MLB Sunday scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Ohtani pinch hit HR wins it for Angels

The penultimate Sunday of the 2018 first half features a full 15-game slate of baseball action. Also, the All-Star teams were named. Go check out the rosters if you desire. Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's MLB action:

Sunday's scores

OHTANI!

A Yasiel Puig three-run home run gave the Dodgers an early lead, but the Angels clawed back to tie things up with an Albert Pujols solo shot in the sixth. In the seventh, Angels manager Mike Scioscia pegged Shohei Ohtani to pinch hit for first baseman Jefry Marte. Good idea, Mike: 

A 443-foot shot. Mercy! Ohtani is now hitting .275/.354/.519 with seven homers and 21 RBI in 148 plate appearances this season. His status is in limbo due to his pitching arm's UCL tear (which generally requires Tommy John surgery), but he's still a sensation. 

The Angels take two of three from the Dodgers and sit now at 46-45. The Dodgers remain one game out in the NL West at 48-41. 

Scorching hot A's take series from Indians

Another win for the red hot Athletics. Brett Anderson returned from his shoulder injury Sunday and blanked the Indians across five innings to help the A's take two of three in Cleveland. Five different players drove in a run in the 6-0 win.

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Brett Anderson OAK • SP • 30
July 8 vs. Indians
IP5
H3
R0
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BB2
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Anderson's fastball averaged only 88.7 mph Sunday, so he compensated for the lack of velocity by mixing in a healthy dose of offspeed stuff. Among his 96 pitches were 31 sliders, 16 changeups, and 10 curveballs. So fewer than half his pitches were heaters. Hey, whatever works.

With the win the A's are now an MLB best 16-4 since June 15. The problem? They were only 34-36 before that, so the A's remain far back in the postseason race. They're 10 games back in the AL West and six games back of the second wild card spot. Hey, winning is fun though. Winning games is a heck of a lot better than losing games, that's for sure.

The Comeback Cubs do it again

When rookie David Bote drew a bases loaded walk in the 10th inning (walk-off walk; shrimp alert!), it meant that the Cubs have now won eight of their last nine games. That's quite a run, but get this: Each of those eight wins have been of the come-from-behind variety. Check it out: 

DateOpponentDeficit(s)Final score

June 28

Dodgers

3-1 through 4

11-5

June 29

Twins

3-0 mid-3; 5-2 mid-5

10-6

June 30

Twins

3-0 mid-3

14-9

July 1

Twins

1-0 mid-2

11-10

July 3

Tigers

3-0 mid-5

5-3

July 4

Tigers

2-1 mid-5

5-2

July 7

Reds

5-0 mid-4; 7-2 mid-6

8-7

July 8

Reds

4-3 mid-7

6-5

The offense has been relentless of late, particularly in the late innings. It's especially impressive because Kris Bryant is on the disabled list. 

The Cubs have the second-best record in the NL, trailing the Brewers by 1 1/2 games in the NL Central. Of course, they are tied in the loss column. The Cubs head west for a six-game trip to San Francisco and San Diego to close out the first half. 

Brewers crush Braves

The aforementioned Brewers have been able to keep the Cubs in their rear-view thanks to a 6-1 week at home. They also just took two of three from the Braves, who have now fallen from first place in the NL Central. 

Once again, Jesus Aguilar had a monster game to continue this monster season. He clubbed two homers and drove home four. 

Aguilar first got decent playing time last season, when in 311 plate appearances he hit .265/.331/.505 with 16 homers and 52 RBI. This year, through 280 plate appearances, he's hitting .306/.368/.633 with 22 homers and 63 RBI. He's a big reason the Brewers have been able to stay slightly ahead of the Cubs. 

Mariners halt Rockies' streak as LeBlanc stays unbeaten

The Rockies took a five-game winning streak into Seattle's Safeco Field, looking to sweep the Mariners. Instead, Seattle salvaged the series with a 6-4 victory. One of the best surprises of the season has been 33-year-old Mariners lefty Wade LeBlanc. He was actually cut by the Yankees in the spring and the Mariners picked him up three days later. He's now 5-0. Since moving into the rotation, he's made 13 starts and has pitched to a 3.15 ERA. He's one of the many reasons the Mariners have been the biggest AL story in the first half. 

Eovaldi flirts with perfect game

For the third time in eight starts since returning from his second career Tommy John surgery, Rays righty Nathan Eovaldi took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Sunday. He did a lot better than that, in fact. Eovaldi took a perfect game into the seventh before Brandon Nimmo broke it up with a solid single. Eovaldi finished with just that one hit allowed in seven innings.

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Nathan Eovaldi BOS • SP • 17
July 8 vs. Mets
IP7
H1
R0
ER0
BB0
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Eovaldi is now 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA and a stellar 44/6 K/BB in 48 1/3 innings this season. The Rays are better than pretty much everyone expected this year but they are still far out of the postseason race -- Tampa is 11 games back of the second wild card spot following Sunday's win -- and it stands to reason they'll deal Eovaldi at some point. Teams are already scouting him.

