As most teams reach or approach the 20 games played mark for the season, the standings around
Major League Baseball are still pretty much bunched up, but the hottest teams this week were the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies in the National League West division.
The Dodgers won their sixth straight game on April 19 in Milwaukee as Kike' Hernandez hit a three-run home run off Brewers ace relief pitcher Josh Hader to propel the 5-3 victory. The Brewers are a game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central while the Dodgers now lead the NL West once again with San Diego in second place. The Padres have dropped five in a row following their hot start. The Colorado Rockies rode a walk-off two-run homer from outfielder Charlie Blackmon in a 4-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies, who are tied with the New York Mets for first place in the NL East.
The Chicago Cubs won their fourth straight game as they toppled the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-1 at frigid Wrigley Field on April 19. They are now back in the thick of the NL Central race with the Pittsburgh Pirates leading the way as they also won their fourth consecutive game.
Over in the American League, the Houston Astros had their 10-game winning streak snapped, but they got right back in the win column with a victory against the Texas Rangers on April 19. Seattle is right there in a first-place tie with the Astros in the AL West division while Texas and the Oakland A's are within three games of the top spot.
The Tampa Bay Rays lost their second straight game as the Boston Red Sox beat them 6-4 thanks in big part to a home run by Mookie Betts. However, the Rays still enjoy a 4 1/2 game lead over the second place New York Yankees. Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis finally broke his 0-for-54 slump as he got his first hits of the season in a rout of the host Boston Red Sox on April 13, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and then followed up with his first home run of the season as the O's and Bosox split the four-game series.
The American League Central division is bunched up as all five teams are within five games of each other. The Cleveland Indians have won three consecutive games to move atop the division with Minnesota just one game back. Detroit and Chicago are right there as well with Kansas City five games back.
The White Sox and Royals had some fireworks in their game in Chicago on April 17 when Royals pitcher Brad Keller plunked Tim Anderson with a fastball following a home run hit by Anderson in which he did the bat flip and exuberantly shouted in the direction of his teammates in the White Sox dugout. Both players were suspended (Keller got five games and Anderson and ChiSox manager Ricky Renteria one game each) by MLB officials for their part in the dust up as the benches emptied. The Royals eventually won that game.
AL STANDINGS (through April 19) NL STANDINGS (through April 19)
Tampa Bay 14-6 NY Mets 11-8
NY Yankees 9-10 Philadelphia 11-8
Toronto 9-12 Atlanta 9-9
Baltimore 8-12 Washington 9-9
Boston 7-13 Miami 5-15
Cleveland 11-7 Pittsburgh 11-6
Minnesota 9-7 Milwaukee 12-9
Detroit 9-10 St. Louis 10-9
Kansas City 7-13 Cincinnati 7-12
Houston 13-6 LA Dodgers 14-8
Seattle 15-8 San Diego 11-10
Texas 10-8 Arizona 10-10
Oakland 11-11 Colorado 8-12
LA Angels 8-12 San Francisco 8-13