Rays designated hitter Johnny Damon went 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBI in a 6-2 defeat of the Blue Jays on Saturday evening in Tampa Bay.
A few hours earlier, up north at Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers put a 9-1 hurting on a Red Sox team that has now played 5-17 ball in September.
As noted by ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, the 1962 Mets lost a whopping 120 games and still went 6-18 over the final month of the regular season.
The Rays are now just 1.5 games back in the American League Wild Card standings with four contests to play. It’s a race that will go down to the wire.
Your Saturday box scores:
Red Sox 1, Yankees 9
Blue Jays 2, Rays 6
Twins 2, Indians 8 (Game 1)
Braves 1, Nationals 4
Cubs 1, Cardinals 2
Mariners 3, Rangers 7
Phillies 1, Mets 2 (Game 1)
Orioles 6, Tigers 5
Twins 6, Indians 7 (Game 2)
Reds 3, Pirates 4
Royals 3, White Sox 6
Blue Jays 2, Rays 6
Marlins 4, Brewers 6
Phillies 3, Mets 6 (Game 2)
Rockies 4, Astros 2 (13 innings)
Athletics 1, Angels 4
Giants 2, Diamondbacks 15
Dodgers 0, Padres 3
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.