As always, Sunday brings us a full 15-game slate of Major League Baseball action, including a healthy dose of afternoon games. Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s MLB action:

Sunday’s scores

Mets shut out Yankees

The Mets entered Sunday night on an eight-game losing streak while the Yankees entered with the best record in baseball and were hot. Plus, the Yankees had ace Luis Severino on the hill. Sure enough, baseball happened. A Todd Frazier home run would be all the Mets needed in this one. 

Seth Lugo (6 IP, 0 ER, 8 K, 0 BB, 2 H) and Robert Gsellman (2 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 H) did an excellent job of limiting the Yankees before Anthony Swarzak closed things down. 

The big news here, however, is in the headline. The Yankees were shut out for the first time all season. Every other team had already experienced it, but not this hulking offense. In the 61st game of the season, it happened.  Remarkably, they’ve only even had four games where they scored just one run. 

Again, big ups to Lugo, Gsellman and Swarzak. 

D-Backs sweep Rockies

After the Diamondbacks forgot how to baseball for a good portion of May, the Rockies found themselves in first place in the wild NL West. Things have started to swing back to how they were when Arizona started the season 21-8. 

The D-Backs crushed the Rockies, again, on Sunday. It was a three-game sweep in Coors Field, with the Diamondbacks outscoring the Rockies by 15 runs. 

The Diamondbacks have now won nine of their last 12 and have taken back first place, sporting a 2 1/2 game lead. 

On the other hand, the Rockies have fallen to a game below .500 and fourth place. They have lost eight of their last 10 games. 

Also, for some reason they can’t win at home. The Rockies are 11-19 in Coors Field this season and have now lost seven in a row there. 

Holland, Giants best Scherzer

If there was one result that would’ve seemed obvious based on the pitching matchups on Sunday, it would have been Derek Holland and the Giants heading into Nationals Park to face Max Scherzer

Instead, Holland threw five scoreless innings and the Giants bullpen put together four scoreless innings to steal the victory. That’s why they play the games, right? 

Scherzer didn’t pitch poorly, either, only giving up two runs in seven innings. Sunday’s tough-luck loser is now 10-2 with a 2.00 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. 

Stripling, Muncy rolling for Dodgers 

The Dodgers took the series over the Braves with a win on Sunday, meaning they haven’t lost a series since May 15-17. In this victory, Max Muncy homered while Ross Stripling put together a very good start. It was really more of the same from the duo. 

Muncy is now hitting .272/.395/.616 with 12 homers. After spending all of last season in the minors, it’s a very impressive big-league season to date. Plus, with Justin Turner going through his issues relating to his injured wrist, Muncy has been a godsend for the Dodgers. 

Speaking of which, so has Stripling. Forced back into the rotation due to injuries, he’s now 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA. He and Walker Buehler have served as stabilizing forces on the rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Hyun-jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda on the disabled list. 

Richard flirts with no-hitter

The Padres and their fans will have to wait at last one more day for the first no-hitter in franchise history. Left-hander Clayton Richard lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh inning Sunday, as Miguel Rojas laced a hard-hit ground ball single back up the middle. Richard settled for seven excellent innings.

The Padres are, of course, the only MLB team without a no-hitter in their history. Sunday was the 7,913th game in franchise history, postseason included. That’s an awfully long time to go without a no-hitter, especially considering the pitcher friendly ballpark they’ve called home since 2004.

As for the 2018 Padres, they’re now 9-3 in their last 12 games, and they’ve won four straight series. They sit in last place in the NL West, sure, but they’re only five games back of first place. No other last place team is closer than 12 1/2 games back of first place.

Martinez labors again

Carlos Martinez’s second start back from a lat injury went much like his first. His control was erratic and his high-octane fastball was not very high-octane. Martinez walked seven and did not make it out of the fourth inning against the Reds on Sunday.

Martinez walked five in four innings last time out, so that’s 11 walks in 7 2/3 innings since coming back from the disabled list. Here are the average fastball velocity numbers:

  • Before lat injury: 95.6 mph
  • First start back: 93.6 mph
  • Second start back: 94.5 mph

Normally I’d say Martinez is likely still rebuilding arm strength after a month-long stint on the disabled list and the missing velocity is something to watch rather than a reason for outright panic, but, following his last start, Martinez admitted he was holding back to avoid reaggravating his injury.

Holding back and disappearing control is bad news. That means a change in mechanics, and anytime a pitcher changes his mechanics, bad things can happen. 

The Cardinals will already be without Alex Reyes the rest of the season and Adam Wainwright for at least another few weeks. The last thing they need is a less than 100 percent Carlos Martinez faking his way through starts to avoid another injury.

Another leadoff Springer dinger

For the first time this season, George Springer opened a game with a leadoff home run Sunday. It was his third leadoff homer against the Rangers this season, if you can believe that.

