Sunday MLB scores, highlights, updates, news: Boyd comes within 1 out of no-hitter
Plus the AL West champ has been crowned and more
Sunday affords the baseball enthusiast a full 15-game slate of MLB action -- almost all day games. Let's dig in ...
Orioles 6, Yankees 4 (box score)
Reds 5, Pirates 2 (box score)
Tigers 12, White Sox 0 (box score)
Indians 3, Royals 2 (box score)
Rays 3, Red Sox 2 (box score)
Athletics 6, Phillies 3 (box score)
Mets 5, Braves 1 (box score)
Twins 13, Blue Jays 7 (box score)
Brewers 10, Marlins 3 (box score)
Astros 7, Mariners 1 (box score)
Cubs 4, Cardinals 3 (box score)
Padres 4, Rockies 3 (box score)
Rangers 4, Angels 2 (box score)
Giants 7, Diamondbacks 2 (box score)
Nationals 7, Dodgers 1 (box score)
Boyd comes within one out of no-hitter
On Sunday in Detroit, Tigers left-hander Matt Boyd came within one out of pitching a no-hitter against the White Sox. With two outs in the ninth, however, Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson hit a ringing double to right center and broke it up. Here's a look:
The Tigers won the game by a score of 12-0 (box score). Coming into Sunday's start, the 26-year-old Boyd had a career ERA of 5.08 and had never pitched a complete game. Here's more on how unlikely Boyd's bid was:
It would've been the eighth no-hitter in Tigers franchise history -- Justin Verlander's on May 7, 2011 was the last -- and the first by a lefty. Coincidentally, the White Sox haven't been no hit since four days before Verlander threw his no-no.
Here's Boyd's final line for the day:
Of his 121 pitches, 76 went for strikes. With Sunday's shutout, Boyd lowered his 2017 ERA from 5.75 to 5.33.
For now, Edinson Volquez's no-hitter against the Diamondbacks on June 3 remains the only one of the 2017 season.
Astros clinch AL West title
The Astros clinched the AL West with their win over the Mariners on Sunday. Houston has been in sole possession of first place in the AL West since April 14, only 11 games in their season, and their lead grew so big that it was only a matter of when they'd clinch the division, not if.
The division title is the first for the Astros since 2001, back when they were in the NL Central. The club moved to the AL West for the 2013 season, which evened up the two leagues at 15 teams apiece. The Astros have gone to the postseason three times since 2001, all as a wild card team.
Cubs sweep Cardinals
The longest winning streak in the majors now belongs to the Cubs, who have won six straight. They completed their sweep of the Cardinals on Sunday, thanks in part to former Cardinal Jason Heyward coming through with the eventual winning hit.
Jason Heyward is hitting .322 (19-for-59) with two outs and RISP this season. pic.twitter.com/x4WraBAirD— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 17, 2017
The Cubs move to a six-game lead over the third-place Cardinals and hold a four-game lead over the Brewers with each team having 13 games to go. Just looking at those numbers, the odds of the Cubs not winning the Central at this point are pretty long. It should be noted, though, that the Cubs visit the Brewers for a four-game series this coming week and then visit the Cardinals for four games immediately thereafter. It's certainly not over yet, but the Cubs' sweep of the Cardinals put St. Louis in a very deep hole while Milwaukee needs to be near perfect to make a run.
Of course ...
Brewers breathing down Rockies' neck
With the Rockies' loss to the Padres on Sunday, the Brewers have moved to within 2 1/2 games of the second NL wild card. The Cardinals are also on the periphery, being 4 1/2 games out.
Keep the focus on the Brewers and Rockies, though. The Brewers have 13 games left compared to 12 by the Rockies. If the Brewers win that extra game, they only need to make up two games in the standings out of 12 total games in order to force a one-game playoff.
The bad news for the Brewers is the Rockies have a weak schedule. They have a two-game series in San Francisco before a four-gamer in San Diego. Then they host the Marlins for three before closing with three against the Dodgers -- who won't be playing for anything but staying healthy.
