The penultimate Friday in June features a full 15-game docket, including 14 at night. The Braves and Nationals kicked off an important three-game set, with Dallas Keuchel making his season debut. Additionally, the Yankees took another game from the Astros, in a potential ALCS preview. 

All that and more in our daily roundup.

Keep it here to learn what happens in those games, as well as for all the rest of the latest news, notes and scores. Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

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Baseball scores for Friday, June 21

Pujols makes the long-awaited return to St. Louis

Albert Pujols returned to the city where his career began Friday when the Angels visited the Cardinals for the first time since 2010. Pujols, 39, had yet to return in uniform as a visiting player at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals drafted Pujols in Round 13 of the 1999 MLB Draft. He joined the Angels on a 10-year, $240 million contract as a free agent in December 2011.

In the Cardinals’ 5-1 win over the Angels, Pujols went 1 for 2 with a walk. In his first at-bat, he was greeted by St. Louis fans with a long standing ovation. The future Hall of Famer tipped his cap to the crowd, and shared an embrace with longtime Cardinals catcher and former teammate Yadier Molina. It was a great moment:

“St. Louis is always going to be home for me,” Pujols told the Los Angeles Times before the game. “No matter where I play. It doesn’t matter what uniform I wear, or where my work is. It still has a special place in my heart. It’s something you cannot ignore.” It was with the Cardinals that Pujols won Rookie of the Year, three MVP awards and two World Series championships. 

Pujols played his first 11 MLB seasons with St. Louis, and they were legendary:

Despite being gone for seven-plus seasons, Pujols still ranks second in Cardinals history in homers (445) and RBI (1,329), behind only Hall of Famer Stan Musial (475 and 1,951). Pujols’ 1.037 OPS is the highest by a Cardinals player in franchise history (min. 3,000 PA).

Braves’ Keuchel makes 2019 debut

After signing with the Braves in early June following a lengthy free agency, left-handed starter Dallas Keuchel finally made his return to the big leagues Friday. Keuchel gave up eight hits and four runs — three earned — over five innings. The first-place Braves dropped the series opener against the Nationals 4-3. The third-place Nationals have won five straight and nine of 12 to move within a game of .500 for the first time since April 24.

Our own Matt Snyder takes a closer look at Keuchel’s return.

Mets’ McNeil delivers go-ahead RBI single

The Mets took Game 2 of a four-game series from the Cubs in come-from-behind fashion at Wrigley Field. Jeff McNeil’s RBI single in the seventh inning broke a 4-4 tie, leading to the eventual 5-4 victory. With a full count at the plate, McNeil hit a single off Mike Montgomery through the hole into right field:

The Mets (36-40) won for just the fourth time in their past 11 games. The Cubs (41-34) hold a one-game lead over the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.

In the loss, Cubs starter Yu Darvish gave up a pair of homers, contributing to an odd streak of 10 consecutive no-decisions, a franchise record. The right-hander is still searching for his first career win at Wrigley Field, and he has not had a decision of any kind dating back to the start of May. Darvish became the first traditional starting pitcher with 10 straight no-decisions since Philadelphia’s Randy Lerch in 1977.

Highlight of the day: Mazara’s 505-foot homer

Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara crushed a home run off White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez at Globe Life Park that had a projected distance of 505 feet, according to Statcast.

Here’s more on Mazara’s blast.

Stat of the day: Judge ties for tallest leadoff man

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge returned from the injured list, and he batted leadoff in Friday’s game against the Astros as manager Aaron Boone plays around with how best to arrange his now power-loaded batting order. The 6-foot-7 Judge tied with Frank Howard (1969) for the tallest leadoff man ever. Judge leading off also marked the first start of his MLB career in that lineup slot. 

Judge went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game since April 20.

Quick hits