Not surprisingly, Springer leads all players with five leadoff homers this season. He also leads baseball in leadoff dingers going back to last season. The 2017-18 leadoff homer leaderboard:

  1. George Springer, Astros: 14
  2. Brian Dozier, Twins: 9
  3. Several tied with 7.

The all-time leader in leadoff homers? Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, of course. Henderson swatted 81 leadoff homers in his career. Springer is 31st all-time with 23 career leadoff dingers.

The Astros have now won five straight games. 

ChiSox shut down BoSox

The Sox won two of three at Fenway Park this weekend, but probably not the Sox you expect. The White Sox clinched the series victory over the Red Sox behind Reynaldo Lopez on Sunday afternoon.

The ChiSox held the BoSox to six runs in the three-game series. Keep in mind they went into Sunday’s game with a 4.82 ERA, fifth highest in baseball. Chicago’s south-siders have won four of their last five games now.

Once again, Cobb struggles for O’s

Another day, another miserable loss for the Orioles. They were trounced by the Blue Jays on Sunday to drop to 19-45 on the season, the worst record in baseball. Alex Cobb got roughed up again in that one.

Cobb is sitting on a 7.23 ERA after 11 starts and 56 innings. Sunday’s game was the fourth time this season Cobb allowed six runs and the fifth time he allowed at least 10 hits. He allowed 10-plus hits only eight times in 115 career starts with the Rays, and he’s already done it five times with the Orioles.

The O’s signed Cobb to a four-year contract worth $57 million in mid March and he did not have a normal spring training. That said, we’re in June now, and you’d think Cobb would’ve been over any hiccups stemming from his abbreviated spring training. A lot has gone wrong for the Orioles this year. A lot. Their big free agent pitching addition blowing up is among them.

Elfin helps Phillies salvage one game of the series

It was a pretty rough week for the Phillies. It actually started out great, taking a game Tuesday in Wrigley Field with Zach Elfin throwing very well. Then came the Jason Heyward walk-off grand slam and that seemed to ruin everything. The Phillies lost four straight beginning with that game.

Sunday, Elfin played “stopper” and again threw the ball well, helping to lead the team to snapping the losing streak. Elfin this week allowed only three earned runs in 13 1/3 innings, striking out 11 while walking just two. 

Stil, the Phillies have lost seven of their last nine games. They’ll try to build on Sunday’s win this week, hosting the Rockies. 

Yankees looking for Subway Series sweep

The first two games of the 2018 Subway Series have been a perfect microcosm of the Mets’ season. They started out great and jumped out to first inning leads Friday and Saturday, but they fell flat after that, and were outplayed in innings 2-9.

The Mets, who were once 11-1 this season, are currently riding an eight-game losing streak that has them 27-34 on the season overall. They are 16-33 — 16-33! — since that 11-1 start. Only the rebuilding Reds (22-43) and Marlins (23-41) have worse records in the National League. Ouch. 

As for the Yankees, they’ve won their last four games and nine of their last 10 games overall. They own MLB‘s best record (42-18) and fourth best run differential (plus-91). And in Sunday’s Subway Series finale, they’re sending ace Luis Severino to the mound. The Mets will counter with Seth Lugo, who is replacing the injured Noah Syndergaard.

Quick hits

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he is “always open to outside help” in the wake of RHP Masahiro Tanaka’s injured hamstrings. Cashman did say the Yankees are likely to replace Tanaka internally, however.
  • Top Blue Jays prospect 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will miss at least four weeks with a knee injury. He suffered the injury running the bases earlier this week. Vlad Jr. is hitting .407/.457/.667 as a 19-year-old in Double-A.
  • The Mets are considering sending OF Michael Conforto to Triple-A, reports the New York Post. Conforto, who had shoulder surgery last September, returned ahead of schedule this year but is hitting only .219/.340/.365 in 52 games.
  • The Rays are expected to call up top prospect SS Willy Adames “very soon,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. Adames went 2 for 12 with a homer in a three-game cameo earlier this year. MLB.com ranks Adames as the 20th best prospect in baseball.
  • The Brewers have called up RHP Brandon Woodruff to start Sunday, the team announced. 1B Ji-Man Choi was sent down in a corresponding move. Choi smacked a pinch-hit go-ahead grand slam Saturday.
  • The Astros placed RHP Joe Smith on the 10-day DL with right elbow discomfort, the team announced. Smith has a 5.49 ERA in 19 2/3 innings this season. RHP Reymin Guduan will called up a corresponding move.
  • 2B Jason Kipnis and DH Edwin Encarnacion are not in the Indians’ lineup Sunday. Kipnis is dealing with a minor neck issue and Encarnacion has a minor ankle problem. Both are day-to-day.
  • The Rangers placed RHP Doug Fister on the 10-day DL with a right knee strain, the club announced. He exited Friday’s night with soreness in the knee. IF Hanser Alberto was called up in a corresponding move.

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