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The Atlanta Braves, picked by most to finish behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East this season, finished off a weekend sweep of the Nats in convincing fashion — a 9-0 trouncing, coming over Gio Gonzalez.
For the Braves, now 11-1, it was their ninth straight win, making it hard to argue against them as the best team in baseball right now. Justin Upton hit another homer for Atlanta (his league-leading seventh) and Paul Maholm moved to 3-0 with 7 2/3 more scoreless innings, keeping his ERA at 0.00.
''It's early,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''I don't think we're going to play .998 baseball the rest of the way, but it sure is better than 1-11.''
The Braves have swept three straight series (Cubs, Miami and Washington) for the first time since April 2000, when they swept four in a row (Phillies, Pirates, Dodgers, and Padres). Washington has lost seven straight to Atlanta, dating back to last year. The final game of this series was a stark contrast to the other two.
''We should have won the first one. We were right there on the second,'' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. ''We just got waffled today. I don't put too much stock in it.''
Roy Halladay wins No. 200: Elsewhere in the NL East, Roy Halladay won his 200th game on Sunday, and perhaps more importantly looked more like Roy Halladay than he has in a while. Of course, Halladay's win came at the expense of the Miami Marlins, but a win is a win. Especially for Halladay, who was off to a rough start this season.Phillies' 2-1 victory, giving up five hits and lowering his ERA to 7.63. He threw only 87 pitches.
Brewers finally find some offense: The Milwaukee Brewers set a team record by reaching 32 straight scoreless innings during Sunday's game. Then promptly snapped out of it thanks to an eighth inning Ryan Braun home run. The Brewers scored again in the ninth inning to force extra innings with the St. Louis Cardinals. Then Jonathan Lucroy homered in the tenth to give the Brewers the win.
D-backs walk-off against Dodgers: The Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers took a 0-0 game into the bottom of the ninth. Josh Beckett had struck out nine though 8 1/3 innings, before D-backs slugger Paul Goldschmidt came to bat. He singled in Gerardo Parra as the winning run. J.J. Putz got the win in relief of Dbacks starter Trevor Cahill.
• Yankees 3, Orioles 0: Hiroki Kuroda pitches a five-hit shutout for Yanks.
• Red Sox 5, Rays 0: Clay Buchholz takes no-hitter into the eighth.
• White Sox 3, Indians 1: Peavy Ks 11 to break White Sox losing streak.
• Pirates 12, Reds 7: Pirates' six-run eighth inning finishes sweep of Cincinnati.
• Royals 3, Blue Jay 2: Alex Gordon gives Royals walk-off win with single.
• Giants 10, Cubs 7: The Giants score three in the tenth inning, including the go-ahead run on a balk.
• Angels 4, Astros 1: Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout homer for the first time in the same game, so of course the Angels are good now.
• Tigers 10, A's 1: Austin Jackson powers Detroit with four hits.
• Mariners 4, Rangers 3: Brandon Maurer, abused by Houston in his last start, gets first career win.
• Rockies 2, Padres 1: Todd Helton's pinch-hit two-run homer is the difference for Colorado.
• Mets vs. Twins: Postponed (snow/rain). Made up scheduled for Aug. 19.
Gio, Chris Sale, and myself need to go and have a good long cry together and then get ready for our next starts.#leftyssticktogether.
— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson49) April 14, 2013
With apologies to every MLB pitcher who threw on Sunday, this — by a military amputee before the Red Sox/Rays game — looks like the best pitch of the day.
• Cubs pitchers Edwin Jackson and Michael Bowden threw a combined five wild pitches in the sixth inning Sunday, tying a major league record.
• Joey Votto's home run against the Pirates was his first since June 24, 2012.
• "42," the Jackie Robinson biopic, had the biggest opening weekend ever for a baseball movie. With $27.2 million at the box office, it was the No. 1 movie of the weekend too.
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