Author: Drew Silva

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Video: Andrew McCutchen exorcises some demons


Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen broke out an interesting ritual Sunday after a lineout …

McCutchen doubled in his next at-bat and then came around to score as the Pirates defeated the division-rival Cardinals 4-3, taking two of three games from St. Louis in the big weekend series. Whatever works.

Michael Pineda strikes out 16, moves to 5-0

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Michael Pineda hurled eight scoreless innings in a win last Tuesday against the Blue Jays, striking out six batters and issuing only one walk to move to 4-0 on the season. He was arguably even more dominant on Sunday, tallying a career-high 16 strikeouts and walking none over seven innings of one-run ball as the Yankees beat the Orioles 6-2 in The Bronx.

Pineda is the first pitcher in Yankees history to register a 16-strikeout, zero-walk game and it’s just the 22nd pitching line of that kind in the history of Major League Baseball. The franchise record for most strikeouts in a game belongs to Ron Guidry, who whiffed 18 on June 17, 1978.

Pineda is now 5-0 with a stellar 2.72 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 54/3 K/BB ratio in 46 1/3 innings this season.

And the Yankees are in first place in the American League East with a record of 20-12.

Jesus Montero, meanwhile, is playing first base for the Mariners’ Triple-A team.

Trade inquiries reportedly picking up on Aaron Harang

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From Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes in the Boston Globe …

Aaron Harang, RHP, Phillies — We’ve mentioned Harang as another possible fit for a contending team. According to a major league source, inquiries on him have picked up and teams are scouting him as a possible solution. Obviously not an ace, but he fits the back end of a lot of rotations. “He gives you a steady, dependable performance, “ said one NL scout. “You don’t give up a lot for him, but if you can get him for a second-level prospect, you do it.”

Philadelphia entered play Sunday with an 11-20 record and there’s very little hope for a turnaround. It’s a rebuilding team, and Harang is on a one-year, $5 million free agent deal. He’s as good as gone.

The 37-year-old right-hander has posted a superb 2.38 ERA, 1.015 WHIP, and 31/9 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings this season. He also had a cool 3.57 ERA in 204 1/3 innings last season with the Braves.

Video: Chad Billingsley hit a home run off Bartolo Colon

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Watch as Phillies starter Chad Billingsley goes yard off Bartolo Colon. What year is it again?

That was the third career home run for Billingsley, who turns 31 years old in July. It’s the 336th home run Colon has surrendered in his 18-year major league career. He turns 42 years old later this month.