MLB Sunday scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Shohei Ohtani snaps Angels' losing skid

Sunday means a full slate of baseball, with all the day-game action you can shake a stick at it. Keep it here for scores, news, and more.

Sunday's baseball scores

Ohtani snaps Angels' skid

On Sunday it fell to two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani to help end the Angels' five-game losing streak. Against a Rays offense that ranks a respectable sixth in the AL in OPS, Ohtani twirled a bit of a gem:

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Shohei Ohtani LAA • DH • 17
vs. TB, 5/20
IP7 2/3
H6
R2
SO9
BB1
Pitches 110
Strikes68

And now for the color-television footage of his afternoon on the mound: 

As a pitcher this season, Ohtani he worked to a 3.35 ERA in 40 1/3 innings with 52 strikeouts, 14 walks, and no unearned runs allowed. While he didn't come to the plate on Sunday, he also owns a slash line of .321/.367/.619 (166 OPS+) with six home runs in 84 at-bats while DHing between starts. He's also yet to hit into a double play. 

The volume isn't there to put him on the level of teammate Mike Trout or Mookie Betts when it comes to overall value, but on a rate basis Ohtani's been one of the top performers in all of baseball this season. 

As for the Rays, they saw their six-game win streak come to an end with this loss. 

Houston on target for history

In winning their rubber match against the Indians on Sunday night, the Astros limited Cleveland to a single run (starter Lance McCullers worked seven scoreless and allowed only one hit). Such a paltry tally for the opposition is of course nothing new for the reigning champs this season. 

Read more here about the Astros' historic pace when it comes to preventing runs

Haniger, M's stun Tigers

Have a day, Mitch Haniger. Haniger first did some work when he ended Francisco Liriano's no-hit bid with one out in the seventh. Then Haniger came up again in the bottom of the ninth. Here's what he did versus Shane Greene with one out and one on and the Mariners down 2-0:

That's a 415-foot blast, that's a tie game, and that's Greene's third blown save of the season. That brings us to the 11th, when Jean Segura answered the call for the hosts after a Dee Gordon single and steal: 

With that Seattle is eight games over .500 for the first time since late in the 2016 season. This particular outcome also means that the AL Central is now 45 games under .500 against teams from outside the division. 

Braves notch impressive come-from-behind win

The Braves will have first place all to their own for at least another day thanks to an impressive ninth-inning rally against the Marlins.

The Braves entered the bottom of the ninth down 9-4. Yet Atlanta chipped away at the deficit -- that despite Dansby Swanson beginning the half-inning with a strikeout. Ryan Flaherty walked, and later advanced to third on an Ozzie Albies single. Following a sacrifice fly, it appeared the Braves would lose by a 9-5 final.

But nope, that's not how it worked out. Instead, Freddie Freeman reached on an infield single that scored a run. Nick Markakis then hit a single of his own, plating Freeman to make it 9-7. (Freeman had advanced on defensive indifference.) The Marlins then went to the bullpen, bringing in Tayron Guerrero to replace Brad Ziegler. Didn't matter. Tyler Flowers walked before Kurt Suzuki made it a one-run game with a single of his own.

Following a Johan Camargo walk, it was all about to Swanson, who, again, had started off the bottom of the ninth with a K. This time he delivered with a single, driving in the tying and winning runs and capping a miserable day for the Fish. 

The Braves are now 28-17 on the season. 

Yankees' Gray thrives after making adjustments

Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray came into his Sunday start against the Royals with a 6.39 ERA for the season and 24 walks -- all unintentional -- in 38 innings. Gray's last start came on May 11, and he used the lengthy layoff to make some mechanical tweaks. Those appeared to pay off in K.C. on Sunday:  

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Sonny Gray NYY • SP • 55
vs. KAN, 5/20
IP8
H4
R1
SO5
BB1
Pitches92
Strikes62

That's the first time Gray has lasted eight innings since Sept. 12 of last year, and it's the first time he's thrown 62 strikes in a game since Sept. 1 of last year. The Yankees do have some concerns when it comes to rotation depth, and a return to form for Gray would directly address that potential weakness. Consider this a positive first step. 

Dodgers sweep Nats

Events in D.C. reminded us yet again that baseball is weird. Not so long ago, the Dodgers lost six in a row to the lowly likes of the Reds and Marlins. The Nationals, meantime, appeared to have emerged from their early-season funk by sweeping four from the D-Backs on the road. Well, those trends reversed this weekend as the Dodgers on Sunday completed a three-game road sweep of the Nats despite facing Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg along the way. 

