June 11, 2017
Recapping Sunday's NL East Action

New York Mets 2 Atlanta Braves 1-From SunTrust Park

The New York Mets waited patiently for two months in anticipation of Seth Lugo's 2017 debut. On Sunday, he displayed with that patience paid off, delivering seven strong innings of one-run baseball. Lugo gave up only one Atlanta run all afternoon, giving the Mets a glimmer of hope after a tough start to their 2017 season.

"I think taking 3 out of 4 on the road is huge," Lugo told the New York Daily News.

"That's going to give us some momentum going home where we're playing a couple good teams."
Lugo's return capped off a weekend of returns for the 28-33 New York Mets. Just a day earlier, OF Yoenis Cespedes and LHP Steven Matz returned to the club following stints on the disabled list. With a lineup that's getting seemingly healthy, the Mets have won three straight and as such, finish the recent six-game road trip with a 4-2 record.

The Mets will now employ a six-man rotation heading into Monday's series opener against the Chicago Cubs. However, despite bolstering the best starting staff on paper, the Mets have suffered without ace Noah Syndergaard. The starting staff is.500 with a 19-19 record and a 4.73 ERA.

"I thought our pitching was rounding into shape about a week ago and right now with those guys added to the rotation – even though we're with six men this week – I think we're going to start seeing what we expected," Mets manager Terry Collins told Fox Sports.

Michael Conforto got things rolling for The Amazin's with a lead off double to right field. Back-to-back sacrifices off the bat of Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores would then score Conforto, giving Lugo a 1-0 lead before he even took the mound. The Mets would then add another run in the top half of the third inning when Lagares singled home Seth Lugo.

The Braves lone run of the afternoon came off the bat of Dansby Swanson. Swanson's sacrifice fly scored Tyler Flowers tying the game at one run a piece, but it would prove to be a long day for Atlanta. The Braves would scatter around six hits, but fail to push one runner across home.

"Give credit to Lugo," Swanson said. "He made pitches when he had to, for the most part staying away from the middle of the plate."

Pittsburgh Pirates 3 Miami Marlins 1-From PNC Park

Wearing their Sunday "We Are Family" 1979 throwback uniforms, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Marlins 3-1. Pittsburgh would benefit from six scoreless innings from Ivan Nova, as the Pirates went on to take the final two games of the four-game series.

Elias Diaz provided the Pirates, going 2-for-4 while also driving in two runs. Both runs would come in the bottom half of the first inning, allowing Nova to take control from that point onward.

"He's got a hit in every game he's started, eight of them," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said regarding his 26-year old catcher.

"He's having a blast. Big hits. Swinging the bat aggressively. Two more hits. The big hit kind of loosens things up. And he's done a nice job behind the plate."
J.T. Realmuto, and Andrew McCutchen
Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen, top, is tagged out by Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto [Image by Gene J. Puskar/AP Images]

The sentiments would then be echoed by Sunday's starting pitcher, Ivan Nova

"He's a great catcher," Nova added. "I told him right before the game, just call the game. I'm going to follow you. If I need to shake you off, I'm going to shake you off. I want you to do your job."

St. Louis Cardinals 6 Philadelphia Phillies 5-From Busch Stadium

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Phillies 6-5 Sunday. The Cardinals completed a three-game sweep of Philadelphia, this following a seven-game skid.

The Phillies looked as though they might salvage at least one game, carrying a 2-0 lead into the bottom half of the fifth inning. But, it was at that point that Dexter Fowler ended Philadelphia's hopes. Fowler would connect on a three-run home run to help swing the momentum in St. Louis' favor

"A big momentum-shifter right there," Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham said. "He's a clutch player.

Dexter Fowler with Kolten Wong
St. Louis Cardinals' Dexter Fowler celebrates with teammate Kolten Wong after hitting a three-run home run [Image by Tom Gannam/AP Images]

Cardinals' starter Adam Wainwright finished with five innings of work Sunday, allowing only six Philadelphia hits in the victory.

"I had very, very average stuff," Wainwright said, following his start.

"It wasn't coming out great. But we found a way to win."
Texas Rangers 5 Washington Nationals 1-From Nationals Park

Austin Bibens-Dirkx retired the first Nationals hitters he faced as the Rangers put up five runs to defeat the 38-24 Washington Nationals.

[Featured Image by /John Amis/AP Images]