James Shields served up three home runs against the Rockies on Sunday and still wound up with a victory despite allowing five runs on nine hits over his 5 1/3 innings.
Shields punched out seven on the afternoon and didn't issue a free pass. Charlie Blackmon got him for a solo homer in the first inning and Nolan Arenado would add a pair of long balls before his day was through. Even with the rough outing, "Big Game" James has acclimated himself nicely to the Padres, registering a 3.72 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 48/9 K/BB ratio across 36 1/3 innings. He'll do battle against the Diamondbacks next in Arizona on Friday.
Nolan Arenado blasted a pair of home runs and plated three in a losing effort against the Padres on Sunday.
He finished the day 3-for-5 at the dish. Arenado tagged James Shields for a solo homer in the fourth inning then got him again for a two-run blast the very next inning. He has been a force in the middle of the Rockies lineup this season, slashing .314/.348/.616 with six homers and 17 RBI.
Kyle Kendrick was hit hard in Sunday's loss to the Padres, surrendering six runs on six hits over his five innings of work.
Kendrick struck out two and didn't issue a walk on the afternoon. Most of the damage against him was inflicted via the long ball, with Justin Upton and Derek Norris each blasting two-run homers. The veteran right-hander will carry a troublesome 8.73 ERA and 1.70 WHIP into Saturday's matchup against the Dodgers in Colorado.
Sonny Gray struck out 10 and pitched 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball in Sunday's 7-1 win over the Rangers
Gray moved to 4-0 after the dominating outing. He allowed just two hits, but also walked a season-high seven. Let's just set aside the walks, as Gray had not walked more than two batters in any previous outing. His numbers are uniformly great this season, as he now owns a 1.69 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 35/13 K/BB ratio across 43 innings. Just about the only aspect of Sunday's start that could be considered remotely questionable (other than his control) is that he threw 119 pitches in the contest. The A's clearly feel comfortable letting the 25-year-old stretch out his arm, as he threw 219 innings last season. We'll see if this starts to add up as he progresses through what's been a stellar season to this point.
Anthony Rizzo tripled and drove in a run during Sunday's loss to the Brewers.
Rizzo, he of the four career triples, got his season quota out of the way when he drove in Dexter Fowler with a ball to deep center in the fifth inning. The Cubs might not yet be rolling over the NL Central as some pundits thought they would, but that's no fault of Rizzo, who is currently hitting .321/.471/.513. That OBP is like the reflection in Narcissus' pool. You can get lost in its beauty if you stare at it for long enough.
Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer in Sunday's win over the Cubs.
Ramirez smacked the home run off of Jason Hammel in the second inning. He also played hero in the contest, hitting a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning to help the 7-18 Brewers to the 5-3 victory. Ramirez had missed the last few games with a hamstring injury, but he looked fine on Sunday, finishing 2-for-3. On April 21, Ramirez was hitting just .149/.149/.191, but he's raised that to a less awful .233/.263/.411 over the last 10 games.
Jimmy Nelson pitched 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball against the Cubs on Sunday.
Nelson scattered seven hits while striking out six and walking two. His opposite number, Jason Hammel, stung him for a sacrifice fly in the second inning, while Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant supplied an RBI-triple and RBI-double, respectively, in the sixth inning. It was a nice rebound start for Nelson, who was coming off a seven-run debacle against the Reds. To Nelson's credit, that rough outing has been his only one this season, as he hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his other four starts. Overall, he holds a 4.03 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, with a 24/11 K/BB over 28 2/3 innings. He'll face the Cubs again in his next start.
Jason Hammel allowed three runs on five hits over six innings in Sunday's game against the Brewers.
Hammel struck out three and walked one here, with the Brewers tagging the 32-year-old right-hander with a solo home run by Aramis Ramirez in the second inning, an RBI-single by Carlos Gomez in the third and a sacrifice fly by Khris Davis in the fourth. Hammel's control has been impeccable through five starts--Sunday's walk was just the second he's issued this season. He boasts a 26/2 K/BB ratio over 31 1/3 innings, pairing that with a 3.73 ERA and 1.01 ERA. He'll take those numbers against the Brewers again in his next start.