As always, Sunday brings us a full 15-game slate of MLB action. The weather may be an issue for some East Coast games, however. Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s MLB action.

Sunday’s scores

Orioles hammer Rays

It’s never a good day when a position player is your most effective pitcher. The O’s pounded the Rays on Sunday afternoon, forcing Tampa skipper Kevin Cash to use outfielder Johnny Field on the mound. Field tossed a scoreless inning. Four other Rays hurlers combined to allow 17 runs in seven innings.

The offensive outburst will get all the headlines and deservedly so, but the bigger and more important story for the Orioles is Dylan Bundy. He rebounded from a brutal start last time out — he was tagged for seven runs and four homers without recording an out against the Royals — to fire seven shutout innings Sunday.

The O’s have won five of their last six games — this is a team with 13 wins all season, remember — and have outscored their opponents 48-27 in the process. They’ve been waiting for a stretch like this basically since Opening Day.

Paxton’s scoreless streak ends

In his first start since no-hitting the Blue Jays, James Paxton fired two more hitless innings against the Tigers before finally allowing a base hit in the third. Niko Goodrum ended Paxton’s no-hit streak at 11 innings (and 38 batters) with a solid leadoff single to center.

A few base hits later, the Tigers snapped Paxton’s scoreless streak at 18 innings. Remember, he struck out 16 in seven scoreless innings against the Athletics in the start before no-hitting the Blue Jays.

Believe it or not, Paxton took a 5.12 ERA into that start against the A’s. He’s since lowered it to a 3.40 ERA.

Duffy struggles again for Royals

Given their rebuilding state, it stands to reason the Royals will listen to trade offers for left-hander Danny Duffy at the trade deadline. He might be their best trade chip. Southpaws signed to affordable long-term deals tend to be in high demand.

For the Royals to get maximum value in a trade, they’re going to need Duffy to start pitching better and soon. He got rocked by the Indians on Sunday.

Duffy has allowed at least four runs in five of his nine starts this season, and in four of his last five starts as well. Following Sunday’s disaster, he’s sitting on a 6.51 ERA and has allowed 12 home runs in 47 innings.

Nats looking to sweep D-Backs

Over the last two weeks or so, the Nationals and Diamondbacks have seemingly switched places. The D-Backs could do no wrong to begin the season while the Nats scuffled along, trying to find their way. Now? Now the D-Backs are trying to right the ship while the Nationals can’t stop winning.

Washington goes into Sunday night’s series finale at Chase Field having won the first three games of this four-game series — they’ve handed the Diamondbacks their first series loss of 2018 — and 12 of their last 14 games overall. The D-Backs, meanwhile, has lost four straight and seven of their last 10 games.

I suppose the silver lining for the D-Backs is that these three losses to the Nationals were all close games. The final scores: 2-1, 3-1, 2-1. They haven’t been getting blown out. The pitching has been good and every game has been close. Once the lineup starts clicking, they should snap out of it.

Ohtani making sixth start

Sunday afternoon Shohei Ohtani will toe the slab for the sixth start with the Angels. He smacked his fifth home run of the season earlier this week, and he continues to make the two-way thing work:

  • As hitter: .348/.392/.652 (181 OPS+) with 5 HR and 16 RBI in 74 plate appearances
  • As pitcher: 4.10 ERA (104 ERA+) with 32/11 K/BB in 26 1/3 innings and five starts

Ohtani will face the red-hot Twins on Sunday. Minnesota has won seven of their last eight games — boy, they sure have been streaky this season, haven’t they? — to climb to within a half-game of the AL Central-leading Indians. They’re going to have their hands full with Ohtani. He’s shown that, when he’s on, he’s as good as anyone.

Dodgers looking to avoid sweep

There is no official date where “it’s still early” no longer applies, but I think we’ve reached that point with the Dodgers, who have lost the first three games of their four-game series with the Reds. Los Angeles blew leads in two of the three losses too. At 16-23, the Dodgers have the fourth worst record in the National League.

As for the Reds, they’ve won five straight games — Cincinnati has won 13 games all season — and they are undefeated in the Matt Harvey era. They still own the worst record in the league, however, and they’re going to spend the summer fighting for the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft rather than a postseason berth. That’s what makes recent stretch so troubling for the Dodgers. Some recent series against rebuilding clubs:

  • vs. Marlins: Lost two of three.
  • vs. Padres: Lost two of three.
  • vs. Reds: Lost three of three with one more game to go.

Since April 23, the first game of the series with the Marlins, the Dodgers have the NL’s worst record at 5-13. They’ve already lost this series to the Reds. At this point all they can do is forget about what’s already happened and focus on getting better, and they have to do it soon, because “it’s still early” is no longer an excuse.

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