Wilmer Flores went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Sunday's loss to the Pirates.
Flores can proudly tell his grandchildren that he did not strike out against Francisco Liriano in a game that saw 12 strikeouts by the former Twin. Not only did Flores not strike out, he managed the only run for the Mets (on an RBI single in the fifth inning) and was the only Met to record more than one hit. He's hitting .252/.288/.417 with six homers and 16 RBI this season.
Bryce Harper went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI as the Nationals beat the Phillies on Sunday.
Harper broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with an RBI ground out. He provided insurance in the seventh inning with an RBI single, and soon thereafter scored from first base on a Ryan Zimmerman double. The 22-year-old phenom has looked unstoppable through two months, batting .333/.471/.728 with 16 home runs and 41 RBI.
Brock Holt was removed early from Sunday's game against the Angels after he was struck in the arm by a line drive.
Holt hung around for another few innings afterwards, but claimed he started to lose feeling in his arm as the game wore on. Pablo Sandoval replaced him and finished the game at third base for the Red Sox. Holt should be considered day-to-day.
Marlon Byrd went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Indians.
Byrd drilled a Trevor Bauer offering to left-center, putting the Reds on the board for the first time. He appeared to be figuring things out, but slumped over the last week, going 2-for-24 between May 15-22. Byrd has a mediocre .203/.275/.434 triple-slash line with nine home runs and 24 RBI.
Cubs prospect Corey Black held his own Saturday for Double-A Tennessee, matching Montgomery left-hander Blake Snell in a classic pitcher's duel.
He gave up just one hit in five solid innings. Black fanned six hitters without allowing a walk. Though he hasn't won since his first outing of the season, Black owns an impressive 3.24 ERA across eight starts. He's been especially hard on lefties, limiting them to a .130 average in 16 2/3 innings. Out of 165 batters faced, only one has homered off Black this season.
Raisel Iglesias needed 84 pitches to get through three innings, allowing two runs in a loss to the Indians on Sunday.
Iglesias didn't pitch particularly poorly, but he was unable to finish at-bats which explains the high pitch count. He gave up four hits, walked three, and struck out six. Both runs scored in a long third inning, forcing his ouster. The Reds were hoping Iglesias would pitch well enough to give them a no-brainer decision to start him again. As of now, it's up in the air if he'll take his next scheduled turn over the weekend against the Nationals at home. Igleasias has a 4.26 ERA with a 17/9 K/BB ratio in three starts and one relief appearance spanning 19 innings.
Francisco Liriano was near-unhittable in a 9-1 win over the Mets on Sunday, striking out 12 and allowing one run in six innings.
Perhaps the only downside of striking out 12 batters is that it pumps up the pitch count. Indeed, Liriano had thrown 112 pitches by the time he exited the game after six, but these are just minor quibbles. Liriano was locked in from the word "go" and the only run to touch the plate came on a Wilmer Flores RBI single in the fifth inning. Flores was the only Mets regular Liriano failed to strike out. The non-regular? Pitcher Jon Niese, who went 1-for-2 without a whiff. Strange times, strange times. Liriano now boasts a 3.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 64/23 K/BB ratio in 53 2/3 innings. Those numbers are skewed slightly high by a two-inning, seven-run debacle against the Twins in Liriano's last start. He's having a very good season. We'll see if he can strike out his opposing number when he takes to the road against the Padres in his next outing.
Jon Niese allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings in Sunday's loss to the Pirates.
Niese struck out six, but also walked four and allowed seven hits in the unimpressive start. The Pirates scored on an RBI single by Jordy Mercer in the fourth, then tacked on three more in the fifth thanks to a two-run homer by Andrew McCutchen and an RBI single by Francisco Cervelli. Niese's numbers have been moving in the wrong direction over his last three starts, all of which have seen him allow more than four runs. He now holds a 4.08 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. He'll try to rage against that bloated WHIP number in an afternoon home jaunt against the Marlins in his next scheduled start.