The cream is rising to the top in the National League East.
While the Nationals had their five-game winning streak snapped yesterday against the Cubs, the Braves topped the Diamondbacks by the score of 8-2 last night. It was Atlanta’s eighth straight victory and their 10th win in their last 11 games.
Ervin Santana allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings in the victory while the Braves’ offense pounded out 12 hits. Freddie Freeman had a pair of RBI singles to lead the charge.
The Braves are back to 10 games over .500 for the first time since late April and currently sit at 48-38 on the year, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals for the division lead. With the Marlins, Mets, and Phillies all fading, it should be a two-team battle for most of the summer.
Your Friday box scores:
Diamondbacks 2, Braves 5
Cubs 7, Nationals 2
Yankees 6, Twins 5
Phillies 2, Pirates 8
Blue Jays 0, Athletics 1 (12 innings)
Giants 0, Padres 2
Royals 7, Indians 1
Brewers 2, Reds 4
Rays 6, Tigers 3
Marlins 2, Cardinals 3
Mariners 1, White Sox 7
Rangers 5, Mets 6
Astros 6, Angels 7
Dodgers 9, Rockies 0
Orioles/Red Sox – PPD
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.