MLB Friday scores, highlights, updates, news: Scherzer just gets better with age

Friday brought us a full slate of 15 MLB games. Before we get to our daily recap, make sure you check out the 20 best names from the 2017 draft and one interesting thing for all 30 teams from the 2017 draft. Now here is our recap of the day in baseball.

Friday's scores

  • Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Philadelphia Phillies  4 (box score)
  • Chicago Cubs  9,  Pittsburgh Pirates  5 (box score)
  • St. Louis Cardinals 11, Baltimore Orioles  2 (box score
  • Chicago White Sox 11, Toronto Blue Jays  4 (box score
  • Los Angeles Dodgers  3,  Cincinnati Reds  1 (box score
  • Detroit Tigers  13,  Tampa Bay Rays  4 (box score
  • Washington Nationals 7,  New York Mets  2 (box score
  • Miami Marlins  5,  Atlanta Braves  0 (box score
  • Texas Rangers  10,  Seattle Mariners  4 (box score
  • Boston Red Sox  2,  Houston Astros  1 (box score
  • Cleveland Indians  8,  Minnesota Twins  1 (box score
  • Milwaukee Brewers  6,  San Diego Padres  5 in 10 innings (box score
  • Colorado Rockies  10,  San Francisco Giants  8 (box score
  • Oakland Athletics  7,  New York Yankees  6 (box score)
  • Los Angeles Angels  3,  Kansas City Royals  1 (box score

Scherzer sets a new career-high strikeout streak

Max Scherzer won the NL Cy Young award last season and, so far this year, he has been even better. How does a guy his age keep getting better? Not that Scherzer is old or anything, but most soon-to-be 33-year-old starters have had their best years already. Not Scherzer. He keeps getting better.

Friday night Scherzer shut down the Mets at Citi Field to give his club back-to-back wins against their division rival. Scherzer struck out 10 in eight innings of one-run ball. He now has five straight double-digit strikeout games, a new career-high.

Scherzer is up to 134 strikeouts on the season, two behind Chris Sale for the MLB lead. No one else has more than 114. Also, Scherzer is the active leader in double-digit strikeout games. Here's the leaderboard:

  1. Max Scherzer: 57
  2. Clayton Kershaw : 54
  3. Chris Sale: 44
  4. Justin Verlander : 38
  5. CC Sabathia : 37

Am I the only one surprised Verlander only -- "only" -- has 38 double-digit strikeout games in his career?

Encarnacion's hot streak continues

Edwin Encarnacion 's first six weeks with the Indians did not go as well as he would have hoped. Encarnacion went 0-for-5 on May 15 to drag his overall season batting line down to .194/.342/.328. The on-base percentage is OK. The rest? Not so much.

Since then though, Encarnacion has been a one-man army for the Indians, hitting .341/.411/.671 with eight home runs in his last 24 games. And on Friday night, he clobbered another home run, his 14th of the season overall. Here's the video:

When Encarnacion gets a hold of one, you can tell right away it's leaving the yard. That's his fourth home run in the last seven games, by the way. This is the Encarnacion the Tribe signed to put them over the top after falling one win short of a World Series championship in 2016.

Orioles continue free fall

Things just keep getting worse and worse for the Orioles. They were blown out by Cardinals on Friday, and they've now lost eight of their last nine games. Go back to May 10 and the O's are 10-24 in their last 34 games. Yikes! Only the Phillies (9-26) have a worst record during that time.

Given their ongoing free fall and the tight AL wild card race, could the Orioles be sellers at the trade deadline? And if the answer is yes, does that put Manny Machado in play? He's going to be a free agent after next season. At some point the team is going to have to make a decision about his future: either sign him long-term or trade him. Letting him leave as a free agent while getting nothing but a draft pick in return is not an option. The O's have some tough decisions to make soon.

Judge homers near his hometown

Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge grew up in Linden, California, so his closest MLB team was the Athletics. The Yankees are in Oakland this weekend, so Judge is getting his first chance to play in front of a "hometown" crowd. And he delivered Friday. How about an opposite field three-run home run?

That man is not not strong. Judge now has an MLB leading 23 home runs. The Yankees' rookie record for home runs in 29 by Joe DiMaggio in 1936, you know. Judge might get there by the end of the month.

