Red Sox, Yankees claim extra-inning wins to continue turnarounds
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees continued their improvement with respective wins against the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals.
MLB World Series champions the Red Sox and the Yankees are expected to battle each other for first place in the American East, however both have been battling mediocrity this season amid sluggish stars.
But the Red Sox and Yankees built some momentum in recent days, and both scored an extra-inning victory on Sunday.
The Red Sox (9-13) got a sacrifice fly from Christian Vazquez in the 11th inning to finish a three-game sweep of the first-place Rays with a 4-3 win at Tropicana Field.
Red Sox veteran David Price struck out 10 and gave up two runs in five innings.
The Yankees' win was not pretty — New York's bullpen squandered a 5-0 lead against the Royals — but Austin Romine played the hero with a walk-off hit in the 10th for a 7-6 victory.
New York (11-10) have now won five of six games and are only two-and-a-half games behind the Rays.
While both teams have some momentum going, they face tough challenges in the days ahead.
The Yankees have been wracked by injuries this season that have sidelined almost a dozen key players. Aaron Judge is out indefinitely with an oblique injury, and Didi Gregorius and Luis Severino are out until mid-June and early July, respectively.
Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, Dellin Betances, Troy Tulowitzki and Greg Bird are all out but expected back at various times within the next month or so.
In Boston, the Red Sox are dealing with a bad World Series hangover. The pitching has been horrendous (they rank 29th in team ERA) and the offense has struggled so far.
Strasbourg stars as Nationals blank Marlins
Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 Miami Marlins in eight scoreless innings, yielding only two hits, to earn his second victory of 2019. Ryan Zimmerman hit two solo homers for all the offense Washington needed in a 5-0 rout.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson went three for four with a pair of home runs and four RBIs in the Atlanta Braves' 11-5 win over the Cleveland Indians.
Colorado Rockies right-hander Jon Gray gave up only one hit in six scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, striking out five in a 4-1 victory.
Los Angeles Angels DH Tommy La Stella cracked a pair of solo homers in an 8-6 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Texas Rangers left-fielder Joey Gallo had five RBIs in an 11-10 victory over the Houston Astros.
McHugh pummelled by Rangers
Astros starter Collin McHugh got hammered by the Rangers, giving up nine earned runs and eight hits in 3.3 innings.
Laureano denies Hernandez
Oakland centerfielder Ramon Laureano usually makes the highlight reel because of his cannon-like arm, but here he takes away a sure home run from Teoscar Hernandez. And the Athletics turned it into a whacky double play but the Toronto Blue Jays still won 5-4.
Wait … WHAT? pic.twitter.com/HAJAnjdJ9A— MLB (@MLB) April 21, 2019
New York Yankees 7-6 Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals 5-0 Miami Marlins
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Chicago White Sox
San Francisco Giants 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Boston Red Sox 4-3 Tampa Bay Rays
St Louis Cardinals 6-4 New York Mets
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 11-10 Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs 2-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies 4-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels 8-6 Seattle Mariners
Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 4-3 Cincinnati Reds
Atlanta Braves 11-5 Cleveland Indians
Phillies at Mets
The Mets really need Steven Matz (1-1, 4.96 ERA) and other starters to step up with ace Jacob deGrom sidelined. Philadelphia starter Jake Arrieta (3-1, 2.25 ERA) appears to have found his groove again after a rough 2018 campaign.