It’s a Sunday, and that makes it a fun day for Major League Baseball. Today’s schedule includes a full 15-game docket, with all but one of those contests beginning before 4:30 p.m. ET. The storylines to monitor: the Yankees and Astros concluding their series; the Nationals trying to end their big week with a 5-1 mark; and Albert Pujols looking to provide in St. Louis.
Keep it here throughout the day for the latest news, notes, and scores.
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Baseball schedule/scores for Sunday, June 23
Phillies continue plummet
What a brutal week for the Phillies. After losing three games against the Nationals, it appeared Philadelphia would have an easy rebound at home against the Marlins. So much for that.
The Marlins topped the Phillies on both Friday and Saturday heading into Sunday’s series finale. They completed the sweep behind rookie starter Jordan Yamamoto, who held the Phils to two runs over five innings of work. The Marlins even hit back-to-back home runs as part of the victory:
The Phillies’ loss is their seventh in a row, dating back to last Sunday in Atlanta. They’re now just a game above .500, with more divisional games coming. The Phillies will not play a team outside of their own division again until July 15. For their sake — and for Gabe Kapler’s — they better start performing better against the rest of the East.
Tomlin comes up big for Braves in win
Give the Nationals credit: they played six games against the top teams in the NL East this week and won four of them, avoiding what likely would’ve been the coup de grace to their disappointing year.
Give the Braves credit, too. They found a way to win on Saturday and Sunday, with the latter entailing a 10-inning game that saw starter Mike Soroka leave after two innings following a hit-by-pitch. Josh Tomlin then checked in and saved Atlanta’s bacon, tossing four shutout innings and permitting just one hit.
The Braves bullpen as a whole combined for eight innings, nine hits, three runs, two walks, and five strikeouts. That’ll play.
Atlanta’s lineup, by the way, did all its scoring via home run. Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuna provided solo shots, while Johan Camargo hit a two-run dinger in the 10th to put the Braves up for good.
Combined with the Phillies loss, the Braves now have a 6 1/2 game lead in the division.
Astros avoid sweep against Yankees
If you believe the predictive power of momentum, then you had to believe the Yankees were going to crush the Astros on Sunday. The Yankees entered with the majors’ longest winning streak; the Astros with the longest losing streak. But that’s not what happened.
Rather, the Astros won onto avoid a sweep, launching four home runs as part of an offensive barrage. Jose Altuve, Tyler White, Yuli Gurriel, and Yordan Alvarez — of course, because nary a day goes by without him homering — supplied the fireworks. The Astros were particularly cruel to J.A. Happ, torching him for eight runs on 11 hits.
Meanwhile, Justin Verlander fanned nine in seven innings, limiting the Yankees to three runs on four hits.
Stat of the day: Alonso shatters Mets rookie record
It’s only June 23, yet Pete Alonso broke the Mets rookie home-run record on Sunday, launching his 27 dinger of the season in New York’s 78th game. Here’s the blast, which came off of Cubs lefty Cole Hamels:
, but the record had previously belonged to Darryl Strawberry. It appears that Alonso has a real chance at setting the new single-season franchise record for a rookie or a veteran, which is 41. That mark is shared by Carlos Beltran (2006) and Todd Hundley (1996)
Highlight of the day: Tatis scores on infield fly
How good is Fernando Tatis Jr.? The Padres rookie shortstop entered Sunday with an OPS+ over 150. He then went and scored on a “sacrifice fly” :
If you aren’t watching Tatis Jr. closely, you better change that. Otherwise, you’re missing out on one of the game’s most exciting young players.