MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 6/30/2024

Skenes, Fried battle to a draw in Atlanta win; Vlad Jr. powers Jays.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

Bo Jackson was inducted into the Kansas City Royals‘ Hall of Fame on Saturday. Why it took this long for the Royals to do so is one thing, but it is certainly deserved. In case you aren’t familiar with Jackson’s exploits, he was an MLB All-Star with the Royals in 1989 and a Pro Bowl running back with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990, the first and still only athlete in North American sports history to be an All-Star in two sports. What he did on the diamond and the gridiron was truly dynamic. This video, narrated by Bob Costas, says it all.


Today’s Headlines


Fried vs. Skenes: Atlanta Wins After Duel

It might not have been an epic showdown, but it was still pretty good. Atlanta ace Max Fried squared off with Pittsburgh Pirates phenom Paul Skenes in a marquee pitching battle. Both turned in excellent efforts, with Skenes striking out nine, walking two, and allowing six hits over six innings, while Fried countered with six innings of his own, striking out four, walking three, and also surrendering six hits. They each allowed just one run. Atlanta would come out on top 2-1 on Adam Duvall’s RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning. Skenes, who struck out the final four batters he faced in a game in which he struggled with his command, is only the second pitcher since 1901 to have 70 or more strikeouts and 10 or fewer walks in their first nine career appearances. Two other items of note: The Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds had a ninth-inning triple to barely extend his hitting streak to 26 games, the best in MLB this season, while Pittsburgh reliever Aroldis Chapman now has the most strikeouts of any left-handed reliever in MLB history after notching his 1,197th punchout.

Vlad Stays Hot, Drives In 6

Did it take the Toronto Blue Jays being in last place in the American League East to finally light a fire under this bunch? With pressure mounting on the underperforming Jays, star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. appears to be taking things into his own hands. Guerrero set the tone early, smashing a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, then emulated his dad’s penchant for hitting balls way out of the strike zone by golfing a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning. Tack on an RBI single in the eighth inning and Guerrero drove in six as the Blue Jays bounced the Yankees 9-3. It was his sixth consecutive game with multiple RBIs, a team record. Guerrero also has homered in three straight games and six of the past eight. There was another moment that took place that was a bit surreal. Read about that a bit further down.

Soto Scratched, X-Rays Negative

There was a collective sigh of relief from the Yankees’ clubhouse when X-rays on Juan Soto’s right hand came back negative. No broken bones. Soto, who was a late scratch in the Yankees’ lineup after a poor batting practice, developed swelling in the hand. Soto injured the hand in an awkward play at the plate, sliding in safely following J.D. Davis‘ grounder in which Soto hesitated as he tried scoring from third base. The star outfielder and prize of this coming offseason’s free agents was scheduled to receive treatment the rest of the day and his status for today’s series finale is up in the air.

Dodgers Score Touchdown In 11th

There is a danger in giving a team with as many weapons as the Los Angeles Dodgers a sliver of a chance, especially when you could have put them away. The rival San Francisco Giants found that out the hard way. After tagging Dodgers ace Tyler Glasnow for five runs in the first three innings, the two teams headed for extra innings tied 5-5. The Dodgers pushed across a run in the 10th as did the Giants, who had a chance to walk it off but Matt Chapman popped up with L.A. playing with an extra infielder. Then came the 11th inning, when the Rams, er, Dodgers put up a seven-spot, keyed by Will Smith’s two-run double following an intentional walk to Shohei Ohtani. By the way, Ohtani continued his hot hitting with his 26th homer of the season.


Best Moments From Yesterday


A Grand Homer Month

The MLB record for home runs in a season is 307, held by the Minnesota Twins (2019) and Atlanta (2023). The Baltimore Orioles are wrapping up an epic June as rookie Heston Kjerstad’s first career grand slam was the team’s 60th in June. Anthony Santander has hit 13 in June. The Orioles easily lead MLB with 139 homers. Their 60 homers in June are the third-most of any month in MLB history and need just two today to have sole possession of second place.

That Will Leave A Mark

Blue Jays right-handed starter Chris Bassitt threw a 93.2 mph fastball that Yankees slugger Aaron Judge returned to sender at 101.6 mph in the first inning. Oh, and it also smacked Bassitt squarely on the forearm. Bassitt remained in the game.

A True Gem

Just watch this tremendous play turned in by the Los Angeles Angels.

He Plays For Who?

We will just leave this Yadier Molina nugget for all those St. Louis Cardinals fans to soak in.


Injuries and Other Moves


Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager, the 2023 World Series MVP, left in the fifth inning after being hit on the left wrist by Baltimore Orioles left-hander Cade Povich. The initial diagnosis is no break with further testing coming.

Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed starter Zac Gallen (strained right hamstring) was activated from the 15-day injured list and started against the Oakland A’s. Gallen pitched six shutout innings, striking out seven as the Diamondbacks won 3-0.

 Blue Jays right-handed closer Jordan Romano (on the 15-day IL with right elbow inflammation) will need further evaluation this coming week after experiencing more soreness after a throwing session. Also, left-handed reliever Tim Mayza, the longest-tenured player on the team, was designated for assignment.

Milwaukee Brewers left-handed reliever Jared Koenig (forearm tightness) went on the 15-day IL and will have imaging done Monday to further assess the injury.

The Brewers said 11 fans were injured following Saturday’s game when an escalator malfunctioned and sped up as it descended. Six were transported to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening, while the other five were treated at American Family Field.

⚾ Star Angels center fielder Mike Trout declared himself basically pain-free as he continues to recover from meniscus surgery on his left knee in April. He has yet to start running. Trout hopes to return by late July.

New York Mets right-handed starter Tylor Megill was optioned to Triple-A.


Articles You Should Read


Giants home games are windiest in MLB; how does that affect HRs? — Anthony Edwards and Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle

Questions for AL teams as the trade deadline approaches — Mark Feinsand, MLB.com

This minor-league team lets you sit on the toilet to watch the game — Jesus Cano, MiLB.com

Reno Aces manager was rare perfect match for girlfriend’s kidney transplant Allison Mast, MiLB.com


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers


Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter and Threads @DrummerWrites.

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