Jose Altuve went yard twice Sunday as the Astros routed the Angels 13-3 at Minute Maid Park.
Altuve slugged both of his homers off Angels starter Tim Lincecum, who left the game after recording only four outs. Lincecum gave up a total of eight runs on two walks and seven hits. Altuve also added an RBI single in the fifth, finishing the day 3-for-5 with two runs scored and six RBI. The second baseman is slashing .360/.428/.575 with 17 homers, 60 RBI, and 75 runs scored in 98 games this season.
Matt Carpenter (oblique) could begin a rehab assignment later this week.
Carpenter resumed some baseball activities on Friday and evidently has responded well. He shouldn't need too many rehab games before being activated, so a return within the next week or so would seem to be a possibility. Carpenter has missed the last two and a half weeks with a right oblique strain.
Tim Lincecum was brutalized for eight runs in 1 1/3 innings Sunday in a loss to the Astros.
Lincecum yielded homers to Jose Altuve and Luis Valbuena in the Astros' four-run first inning and then Altuve went yard again off the veteran right-hander in Houston's four-run second. Lincecum now has an 8.70 ERA and 2.30 WHIP in 30 innings (seven starts) with the Angels. He probably shouldn't get another turn in the rotation, but Anaheim is pretty desperate.
Brandon Finnegan was horrific in Sunday's loss to the Diamondbacks, allowing six runs on seven hits over five innings.
Five of the six runs on Finnegan's line came courtesy of a trio of home runs by Yasmany Tomas, Welington Castillo and Paul Goldschmidt. Tomas and Goldschmidt notched solo shots in the second and fifth innings, respectively, while Castillo came through with a three-run tater in the third. With that disaster squared away, Finnegan will hit the road for a date with the Padres next time he toes the rubber. He will carry a bloated 4.93 ERA and 1.44 WHIP into that affair.
Yasiel Puig (hamstring) remained out of the Dodgers' lineup Sunday.
Puig was able to pinch-hit Friday, but he hasn't started a game since tweaking his right hamstring on Thursday. It doesn't appear at this point that a disabled list stint is being considered. Andrew Toles is in right field.
Ryan Schimpf slugged another home run Sunday as the Padres defeated the Nationals 10-6.
Schimpf hit an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning and a solo homer in the top of the eighth, finishing the day 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. The 28-year-old second baseman now has nine home runs in July, which is a new record for a Padres rookie in a single calendar month. Schimpf was raking at the Triple-A level prior to his mid-June promotion, so maybe this breakout is somewhat for real.
Jonathan Papelbon surrendered four earned runs in the top of the ninth inning Sunday as the Nationals fell to the Padres.
Papelbon was called upon with the game tied 6-6 but couldn't hold the line, yielding a walk and four hits while recording only two outs. He watched his season ERA jump from 2.56 all the way to 3.62.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner "has not given authorization to sell top guys" yet.
The Aroldis Chapman rumors have been swirling, but it doesn't appear Steinbrenner is ready to give up on the season just yet with the Yanks having won six of their last eight games to pull within shouting distance of a Wild Card spot. Ultimately, it would be hard to see the Bombers not selling, but perhaps it will depend on how they play this week. The Nationals, Cubs and Indians look like the three favorites to land Chapman.