MLB scores: Yankees top Red Sox ahead of season series finale; Cardinals' Jack Flaherty continues Cy Young push

The fourth-to-last Sunday of the 2019 regular season brings us a full 15-game slate of big league action. Games with postseason implications will be played in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Queens. Here's what you need to know about Sunday's MLB action.

Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

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Baseball scores for Sunday, Sept. 8


Yankees pull ahead in final series vs. Red Sox

The Yankees and Red Sox are playing a four-game set to conclude their season series. On Sunday, the two sides played Game 3. After splitting the first two contests, the Yankees have now pulled ahead in the series by a 2-1 edge.

The Yankees were paced on Sunday night by the long ball. Aaron Judge hit his 21st of the season; Gleyber Torres provided his 35th; and Mike Tauchman hit his 13th. Collectively, that trio drove in eight of New York's 10 runs on the night.

On the Boston side of things, the night was highlighted by Rick Porcello having another poor outing. He's a free agent after this season, and it seems more certain by the start that he's likely entering his final days in a Red Sox uniform. Porcello's seasonal ERA is now 5.83.

The two sides will meet for the last time in 2019 on Monday. 

Flaherty continues Cy Young push 

No pitcher in baseball is as hot as Cardinals righty Jack Flaherty. Flaherty went into Sunday's start against the Pirates with a 0.90 ERA in his last 11 starts and 70 1/3 innings. He then fired eight shutout innings in Pittsburgh.

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Jack Flaherty STL • SP • 22
Sept. 8 vs. Pirates
IP8
H5
R0
BB1
K10

Flaherty now has a 0.80 ERA in his last 12 starts -- that is seven earned runs (and only one unearned run) in 78 1/3 innings -- and a 2.99 ERA on the season overall, the eighth lowest in baseball. A few years ago Jake Arrieta rode a historically great second half to a Cy Young award. Check out Flaherty:


IP ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9

Arrieta, 2015 second half

107 1/3

0.75

0.73

9.5

1.9

0.2

Flaherty, 2019 second half

71 1/3

0.76

0.76

11.2

2.1

0.4

Arrieta has big edge in innings pitched -- Flaherty has 3-4 starts remaining depending how St. Louis uses their off-days to line up their rotation -- but Flaherty is right there with him on the rate stats. If nothing else, it speaks to how good the 23-year-old right-hander has been these last few months. 

With Hyun-Jin Ryu fading and Max Scherzer dealing with a nagging back issue, the NL Cy Young race is wide open at the moment. Flaherty has done more than pitch his way into the conversation. He's a legitimate candidate for the award.

Astros dominate Mariners again

The Astros-Mariners season series has been decidedly one-sided this year. Going into Sunday's series finale in Houston, the Astros were 15-1 against the Mariners this season, including a perfect 9-0 at Minute Maid Park. 

It did not take the 'Stros long to assert their dominance again Sunday. A Dee Gordon error led to a four-run second inning, then, in the third, the Astros pummeled Felix Hernandez and reliever Erik Swanson for nine runs on eight hits, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch. George Springer's three-run homer officially turned it into a laugher.

The nine-run third inning is Houston's highest scoring inning this year. Their previous high was seven runs done several times. As for the Mariners, the nine-run second inning is their worst inning of the season. They'd previously allowed as many as eight runs in an inning. In fact, Seattle hadn't allowed nine runs in an inning since 2017.

The 16 wins against the Mariners this season are the most the Astros have ever had against any opponent in a single season. Their previous best was 15 wins against the Giants back in 1985, when Houston called the National League home.

As for the Mariners, they are now 45-84 since their 13-2 start. They have already been eliminated from postseason contention, extending the longest playoff drought in North American sports. The Mariners must win five of their final 18 games to avoid the fifth 100-loss season in franchise history.

Lorenzen walks off vs. D-Backs

Turns out all it took to slow down the red-hot Diamondbacks was a pitcher hitting. Reds reliever-slash-center fielder Michael Lorenzen snapped Arizona's five-game winning streak Sunday afternoon with a walk-off double to left field. Check it out:

Lorenzen is now 7 for 21 (.333) with 5 RBI this season. He also has 3.13 ERA in 74 2/3 innings. Lorenzen did not pitch in Sunday's game -- he pinch-hit for Josh VanMeter against a lefty and provided the game-winning hit. How about that? Lorenzen is the first pitcher with a walk-off hit since Randy Keisler stroked a walk-off single for the Reds against the Nationals in 2005.

The D-Backs went into Sunday's game having won 11 of their last 12 games. They had a lead in the eighth inning Sunday as well, but Eugenio Suarez crushed a game-tying homer (more on him in a bit), then Lorenzen put them away in the ninth. Arizona remains 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the second wild-card spot.

Suarez swats two more homers

Aristides Aquino is not the only Reds slugger on a home run binge. All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suarez came into the day with eight home runs in his last 13 games. In his second at-bat Sunday, he made it nine homers in 14 games. Suarez smashed a two-run shot against former Red Mike Leake. In his fourth at-bat, he added another homer, this one a game-tying solo shot.

