The Houston Astros overcame the impressive MLB debut of Clint Frazier to rally on Saturday night, as Yuli Gurriel hit the go-ahead two-run double in a 7-6 Houston victory. The Cuban slugger also had a two-run home run on the night, helping the Astros rally from a 6-3 deficit. The majors' top team scored four times in the eighth inning off of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, as Evan Gattis also went deep in that inning. Frazier made history of his own before the rally, becoming the first Yankee since 1913 to hit a home run and a double in his first career game. The game not only had a thrilling rally, but also a thrilling ending, as Brett Gardner was caught between first and second while trying to stretch a single into a double. He was tagged out at first base for the final out of the night. Didi Gregorious helped the Yankees get out to the early lead with his first-career grand slam. The two teams will be involved in a rubber matchup Sunday afternoon after the Yankees earned a 13-4 blowout win on Friday night.
Sale Earns 11th Win as Red Sox Spoil Canada Day
The Toronto Blue Jays were part of the Canada Day celebration in Toronto on Saturday, but the Boston Red Sox played the role of spoilers on the afternoon. Chris Sale threw seven shutout innings to lead Boston in a 7-1 victory, earning his 11th win of the season. Sale now has wins in three straight decisions, and struck out 11 on the day, bringing his major-league-leading total to 166. He is now 2-0 with 24 strikeouts and 15 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays this season. Xander Bogaerts provided the support with three RBI, while Hanley Ramirez contributed three hits in Boston's fifth win in six games.The Red Sox sit two games ahead of the Yankees for first in the AL East, and are now 11 games above .500 for the first time this season. They can add on to that record in the series finale in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
NHL Free Agency Kicks Off
The NHL Free Agency period began on Saturday, which meant there were numerous deals being made around the league. That included the Pittsburgh Penguins losing multiple players, as Nick Bonino joined their Stanley Cup Final opponent, the Nashville Predators, on a four-year deal. Bonino was acquired by the Penguins in July of 2015 and had 18 goals and 19 assists last season with them. He suffered a broken tibia in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals and missed the remainder of the series. Pittsburgh also lost Chris Kunitz to an Eastern Conference rival, as he joined the Tampa Bay Lightning on a one-year deal. The 37-year-old is a four-time Stanley Cup winner, as the two-time All-Star had nine goals and 20 assists last year. Defenseman Trevor Daley also moved on with a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the Detroit Red Wings. The 33-year-old has 78 goals and 278 points in his 13-year career, and chipped in five points in 21 playoff games this past season. On the other hand, the San Jose Sharks were able to retain a few of their key players. That includes Joe Thornton, who re-signed on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $6.5 million for the 38-year-old, who has spent 12 seasons with the Sharks. He has led the league in points once since joining San Jose. The Sharks also gave Martin Jones a six-year extension and Marc-Edouard an eight-year extension. The 27-year-old goaltender has been solid between the pipes since being acquired from Boston two years ago, as he leads the NHL with 130 games started the past two seasons and is tied for second with 72 wins. Vlasic has 812 games under his belt in 11 seasons, and recorded six goals and 22 assists last season.
The first day of free agency also included the return of Justin Williams to Carolina, as he signs a two-year deal with the team he won the 2006 Stanley Cup with. Williams will make $5 million this season and $4 million in 2018-19. The veteran is known as "Mr. Game 7" for having the most goals in Game 7s with 14. He also won two Stanley Cups in seven seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. Moving on to a homecoming of sorts, as the New York Rangers signed hometown boy Kevin Shattenkirk to a four-year contract. The deal is worth $26.6 million for the 28-year-old that led all unrestricted free agents with 56 points last season. He spent time with the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals, and had 14 points in 19 regular-season games with the Caps. Multiple teams got veteran goaltending help on Saturday, including the Flyers signing Brian Elliott, the Jets adding Steve Mason, and the Ducks agreeing to a deal with Ryan Miller. Although most of the bigger names are off the market early on, you can guarantee that there are more moves to be done this off-season.