As we have chronicled in these daily AL East recaps, just a few days ago saw the Boston Red Sox keeping pace with the Tampa Bay Rays and retaining a glimmer of hope of winning the division. Things have changed dramatically since then, and while only one trade has actually occurred–the one sending Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants–the team mindset has been irreversibly altered. With the Baltimore Orioles off on Monday, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rays both gained ground in the division race, with Toronto doing so at the Red Sox’ expense.
Toronto Blue Jays 14, Boston Red Sox 1
On a Red Sox team where little has gone right this season, the biggest disappointment may be right-hander Clay Buchholz. After 7 more runs allowed in 5+ innings pitched against the Jays, Buchholz’s ERA now stands at 5.87 on the season in 96.2 innings pitched. Felix Doubront followed and was even worse, allowing 6 more runs in just 0.2 innings of work. Doubront is hoping to regain a starting spot, but an outing like this certainly doesn’t help him. David Ortiz had the Red Sox’ only RBI in the loss.
For Toronto, meanwhile, R.A. Dickey delivered an excellent start, going 7 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 10 while walking 1. It was his best start of the season by Game Score at 76, and his best start overall since his shutout of the Rays on June 26th of last season. Also, as the final score can tell you, Dickey’s dominance was mostly irrelevant because his offense was feeling it. Melky Cabrera had a huge game, going 2 for 4 with 2 homers, a walk, 5 RBI, and 3 runs scored, and number eight hitter Ryan Goins came out of the woodwork to be just as impressive. Goins, who entered the contest with a .175 average and just two multi-games on the season, both with exactly two hits, proceeded to go 4 for 5 with a double, 4 RBI, and a run scored. Noted spark-plug Munenori Kawasaki also contributed to help ignite the offense, going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. The Blue Jays offense was out in all of its grandeur, and after wins in 8 of their last 10 games, the Blue Jays have taken over the second Wild Card spot in the American League and have established more firmly that they are a contender.
Texas Rangers 4, New York Yankees 2
The good news for the Yankees is that Brett Gardner has figured out Yu Darvish. After homering against the Rangers ace on Wednesday to help the Yankees win a rain-shortened affair, Gardner delivered the first multi-homer game of his career to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. By the end of the contest, Gardner found himself at 5 for 11 against Darvish, with the first 4 hits being home runs. Unfortunately for New York, Darvish held almost everyone else in check, and Gardner’s heroics did not prove to be enough.
David Phelps has pitched extremely well for the Yankees of late, but he came apart in the fifth inning, allowing four runs with two outs. Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre both contributed RBIs before J.P. Arencibia gave Texas the lead on a two-run single on a misplaced 0-2 pitch. New York had its chances to come right back, getting runners in scoring position in both the seventh and eighth innings, but a clutch hit didn’t come either time. Instead of a win, the Yankees will have to settle for another day centered around Derek Jeter. With three hits in the game, Jeter passed Carl Yastrzemski for seventh place on the all-time hit list. The Yankee Captain now sits on 3,420 hits in his career.
Tampa Bay Rays 2, Milwaukee Brewers 1
In an interleague matchup against the NL Central leaders at Tropicana Field, the Rays received 7 strong innings from Jake Odorizzi and a clutch two-run single by James Loney to provide the run support. Read more in our recap of the game.
Melky Cabrera and the Blue Jays get the headline as they move even closer to inactive Baltimore, while the Rays rebounded from their loss on Sunday to continue proving that they are very much in the race. Here are the full standings followed by the schedule for tonight’s games.
1. Baltimore (58-46) —
2. Toronto (57-50) 2.5
3. New York (54-51) 4.5
4. Tampa Bay (52-54) 7.0
5. Boston (48-58) 11.0
7:05 PM- Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Jered Weaver)
7:10 PM- Boston Red Sox (Rubby De La Rosa) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman)
7:10 PM- Tampa Bay Rays (Alex Cobb) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza)
8:05 PM- New York Yankees (Brandon McCarthy) @ Texas Rangers (Nick Martinez)