Baseball’s closest division from first to last continues to see more twists and turns. Tuesday’s action alone saw Chase Headley coming up big in his first Yankee game, Adam Wainwright get beaten by a wide margin, and the Jake Peavy‘s record falling to just 1-9.
Baltimore Orioles 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
Not even Mike Trout is good enough to overcome a bullpen collapse. Hector Santiago gave the Angels five shutout innings and Trout drilled a two-run homer in the eighth inning, but three runs given up by Mike Morin in the sixth plus another allowed by Fernando Salas in the eighth proved to be the difference in the Orioles’ 4-2 win. Miguel Gonzalez had a huge outing for Baltimore up until that blast by Trout, going 7.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out 5 while walking 4. Then, on the offensive side, J.J. Hardy drilled two RBI doubles to bookend a two-run home run by Jonathan Schoop. Hardy is well-regarded as a strong offensive shortstop, and his double play partner Schoop was able to be right there alongside him in this game to lead the O’s to the win. The Orioles have already won their series with the Angels, with a pair of sixth inning rallies proving to be the difference.
New York Yankees 2, Texas Rangers 1 (14 innings)
It took an incredibly long time, but the Yankees were finally able to get some offense and beat the Texas Rangers to keep pace with the division leaders. New York wasted an excellent start from Chase Whitley, who struck out 6 in 6+ shutout innings, and they even received hitless relief from the seventh inning all the way to the 12th. However, Nick Martinez and the Rangers bullpen was able to match them inning after inning, stranding a New York runner in scoring position in the ninth, 11th, and 12th frames, and their offense finally gave them something in the following half-inning. J.P. Arencibia‘s solo shot off David Huff looked like it would be decisive as the Rangers brought in Joakim Soria to close out the game. However, the Yankees came right back in the bottom of the frame, getting a Brett Gardner double followed by a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI single, and they won it in the following inning. In his first game as a Yankee, Chase Headley drilled a walk-off single off Nick Tepesch as New York won 2-1. Yankee fans were driven nuts (and, in some cases, driven home) by the lack of offense from their team, but credit the Bombers for coming up with the big hits right in the nick of time to come away with the victory in this game.
Toronto Blue Jays 7, Boston Red Sox 3
As bad as Toronto’s 14-1 loss against Boston on Monday was, it only counted as one loss as they still had a chance to win their next two games and take the series. Step one of two is complete as Toronto took a 5-0 lead before holding on to beat Boston 7-3. J.A. Happ had a strong outing for Toronto, going 6 shutout innings working around 7 hits and a walk while striking out 4. It was as badly needed a strong start for Happ as it was for the Blue Jays as he had managed just an 8.25 ERA across 12 innings in his previous three appearances. Happ was supported by home runs by Jose Reyes and Dioner Navarro, and both Reyes and Melky Cabrera wound up finishing the game 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and a run scored.
For the Red Sox, Jake Peavy allowed five runs in 6.1 innings pitched and Felix Doubront gave up two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but they have to be credited for making this a ballgame until the very end. After David Ortiz put them on the board with a solo homer in the eighth, Stephen Drew‘s two-run blast off Casey Janssen made it a 7-3 game in the ninth inning. The Red Sox were not done getting a single and a walk off Janssen to force Brett Cecil to replace him in a save situation. Cecil was able to do the job, forcing Ortiz to ground out to end the game.
Tampa Bay Rays 7, St. Louis Cardinals 2
Head here for everything you need to know about the Rays’ decisive victory over Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals.
Overall, everyone managed to keep pace except for, of course, the Red Sox, who find themselves back in last place. Here are the updated standings followed by the schedule for tonight’s games.
1. Baltimore (55-44) —
2. New York (51-48) 4.0
3. Toronto (52-49) 4.0
4. Tampa Bay (48-53) 8.0
5. Boston (47-53) 8.5
7:05 PM- Yankees (David Phelps) vs. Rangers (Yu Darvish)
7:07 PM- Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey) vs. Red Sox (Clay Buchholz)
7:15 PM- Rays (Alex Cobb) @ Cardinals (Lance Lynn)
10:05 PM- Orioles (Chris Tillman) @ Angels (Jered Weaver)