A previously tight AL East race has gotten significantly more comfortable for the Baltimore Orioles. On Tuesday, the O’s continued their strong play while the rest of the division struggled.
Baltimore Orioles 9, Toronto Blue Jays 3
The Blue Jays sent ace Mark Buehrle to the mound as they hoped to gain ground on Baltimore, but Buehrle fell apart in the fourth inning and their bullpen was not much relief. In that fourth frame, Caleb Joseph and Jonathan Schoop both homered off the Blue Jays’ veteran lefty, with Joseph improbably homering in his third consecutive game. One of the Orioles’ more conventional power threats, Chris Davis, also added a homer in the fifth inning off Aaron Sanchez, joining Nelson Cruz and J.J. Hardy to give the O’s three players with multiple RBIs. Bud Norris gave Baltimore a solid effort off the mound, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits in 5.1 innings pitched, and his offense ensured that his efforts would be enough.
Detroit Tigers 4, New York Yankees 3 (12 innings)
David Price was not quite at his best as he made his Tigers debut against the Yankees, allowing home runs to Brian McCann and Martin Prado. But as Rays fans so often saw him do, Price battled to give Detroit length nonetheless, going 8.2 innings allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, striking out 10 while walking none. He now has an incredible 10 appearances this season with at least 10 strikeouts, and five starts with 10 strikeouts and no walks. Price did trail 3-1 after five innings, but the Tigers tied the game up against Hiroki Kuroda on an Andrew Romine solo homer and an Alex Avila RBI single, and the game eventually went to extra innings. However, the Tigers had the advantage as Price gave them 1.2 more innings than Kuroda did for New York, and indeed it was the Yankees bullpen that blinked first. Alex Avila’s go-ahead homer off Matt Daley proved to be the game-winner as the Tigers won in the 12th inning.
Oakland Athletics 3, Tampa Bay Rays 0
St. Louis Cardinals 3, Boston Red Sox 2
Rubby De La Rosa and Lance Lynn had a nice pitchers’ duel in this game, but shoddy relief work by the Red Sox proved to be the difference. A Matt Adams RBI single in the fourth inning was all that De La Rosa allowed in his six innings while Lynn allowed just a Christian Vazquez sac fly and a Will Middlebrooks groundout in his seven frames. The Cardinals found themselves trailing despite Lynn’s efforts, but Kolten Wong drilled an RBI single off Tommy Layne in the seventh before Jon Jay had the go-ahead hit off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth as St. Louis came back. Yoenis Cespedes had 3 hits for the Red Sox in the loss, while A.J. Pierzynski went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored against his former team.
The Orioles had even more reason to smile this morning when they saw how their division rivals had done. Here are the updated standings and the schedule of games for tomorrow.
1. Baltimore (64-48) —
2. Toronto (60-54) 5.0 GB
3. New York (58-54) 6.0 GB
4. Tampa Bay (54-59) 10.5 GB
5. Boston (49-63) 15.0 GB
3:35 PM: Rays (Jeremy Hellickson) @ Athletics (Sonny Gray)
7:05 PM: Yankees (Chris Capuano) vs. Tigers (Justin Verlander)
7:07 PM: Blue Jays (Drew Hutchison) vs. Orioles (Wei-Yin Chen)
8:15 PM: Red Sox (Joe Kelly) vs. Cardinals (Shelby Miller)