Ryan Dempster ups scoreless streak to 27 innings

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One would never guess Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster just missed three weeks with a strained lat muscle. Back from the DL on Sunday, he shut out the Mets for five innings, extending his scoreless streak to 27 innings.

The Cubs went on to win 7-0.

R.A. Dickey had an even longer scoreless-inning streak this season (32 2/3, to be exact), but Dempster is the first pitcher to go four straight starts without allowing a run since Zack Greinke went five in the row from Sept. 18, 2008-April 18, 2009. Dempster’s outing was abbreviated today because he was coming back from the injury, but he pitched a total of 22 innings in the first three starts.

It’s possible that today’s start will go down as Dempster’s last as a Cub. The trade rumors were starting to come fast and furious last month before he got hurt, and now that he’s healthy again, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him moved over the All-Star break.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.