As usual, there is a full 15-game slate of big league action Sunday, including games in three different countries as the Yankees and Red Sox wrap up the London Series. Here’s what you need to know about the day in MLB.
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Baseball scores for Sunday, June 30
Yankees come back to sweep London Series
Believe it or not, the Red Sox had not had a three-homer first inning in 40 years. Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, and nine-time All-Star Fred Lynn all went deep in the first inning against the Twins on Aug. 14, 1979. Sunday was the fifth three-homer first inning in Red Sox franchise history.
After that three-run homer first inning, Sunday’s game was downright normal for few innings. Eduardo Rodriguez and Luis Cessa traded zeroes until the top of the seventh, when the Yankees put up nine runs against a trio of Red Sox relievers. They scored nine runs on six hits and four walks (and one sac fly and one error).
The nine-run inning is New York’s biggest offensive frame of the season. It was not until one inning later that the Yankees extended their MLB record home run streak, however. Didi Gregorius did the honors. The Yankees have now gone deep in 31 straight games, four more than any other team in history.
The 50 combined runs in the series is the most ever for a two-game span in Yankees vs. Red Sox history. Boston’s bullpen was tagged for 21 runs in 12 1/3 innings in London, and the two-game sweep pushes them to 11 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. The Yankees have a seven-game lead over the Rays in the division.
Scherzer dominates vs. former team
Something about facing the Tigers brings out the best in Max Scherzer. Three years ago Scherzer had his historic 20-strikeout game against Detroit, in his first start since leaving the Tigers as a free agent. On Sunday, he fanned another 14 Tigers. Scherzer now has nearly as many 14-strikeout games against the Tigers (two) as he had with the Tigers (three).
Scherzer made six starts in June and allowed five runs in 45 innings. His strikeouts by start: 15, 9, 10, 10, 10, 14. Lordy. Scherzer’s 170 strikeouts — 170 strikeouts! — are the most in baseball. He has a chance to become the first pitcher with back-to-back 300-strikeout seasons since Hall of Famer Randy Johnson struck out 300-plus batters five straight years from 1998-2002.
As for the Nationals, Sunday’s win was their 23rd in their last 33 games. At 42-41, they are back over .500 for the first time since, well, Friday. Prior to that though, they were last over .500 on April 18, when they were 9-8. Washington is only two games behind the Rockies for the second wild-card spot. The Nationals and Rockies have an important four-game series coming up soon after the All-Star break.
Bieber restores order for Indians
The first two games of their three-game series with the Orioles did not go well for the Indians. Not at all. They got hammered by identical 13-0 scores on Friday and Saturday. The Orioles — the 2019 Orioles — became the first team in baseball history with back-to-back shutout wins while scoring at least 13 runs.
On Sunday, right-hander Shane Bieber restored order for the Indians. Bieber held the O’s to three hits and allowed only one runner to advance as far as second base in eight shutout innings. He struck out 11. In his two starts against the Orioles this year, Bieber has struck out 26 in 17 shutout innings.
Even with Bieber’s gem, the Indians still lost two of three to the lowly Orioles this weekend, and that can’t happen for a team fighting for a postseason spot.. It didn’t happen this weekend.
Highlight of the Day: Gallo hits homer into Trop’s catwalk
Joey Gallo is back from the injured list and mashing home runs again — it is glorious. Sunday afternoon he clubbed his 20th home run of the season, a majestic two-run blast against Blake Snell. To the action footage:
Notice the ball never did come down. That’s because it landed on the D ring, the outermost of the four rings at Tropicana Field, and stayed there. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Gallo hit only the second D ring home run that did not come down in Tropicana Field history. David Ortiz had one in September 2008.
- The White Sox will call up top prospect RHP Dylan Cease to start the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, the team announced. He came over in the LHP Jose Quintana trade. MLB.com ranks Cease as the 18th best prospect in MLB.
- The Mets activated RHP Noah Syndergaard off the injured list, the team announced. He missed two weeks with a hamstring injury. OF Carlos Gomez was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot.
- The Athletics have placed OF Stephen Piscotty on the 10-day injured list, the team announced. He suffered a right knee sprain running the bases Saturday. IF Franklin Barreto was called up in a corresponding move.
- The Braves placed RHP Anthony Swarzak on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation, the club announced. He has a 0.52 ERA in 17 1/3 innings for Atlanta. RHP Chad Sobotka was called up in a corresponding move.
- Phillies RHP David Robertson is aiming to return by the end of July, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. He recently threw a bullpen session and is building arm strength. Robertson has been out since April with a flexor strain.
- Yankees RHP Dellin Betances is expected to resume throwing this week, reports the New York Post. Betances has not pitched this year. He went down with a shoulder injury in spring training and has since suffered two setbacks.
- Marlins RHP Pablo Lopez will begin throwing Monday, reports the Sun-Sentinel. He is out with a shoulder strain. “It’s a matter of getting him built back up … That’s going to take a little bit of time,” manager Don Mattingly said.
- The Giants signed 2019 first round pick OF Hunter Bishop, reports MLB.com. He received a slightly underslot $4.1 million bonus. Bishop is the younger brother of Mariners OF Braden Bishop.