It's a fine Sunday in Baseball Land, and that means two things: 

  1. We've got a full 15-game MLB slate. 
  2. The streets are awash in day baseball. 

We witnessed -- among many other things -- a youngster hit his first career homer while a veteran reached 400. We saw the Rays take three of four from the Red Sox, an early home run that peeved the pitcher stand up in a 1-0 rivalry-game result and a team hit four straight homers to break a tie in the eighth. And more! Let's get to it. 

Who wins every MLB game? And what underdogs can give you a huge victory tonight? Visit SportsLine now to see the exact score of every MLB game, plus get full player stat projections, all from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times.

Baseball scores for Sunday, June 9

Alvarez could be the Astros' missing piece

Astros power prospect Yordan Alvarez entered his age-22 season as a consensus top-50 overall prospect. Then he went out and rendered that an underestimation of his promise. In 56 games at the Triple-A level, Alvarez batted an absurd .343/.443/.742 with an even more absurd 23 home runs. That performance earned Alvarez a Sunday call-up in time to make his MLB debut against the Orioles. 

Here's what he did in the fourth inning at the expense of Dylan Bundy

That's a 413-foot homer that left the bat at 107.3 mph. The shot makes for a smashing MLB debut for Alvarez. More to come? Almost certainly. 

The Astros right now are playing at a 108-win pace, and they have a comfortable lead in the AL West. Necessarily, they don't have a lot of weaknesses. One of those, however, has been the DH spot. The overall DH numbers look strong for Houston, but that's because they've often cycled core hitters like Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Michael Brantley through the role. The default DH, Tyler White, has a meager OPS+ of 67 on the season. Alvarez isn't much of a fielder, and he was in the lineup at DH on Sunday (and batting fifth). His left-handed power could be just what Houston needs from the DH spot. 

As well, the Astros are pretty banged up at the moment, what with Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Aledmys Diaz all on the IL. Alvarez gives them some pop that's been absent in recent days. 

Now let's admire that swing one more time: 

Let's not forget that the Astros acquired Alvarez from the Dodgers back in August of 2016 in exchange for reliever Josh Fields.

Hendricks deals again as Cubs and Cardinals trade sweeps

The first time the Cubs hosted the Cardinals this season, they swept them. Last weekend, the Cardinals hosted the Cubs for a three-game series and paid them back with a sweep. This weekend, the Cubs swept the Cardinals in Wrigley Field again. Amazing. Three sweeps, all with the home team winning, in three series. 

Sunday night, Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks stayed in a groove that he's been in for quite a while this season, starting with him shutting out the Cardinals to start the sweep the first time they squared off. He pulled it off in 81 pitches, one might recall. 

This time around, Hendricks allowed only one run in seven innings and that run really wasn't on him. Kris Bryant fired a throw into the crowd on a Marcell Ozuna grounder and it was ruled a hit with Ozuna advancing to second on the bad throw. He would come around to score and it's entirely possible a good throw meant he never crossed home plate, even if he beat the throw. 

Hendricks is now 7-4 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP on the season, but he got off to a poor start. He had a 5.33 ERA in April. Since then? 

Yes, that's the stuff of a staff ace. The Cubs entered the week having lost eight of 10, but they went 6-1 on this homestand. 

The Cardinals entered the week looking like they had maybe gotten back on track, but they went 1-4. 

Let's enjoy Jimenez's easy power

White Sox rookie Eloy Jimenez entered Sunday's action with a slash line of .229/.279/.403 (82 OPS+). That's not what Jimenez and the Sox were hoping for, but debut struggles even for promising prospects like Jimenez aren't unusual. The Sox signed Jimenez to $43 million contract before he'd even played in an MLB game, and that's largely because of his tremendous power potential. 

Speaking of which, Jimenez showed off said tremendous power potential on Sunday against the Royals: 

Yep, 471 feet, which is the longest home run by a White Sox player since April of 2018, and it left the bat at 111.6 mph. What's more, it wasn't a particularly effortful or strained swing on the part of Jimenez. Easy power, like the headline says. 

That's the 22-year-old's seventh homer in 39 games this season. In the minors, Jimenez slugged .519 with 186 extra-base hits in 413 games, so the power -- both projectable and realized -- is legit. 

Take Jimenez's glimpses of promise like this, Yoan Moncada's breakout season, and Luis Robert's big year at Double-A, and it's been a mostly nifty season thus far when it comes to young White Sox hitters. 

Lowe powers Rays

The Rays came into Sunday's series finale in Boston looking to take three of four from the Sox and keep pace (or surpass) the Yankees in the AL East. While the 40-24 Rays are necessarily doing many things well, they're not really much of a power team. Coming into Sunday's game, they ranked just 10th in the AL with 81 home runs. 

One exception has been "sophomore" second baseman Brandon Lowe, who came into Sunday's tilt with 13.6 percent of his team's home runs. Then he did this: 

That now gives Lowe 13 homers for the season and the team lead in that very category. As well, the 24-year-old is now slashing .290/.343/.547 while hitting into only one double play. That's outstanding production for a player who also adds value with the glove at an up-the-middle position.

Highlight of the Day: Muncy admires blast; angers Mad Bum

The blood-rival Dodgers and Giants got together in Oracle Park on Sunday, and L.A. masher Max Muncy promptly ripped a homer into the Bay off Madison Bumgarner. As you're about to see, Muncy admired his work just a bit before flipping the bat. Subsequently, Bumgarner expressed some degree of displeasure, and Muncy gave it right back to him. Compelling color-television footage forthcoming: 

Not a cheap one! Mad Bum is famously an irascible sort, and he's no stranger to hostilities with hitters who linger in the box or what have you. Compounding his usual miseries, very likely, is that the Giants are not good and Bumgarner himself has not been up to his usual standards in 2019. For more, including Muncy's outstanding post-game quote on the matter, click here

Interestingly, that home run would be the only run scored in the game. Bumgarner buckled down while Walker Buehler (7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) as brilliant. The Dodgers are tied with the Astros for an MLB-best 45 wins. 

Nationals go back-to-back-to-back-to-back

The Nationals and Padres were tied, 1-1, entering the eighth inning on Sunday. Pinch hitter Howie Kendrick came to the plate against Padres reliever Craig Stammen and homered. He would be followed by Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon. Yes, four consecutive home runs. 

Stammen had only allowed three homers all year before this outing. That's gonna leave a mark. 

This is the second time the Nationals have hit four straight homers and it makes them the first team in MLB history to pull off the feat twice. They also did it July 27, 2017. 

That Nats salvage a split in San Diego and they've now won 11 of their last 15 games. 

400 for Edwin

Mariners first baseman Edwin Encarnacion clubbed a pair of homers in a Mariners win on Sunday. They were his 19th and 20th of the season, so he's far from washed up at age 36. The second one was the 400th of his excellent career. Here it is: 

Though the milestone isn't what it used to be, it's quite the feat to hit 400 homers in a career. Encarnacion becomes the 56th man to ever get there. He likely has a shot to get to 52nd this season. Here are the next ones up on the all-time list: 

51. Billy Williams, 426
52. Darrell Evans, 414
53. Alfonso Soriano, 412
54. Mark Teixeira, 409
55. Duke Snider, 407

Quick hits