Scherzer got the start against the Kansas City Royals shortly after welcoming his second daughter to the world. He struck out 11 batters and continued the dominance in his last nine starts with a 0.84 ERA in that span. (Photo/ C. B. Schmelter, The Red & Black)

Braves take NL East lead

The Atlanta Braves pulled no punches in a Father’s Day home victory. The Braves beat the division rival Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 15-1, and extended the division lead to 2.5 games. The series finale marked the highest scoring outing of the season for the Braves.

Braves slugger Josh Donaldson is beginning to find his comfort zone in his new home as he homered for the third consecutive contest. 2018 All-Star Mike Foltynewicz went six innings, allowing just one earned run in one of his best performances of 2019. 

Over the last 10 games, Atlanta has gone 9-1, marking one of the hottest stretches of any team this year. With recent acquisition Dallas Keuchel soon joining the club, the Braves will be a team to keep an eye on as a high-upside contender.

Yankees acquire Encarnación

The New York Yankees completed a trade with the Seattle Mariners for first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnación. The Mariners will receive pitching prospect Juan Then and cash considerations in the deal. The 36-year old leads the American League in home runs with 21 and has hit at least 30 home runs every season for the last seven years. He has a .241 batting average with an eye-catching .531 slugging percentage.

New York likely needed to make a move due to the recent skid along with the Kendrys Morales deal looking more like a bust. Morales has hovered below a .200 average during his time with the Yankees and has not been known to provide stellar defense. Encarnación will likely inject his power bat into the heart of the order right away until ailing sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge return to the major league club.

Padres and Rockies break series scoring record

The Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres added another record onto a season where record setting is becoming the new norm. In a four game set spanning from June 13-16, the two teams combined for 92 runs. Both teams scored in double digits in two games with the series high being 16 runs in one game by the Padres.

It was a tough series for both teams’ pitching staffs. One day prior to the series, San Diego opted for a curious decision to send star rookie pitcher Chris Paddack to the minors. Paddack had been one of the best pitches in all of baseball, but wavered a bit in his last couple of starts. Don’t expect him to be down long, especially if the pitching staff surrenders anything close to the 44 runs they did against Colorado.

Twins retire Mauer’s number

There will never be another No. 7 in Minnesota. Joe Mauer was one of the best to ever wear a Minnesota Twins uniform. He won an MVP, three batting titles, and three Gold Gloves throughout his career with the team. The former first overall pick is not just a Twins legend, but a Minnesota legend. 

Mauer exemplified the model Major League Baseball player, the hometown hero that worked year after year to become one of the best in the game. At the jersey retirement ceremony, Governor Tim Walz declared June 15 Joe Mauer Day. He must have done something right.

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