As for the Mets, they are now 15-28 with a minus-52 run differential at home this season. They are 0-7 in their last seven home series. Their last home series win came in mid May. Goodness.

Choo extends on-base streak

The longest on-base streak in Rangers history now belongs to Shin-Soo Choo. He extended his on-base streak to 47 games with an infield single Sunday afternoon, breaking Julio Franco's club record.

The 47-game on-base streak is easily the longest in baseball this season. Here are the four longest on-base streaks in 2018 this far:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers: 47 games and counting
  2. Odubel Herrera, Phillies: 40 games (March 30 to May 19)
  3. Jose Ramirez, Indians: 32 games (May 22 to June 25)
  4. Alex Bregman, Astros: 31 games (May 15 to June 20)

The last player with a 47-game on-base streak was (who else?) Joey Votto in 2015. You have to go back to Kevin Millar in 2007 for the last time a player had a 50-game on-base steak. Millar reached base in 52 straight for the Orioles that year.

Choo, who is hitting a robust .293/.399/.504 on the season, has a chance to reach the half-century mark this coming week.

Benintendi's on-base streak ends

Choo extended his on-base streak Sunday afternoon. Andrew Benintendi was able to extend his own on-base streak, at least before it ended. Wait, what?

Prior to his eighth inning strikeout Sunday Benintendi had reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances dating back to Friday night against the Royals. That's quite a run.

The on-base streak has Benintendi's batting line up to .293/.379/.515 on the season. 

Marlins punch Nats back

After losing for the 10th time in 12 games earlier this week, the Nationals held a team meeting. Coincidentally -- or perhaps not -- the Marlins came to town for a four-game series after that. Never a bad idea to hold a team meeting before a series with the team with the worst record in the league. Washington's veterans knew what they were doing.

The Nationals had won three straight since their conveniently timed team meeting. They came back from a 9-0 deficit on Thursday, hit a walk-off homer on Friday, and blew the Marlins out on Saturday. Mark Reynolds became the 15th player in history with a 10 RBI game on Saturday. That was some team meeting!

In the series finale Sunday, however, the Marlins punched back. They had apparently had enough. They pounded out a whopping 22 hits en route to the blowout victory. Trade candidate J.T. Realmuto was 5 for 6 with three RBI. Martin Prado was 4 for 6. It was such a hit parade the Marlins had 18 singles before their first extra-base hit. They'd end with 20 singles and two doubles. It was such a bloodbath the Nationals used Reynolds on the mound to get the last out.

Escobar's iron man streak ends

The longest active iron man streak in baseball came to an end Sunday. Royals shortstop turned utility man Alcides Escobar is out of the lineup for the first time since Sept. 25, 2015, the day after the club clinched the AL Central division title. That was one of those "everyone gets a rest since we clinched" days. Escobar's streak ends at 421 games.

Escobar's 421 games played streak is a far cry from Cal Ripken Jr.'s record 2,632 games played streak, but it is quite an accomplishment. It's so easy to get banged up in this game, especially as a middle infielder, yet Escobar has been able to make every start for over two years. Impressive.

Of course, the writing has been on the wall for Escobar for a while now. He is hitting a weak .194/.243/.272 on the season and has recently started games at third base and center field in deference to younger players. It felt like only a matter of time until he was out of the lineup entirely.

With Escobar's streak over, the longest active iron man streak in baseball belongs to Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis. He's started in 253 consecutive games dating back to Opening Day 2017.

Quick hits

  • In what amounts to a salary dump trade, the Giants sent OF Austin Jackson and RHP Cory Gearrin to the Rangers for cash or a player to be named later. Prospects OF Steven Duggar and RHP Raymond Black were called up to fill the roster spots.
  • The Brewers placed OF Ryan Braun on the 10-day DL with a right oblique strain, the team announced. It's unclear how long he'll be sidelined. OF Lorenzo Cain was activated off the disabled list to fill the roster spot. He'd been out with a groin issue.
  • 3B Kris Bryant (shoulder) and LHP Brian Duensing (shoulder) will begin minor league rehab assignments Monday, reports 670 The Score. Both players could return to the Cubs later this week as long as everything goes well during rehab games.
  • Indians LHP Andrew Miller threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Saturday, reports MLB.com. He'll throw another bullpen session Monday. Miller has been out since May 25 with a lingering right knee issue that dates to last season.
  • The Royals have moved struggling RHP Jason Hammel to the bullpen, reports MLB.com. Hammel got rocked for eight runs in two innings Friday. He has a 6.16 ERA in 102 1/3 innings this year. RHP Burch Smith will take his place in the rotation.

Live team updates

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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