Thames swats walk-off homer

Following that monster April, Eric Thames quietly fell into a bit of a slump these last few weeks. He hit .184/.345/.377 in 35 games from May 1 to June 13. Not great!

It's safe to say the slump is over, however. Thames homered for the third straight game Friday, and this one was a walk-off job. To the action footage:

Ryan Buchter , the pitcher who served up the walk-off home run to Thames, had held left-handed batters to a .184 batting average going into Friday's game. Thames turned that fastball around real quick though. Opposite field too.

Ross makes first start since April 2016

Welcome back to the big leagues, Tyson Ross . The former Padres ace made his first MLB start since Opening Day 2016 on Friday night. He missed just about the entire 2016 season with shoulder problems and eventually had surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome. Ross signed with the Rangers over the winter.

Friday night, Ross held the Mariners to two runs on two hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings, which is a very representative outing given everything he's been through. He struck out five and got six ground ball outs as well as six in the air.

The Rangers have had some serious problems with the back of their rotation this season. If Ross can regain something close to his 2013-15 form -- he had a 3.07 ERA with 526 strikeouts in 516 2/3 innings for San Diego those years -- he's going to be real nice addition to the rotation.

Texas, by the way, has now won six of their last seven games.

Harrison proves untaggable yet again

For all the attention Javier Baez gets for his acrobatic slides, Josh Harrison was the original superstar tag-avoider. He's been wiggling out of rundowns and whatnot since Baez was in Double-A.

Friday night Harrison eluded another tag, this one at first base, and he did it with Baez sitting in the other dugout. Check it out:

That man knows how to make 'em miss. It's not easy to make slides fun, but Harrison does it all the time.

Stammen goes behind-the-back

One of my favorite plays is the ol' behind-the-back grab by a pitcher. Catching a line drive behind the back is the ultimate. Snagging a hard-hit chopper is pretty cool too. Padres reliever Craig Stammen did exactly that Friday, and he managed to turn it into an out at the plate too. Here's the play:


Rizzo nearly hits another leadoff homer

Earlier this week, Cubs manager Joe Maddon shook up his scuffling lineup by batting slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo leadoff. The result? A leadoff homer Tuesday and the leadoff homer Wednesday. Two games at leadoff, two leadoff homers. It worked!

On Friday, Rizzo nearly made it 3-for-3 with leadoff homers. He clobbered a long fly ball down the right field line to start the game, and the ball was originally ruled a homer. It was later overturned by replay, however:

Maddon was ejected for arguing the call even after the replay. The home run was originally overturned by the umpires, who conferenced on the field. Eventually they went to the tape and confirmed the foul ball.

Maddon was ejected and Rizzo stayed in the game. He wound up drawing a walk to lead off the game.

'The Freeze' loses a race

The Freeze is undefeated no more. Friday night, a fan from the SunTrust Park crowd beat the racing grounds crew member with plenty of time to spare. Check it out:

This is the end of an era. A brief era, but an era nonetheless.

Quick hits

  • Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner will soon report to the team's spring training facility to continue his rehab, reports NBC Bay Area. Bumgarner has been out since suffering a shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident in April.
  • Tigers DH Victor Martinez has been placed on the 10-day DL with an irregular heartbeat. He was lifted for a pinch-runner Thursday and was hospitalized overnight. Martinez remained in the hospital Friday.
  • The Braves have signed first round pick RHP Kyle Wright, the team announced. He received a $7 million bonus, according to Fan Rag Sports, which is the largest bonus since the bonus pools were implemented in 2012. Wright was the fifth overall pick.
  • Athletics 1B Yonder Alonso is open to signing a long-term extension with the team, he told Fox Sports. He is due to become a free agent after the season. Alonso is hitting .306/.398/.645 with a career-high 17 home runs this year.
  • Cubs 2B Ben Zobrist was placed on the 10-day DL with wrist inflammation, the club announced. He originally hurt his wrist taking a swing way back on May 26. IF Tommy La Stella was called up to fill the roster spot.
  • Yankees 1B Greg Bird will see a specialist for his troublesome ankle, the Yankees announced. He has been out since early May with a bone bruise and recent halted a minor league rehab assignment with renewed soreness.
  • The Nationals have signed RHP Edwin Jackson to a minor league contract, reports the Washington Post. He allowed seven runs (four earned) in five innings with the Orioles earlier this season. Jackson spent the 2012 season with the Nationals.
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