The Red Sox are trying to find that mojo they had in winning games. What was once just looking at the second wild-card spot looks to be higher for the Yankees as they creep closer to second place. The Rays look to add more ground and the Jays look to go higher up. Let’s see what happened during this week and what is to come during the weekend in the MLB American League East.

TAMPA BAY RAYS

The Rays faced the Mariners this week. Michael Wacha pitched four innings and gave up six runs. Randy Arozarena went 2-for-3 with a walk and his 15th home run. Nelson Cruz went 2-for-4. They lost 8-2.

Luis Patino pitched five innings and gave up three runs. Arozarena went 3-for-4 and hit his 16th home run. Austin Meadows went 2-for-4. The Rays lost 4-2.

They avoided the sweep on Wednesday with a 4-3 win. Arozarena went 2-for-4. He is a player that could be tough to get out right now. Mike Zunino hit his 21st home run. Josh Fleming went five innings and gave up two runs.

The Rays will face the O’s during the weekend. With how the Red Sox have been playing, they can possibly gain games in the division.

BOSTON RED SOX

Garrett Richards pitched four innings and gave up three runs to the Tigers. Hunter Renfroe hit his 17th home run. Jarren Duran went 2-for-5. J.D. Martinez went 2-for-3 with a walk. Christian Vazquez went 2-for-4. The offense only scored two runs in the 4-2 loss.

The Sox offense responded with four runs of their own in game two. Martinez hit his 21st home run of the season. Enrique Hernandez and Duran went back-to-back with home runs. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched five scoreless innings. The only run given up to the Tigers was by Josh Taylor. Sox won 4-1.

Not sure what the Sox will do with Martin Perez when Chris Sale returns. Perez only pitched 1.1 innings and gave up three runs. It was like he was an unplanned opener the Sox didn’t need. Phillips Valdez went 2.2 scoreless innings. Newcomers, Hansel Robles and Austin Davis gave up a combined five runs that sealed the deal for the game. Rafael Devers went 2-for-5 and Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4. The Sox lost 8-1.

Now being 1.5 games back, the Sox face the Blue Jays in Canada for four games in three days. Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, and Garrett Richards are scheduled to pitch. With a doubleheader on Saturday, the Sox can use a bullpen-free day on Friday with Eovaldi handing the ball to Matt Barnes.

NEW YORK YANKEES

Monday’s game was the Yankee Stadium in pinstripes debut for Anthony Rizzo, Andrew Heaney, and Joey Gallo. Heaney didn’t impress much with giving up four home runs in his first start as a Yankee. He lasted four innings. Rizzo was 0-for-2 but got an RBI on a sac fly. Gallo went 1-for-3 with a double that broke the no-hitter Jorge Lopez had going into the 6th inning. The offense only scored one run on three hits. They lost 7-1. Later Aaron Boone announced that Gerrit Cole was tested positive for COVID and will not pitch his scheduled start the next day.

Tuesday’s game started with news that Jordan Montgomery was also tested positive for COVID. The Yankees called up Luis Gil to start for Cole. In his debut, he went 6 scoreless innings. Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge went 2-for-5. Both Stanton and Judge hit home runs which were their 17th and 22nd respectively. Everyone but Gallo got a hit in game two’s win. Stephen Ridings and Brody Koerner also made their major league debut. Koerner gave up the only run to the O’s. Yanks won 13-1.

Pressure seems to be on Jameson Taillon now that he is the only starter still standing until Cole and Montgomery return. He went 6.1 innings and gave up three runs. Rizzo hit his 17th home run of the season, which was predictable with the deep foul balls he was hitting off of Matt Harvey. Stanton’s bases-clearing double was what sealed the deal for the Yankees. They won 10-3.

WILD CARD RACE

The Mariners came in town to start a four-game set to try to grab a wild card spot. It was announced that Gary Sanchez tested positive for COVID as well. Rob Brantly was called up to replace Sanchez for the time being. Nestor Cortes pitched five innings and gave up two runs. The offense tied the game at two before Chad Green gave up a solo home run to give the Mariners the lead. Gallo hit his first home run as a Yankee that gave the team a two-run lead in the 7th. 

The series against the Mariners continue during the weekend as both teams fight for the second wild-card spot. The Yankees need to try to win three of four at the end of this series and root for the Red Sox to do the same against the Jays.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Robbie Ray faced the Indians/Guardians on Monday. He went six innings and gave up two runs. George Springer went 2-for-5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.also went 2-for-5 and hit his 34th home run. It wasn’t enough as the game remained tied until the 9th when Brad Hand gave up three runs. The Jays lost 5-2.

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven innings and gave up two runs in the second game. Springer hit his 12th home run and Teoscar Hernandez hit his 17th. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.went 2-for-3. Hernandez went 3-for-3. The Jays won 7-2.

Steven Matz pitched six scoreless innings. Springer hit his 13th home run and went 4-for-5. The bullpen gave up six runs making the game close but the Jays ended up winning 8-6.

The Jays complete the series win with a shutout on Thursday. Ross Stripling pitched six innings and handed the ball to the bullpen that went hitless for the rest of the game. Bo Bichette went 2-for-3 and hit his 20th home run. The Jays won 3-0 and maintain being on the tails of the Yankees for third place.

The Red Sox come to town for four games, including a doubleheader on Saturday. Alek Manoah, Robbie Ray, Jose Berrios, and Hyun Jin Ryu are scheduled to pitch.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Jorge Lopez had a no-hitter going through five innings against the Yankees. The first hit was a double by Gallo. Cedric Mullins went 2-for-5 with his 18th home run. Pedro Severino hit his 10th and Austin Hays hit his 11th home run. To round out the home runs given up by Heaney, Ramon Urias hit his 5th home run. The O’s won 7-1.

Alexander Wells pitched 2.1 innings and gave up six runs. Adam Plutko gave up three runs and Shaun Anderson gave up four runs in the 13-1 loss. Ryan Mountcastle went 2-for-4.

In the rubber match of the series, Matt Harvey pitched four innings and gave up two runs. The bullpen gave up the eight runs that were in the 10-3 loss. Ryan Mountcastle hit his 19th home run. Cedric Mullins when 2-for-4.

This weekend the O’s face the Rays. John Means, Spenser Watkins, and Jorge Lopez are scheduled to pitch.

LET’S SPIN IT

The AL East standings have the Red Sox 1.5 games behind the Rays. The Yankees are three back in the loss column against the Red Sox and 5.5 games behind the Rays. In the wild card race, the Yankees are 1.5 games behind the A’s and the Jays are 2.5 games behind. This weekend in the MLB American League East should make the standings a bit more interesting.

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