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Welcome to yet another MLB Sunday, which is — as usual — loaded with day games. Let’s get to it. 

Sunday’s scores

Indians on fire

It seemed for weeks (months?) like it was only a matter of time before the Indians started to put the hurt on the rest of the terrible AL Central and it’s now coming to fruition. The Indians brutalized the Tigers on Sunday, making it eight days straight of running roughshod over their divisional foes. It started with a win against the Twins last Sunday. Then came a three-game sweep of the White Sox and now a three-game sweep of the Tigers. The seven-game winning streak has pushed the AL Central lead for the Indians to an MLB-best eight games. 

What’s more, they aren’t just winning. They are crushing their competitors. In the last four games, the Indians have outscored their opponents 38-3. Yowza. Also of note on Sunday, Jose Ramirez hit his 23rd homer, tying him with Mike Trout and J.D. Martinez for the MLB lead. 

Cubs get swept in Cincy

The Cubs went to face the last-place Reds on the heels of taking two of three from the Dodgers and had a percentage points lead in the NL Central. They leave with the baby bear tails between their legs are being swept in four games. The Cubs had leads in three of the four games and just couldn’t hold them. Some of that could be blamed on bullpen injuries (Carl Edwards Jr. and Brandon Morrow), but overall the Reds just flat outplayed the Cubs all series. 

Sunday was the biggest gut punch of them all. The Cubs held a 6-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, only to allow a seven-spot to the Reds. Starter Mike Montgomery allowed a few baserunners and then Pedro Strop — who was having an amazing season before Sunday — was atrocious, giving up four runs (and two of Montgomery’s) on four hits and three walks in just 2/3 of an inning. 

The Reds, meantime, have won seven straight games. 

Sale dominates Mariners

Rough week for Seattle. They had to travel to Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park and they leave having lost six of their last seven games. Sunday, they just didn’t have much of a chance. Red Sox lefty Chris Sale was on top of his game and when that happens, he’s basically unbeatable. He worked seven scoreless innings, striking out 13. It was Sale’s third game this season with at least 12 strikeouts, trailing only Max Scherzer’s four in 2018. 

The Red Sox move to 52-27 while the Mariners fall to a still-very-good 47-31. 

A’s make history

This is fun: 

Break out the brooms in Philly?

The Phillies had fallen into a funk earlier this month. At one point, they were 1-7 in June. In fact, they went 7-14 between May 17 and June 10, knocking them to just two games over .500 and it looked like maybe they’d fall from contention. 

Instead, the Phillies have now gotten hot again and they’ve done so against quality competition. They enter Sunday having won nine of their last 12 games against the Brewers, Rockies, Cardinals and Nationals. They are back to eight games above .500 and are just 1 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East. They are also 1 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals and Dodgers for the second NL wild-card spot. 

Speaking of which, the Phillies on Sunday night look to sweep the Nationals. Heading into the season, most believed the Nats would walk easily to a division title, but right now they are three games back. SportsLine still likes the Nats, but it’s not a cakewalk. Here’s how the odds of an NL East title currently break down: 

  • Nationals, 52.8 percent
  • Braves, 26.1 percent
  • Phillies, 20.8 percent

Sunday night in D.C. it’s Nick Pivetta (4-6, 4.08) for the Phillies and Jefry Rodriguez (0-0, 4.66) for the Nats. 

Quick hits

  • The Braves put closer Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list, retroactive to June 21. 
  • Cubs starter Yu Darvish will make a minor-league rehab start Monday for Class A South Bend. 
  • The Rockies placed reliever Bryan Shaw on the disabled list due to a right calf strain. 

Live team updates

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