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
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.