MLB scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Dodgers blow out Rockies and move into first place in NL West

We're exactly two weeks away from the end of the 2018 MLB season. Here's everything you need to know about Monday's MLB action.

Monday's scores

Dodgers blow out Rockies in first game of NL West battle

Arguably the most important series of the 2018 season is taking place at Dodger Stadium this week as the Dodgers host the Rockies for three games. Going into the series, the Rockies were a half-game up on the Dodgers in the NL West. Here's what's on the line this week:

Following Monday's series-opener, the first place Rockies are now the second place Rockies. The Dodgers put a hurtin' on Jon Gray and blew Colorado out in the first game of this all-important series. Now it is Los Angeles with a half-game lead.

The star Monday night? Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu. He tossed seven scoreless innings to earn his fifth win and lower his season ERA to 2.18. Joc Pederson was the hero at the plate, clubbing two home runs and driving in three runs from the leadoff spot. He also made a fantastic running catch in left field and fist-bumped a fan. Check it out:

Not only did the Rockies lose Monday's game, they also lost shortstop and NL MVP candidate Trevor Story to an injury. He exited the game in the middle of an at-bat with what preliminary reports identified as a hand or wrist injury. Replays showed him grimacing in the field after making a defensive play earlier in the game. Not a good night for the Rockies.

This all-important three-game series will continue Tuesday night with a top notch pitching matchup: Clayton Kershaw vs. Kyle Freeland.

Orioles tie franchise record for losses

History was made Monday night in Baltimore, and not the good kind. With their loss to the Blue Jays, the Orioles tied their franchise record with 107 losses. The 1988 team went 54-107. The 2018 team is 43-107 with 12 (!) games still to play. 

Here are the worst records in Orioles history:

  1. 2018: 43-107 (.287 with 12 games to play)
  2. 1988: 54-107 (.335)
  3. 1954: 54-100 (.351)
  4. 2001: 63-98 (.391)
  5. 2009: 64-98 (.395)

The St. Louis Browns, the franchise that eventually became the Orioles in 1954, had a 111-loss season in 1939 and a 108-loss season in 1937. Also, the O's reached another milestone for futility Monday:

The 2018 Orioles have to go 5-7 the rest of the way to avoid becoming the sixth 115-loss team in baseball history. Possible? Sure. Unlikely? Seems so.

Yelich strengthens MVP case

The NL MVP race seems to be wild open right now, but Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich sure is making a strong push for the award in the second half. Yelich collected his second cycle of the 2018 season -- his second cycle in 20 days, to be more precise. He's the fifth player in history with multiple cycles in a single season.

Here are Yelich's four hits Monday night. The home run was his 31st of the season.

Yelich has 20 home runs since the All-Star break, one fewer than his previous career-high for a full season (21 in 2016). Only Athletics slugger Khris Davis has more home runs in the second half (22).

Coming into Monday, Yelich ranked second in the NL in batting average (.313), ninth in on-base percentage (.381), third in slugging percentage (.556), second in OPS (.937), fourth in OPS+ (146), fifth in total bases (295), and fifth in WAR (5.3). He has been everything the Brewers could've possibly wanted when they acquired him from the Marlins last offseason.

Wheeler wins in possible final start

If Monday night was Zack Wheeler's final start of the 2018 season, he went out with a win. Wheeler did not dominate in the Mets' over over the Phillies, but he did complete seven innings, and improve to 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA.

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Wheeler has thrown a 187 1/3 innings, two more than his previous career high in 2014. That was the season before he needed Tommy John surgery. Wheeler blew out his elbow the following spring and missed all of 2015 and most of 2016 while rehabbing and dealing with subsequent complications.

This season's innings total is 101 innings higher than last season's (86 1/3 innings), and, because of that, the Mets have discussed shutting Wheeler down.

Even with Monday's win, the Mets were mathematically eliminated from the postseason when the Cardinals beat the Braves, so there's no reason to continue pushing Wheeler. Not after all those injuries. He has had a great year and stayed healthy. Skip his final two starts and let him get ready for 2019.

Robles hits first MLB home run

One of the top prospects in baseball is into the home run column. Nationals center fielder Victor Robles clobbered his first career home run, and my goodness, it was a bomb. Check it out:

MLB.com currently ranks Robles as the fifth-best prospect in baseball and says he has "the upside of a perennial All-Star and possibly an MVP candidate." Not much has gone right so far this season for the Nationals. If nothing else, at least they have Robles and Juan Soto to build around going forward.

NL clinches interleague season series

For the first time in 15 years, the National League has won the interleague season series against the American League. The Pirates clinched the season series for the NL with Monday's win over the Royals.

Here are the five times the NL has won the interleague season series:

  • 2018: 151-139 (.521 with 11 games to play)
  • 2003: 137-115 (.544)
  • 2002: 129-123 (.512)
  • 1999: 135-116 (.538)
  • 1997: 117-97 (.547)

Since interleague play began in 1997, the AL leads the all-time series 3,029-2,724 (.526). It's going to take the NL a few years to catch up. Snapping the 14-season season series losing streak this year was step one in that process.

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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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