MLB scores, schedule: Rays punt against Red Sox; Giants top .500 for first time

It's Monday, which means Matt Snyder has released his latest MLB Power Rankings. The Dodgers have baseball's best record but they do not sit in the top spot in our Power Rankings. Check 'em out. 

Some of the storylines worth watching on Monday included the Rays and Red Sox and Athletics and Astros beginning important series as it pertains to postseason races. For more on those games, as well as all the rest of the schedule's slate, check out our full nightly recap below.

Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

Who wins every MLB game? And what underdogs can give you a huge victory tonight? Visit SportsLine now to see the exact score of every MLB game, plus get full player stat projections, all from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times.

Baseball schedule/scores for Monday, July 22


Rays punt against Red Sox

The Red Sox defeated the Rays on Monday, closing the gap between the two in the standings to just one game.

What everyone will be talking about from Monday's game is how the Rays used a position player to pitch the top of the ninth inning (rookie infielder Michael Brosseau) despite being down by just five runs after scoring three the previous half inning. The Red Sox scored a run, and were later able to hold the Rays to one run in the bottom of the ninth inning -- though the Rays did leave two other runners in scoring position.

There will be those who point out the Rays had less than a 1 percent chance at winning the game, according to the empirical data used to form FanGraphs' win expectancy. But there's something to be said about the spirit of the game and the greater context here. Using a position player in a legitimate blowout? Fine, whatever. When you're at home, down five against a team with a leaky bullpen who you're competing against for a playoff spot? 

That's less fine, and doesn't help with baseball's perceived competitive desire concerns.

By the way, don't sleep on the night Andrew Benintendi had -- he was a triple short of the cycle.

Giants top .500 with late comeback

The Giants trailed the Cubs by a 4-2 score heading into the bottom of the eighth on Monday. You know where this is going next, but for posterity's sake, the Giants then took the lead behind a Pablo Sandoval double, a Brandon Crawford single, an Austin Slater double, and a Joe Panik double.

Sam Dyson was able to nail down the save in the ninth, and just like that, the Giants improved their July record to 15-3.

What's more is the Giants are now 51-50 on the year -- marking the first time this season they topped the .500 mark. Remember, this is a club that, as of June 29, was 12 games under .500. It's been a remarkable run for the Giants -- one that has them potentially rethinking their deadline strategy.

Cole dominates the A's to keep Houston's streak alive

Gerrit Cole figures to be the top free agent available this winter. He showed on Monday why whomever signs him should be landing an ace.

Cole held the Athletics to two hits over seven innings, walking one and fanning 11 on 106 pitches. He entered the night leading baseball with 194 strikeouts, meaning he's at 205 on the year. For reference, Max Scherzer was the only other pitcher over 180 at the start of the night.

Cole's counterpart, the recently acquired Homer Bailey, wasn't nearly as effective. Bailey, making his second start for the Athletics, yielded nine runs on eight hits in two innings. He walked three, gave up three home runs, and struck out two. 

The Astros are now 7 1/2 up on the A's, and winners of their last six.

Twins outslug Yankees 

The Yankees and Twins started a three-game series on Monday. If the opener was any indication, the two are going to be trading a lot of home runs over the coming days.

The two sides combined for eight homers and 14 runs as part of a Minnesota win. The Twins received dingers from Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and two from Mitch Garver. The Yankees, meanwhile, saw DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela and Luke Voit jump the fence.

If you've been paying attention, the home runs are no surprise -- the Twins lead the majors in long balls while the Yankees entered the night ranked fifth. Don't be surprised if the team with the most homers wins each of the next two games.

Highlight of the day: Twins turn triple play

We wrote about it elsewhere, but the Twins turned the season's second triple play, going 5-4-3 against the Yankees. Edwin Encarnacion was the unlucky batter. You can read more about that by clicking here.

Stat of the day: Another record for Yordan

Astros rookie slugger Yordan Alvarez seems to set a record every other day. He did so on Monday, notching the most RBI by a player over their first 30 career games:

Alvarez entered the night with 10 homers and a 181 OPS+. Pretty good, folks.


Quick hits

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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