Baseball

Diamond digest: Baseball’s top story lines this week

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jason Grilli, right, celebrates with catcher Tyler Flowers after they defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in a baseball game Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Chicago.
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jason Grilli, right, celebrates with catcher Tyler Flowers after they defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in a baseball game Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Chicago. The Associated Press

Here are five interesting stories in Major League Baseball this week:

Maybe they should play shorthanded every day

A front-office mistake left the Atlanta Braves short a player for their game against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

The Braves announced four hours before the scheduled first pitch that they had selected the contract of veteran utility player Emilio Bonifacio from Triple-A Gwinnett. One problem: Bonifacio isn’t eligible to be on the Braves’ 25-man roster until Saturday because it hasn’t been 30 days since he was released by the Braves and re-signed to a minor league deal.

Despite the mishap, the Braves beat the host Cubs 4-3 in 10 innings. Even with the win, the Braves still have the worst record in the majors at 6-18.

Big city, big performances

Madison Bumgarner extended his scoreless streak at Citi Field to 18 innings Sunday and got the better of the marquee pitching match against the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard in a 6-1 victory.

“It is a fun place to pitch in,” Bumgarner said of Citi Field, where he is 4-0 with a 0.62 ERA. He has the longest shutout streak by an opposing pitcher in the ballpark’s eight-season history.

Nationals golden near the Arch

By completing a weekend sweep, the Washington Nationals emphatically ended years of frustration at Busch Stadium with a 6-1 victory over the Cardinals. It was Washington’s first series win in St. Louis since May 2007.

Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who grew up in suburban St. Louis, pitched seven strong innings Sunday to beat his hometown team for the first time.

Sale giving away very little

Off to the best start of his career, Chris Sale (6-0) is the first White Sox pitcher to win his first six starts in a season since Jon Garland went 8-0 in 2005.

Sale, who has a 1.66 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings, leads the majors in wins.

Three pitchers are 5-0: The Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta, Boston’s Rick Porcello and Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann.

Rockies teammates teeing off

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado hit his major league-leading 11th home run in Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the host Arizona Diamondbacks.

Only one other major league player has reached double digits in homers: Arenado’s teammate, rookie shortstop Trevor Story.

Story hit seven long balls in the first six games of his career, but his home run pace cooled. He last went yard on Friday at Arizona and has 10 homers.

Information gathered from The Associated Press and the Bee Sports staff

Compiled by Noel Harris

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