The Red Sox looked to quiet down Shohei Ohtani in Anaheim as the Rays tried to get closer to first place. The Yankees are hoping for a great week to end the “first half” and the Jays are looking to inch closer to second place. Let’s check out what happened over the final week in the AL East before the All-Star break. MLB American League East
BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox lost the series against the Angels this week. Monday’s game looked good as Martin Perez pitched 5.1 innings and gave up two runs. Rafael Devers went 3-for-5 and hit his 21st home run. Christian Arroyo hit his fifth home run of the season in the second inning. Adam Ottavino got his seventh save of the season getting Ohtani out on a grounder in the ninth inning.
— Red Sox de Boston (@RedSoxBeisbol) July 6, 2021
Tuesday’s match-up between Ohtani and Nathan Eovaldi wasn’t great for the Sox. Eovaldi gave up five runs in 5.2 innings and struck out nine. Hunter Renfroe hit his 13th home run of the season. The offense tried to come back but fell short of two runs.
Eduardo Rodriguez pitched five innings and gave up four runs in the series finale. The winning run was given up by Darwinzon Hernandez. The offense tried to come from behind one run at a time but it was too late. J.D. Martinez hit his third triple of the season and Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-5.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
The first game against the Indians was one the Rays had to come from behind. Rich Hill pitched 3.2 innings and gave up one run. Kind of weird to remove Hill from the game that early without an injury but that must have been the Rays game plan from the start. Drew Rasmussen, J.P. Feyereisen and Jeffrey Springs gave up seven runs combined. Manuel Margot went 4-for-4 and YandyDiaz went 2-for-5. Diaz hit his fourth home run of the season and Brandon Lowe hit his 17th.
The second game was postponed due to Hurricane Elsa making its way through Florida. It was made up in a doubleheader the next day. Michael Wacha pitched in game one of the doubleheader and went six innings. He gave up the only run by the Indians. Kevin Kiermaier hit his sixth home run, Brandon Lowe hit his 18th, and Brett Phillips hit his fourth.
Game two featured a five pitcher no-hitter against the Indians. MLB does not consider a seven-inning game no-hitter as the official no-hitter but it is still an accomplishment to no-hit a team. Josh Fleming ended up with the win. Wander Franco committed his fourth error of the season at third and went 1-for-4.
The no-hitter that isn't…but still is…but technically isn't 😅pic.twitter.com/ZflODCzZBV
— Sports by Tampa Bay Times (@TBTimes_Sports) July 7, 2021
The Rays swept the Indians, gained ground on the Red Sox, and now look to add on to their lead in second place over the Jays.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The series for the Jays opened with a loss. Steven Matz pitched four innings and gave up four runs with only three earned. Trent Thorton gave up three runs during his outing. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 28th home run of the season. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.went 3-for-4 and hit his 10th home run of the season.
Vlad's 28th was a ROCKET. pic.twitter.com/fUaz8ud4M7
— MLB (@MLB) July 7, 2021
Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched five innings and gave up one run in game two against the Orioles. Bo Bichette hit his 16th home run in the 6th inning and went 3-for-5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.went 3-for-5. The Jays won 10-2.
Game three was postponed due to the bad weather coming from Hurricane Elsa. It will be made up as a straight doubleheader on September 11th. MLB American League East
The series against the Rays is an important one for the Jays as they try to inch closer to second place at Tropicana Field.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Jameson Taillon pitched seven innings and gave up only one run in the series opener. The offense scored a season-high 12 runs with six of those runs off of former Yankee, Justus Sheffield. Giancarlo Stanton got the scoring started in the first inning with a three-run homer.
After talking about how he needs to get better, Luke Voit got the first five-hit game of his career and three RBI. Rougned Odor hit his 9th home run of the season. Aroldis Chapman pitched in the ninth and since it was a blowout for the Yankees, it was easier for him to work on his stuff. He got three strikeouts but not before giving up a hit and two walks that loaded the bases.
Domingo German was scratched from starting on Wednesday due to having an emergency root canal. He, later on, pitched as a reliever in the game and gave up three runs. The offense scored five runs in the first two innings of the game as Nick Nelson struggled to get out of the first inning. Aaron Judge hit a three-run home run off of Yusei Kikuchi. Luis Cessa pitched 3.1 beautiful innings and Chad Green got his third save of the season.
Judge, Jury, Executioner 😤
A 4️⃣2️⃣9️⃣ft blast in Seattle!
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 8, 2021
CAN’T COMPLETE THE SWEEP
Over the last six starts, Jordan Montgomery only gave up two home runs. During Thursday’s series finale, he gave up 2 home runs within the first two innings of the game. The Yankees couldn’t complete the sweep as the offense ended up not scoring any runs and have only one hit in the game, which was a double by Stanton.
The Yankees next face the Astros in Houston as they close up their “first half” of the season. Nestor Cortes Jr.was announced as the starter for Friday’s game. Gerrit Cole will pitch against Zach Greinke on Saturday. Taillon will look to continue his great outing on Sunday.
The O’s started the series off with a win. Spenser Watkins pitched five innings and gave up only one run. The Jays tried to rally back in the 9th against Tyler Wells but he gave up only two runs. Ramón Urías and Pat Valaika went 2-for-4. Anthony Santander hit his 6th home run of the season and Cedric Mullins hit his 16th.
Matt Harvey pitched only 3.2 innings and gave up six runs during game two. That pretty much sealed the deal with the game as the O’s only scored two runs. Austin Hays went 2-for-4 and Mullins went 1-for-4.
Game three was postponed due to the bad weather coming from Hurricane Elsa. It will be made up as a straight doubleheader on September 11th.
The O’s face Dallas Keuchel and the White Sox during the weekend to close out the “first half”. John Means is scheduled to make his second rehab start with Double-A Bowie on Friday and his third and final rehab start in Triple-A. The Orioles hope he returns during the series at Tampa Bay. MLB American League East
LET’S SPIN IT
This weekend will be important for the Rays and Jays as they fight to gain ground on each other. The Yankees still want to prove they can beat the Astros despite already taking two out of three in the first series in the Bronx earlier this season. The Red Sox are 2.5 games ahead in the division and they look to add on.
One series loss for the Sox and a series win for the Rays can make the gap smaller. At the same time, a series win for the Yankees and a series loss for the Jays can possibly have them swap places in the standings. It won’t be easy for any of the teams. MLB American League East
Featured Image courtesy of Associated Press.