Sunday was Cinco de Mayo and loaded with daytime baseball. Per usual, there was only evening contest, and that’s between the Cardinals and Cubs — and we’ll get to that one. 

There were plenty of other storylines on display early. Erik Swanson flirting with a no-hitter in a Mariners rout against the Indians, three pretty impressive comebacks from NL West teams, a sleeping giant possibly being awakened in the defending champions and another bullpen meltdown from a team that is far too familiar with them. There were three walk-off homers. 

That and more in our daily roundup. Let’s jump in. 

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, May 5

Cubs take over first in NL Central

On April 5, the Cubs lost to fall to 1-6 on the season. The sky was falling, they cried. Well, when the games finished on May 5, the Cubs held first place in the NL Central. 

On Sunday night, the Cubs got 13 runs on 12 hits. A whopping eight of their hits were of the extra-base variety with the loudest being a cherry-on-top grand slam from Kris Bryant to close their scoring. 

The Cardinals were playing as good as anyone coming into this series, but they were shutout in 81 pitches Friday, lost a game they once led 5-1 on Saturday and then were blown away on Sunday. The Cubs, meanwhile, have won 16 of their last 19 games and can actually stake a claim as the best team in baseball despite such a miserable start. 

The difference has been the pitching. The offense has been great from the get-go, but the pitching was miserable until the Cubs returned home from a season-opening 2-7 road trip. They’ve had the best ERA in baseball since. Jose Quintana continued the good run on Sunday night, giving up two runs in six innings. He’s now 4-1 with a 3.40 ERA despite a terrible first start in Milwaukee. 

The Cubs now have a four-game series against the woeful Marlins in an opportunity to continue the hot streak. 

Rockies stun D-Backs with late comeback

The Diamondbacks entered Sunday on a pretty amazing run. They had won 14 of their last 18 and the only four losses were to the Cubs, who are the only team hotter right now (winners of 15 of 19 entering Sunday). It looked like yet another Arizona win Sunday in Colorado, but everything unraveled. 

It was 7-3 D-Backs in the eighth when setup man Archie Bradley took the ball. He had a 1.93 ERA coming in, but there was certainly cause for concern with the 1.57 WHIP and 4.28 FIP. Pitching in Coors Field with underlying signs of a problem and something was bound to go awry. 

Sure enough, Bradley was shelled. He faced five batters and didn’t get an out. There was a single, an error, a single, a walk (that forced home a run) and this game-tying triple from Raimel Tapia

Bradley then exited the game before Ryan McMahon singled home Tapia and the Rockies had posted five runs (all Bradley’s responsibility) before any outs were recorded in the inning. 

The Rockies had gotten close to evening up their record at .500 recently, but they lost five of seven before Sunday. Salvaging that win before hosting the Giants in a three-game series has to have them feeling a lot better. 

Padres get walk-off grand slam

Hunter Renfroe helped the Padres avoid a third-straight gut-punch loss to the Dodgers. Full story and highlight here

The Tigers and Pirates also won on walk-off shots. 

Here come the champs? 

The Red Sox haven’t been above .500 all year. They haven’t been .500 since they were 1-1. They’ve been as many as seven games under .500 and were exactly one week ago. They won again on Sunday, though, giving them a 6-1 week and getting them to within a game of .500. They now head to Baltimore to face a hapless Orioles team and it really feels like this is the turning of the corner we’ve expected them to have. 

Swanson, former Indians rout Cleveland

Erik Swanson made his fifth big-league appearance and fourth start on Sunday. It was almost a special one. Swanson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before yielding a double to Jose Ramirez. Still, the afternoon had to be deemed a success on a personal and team-wide level: Swanson completed the frame, giving him six shutout innings on the day.

Swanson’s teammates, meanwhile, gave him plenty of run support by pounding Cleveland for 10 runs and 12 hits. Seattle’s attack chased starter Cody Anderson in the first inning. It was a particularly sweet day for Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion, a pair of former Indians who combined for two home runs, three hits overall, and six runs batted in.

Seattle had lost six consecutive entering Sunday. The Mariners now head to New York to play four against the Yankees.

Nationals bullpen costs them again

The Nationals have one of the worst bullpens in baseball. That fact reared its head again on Sunday, in the rubber game of their series against the Phillies.

Starter Anibal Sanchez departed in the fifth inning having thrown 4 ⅔ innings while permitting two runs (both unearned) on two hits and four walks. Matt Grace then entered and struck out Odubel Herrera to end the fifth.

Once Grace returned for the sixth, things went downhill. Grace allowed five hits and walked a batter before escaping the sixth, yielding five runs (all earned) and sabotaging any chance the Nationals had at winning the game and the series. (To Grace’s credit he did throw a scoreless seventh.) 

The Nationals already fired their pitching coach. What’s next — their bullpen coach? That or, one supposes, they could try fixing their bullpen by acquiring better pitchers.

Highlight of the day: Reds go back-to-back-to-back

The Reds didn’t take long to jump on Giants starter Jeff Samardzija. Rather, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning to give themselves a 4-0 lead. Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich did the deeds. Here’s a look:

What we’d really like to draw your attention to is Dietrich’s painted on mustache:

The man likes to have fun. What more can you say?

Also of note in this game was Reds starter Luis Castillo taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning before falling apart and giving up four runs that inning. It tied the score, 4-4. The Giants later grabbed two in the ninth to steal one just two days after they stormed back from an 8-0 deficit to win in extra innings. 

On the Giants’ end in this one, it was a Buster Posey three-run homer to tie and a pinch-hit two-run homer in the ninth from Brandon Crawford to take the lead. 

Stats of the day: The Mets are slumping

The Mets’ pitching staff did its job this weekend. The lineup? Not so much. Despite holding the Brewers to 10 runs over three games (36 innings), the Mets were swept. To make matters worse, Brandon Nimmo — who was, at minimum, supposed to be a well-above-average on-base threat — extended his slump to 0-for-his-last-25.

Nimmo is now hitting .194/.320/.320 on the season. That’s not what you want.

Quick hits



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