MLB Thursday scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Red Sox slip by Mariners in classic duel

Thursday's are typically travel and/or rest days in baseball and, as a result, there were only nine games on the schedule. Still, there was good action. Let's get to it.

Thursday's scores

Marquee battle in Safeco

Heading into Thursday, the Red Sox and Mariners held the second and third best records in baseball, respectively, and it just so happened they were set to square off. What's more, the pitching matchup jumped out due to name recognition. Sure, David Price and Felix Hernandez might not be what they were a few years ago, but they ended up partying like it was 2010 (when the Cy Young voting went Felix 1, Price 2). 

Price would end up getting the better of Hernandez here by the slightest of margins. The lines: 

Felix: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Price: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

Price did get some good fortune in the bottom of the sixth inning when facing some serious trouble. Dee Gordon was on first with Jean Segura up, Mitch Haniger on deck (followed by Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager) and nobody out. Gordon broke on the pitch and this happened: 

In addition to the Red Sox's good fortunes, that was an excellent play with great field awareness from Xander Bogaerts. He had himself a day overall, too, as he also hit the go-ahead home run in the top half of that inning. 

Back to Price, though. He's actually been pitching very well for just over a month. In his last seven starts, Price is now 6-0 with a 2.38 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 47 strikeouts against 14 walks in 45 1/3 innings. He appears to finally be 100 percent and his old self. 

Game 2 of this must-see series takes place Friday night in Safeco Field. 

Astros cruise for eighth straight victory

The Astros jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning in afternoon action in Oakland on Thursday and never looked back. They'd build a 7-1 lead at one point in a game that was never really in doubt, completing the sweep. 

This was the eighth consecutive win for the defending champs, and it gives them two straight sweeps on the road (four games in Texas, three in Oakland). The latter shouldn't be all too surprising, as the Astros have been absolute road warriors this season. They are now 26-11 away from Minute Maid Park, good for both the most road wins and best winning percentage in the majors. 

The Astros also hold the longest current winning streak in the bigs. 

Justin Verlander grabbed another win with another quality start, continuing his amazing run at age 35. He's now 9-2 with a 1.61 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 100 1/3 innings this season. 

In the other dugout, the A's fall below .500 (34-35) for the first time since they were 21-22 on May 16. 

Torres turns things around for Yankees

The Yankees were losing to the Rays, 2-0, heading into the fifth inning. Aaron Hicks would homer to cut the deficit to one and then wunderkind Gleyber Torres came to the plate with two runners on and ...

... brand new ballgame. 

That's home run number 13 for Torres in 45 since being called up. He's hitting .295/.351/.577. 

The Yankees went on to win and move to 44-20 on the season, which is a full-season pace of 111 wins. 

Anyone notice Anibal? 

The Braves signed 35-year-old former ERA champ Anibal Sanchez on March 16. He had been released by the Twins five days earlier. Fast-forward to Sanchez's seven scoreless innings Thursday night for the first-place Braves and it's been a remarkable scrap-heap addition. 

Granted, the 37 1/3 innings total are a pretty small sample, but Sanchez is now 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Now is when everyone piles on that he's unlikely to keep it up, but who cares? He's done excellent work and the Braves have reaped the benefits thus far. They are now 40-28. 

McCutchen starting to find power stroke

Andrew McCutchen's first few months with the Giants have gone pretty well overall. He went into Thursday's game with the Marlins hitting .262/.351/.447 overall, which is very good but still a notch below what McCutchen did during his peak with the Pirates. This a guy who hit .313./404/.523 from 2012-15, remember.

It has taken a recent hot streak to get McCutchen's numbers to where they are now -- he was hitting .212/.339/.364 on the morning of May 1 -- and that hot streak continued Thursday. McCutchen swatted a first-inning two-run home run against Dan Straily in the series finale against the Marlins.

McCutchen has now homered in back-to-back games, and he has five home runs in his last 11 games overall. He went deep only three times in his first 55 games of the season. The power surge has come at a good time too since Brandon Belt is now on the disabled list following an emergency appendectomy.

The Giants, despite McCutchen's homer heroics, dropped the first three games of this four-game series to the Marlins. They blew a 3-0 lead Thursday before eventually outlasting Miami for a 16th-inning victory.

Rockies' skid continues

Things have not been going well for the Rockies lately. Prior to Wednesday's win, they'd dropped five straight games and nine of their last 11 games to slip into third place in the NL West. Six of those nine losses came against the D-Backs and Dodgers, the two teams ahead of them in the division.

On Thursday the Rockies were unable to secure a series win against the Phillies thanks largely to Vince Velasquez, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Trevor Story broke it up with a run-scoring double to left. Velasquez was still excellent overall.

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Vince Velasquez PHI • SP • 28
June 14 vs. Rockies
IP6 2/3
H1
R2
ER2
BB2
K6

Jake McGee faced three batters, retired one, and allowed a run in the late innings of Thursday's game, which is notable because the club's offseason bullpen spending spree has not worked out as hoped thus far. Some numbers:

  • Wade Davis (three years, $52 million): 3.42 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 26 1/3 innings
  • Bryan Shaw (three years, $27 million): 7.09 ERA and 1.88 WHIP in 33 innings
  • Jake McGee (three years, $27 million): 4.81 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 24 1/3 innings

Davis has been good but not as good as the last few seasons. McGee has been up and down. Shaw has been largely a mess since Opening Day. Those three relievers signed for $106 million in guaranteed money and they've combined to allow 55 runs in 83 2/3 innings. Definitely not what the Rockies had in mind when they signed them.

The good news is the Rockies welcomed setup man Adam Ottavino back for the series finale against at Citizens Bank Park. He did not pitch in Thursday's game, though he was activated off the disabled list earlier in the day after missing close to three weeks with an oblique injury. Ottavino has been ridiculous this season, pitching to a 0.95 ERA and 0.64 WHIP with 45 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings. He should assuage the team's bullpen issues to some extent.

Lynn, Fulmer turn in strong outings

It seems pretty clear Michael Fulmer will be one of the top trade candidates leading up to the July 31 deadline, and depending how the Twins fare between now and then, it's possible Lance Lynn will hit the market as well. Fulmer and Lynn faced off Thursday afternoon and both turned in quality outings.

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Lance Lynn NYY • SP • 36
June 14 vs. Tigers
IP6 2/3
H5
R3
ER3
BB1
K9
HR1
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Michael Fulmer DET • SP • 32
June 14 vs. Twins
IP7
H5
R1
ER1
BB1
K4

Lynn started the season terribly, pitching to an 8.37 ERA with nearly as many walks (23) as strikeouts (26) in five starts and 23 2/3 innings in April. In his last eight starts and 45 innings, he has a 3.20 ERA with 42/18 K/BB. That is much more like the Lance Lynn we've seen over the years.

As for Fulmer, he has now allowed no more than one run in three of his last five outings after having a very up and down start to the season. He had surgery to treat a nerve near his elbow over the winter and it's possible he just needed a few weeks to get all the way back to normal. Either way, Fulmer pitching well in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline would be a very welcome sight for the Tigers, who figure to listen to all trade offers this summer.

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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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