Monday MLB scores, highlights, updates, news: Pirates start big week off with victory

Two weeks until the trade deadline with lots of teams still within striking distance of a playoff spot. It's time for trade rumors while many of the games continue to determine who will buy and who will sell. Let's get to our daily roundup. 

Monday's games

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

Big week for Pirates begins with a win

Given where the Pirates sit in the standings -- they came into Monday seven games back of the Brewers in the NL Central -- this sure feels like their most week of the season to date. They're getting Starling Marte back from his PED suspension Tuesday and they'll play four games against the first place Brewers, so this is a chance to make up a lot of ground in a short period of time.

Thanks largely to Gregory Polanco , the Pirates started the week with a victory against Milwaukee on Monday night. Polanco doubled in Pittsburgh's first run of the game and also drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the sixth inning. He went 4 for 4 in the game overall.

The Pirates have a very long way to go to get back in the division race -- and the wild-card race for that matter -- but Monday was a good start. Marte will be back Tuesday and they can go from there.

Rays continue to creep up standings

Very quietly, the Rays have been one of the hottest teams in baseball during the past month. They beat the Athletics in their series opener Monday to improve to 21-13 in their past 34 games. That is the best record in the AL during that time and the second best record in baseball, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers , who are an insane 29-4.

On Monday night, the Rays were led by, of course, their starting pitcher. Jake Odorizzi held the Rays to one hit in seven innings en route to the victory.

The Rays are now only two games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, and they have a 1½-game lead on the Yankees for the top wild-card spot. They're two games up on the Twins, the first team on the outside of the postseason picture looking in.

Keep in mind: Tampa Bay still has nine games remaining with the Red Sox this year. There is plenty of time to make up that two-game deficit in the division.

Zimmerman sets franchise record

In the first inning of the lone day game, Nationals star Bryce Harper hit a three-run home run. Before the dust had even settled, Ryan Zimmerman followed with this shot of his own: 

Now, remember that the Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos. It's the same franchise -- even though I'm certain many Expos and Nationals fans don't like the association -- so here's the new franchise career home run leaderboard: 

  1. Ryan Zimmerman, 235
  2. Vladimir Guerrero , 234
  3. Andre Dawson, 225
  4. Gary Carter, 220
  5. Tim Wallach, 204

For those curious, the above referenced home run by Harper was his 144th. He sits in sixth. 

Zimmerman is a Nationals lifer. He was their first-round pick in 2005, which was the first year since the name and city change. He joined the team later that year and has been with them ever since and he's signed through 2019 with a club option for 2020 when he'll be 35 years old. In so many ways, this guy is the Washington Nationals, so kudos to him for grabbing the franchise record in homers on Monday. 

Giants' sellout streak ends

The longest sellout streak in NL history is over. The Giants announced Monday's attendance at AT&T Park at 39,538, roughly 2,400 short of a sellout at the 41,915-seat AT&T Park. Their sellout streak dates back to October 1, 2010, and totaled 530 games. Here are the longest sellout streaks in baseball history:

  1. Red Sox: 794 games from 2003-13
  2. Giants: 530 games from 2010-17
  3. Indians: 455 games from 1995-2001

Following Monday's loss, the Giants have the second worst record in baseball at 35-59.

Judge shows off his arm

Yankees rookie Aaron Judge is getting plenty of attention for his MLB leading 30 home runs and understandably so. He's much more than a one-dimensional slugger, however. Judge saved a run with a great throw Monday night. Check this out:

It looks like Judge put maybe 50 percent effort into that throw. Maybe 60 percent. It definitely wasn't a full effort throw with a crow hop and all that. Here's the velocity:

Judge currently ranks third among all right fielders with plus-7 defensive runs saved behind Mookie Betts (plus-23) and Jason Heyward (plus-10).

Stanton crushes home run off the scoreboard

Giancarlo Stanton had a big night against the Phillies. He smacked two home runs, the first of which clanked off the scoreboard in left field. Here's the video:

You may remember Stanton broke a section of that scoreboard years ago, when Marlins Park first opened. Here's the Statcast data on his two home runs:

That's 441 feet and 115 mph off the bat. That scoreboard shot was no cheapie.

Stanton crushed another ball later in the game as well, though that one left fielder Cameron Perkins jumped and caught at the wall. He jumped, caught it, and crashed into Odubell Herrera.

No, that wouldn't have been Stanton's third home run of the night, but he did give it a ride. 

Home plate collision in Pittsburgh

We had a rare home plate collision Monday night at PNC Park. Pirates pitcher (!) Chad Kuhl ran over Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt on a play at the plate. Here's the play:

Ouch. That did not look good for either player. They crashed up high and Vogt's left leg bent back a bit as well. He had to leave the game but was able to walk off the field under his own power.

Home plate collisions have largely been banned in baseball, though the runner can plow into the catcher if he has the baseball and blocks the plate. The Kuhl-Vogt collision was borderline. Vogt clearly had the baseball, but did he have enough time to set up and block the plate?

DeJong continues to torture Mets

Up until about two weeks ago, I'm guessing most Mets fans had never heard of Cardinals rookie shortstop Paul DeJong . Now they can't wait to never hear about him again. DeJong has tortured the Mets this month. Before the All-Star break he went 9 for 12 with four doubles and three home runs during a three-game series against the Mets at Busch Stadium. He crushed them.

This week the Cardinals are in New York and of course DeJong hit a home run Monday, his 10th of the season and fourth against the Mets. Here's video of the home run. Overall, DeJong is now hitting a healthy .299/.315/.583 this season. That's broken down into .588/.588/1.529 in four games against the Mets and .260/.280/.457 in 36 games against everyone else.

Quick hits

  • The Nationals are still looking at relievers in the trade market. The Rays are also looking at relievers, probably with an eye on lefties.
  • The Yankees confirmed the initial diagnosis on RHP  Michael Pineda . He'll have Tommy John surgery Tuesday. Also, 1B Greg Bird will have ankle surgery. He could return in September.
  • The Braves activated UTIL  Sean Rodriguez and UTIL  Danny Santana from the DL, sending down IF  Jace Peterson and RHP  Jason Hursh
  • OF  Jorge Soler was sent back to Triple-A by the Royals, with OF  Billy Burns coming up to take his spot. 
  • Tigers OF J.D. Martinez was removed from Monday's game with back tightness, the team announced. It was precautionary.
  • The Marlins placed trade candidate 3B Martin Prado on the 10-day DL with a knee sprain, the club announced.
  • Astros SS Carlos Correa exited Monday's game with a jammed thumb, the club announced. He hurt himself taking a swing somehow.
CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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