Sunday means a full slate of baseball goodness. Check in here for all the scores, rumors, and news.
Indians 8, Blue Jays 1 (box score)
Reds 6, Marlins 3 (box score)
Athletics 3, Mets 2 (box score)
Rangers 6, Rays 5 (box score)
Phillies 6, Brewers 3 (box score)
Orioles 9, Astros 7 (box score)
Tigers 9, Twins 6 (box score)
Royals 5, White Sox 4 (box score)
Rockies 13, Pirates 3 (box score)
Angels 3, Red Sox 2 (box score)
Padres 5, Giants 2 (box score)
Nationals 6, Diamondbacks 2 (box score)
Dodgers 5, Braves 4 (box score)
Yankees 6, Mariners 4 (box score)
Cubs 5, Cardinals 3 (box score)
Brewers melting down; Cubs surge into tie
It was just one week ago that the Brewers' loss to the Phillies seemed innocent enough. They still took two of three from those Phillies last weekend, meaning they were 52-41 with a 4 1/2 game lead in the NL Central over the Cubs.
The Brewers have only won one game since then, though. Meanwhile, the Cubs have gone 8-1 since the All-Star break.
Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Phillies means that the Brewers have dropped seven of their last eight games and are only five games over .500. Worse yet, the Cubs win over the Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball means that the Brewers are tied for first place with the Cubs, just eight days after holding a 5 1/2 game lead.
Losing two of three to the worst team in baseball is a gut punch, and now the schedule stiffens greatly, with a three-game series against the Nationals before a big three-gamer against the Cubs next weekend.
Things could turn, but for now the Brewers are sinking quite quickly.
The Cubs, as noted, are red-hot right now, too. At five games over .500, it's their high water mark for the season. Willson Contreras has been pretty hot himself for the past several weeks and his two-run home run in the sixth inning put the Cubs up for good in Sunday night's comeback victory.
Kyle Schwarber tied the game at three, earlier, with a homer of his own.
The Cubs only loss since the break came on an uncharacteristic bullpen meltdown on Friday. Otherwise they've been nearly perfect as things appear to be coming together. They seem to have a renewed fire about themselves, too, on display with several players showing lots of emotion in the win.
And just like that, the Cubs are in first place again.
It should be noted, of course, that the division race is heated. The Cubs lead the Brewers by percentage points in a virtual tie, but the Pirates are only three games out while the Cardinals are just 4 1/2 back.
Rays bullpen costs them the series
A win last Tuesday meant the Rays were seven games over .500, their high water mark for the season. Things have taken a turn south since, though. Their loss Sunday to the Rangers was the fourth straight, and they were swept by Texas thanks in large part to their continuing bullpen woes.
On Friday, the Rays coughed up two runs in the ninth to send the game to extras, where they lost in 10.
Then on Sunday, Brad Boxberger gave up a two-run, game-tying homer to Rougned Odor in the eighth and then Carlos Gomez went back-to-back with the go-ahead homer and resembled teammate Adrian Beltre in doing so.
The Rays are still barely in playoff position, in a virtual tie for the second AL wild-card spot with the Royals ...
Royals, White Sox streaking in opposite directions
The Royals are getting streaky on us. They had lost seven of eight through Tuesday, falling to two games under .500. They haven't lost since, though, now having won five straight and moving into a tie with the Rays (see above).
The Royals actually came from behind and walked off in this one. Merrifield tied the game with a solo shot in the eighth and then Brandon Moss doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have lost nine straight. Since there's an All-Star break wedged in there, it's been a painfully long time since they last won a game. The date? July 8. Making matters worse, Yoan Moncada is only hitting .077 so far since being called up.
Yankees finally win a series
Remarkably, the Yankees are still in playoff position. Why is that remarkable? Because they hadn't won a series in over a month until Sunday. For real. The Yankees swept the Orioles from June 9-11. Since then, they were 0-8-2 in their last 10 series before heading to Seattle.
With their win Sunday, the Yankees took three of four from the Mariners. So they won the series!
This series win snapped the Yankees longest such streak of not winning a series since 1991, per ESPN Stats and Info.
Kluber stifles Jays
The Indians were able to keep the Royals 1 1/2 games back for first in the AL Central with a blowout victory on Sunday. Starting pitcher Corey Kluber was filthy in this one, striking out a season-high 14 while allowing just one run in 7 2/3 innings. When he's on, it's a thing of beauty. See?
