Gary Sanchez

Phillies catch a break this week vs. Yankees

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Phillies catch a break this week vs. Yankees

WASHINGTON — The Phillies will catch a break this week when the Yankees come to town. Starting catcher Gary Sanchez is likely headed to the DL after coming up lame on a groundball in extra innings Sunday.

Sanchez was trying to leg out a double-play ball in the top of the 10th in Tampa Bay when he injured his groin area. He walked off the field carefully, and after the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters his catcher is likely going on the shelf. Monday's MRI will determine it.

It's a break for the Phils against a ridiculously deep Yankees lineup. Sanchez is hitting just .190, but he's a huge power threat with 14 homers and 14 doubles. Since 2016, Sanchez has 67 home runs despite averaging just 340 plate appearances per season over that span. It's by far the most HR hit by any player with that few PAs.

Even with Sanchez out, the Phils will have to deal with a formidable offense. You've got Aaron Judge batting second with his league-best power and .393 OBP. You've got Giancarlo Stanton, who's heating up and went 5 for 5 with a pair of doubles Sunday. Rookie Miguel Andujar has been better than anyone anticipated, entering the week hitting .284 with 11 homers, 35 RBI and a .836 OPS.

But because the series is at Citizens Bank Park and the Yankees won't have a DH, they likely won't play Aaron Hicks. In effect, the Yankees will be without their regular Nos. 5 and 6 hitters.

The pitching matchups for the series are:

Monday — Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.82) vs. Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0, 3.12)

Tuesday — Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.42) vs. Luis Severino (11-2, 2.24)

Wednesday — Zach Eflin (5-2, 3.42) vs. Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.00)

Loaisiga has a great nickname: Johnny Lasagna.

Severino is one of the AL's toughest customers. 

Cessa has not started a game this season and has a 4.54 ERA in 14 career starts.

More on the Phillies

Best of MLB: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez each homer twice in Yankees' win over Rangers

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Best of MLB: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez each homer twice in Yankees' win over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Aaron Judge became the second major league rookie with a 40-homer season, going deep twice as the AL wild card-leading New York Yankees got a series clinching 16-7 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Gary Sanchez also hit two solo homers for the Yankees, giving him 30 this season and 50 in his 161 games since his 2015 debut.

With Judge's AL-best 40th homer in the fourth, the 25-year-old joined Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees to hit 40 homers at age 25 or younger. Judge added No. 41 two innings later, a drive that would have gone 463 feet unimpeded, according to MLB's Statcast.

Mark McGwire hit a league-high 49 homers as a rookie for Oakland in 1987 (see full recap).

Brewers complete sweep of Cubs, move within 2 games of NL Central lead
CHICAGO -- Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer to back Zach Davies, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and close within two games of the NL Central leaders.

Chicago entered the series with a five-game division lead, a season high, but the defending World Series champions totaled three runs in the series. Milwaukee is tied for second in the NL Central with St. Louis.

Davies (17-8) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, Anthony Swarzak pitched a hitless eighth and Corey Knebel finished for his 34th save in 39 chances.

Kyle Hendricks (6-5) gave up three runs and four hits in six innings (see full recap).

Rockies rout Dodgers, whose skid reaches 10 games
LOS ANGELES -- The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers lost their 10th straight game for their worst skid in 25 years, routed by Mark Reynolds and the Colorado Rockies 8-1 Sunday.

Reynolds hit a grand slam, Nolan Arenado and Trevor also homered, and Tyler Chatwood pitched five scoreless innings. The Rockies remained three games ahead of St. Louis and Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card spot.

Los Angeles still owns the best record in the majors at 92-51, but even that's becoming tenuous. Washington beat the Phillies on Sunday to cut LA's lead to four games.

The Dodgers have dropped nine in a row at Chavez Ravine for the first time in 30 years. Overall, Los Angeles has lost 15 of 16, including its longest drought since losing 10 straight in 1992.

Rich Hill (9-8) gave up two runs and four hits in five innings. Chatwood (7-12) allowed five hits and struck out five (see full recap).

Wacha's 8 shutout innings, Molina's 5 RBIs power Cardinals past Pirates
ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer and tied a career high with five RBIs, Michael Wacha pitched eight strong innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-0 on Sunday.

St. Louis, which has won three in a row and seven of eight, moved 2 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL Central. The Cardinals are also 2 1/2 behind Colorado for the second NL wild card.

Randal Grichuk added a solo homer for St. Louis, which moved to a season-high seven games over .500.

Pittsburgh dropped its fifth in a row and slumped to 10 games under .500 for the first time since the end the of 2011 season.

Molina pushed the lead to 4-0 with his drive off Ivan Nova (11-13) in the fourth inning. He had an RBI single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Wacha (12-7) allowed five hits while striking out seven and did not walk a better in getting his third win in three starts (see full recap).

MLB Notes: Tigers' Cabrera banned 7 games, Yankees' Sanchez 4 for brawl

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MLB Notes: Tigers' Cabrera banned 7 games, Yankees' Sanchez 4 for brawl

NEW YORK -- Two of baseball's biggest hitters were suspended Friday after taking some menacing swings with their fists.

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera was banned seven games and New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez got barred four games for their actions on a fight-filled afternoon at Comerica Park.

Major League Baseball handed out the penalties one day after the Yankees and Tigers got into a trio of beanball-related clashes during Detroit's 10-6 victory.

Also suspended were Tigers reliever Alex Wilson (four games), New York catcher Austin Romine (two games) and Detroit manager Brad Ausmus (one game). All four players were appealing and remain eligible until the process is complete.

Sanchez, an All-Star bopper on a powerful tear at the plate lately, was in the lineup for Friday night's home game against Seattle, catching and batting third for the playoff contenders.

"It's going to be four games that I'm not going to be able to help the team and I know they need me, so it's not a good feeling," he said through a translator (see full story)

Cardinals: No Rally Cat as team mascot
ST. LOUIS -- The Rally Cat won't be spending time frolicking as the mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The frisky feline ran onto the field during a game with the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 9 and was a good luck charm. Yadier Molina hit a grand slam on the next pitch after the cat was retrieved by a groundskeeper.

The four-month-old tabby disappeared and the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach captured it the next day. The Cardinals announced plans to adopt the cat, host a Rally Cat Appreciation Day on Sept. 10 and let it live in the clubhouse.

But the nonprofit balked, saying the team wanted to exploit the cat rather than take care of it.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Cardinals dispute that claim, but they don't want to get into a cat fight.

The group is looking for someone to adopt the kitten after it gains more weight.