Billed as a good defensive shortstop with questionable power potential during his prospect days, Suarez is now a brute masher at third base. Sunday's home runs were his 43rd and 44th on the season. Check out his year-to-year homer progression since joining Cincinnati in 2015: 13, 21, 26, 34, 44 and counting. Suarez turned only 28 in July. There might be even more power coming.

As Matt Snyder explains, the aggressive offseason hasn't really worked out for the Reds in 2019, but they are set up to contend next year. The club has a strong offensive core (led by Suarez) and a sneaky good rotation featuring Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Trevor Bauer. The Reds could be a real headache for NL Central rivals in 2020.

Glasnow uneven in return to Rays

After four months on the injured list with a forearm issue, righty Tyler Glasnow returned to the Rays on Sunday, and he was electric in the first inning. Three up, three down, three strikeouts, three fastballs clocked at 100 mph.

The second inning do not go that well. Glasnow walked two and served up a two-run home run to Randal Grichuk. He finished with five strikeouts in two innings and stretched his pitch count to 41 after topping out at 33 during his minor-league rehab assignment.

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Tyler Glasnow TB • SP • 20
Sept. 8 vs. Blue Jays
IP2
H1
R2
ER2
BB2
K5
HR1

Because the season is nearly over, the Rays are bringing Glasnow back as an opener and possible late-inning reliever rather than spend all that time stretching him out to start. With Blake Snell (elbow) and Yonny Chirinos (finger) still sidelined, anything Glasnow gives them is a plus given the tight wild-card race.

Stat of the Day: Cole strikes out 14 ... again

For the third consecutive start, Astros righty (and Cy Young favorite?) Gerrit Cole struck out 14 batters Sunday. He actually struck out 15. That's after striking out 14 Rays on Aug. 28 and 14 Brewers on Sept. 2. Sunday was his fourth 14-strikeout game in 2019.

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Gerrit Cole HOU • SP • 45
Sept. 8 vs. Mariners
IP8
H1
R1
ER1
BB0
K15
HR1

The only hit Cole (and the Astros) allowed Sunday was a Shed Long solo home run. Anyway, with this start, Cole became only the second pitcher in baseball history to strike out at least 14 batters in three consecutive games:

  • Pedro Martinez (Sept. 4-15, 1999): 15 K, 17 K, 14 K
  • Gerrit Cole (Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, 2019): 14 K, 14 K, 15 K

Only 10 other pitchers in history have struck out at least 14 batters in two consecutive starts. Red Sox ace Chris Sale did it earlier this year. Hall of Famer Randy Johnson did it on four separate occasions.

Highlight of the Day: Hultzen makes MLB debut

At long last, Danny Hultzen is a big leaguer. The Mariners made the Hultzen the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft, but shoulder problems (including multiple surgeries) derailed his career. Hultzen hooked on with the Cubs last season and, earlier this week, they called him up to the big leagues.

Hultzen, now 29, made his MLB debut Sunday and struck out three batters in a scoreless inning. Statcast says his fastball topped out at 94.5 mph, which is great velocity considering all the shoulder problems. Check it out:

Hultzen fanned 23 in 14 1/3 innings in Triple-A this season, so strikeouts are his thing. And now that he's a big leaguer, the first 29 picks -- 29 picks! -- in the 2011 draft have played in MLB. That 2011 draft was absurdly stacked. Hultzen is no longer the big bust in the first round. He's officially a big league ballplayer.


Quick hits

  • The Yankees are not planning to call up top pitching prospect RHP Deivi Garcia this month, reports The Athletic. Garcia moved to the bullpen in Triple-A in preparation for a call-up, but he struggled, so the team will hold off on a promotion.
  • Nationals C Kurt Suzuki went for an MRI after feeling "zings and tingling" in his throwing elbow, reports the Washington Post. The MRI results are not yet available. Suzuki will rest a few days before trying to throw later this coming week.
  • The Yankees activated 3B Gio Urshela off the 10-day injured list, the team announced. He missed the minimum 10 days with a groin injury. The Yankees also activated IF Thairo Estrada, and called up C Kyle Higashioka and IF Breyvic Valera.
  • Brewers 2B Keston Hiura (hamstring) did some light running Sunday, reports MLB.com. Also, RHP Brandon Woodruff (oblique) threw a two-inning bullpen session. Hiura and Woodruff are expected back for the final two weeks of the regular season.
  • Rays RHP Yonny Chirinos threw another bullpen session Sunday, reports MLB.com. He will face hitters soon and could pitch in a minor-league game after that, then rejoin the team later this month. Chirinos has been out with a finger issue.
  • The Twins acquired OF Ryan LaMarre from the Braves for cash and added him to their active roster, the club announced. LaMarre is not eligible for Minnesota's postseason roster because he was not in the organization prior to Sept. 1.
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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