Brian McCann played hero in the Bronx last night, launching a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Yankees a wild 7-5 win over the Rays.
The Rays grabbed an early 3-0 lead against Masahiro Tanaka while Chris Archer tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, but Mark Teixeira slugged a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to draw even. The Rays pulled ahead in the top of the 12th on RBI singles from Kevin Kiermaier and Rene Rivera, but Steve Geltz couldn’t hold the lead. Brett Gardner drew a leadoff walk to begin the bottom of the 12th before Chase Headley struck out swinging. However, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira followed with back-to-back singles to bring the Yankees within one run. That brought McCann to the plate:
The Yankees hold a one-game lead in the American League East right now, but the Orioles, Rays, and Blue Jays are all within two games. There’s no clear favorite in this group, so we should probably get used to the drama.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Marlins 2, Cubs 1
Rays 5, Yankees 7 (12 innings)
Indians 5, Pirates 2
Blue Jays 6, Tigers 8
Giants 1, Nationals 2
Astros 12, Red Sox 8
Brewers 12, Reds 1
Angels 8, Rangers 2
Phillies 1, Braves 2
Orioles 0, White Sox 1
Padres 2, Cardinals 1
Twins 2, Royals 3 (10 innings)
Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 4 (10 innings)
Mariners 9, Athletics 5
Mets 2, Dodgers 1
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.