. In his last six games, Drew is finally starting to look like himself, hitting to a .368/.538/.684 line with 7 walks against 5 strikeouts. If Drew hits his stride, it will made the Red Sox’ comeback attempt even more legitimate. On the Toronto side, Juan Francisco doubled for their only RBI, and they did get strong bullpen work at the end of the game. After Drew Hutchison and Brad Mills allowed all 14 runs, Rob Rasmussen and Todd Redmond combined for shutout ball on 2 hits in the final 4.1 innings, striking out 4 while walking none. At the end of the day, though, it was the Red Sox’ night, and Toronto was in trouble from the start.
Texas Rangers 4, New York Yankees 2
Shane Greene looked very good in his first two starts for the Yankees, and his third had a chance to be the same. He departing having allowed 2 runs in 5.2 innings, but leaving 2 runners on base. However, Matt Thornton allowed both of those runners to score, and that was the difference in the game as New York fell to Texas. Miles Mikolas out-pitched Green with 7.1 innings allowing only 2 runs, and the Rangers got an RBI each from Shin-Soo Choo, Adrian Beltre, Geovany Soto, and Rougned Odor. Ellsbury did homer in the 8th to end Mikolas’ outing, but that was not enough as the Yankees failed to move into second place alone in the AL East and saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
Boston’s win pushes the Tampa Bay Rays back into the AL East cellar while Baltimore’s win and losses by both Toronto and New York allows the Orioles to breathe more easily. On a side point, it is a little crazy that both David Ortiz and Adam Jones had two-homer days with a pair of two-run home runs. Here are the updated standings and the schedule of games for Tuesday.
1. Baltimore (54-44) —
2. New York (54-48) 4.0
3. Toronto (51-49) 4.0
4. Boston (47-52) 7.5
5. Tampa Bay (47-53) 8.0
7:05 PM- Yankees (Chase Whitley) vs. Rangers (Nick Martinez
7:07 PM- Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) vs. Red Sox (Jake Peavy)
8:15 PM- Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright)
10:05 PM- Orioles (Miguel Gonzales) @ Angels (Hector Santiago)