MLB scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Wainwright dominates Dodgers, shaking up NL West and Wild Card

Sunday was chock full of action with lots of playoff implications. Let's jump in ... 

Sunday's scores

Red Sox 4, Mets 3 (box score)
Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2 (box score)
Orioles 8, White Sox 4 (box score)
Rays 5, Athletics 4 (box score)
Tigers 6, Indians 4 (box score)
Nationals 6, Braves 4 (box score)
Marlins 6, Phillies 4 (box score)
Astros 5, Diamondbacks 4 (box score)
Pirates 3, Brewers 2 (box score)
Twins 9, Royals 6 (box score)
Reds 2, Cubs 1 (box score)
Rockies 3, Giants 2 (box score)
Angels 4, Mariners 3 (box score)
Padres 7, Rangers 3 (box score)
Cardinals 5, Dodgers 0 (box score)

Vintage Wainwright shakes up two NL races

Thirty-seven-year-old Adam Wainwright took the ball for the Cardinals Sunday night with a 4.80 ERA since the start of 2016. He had only taken five starts this season, too, while he was set to face a hot Dodgers team. 

The line: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K

OK, so maybe "vintage" Wainwright wouldn't have walked three guys, but man, he looked like prime Wainwright several times throughout the night. He was making good hitters just look silly. 

The Dodgers losing to the Cardinals here is a big deal with just two weeks of season left, too. Hold that thought ...

Rockies ride pitching to win

It's no secret the Rockies don't hit well on the road. Generally speaking, most teams play better at home, but the extreme Coors Field has been shown to actually make hitters actively worse when they go on the road. Heading into Sunday, the Rockies were hitting .229/.296/.382 on the road and had been shutout in back-to-back games in AT&T Park. 

Sunday was only different due to the starting pitcher, really. The Rockies got three runs in the second inning. Two came on an Anthony Senzatela single and then the next was on a sac fly. They wouldn't score again, but it was enough, thanks to the Rockies' underrated pitching staff. Senzatela went five strong and the bullpen only gave up one run in four innings. 

Now, back to the Cardinals win over the Dodgers. These two results caused a ripple effect in two different races. Let's take a look at how things stand. 

NL West

  • Rockies, - 
  • Dodgers, 0.5 GB
  • Diamondbacks, 4.5

NL wild card

  • Brewers, +3
  • Cardinals, -
  • Dodgers, -
  • Diamondbacks, 4 GB
  • Phillies, 5 GB

We probably don't need the Phillies or even the D-Backs there with two weeks left. The point here is that heading into Sunday, the Dodgers had the NL West lead, the Rockies were the second wild card and the Cardinals were on the outside looking in. Everything was flipped on its head based upon two results and that's how awesome these two, intertwined, races are. 

Sale, deGrom square off

The Mets and Red Sox on Sunday concluded their interleague series in Fenway, and uber-aces Jacob deGrom and Chris Sale were on the mound. How rare is such a duel? Check this out: 

Yep, rare indeed. We knew, however, that it wasn't going to be a truly classic duel. That's because Sale, who recently returned from shoulder woes, was going to be quite limited in his workload, as the juggernaut Red Sox focus on getting and keeping him healthy for a deep playoff run. Even in limited action, though, Sale sparkled ...

With that effort, he lowered his ERA for the season down to 1.92, and he's also now got 222 strikeouts in 150 innings. 

As for deGrom, he struck out eight of the first 11 batters he faced but ran into some trouble in the third, as Brock Holt touched him for a homer (just the 10th home run deGrom has allowed this season):

Overall, though, deGrom had a strong day against one of MLB's best offenses ...

View Profile
Jacob deGrom NYM • SP • 48
vs. BOS, 9/16
IP7
H5
R3
SO12
BB1

That means deGrom hasn't allowed more than three runs in a start since his outing against the Marlins way back yonder on April 10. His ERA for the season now stands at 1.78, and he's struck out 251 batters in 202 innings. He's the leading candidate for the NL Cy Young award, and in a muddled year deGrom has a real shot at the MVP hardware. 

The Red Sox prevailed for win No. 103 on the year. It may have been costly, though, as AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts injured himself trying to throw out a runner at the plate in the sixth. The update ... 

Betts' status, suffice it to say, bears close monitoring. 

Brewers fail to make up ground on Cubs

The Cubs on Sunday fell to the Reds thanks in part to Luis Castillo, who worked 6 2/3 strong innings, and homers from Scott Schebler and Phil Ervin. That means the Brewers, just up I-94, had a chance to make up ground in the NL Central. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, Trevor Williams worked six scoreless and Corey Dickerson gathered three hits. In the end, a ninth-inning rally came up just short, and the Brewers dropped the key rubber match against Pittsburgh. That means the Brewers remain 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs. There's still time to make up that ground, but the Brewers have no more head-to-head games remaining against Chicago left in the regular season. Sunday was an opportunity missed. 

Mejia's walk-off slam

The Padres entered the ninth down a run, but were able to tie it up and then big-time catching prospect Francisco Mejia came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. They only needed one run, but he went nuts anyway: 

A walk-off slam! 

The Padres have several reasons for future optimism and Mejia is defintely one of them. 

'Cutch stays hot for Yanks

Veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen got off to a slow start after the Yankees acquired him just prior to the Aug. 31 waiver-period deadline, but the weekend series in Toronto has been a coming out party of sorts for the former NL MVP. He's been exceptionally patient on the Yankees' watch, which is mostly why he boasted a nifty .383 OBP as a Yank coming into the weekend. However, he hadn't done much else at the plate. 

Against the Jays, though, McCutchen went 4 for 8 with a pair of walks in the first two games of the series. Then on Sunday he did this:

Coming into this season, McCutchen boasted a strong slash line of .220/.421/.463 (138 OPS+) as a Yankee, and this blast will of course bump those numbers up even more. Counting his work with the Giants in 2018, that's McCutchen's 19th home run of the season. It's also his second in the last three days. Even after Aaron Judge returns to full action, 'Cutch could continue to be a valuable part of the Yankee roster. 

In this one, though, McCutchen's efforts weren't enough, and the Yankees lost the rubber match of the series.

Rays keep winning

Tampa Bay held off a ninth-inning A's rally and pushed its record to a season-best 16 games over .500. Thanks to the strength at the top of the AL, they have little chance at the playoffs (the Rays are now six games behind Oakland for the second wild-card spot), but Kevin Cash's squad is an impressive 28-13 since the start of August. They've also now ensured their first winning season since 2013.

As for the A's, the consolation is that Khris Davis cracked his 43rd home run of the season to extend his MLB lead in the category. 

Diamondbacks lose again

Make that a 4-11 record in September for Arizona. They were in first place when the month began and now it's becoming increasingly unlikely they make the playoffs. 

Palka makes a little White Sox history

Twenty-six-year-old journeyman rookie Daniel Palka has been a bit of a pleasant surprise for the White Sox this season. Coming into Sunday, he boasted a 108 OPS+ for the season with 22 home runs in 110 games. Then came homer No. 23. Homer No. 23 on the season not only makes Palka the team leader in that category (despite his not being called up until late April), but also means this:

It remains to be seen whether Palka will be an integral part of the Sox's rebuild, but it's been a fine rookie season no matter what the future holds.

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CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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