Britton has second-longest save streak in history
Orioles stud closer Zach Britton is back in the saddle as closer now that his injury concern seems to have been put to rest. So he resumes his consecutive save streak by closing this one down.
That's an AL record 55th straight save without a blown save, passing Tom Gordon. Of course, Britton is now only looking up at Eric Gagne's ridiculous 84. Quite a gap on the all-time leaderboard, eh?
Rockies back on track?
The Rockies had lost 15 of 20 through last Saturday, falling to 52-41 and threatening to let a few teams back into the NL wild-card race. With Sunday's 13-3 crushing of the previously white-hot Pirates, however, the Rockies have now won six of their last seven games.
Kershaw (back) could land on DL
We speak of slotting Darvish behind Kershaw down lower, but maybe he'd be taking his spot, at least temporarily.. Manager Dave Roberts said after the game that Kershaw will likely be placed on the disabled list.
Kershaw is a DL situation, Roberts said.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) July 23, 2017
So does Strasburg
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg also . Nationals manager Dusty Baker said it was precautionary, however, as Strasburg just couldn't get loose.
Red Sox calling up top prospect
Rafeal Devers will be the man who the Red Sox hope.
McCullers' struggles continue
The Astros have now lost four straight Lance McCullers starts. In those starts, he's pitched 19 innings and allowed 18 earned runs (8.52 ERA) along with 30 hits and nine walks (2.05 WHIP).
As far as the team goes, the Astros are more than fine. Even after the loss on Sunday, they have a 17-game lead over the Mariners and Angels. They could sleepwalk for a few weeks and still win the AL West.
No, the concern here is the long-time implication of McCullers possibly not bouncing back. The Astros have time to figure it out, for sure, but having only Dallas Keuchel as a reliable, frontline starter is a tough road to the World Series. Perhaps the Astros make a trade for someone like Yu Darvish?
Speaking of which ...
Dodgers have interest in Darvish
The Dodgers have been baseball's best team lately. Yet that isn't stopping the front office from pursing some impact talent.
While most of the names connected to the Dodgers have been relievers, Jon Morosi introduced a new one on Sunday: Rangers ace Yu Darvish.
Darvish is a free agent at season's end, leaving the Rangers with a difficult decision. They can trade him for a prospect bounty; keep him and try to re-sign him; or keep him, offer him a qualifying offer, and then recoup a draft pick if he walks. Given the interest an available Darvish would command, you have to think the most likely scenarios involve Darvish getting dealt or re-upping with the Rangers.
On the season, Darvish has posted a 3.44 ERA and 3.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 21 starts. He would, in other words, slot in nicely behind Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers rotation.
The trade deadline is July 31. We'll see if there's anything to these talks in the coming week-plus.
Jansen blows save, Dodgers still win
Still, the Dodgers basically never lose and this day wasn't the exception to the rule. Chris Taylor opened the bottom of the 10th with a single. A Corey Seager fielder's choice followed, but then Justin Turner singled and the Braves elected to put Cody Bellinger on. So the bases were loaded with one out for Logan Forsythe. He would come through with a walk-off single.
The Dodgers are 68-31 and holding a 10 1/2 game lead in the NL West.
- The Red Sox have been scouting Reds SS Zack Cozart.
- The Rays are seeking an "impact reliever." On Saturday, the Rays acquired Sergio Romo -- at this stage in his career, however, he's far from an impact arm.
- The Brewers are now among the teams interested in Braves SP Jaime Garcia. Earlier in the week, it appeared Garcia would be dealt to the Twins.
- The Yankees are also interested in Garcia, as well as Athletics SP Sonny Gray and Rangers ace Yu Darvish.
- Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter had to leave Sunday night's game with a tightness in his leg muscles.
- The Blue Jays acquired INF Rob Refsnyder from the Yankees in exchange for 1B Ryan McBroom. Refsnyder has the better chance of contributing in the majors, albeit in a bench capacity.
- White Sox OF Melky Cabrera, a plausible deadline acquisition, left Sunday's game after fouling a pitch off his foot. The initial diagnosis is a bruised foot.
- Rangers C Robinson Chirinos left Sunday's game after a home-plate collision. He's dealing with a sprained ankle.
- Tigers SP Daniel Norris left his rehab start on Sunday in the first inning. Norris was accompanied by the trainer, though it's unclear what injury he sustained, or if he aggravated the groin injury that landed him on the DL in the first place.
- Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario missed his sixth consecutive game due to stomach issues.