In Sunday's win, the Dodger power bats did much of the talking, including this blast from Yasiel Puig:  

The Dodgers have now won five of six from the Nats this season. 

With both of these teams, injuries have been the story. Things didn't get any better on the front. On Sunday, Alex Wood left his start just prior to the start of the seventh with some sort of lower-body issue. Meantime, the Nationals placed reliever Ryan Madson on the DL with a sore pectoral muscle. 

Martinez ties Betts for HR lead, makes history

J.D. Martinez entered Sunday two home runs behind teammate Mookie Betts for the most home runs in the game. That changed in a hurry, as Martinez teed off twice against the Orioles, pulling him into a tie for first place with Betts.

Here's a look at both dingers:

For those wondering, this is apparently the first time the Red Sox have ever had two batters hit at least 15 homers within the team's first 50 games:

Hicks throws hardest pitches of 2018

The Cardinals smothered the Phillies on Sunday thanks mostly to rookie Jack Flaherty's 13 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. However, a different Cardinal rookie right-hander pilfered some of Flaherty's bandwidth thanks to his ninth-inning encounter with Odubel Herrera. We speak of 21-year-old Jordan Hicks, who's supplanted Aroldis Chapman as the hardest thrower in the game today. 

On Sunday against Herrera, though, Hicks leveled up even by his own standards: 

Yes, young Mr. Hicks is now a peer of not just Aroldis Chapman, but also peak Aroldis Chapman, who registered 105 back in 2008. Those are two are the lone members of the 105-mph club. Now for the moving pictures:

No, the command wasn't quite there, but sometimes forces of nature are not tidy and perfect. Read more about Hicks' unique pitching profile here

Diamondbacks continue descent, are swept by Mets

Earlier in the week, the Diamondbacks snapped a six-game losing streak by edging the Brewers and winning a one-run ballgame. That victory didn't seem to sit too well with Arizona, because they've followed it up by losing four in a row, including all three of their games against the Mets.

Despite a decent enough outing from the returning Clay Buchholz (see below), the Diamondbacks were able to muster just one run against Noah Syndergaard and crew. Scoring runs has proven to be a problem for Arizona all season long, and especially as of late. Here's a look at their run totals over their last 11 games -- or since the downfall started: 3 (loss); 1 (loss); 1 (loss); 1 (loss); 4 (loss): 2 (loss); 2 (win); 2 (loss); 1 (loss); 4 (loss); 1 (loss).

That's 11 games and eight instances where they scored two runs or fewer. That's not going to get it done, no matter how well the pitching staff fares.

Darvish stymies Reds

Yu Darvish's Cubs career hasn't went well so far, but on Sunday he showed why there's still reason for optimism by shutting down the Reds.

Darvish notched his third quality start of the season, holding Cincinnati to one run on two hits and three walks across six innings. He struck out seven, but better yet he notched a season-high 17 whiffs, per Statcast. Of those 17, 11 came on his fastball. Five others were on his slider or cutter.

Darvish's outing pushed his seasonal ERA below 5.00 for the first time this season.

Buchholz solid in return to majors

Clay Buchholz had not appeared in a big-league game since April 11, 2017. That changed on Sunday, when he started for the Diamondbacks against the Mets.

Buchholz threw 61 pitches across five innings, permitting two hits and a walk while striking out two and holding the Mets to a run. He generated six swings-and-misses on the afternoon, with four of those coming on his changeup.

Consider the outing a success for Buchholz, who figures to get a second start. That's more than both Kris Medlen and Troy Scribner could say in their auditions to replace Robbie Ray in the D-Backs rotation. 

Mengden, A's keep rolling

Earlier in the week, we covered why Daniel Mengden is worth watching.  The A's righty proved that sentiment correct on Sunday, as he shut down the Blue Jays.

Though Mengden struck out just two batters, he pushed his streak of allowing two runs or fewer to four consecutive outings by tossing seven shutout frames. 

The A's have now won four in a row, and six of their last seven. Those stretches have pulled the A's to within four games of first place in the AL West. The A's could will move into a tie for third place with an Angels loss.

Quick hits

  • The Nationals promoted OF Juan Soto following Howie Kendrick's season-ending Achilles injury.
  • The Braves released 3B Jose Bautista.
  • The Yankees have optioned OF Clint Frazier back to Triple-A.
  • The Indians have added OF Melky Cabrera to the active roster.

Live team updates

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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