The Brewers have series against the Pirates (road) and Reds (home), but also host the Cubs for four games and close in St. Louis for three.
AL wild-card picture becomes more clear
The Twins won on Sunday while the Angels, Mariners and Royals lost. That means this is how things stand for the second wild card, with just two weeks to play.
Angels, 2 GB
Mariners, 4 1/2 GB
Royals, 5 GB
Rangers, 5 GB
Orioles, 5 1/2 GB
Rays, 5 1/2 GB
The teams all have 12 or 13 games left to play, so the chances of anyone overcoming a five-game deficit are really low, especially with this many teams fighting for spot. No, instead the spot is the Twins' to lose with the Angels lurking and everyone else needs a miracle.
Dodgers snap Strasburg's streak, but Nats cruise
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg came into Sunday having thrown 34 straight scoreless innings. He extended the streak to 35 with a spotless first inning, but then allowed a run in the second. The 35-inning scoreless streak was the longest in franchise history.
Strasburg and the Nats would have the last laugh, however. Strasburg allowed just that one run in six strong innings, striking out eight, while the Nationals would roll with seven unanswered runs. Ryan Zimmerman homered twice and drove home four while Adam Lind clubbed a two-run, pinch-hit homer.
The pinch hit home run was the fourth of the season for Lind, and he's now the franchise record-holder for pinch-hit home runs. Yes, career, even though he's only been with the Nats for one season.
Gallo destroys another baseball
Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo of course has some of the most impressive raw power in the game today. Speaking of which, take a look at his bomb against the Angels on Sunday:
Mercy. That clocked in at 490 feet, which, sources confirm, is a long way. Note the finishing touch, as the ball rolls down the grass like a botched approach shot. Anyhow, that's Gallo's 38th homer of the season, and he's achieved that tally in just 410 at-bats. No, he doesn't hit for average or make contact at a high rate, but his incredible power and willingness to take walks make him a very productive hitter -- especially by the standards of 23-year-olds.
Didi goes deep ... again
Here's what Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius did early in Sunday's home tilt against the Orioles ...
And that brings us to this ...
Not bad company, that. Also bear in mind that Gregorius missed almost all of April with a shoulder injury. As you can probably surmise, Gregorius is having a heck of a season. The 27-year-old is of course a plus defender at short, and in addition to those 24 bombs he's got a slash line of .296/.329/.498. Compare that to the average MLB shortstop in 2017, who has a line of .265/.319/.418. Gregorius' power really sets him apart from most of his positional peers. Gregorius is coming off a 20-homer campaign in 2016, so this isn't a sudden development.
Soon enough, Gregorius will likely own that Yankee shortstop record all by himself. More importantly, he continues to be a big part of the Yankees' drive toward the postseason.
And speaking of the Yankees' drive to the postseason ...
The Yanks may already be lining up their rotation in anticipation of the AL Wild Card Game..
Vogelsong gets a farewell
Ryan Vogelsong was a very important member of the Giants' 2012 and 2014 World Series championships. Now 40 years old, he's retiring from baseball. He spent seven of his 12 years with the Giants and Sunday afternoon he got a proper goodbye. He actually threw three warmup pitches with the Giants on the field before the first inning on Sunday. Here it is:
Great gesture by the Giants there. Vogelsong can officially close the book on an admirable career.
- C. Trent Rosecrans tweets that Reds SP Drew Storen will undergo Tommy John surgery and likely miss all of the 2018 season.
- The Indians have activated Jason Kipnis from the DL. They'll try the veteran second baseman out in center field on Sunday.
- The Royals have activated SP Danny Duffy from the DL.
- The Orioles have designated RHP Richard Rodriguez for assignment.
- Cubs C Willson Contreras had his two-game suspension reduced to one game, which he'll serve on Sunday. Contreras was disciplined for his Friday outburst directed at umpire Jordan Baker.
- The Reds have claimed INF D.J. Peterson off waivers from the White Sox.
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