2020 MLB Season: Simulating AL games, May 18-21

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(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

2020 MLB Season: Simulating AL games (May 18-21)

American League East

Toronto won a wide-open Monday opener of the three-game series with the Astros, a game in which both teams banged out 15 hits. The Jays emerged with a 9-8 decision. Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel, and Jonathan Davis each drove in a pair of runs for Toronto, the Jays taking a 6-2 lead against Brad Peacock and then grimly hanging on.

Ken Giles got his 11th save via a shaky ninth in which he allowed Yuli Gurriel’s double to put the tying run in scoring position before shutting the door.

With Giles resting, the Astros won 5-2 Tuesday on a four-run ninth inning outburst against Anthony Bass and Brian Moran. To that point, Trent Thornton had allowed only Jose Altuve’s seventh-inning home run. But at the top of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel doubled and Josh Reddick singled to give Houston a 3-2 lead, then Martin Maldonado juiced a two-run home run off Moran for the clincher.

The Astros won 8-4 Wednesday, Josh James surviving six sometimes shaky innings for his second victory. Michael Brantley hit a three-run home run in the fourth.

Tampa Bay ruined the Red Sox’ hopes of making up any ground on the Yankees, winning twice in Boston. Blake Snell, 6-2, took the Tuesday game 10-1, Brandon Lowe’s three hits driving in four runs. Snell struck out 14 in seven innings, allowing just three hits.

Boston led 3-1 into the eighth inning Wednesday when starter Eduardo Rodriguez faltered and the pen failed to come to his rescue. Rodriguez left after allowing a leadoff single to Yoshitorro Tsutsugo, and the Rays took advantage of reliever Austin Brice’s wildness. After Brice walked Jose Martinez, Ji-Man Choi drove both runners home with a game-tying double, Bruce walked Lowe and Daniel Robertson got Choi home as well.

The Red Sox vented their frustrations on Yonny Chirinos Thursday, driving him from the mound in the third inning, having exacted six runs worth of punishment. They won 18-6 behind Nathan Eovaldi, 4-1. J.D. Martinez and Alex Verdugo both homered and drove in five runs.

The Orioles won a back-and-forth Thursday opener in Toronto 6-4 in 12 innings. The Orioles lost a  3-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth on Hanser Alberto’s sacrifice fly scoring Dwight Smith Jr. Baltimore took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th only to see the Jays tie the game again in the bottom half on Biggio’s home run.

Finally in the 12th Smith singled off reliever Jake Petricka, Renato Nunez doubled him home and Alberto’s second sacrifice fly got an insurance run across.

                                W-L       Pct         GB

New York            29-22     .569        —

Boston                25-26     .490        4

Toronto               23-28     .451        6

Tampa Bay         22-30     .423        7.5

Baltimore           20-31     .392        9

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