Thanks to the Angels-Cubs series finally getting banged in Chicago because of an April snowstorm, Sunday’s slate isn’t quite a full one, but it’s close. The Cardinals and Reds wrapped up their two-game series in Monterrey, Mexico. 

In Seattle, the Astros seemed to make a statement despite the Mariners continuing to make history. One expected contender was finally able to break a six-game losing streak while another got swept by one of baseball’s worst teams. A Rockies starter flirted with perfection and then a no-hitter in the most dominant outing on Sunday. 

All that and more in our daily roundup. Let’s get to it. 

Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

Baseball schedule/scores for Sunday, April 14


M’s, O’s make opposite ends of homer history

The Mariners have for a few days held the record for most consecutive games with a home run to start a season. On Sunday in a key series finale against the Astros, they extended their streak to 18. Mitch Haniger did the damage: 

That’s Haniger’s fifth spank of the season, and that’s Seattle’s MLB-leading 39th. The MLB record for most consecutive games with a homer at any point in the season is 27 by the 2002 Rangers, so the M’s are now setting their sights on that mark. 

On the other end of the continuum, we have the Orioles, who were blanked by the Red Sox on Sunday. In that one, Xander Bogaerts homered for the hosts, and that put Baltimore in “elite” company: 

The good news is that those 2009 Phillies went on to win the pennant. The bad news is that the 2019 Orioles are not going to go on to win the pennant.

By the way, the Mariners and Orioles don’t get together until June 20. 

Astros make statement in Seattle

The Mariners came home Friday after a four-game sweep of the hapless Royals and were riding high at 13-2 with a +42 run differential. They had an argument for the best team in baseball. After all, they had the best record and were slugging like one of the best teams in baseball history. Now came a test against the Astros, who have won the AL West each of the past two seasons and were the overwhelming favorite to grab another this season. 

And when the dust settled, the Astros were breaking out the brooms. The Mariners’ are now 13-5 while the Astros are right on their heels at 11-5. 

The Mariners actually had a 2-0 lead through five on Sunday, but the Astros stayed the course and finished off the series as if it were a reminder of who the big boys are in the AL West. The decisive blow came from designated hitter Aledmys Diaz

Gerrit Cole struck out 11 in his six quality innings of work while the back-end trio of Hector Rondon, Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna were a perfect nine-up-nine-down to close the door. 

The Astros have now won nine games in a row after that 2-5 start. 

The Mariners still have the second-best record in the league and remain a great story, but the bottom line in this series was the Astros reminding everyone just who they are: The best team in the AL West. 

Dodgers snap six-game skid

A week ago, the Dodgers were 8-2 and had a claim at the meaningless-at-this-point title of “best team in baseball.” They then proceeded to drop all four games in St. Louis and their first two against the Brewers at home. Sunday, they managed to salvage a 1-6 week by beating the Brewers. 

The star of this show was Dodgers starter Ross Stripling. He needed just 88 pitches to slice through the vaunted Brewers offense for eight innings. He only gave up one run on four hits, relying heavily on getting weak grounders (he recorded 10 outs on groundballs, four on fly balls and three on strikeouts). 

The Dodgers’ week from hell is over and they’ll now look to carry Sunday’s momentum into a three-game series at home against the Reds starting on Monday. The rotation had been giving them problems, but they got a great start from Stripling and perhaps the return of Clayton Kershaw on Monday further solidifies things. The best guess is they’ll fine and won’t lose six in a row again this season. 

On the Brewers’ end, they did win the series but also just went 2-4 on their trip out West. Ace Jhoulys Chacin was tagged for six runs in 2 1/3 innings on Sunday, and they have a -6 run differential. They need to quickly lick their wounds, as the second-place Cardinals are paying them a visit early in the week before the Dodgers will look to repay them next weekend in a four-game series. It’s definitely a tough stretch of schedule. 

Indians swept by woeful Royals

One team that was in a decidedly not tough stretch of schedule this weekend was the Indians. After winning six of seven against the Blue Jays and Tigers — as most expected contenders absolutely should — they headed to Kansas City in first place with an 8-4 record. They are leaving 8-7. 

What? 

Yes, the Indians were swept by the Royals, who brought a 2-10 record into the series. 

Perhaps most troublesome were the outings from Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber. We knew the offense was going to have its fair share of problems, especially with Francisco Lindor hurt, but with Mike Clevinger out, the Indians need to rely on their top horses in the rotation. 

Carrasco on Friday: 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER
Kluber on Sunday: 2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 4 K

What’s worse, Kluber was sitting in the high-80s with his fastball. He’s 33 years old and worked at least 200 innings in each of the past five seasons. He might be suffering from some wear and tear on that formerly-sturdy right arm of his. Remember, he had a 3.45 ERA in the second half last season after a 2.49 first half. 

The AL Central is pretty clearly the worst division in baseball and Indians still have the talent needed in house to win it, but they are now 1 1/2 games behind the Twins — who look very capable of winning the division — and there are legitimate reasons for concern here. 

Breakout Buxton?

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton had a big day in the field and at the plate on Sunday against the Tigers. To see his highlight catch and to read more about why Buxton may be ready for a breakout season with the bat, check out this piece

Breakout Marquez? 

Technically speaking, we could probably say Rockies starter German Marquez broke out last season, but he has continued to improve pretty much throughout his tenure in the bigs to this point and right now he looks like one of the best pitchers in baseball. He flirted with a no-hitter on Sunday and threw a one-hit shutout against the Giants. He’s been one of the few bright spots on the Rockies this year. For more, click here


Quick hits

  • The Indians have added OF Carlos Gonzalez to the active roster.
  • After Sunday’s game, the Blue Jays sent Lourdes Gurriel to Triple-A, bringing up infielder Eric Sogard in a corresponding move. 
  • Jason Beck tweets that Tigers LHP Matt Moore will soon undergo surgery on his right knee. It’s possible he’ll miss just four to six weeks.
  • The Braves have optioned LHP Sean Newcomb to Triple-A. RHP Touki Toussaint will replace him in the Atlanta rotation.
  • The Braves have placed RHP Arodys Vizcaino on the IL with shoulder soreness. 
  • The Mets reportedly have at least some interest in free agent LHP Dallas Keuchel. That interest may be going up after Saturday’s loss to the Braves. Read more here
  • The Mariners have traded C David Freitas to the Brewers in exchange for RHP Sal Biasi. 
  • The Mariners have placed RHP Wade LeBlanc on the IL with an oblique strain. According to Greg Johns, it’s a Grade 2 strain, and LeBlanc will likely be out from four to six weeks.
  • The Angels have issued an update on CF Mike Trout, who’s recovering from a groin injury. Get the details here.
  • Is Pirates 1B Josh Bell on his way to a breakout season? Against the Nats on Sunday, he had two doubles and a walk, and he’s now batting .314/.390/.627 on the year.
  • Red Sox LHP David Price dominated the Orioles on Sunday: 7 IP, 0 R, 7 SO, 0 BB.
  • The Indians have designated infielder Brad Miller for assignment, per Mandy Bell of indians.com

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