Mookie Betts sat out his third straight game for the Boston Red Sox, but when the rest of the line-up i scoring lots of runs, manager Alex Cora can afford to let one the best hitters in the game get a little more rest.
Every player had at least one hit for the Red Sox in their 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays last night, and catcher Sandy Leon went well beyond that, smacking a two-run homer to go along with two doubles. Xander Bogaerts also went yard, his eighth of the year, and J.D. Martinez upped his average to .323 with two doubles. That took a lot of pressure off Rick Porcello, who allowed just three hits through six innings and earned his seventh win of the season, and the Red Sox are rolling, winners of 8 of their last 10 games, and you have to go back to the 1946 squad led by Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr that eventually reached the World Series to find a Red Sox team with a better record through the same number of games.
Today is a getaway afternoon start at Fenway Park as Boston goes for the sweep against the Blue Jays with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the start for Boston against Sam Gaviglio, who's 2-0 on the year with an impressive 2.30 ERA.
In the Bronx, the NY Yankees made sure to stay just two games behind Boston for first place in the A.L. east with a 6-5, 10-inning walk-off win against the Houston Astros, the game-winning hit delivered by a 21-year old rookie whose Big Apple legend continues to grow game by game.
Gleyber Torres atoned for two errors he committed earlier in the game, and he was far from alone, with the Yankees committing five overall, when he delivered Miguel Adujar from second base with a walk-off RBI single in the 10th.
But the heroics by Torres would not have been possible without veteran Brett Gardner coming through with two home runs, one in the first inning off Houston starter Charlie Morton, and the really big blow in the bottom of the 9th with the Yankees trailing 5-3. That's when Gardner took Chris Devenski deep with one on for a two-run blast that tied the game and forced extra innings.
Astros fans may wonder why manager A.J. Hinch chose not to turn to closer Ken Giles for a third straight game in the 9th to protect that two-run lead. Giles isn't injured and the decision to leave it to Devenski is curious, especially when he walked Andujar to start the inning.
The Yanks will try to take the rubber game of the series this afternoon with ace Luis Severino taking the hill with a 7-1 record against Dallas Keuchel for Houston, who's just 3-6 on the season.
I don't relish being the bearer of yet more bad news for NY Mets fans, but there's no point in sugar-coating it. The Mets were beaten by the Atlanta Braves 7-6 on yet another walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th, this one by Johan Camargo, the second time that's happened in the last three games between these two N.L. east rivals. But the Mets also blew a four run lead in this one, wasting a home run by Adrian Gonzalez and two by Asdrubal Cabrera, and yeah, it gets worse, because the injury bug that bit the Mets so hard last season is back to sink its teeth into the team.
The Mets placed starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard on the 10-day disabled list with a strained ligament in his right index finger, and not to be outdone fellow starter Steven Matz was forced from the game also with a finger issue, complaining of discomfort in his left middle finger after throwing three scoreless innings amid that 4-run lead that vanished after he left. Matz said he felt the irritation in the finger after his bat flung out of his hand during a plate appearance in the top of the fourth, yet another reason why pitchers shouldn't be hitting.
If you're looking for some silver lining as a Mets fan, X-Rays on Matz's finger after the game were negative, but there's not much positive to say about the Mets right now. Their bullpen is leaky and they've won just three times in their last ten games, falling five games behind Atlanta for first place in the division, while the Braves are on the good luck side of the ledger, now winners of eight games won in their final at-bat.
At the French Open yesterday, Serena Williams returned to form. Playing in her first major tournament in more than a year following the birth of her baby girl Olympia, Williams thrilled the crowd at Roland Garros by rallying to win a first set tie-breaker against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic, then won the second set 6-4 to move on to the second round. Williams was able to triumph despite 15 aces served up by Pliskova.
Number one seed Simona Halep won her first round match and faces American Alison Riske in a match ongoing at this hour.
On the men's side a sigh of relief for Rafael Nadal, who fought off four set points to beat Italian Simone Bolelli, who made it to the first round as a so-called "lucky loser", given entrance only because another player who made it out of the qualifying rounds withdrew for an injury, allowing Bolelli, who had not qualified, to take his place.
Tonight in Vegas it's game two of the Stanley Cup Finals with the Golden Knights up one game to none over the Washington Capitals.