Juan Soto went 1-for-4 with a solo homer against the Mets on Friday. Soto started Washington's game-tying rally in the bottom of the ninth with his 24th home run of the year, which also extended his hitting streak to six games. The long ball was his second in as many days and his 15th over the past two months, as he's returned to form after a sluggish start. The lack of supporting talent around him since Washington's fire sale at the trade deadline doesn't seem to have hampered his production, although he has seen his walk rate increase significantly over the past month, resulting in his MLB-high walk total and OBP. The 22-year-old All-Star is reminding everyone why he's one of the best players in baseball and appears poised to finish the season on a high note.
Adam Wainwright improved to 14-7 with a 2.91 ERA after limiting the Brewers to two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings on Friday. The veteran hurler -- who recently celebrated his 40th birthday -- won his third straight start to continue his phenomenal second half. He's now notched nine straight quality starts and 16 quality starts in 17 outings since the beginning of June, lowering his ERA by more than a full run over the last three months. The key to his most recent hot streak has been keeping the ball in the yard, as he's not surrendered any homers over his last six starts. He's also been fortunate on the batted ball side as well, but the 16-year Cardinals mainstay hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. He'll look to score his first 15-win campaign since 2014 when he takes the bump against the Dodgers at home next week.
Nolan Arenado went 2-for-5 with two homers and three RBIs to pace the Cardinals' 15-4 rout of the Brewers on Friday. Arenado put St. Louis out in front with a two-run blast in the top of the first, giving them a lead they would never relinquish. He tacked on a solo shot in the third for good measure, giving him his first multi-homer game of the season and first multi-homer game as a Cardinal. The pair of dingers upped his season total to 29, three of which have come in his last two games. He also boosted his RBI total to 88 and his OPS to .817, keeping him on track for his sixth career season with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs. While he's no longer the perennial MVP candidate he was in Colorado, he's still an All-Star caliber player as he enters his early 30s.
Rich Hill settled for a no-decision against the Nationals on Friday despite tossing six shutout innings in which he allowed three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The 41-year-old southpaw completed six frames for the first time since June 29 and handed a 2-0 lead over to the Mets' bullpen, only to watch them blow it in the bottom of the ninth. While New York did rally to win the game in extra innings, the brief meltdown cost him his seventh win -- which would have been his first since June 23. The sharp outing improved his ERA to 3.92, although it did end his streak of three consecutive starts without a walk. He'll look to take advantage of another friendly road matchup when he faces the Marlins in Miami for his next start.
Frank Schwindel powered the Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the Pirates on Friday by going 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs. Schwindel snapped a 5-5 tie with his sixth-inning solo shot, propelling Chicago to victory over its NL Central foes. The long ball was Schwindel's ninth in 38 games this season and fourth in his last five contests. The trio of hits also raised his average to .315 and his OPS to .967, as he's been on fire since the Chicago Cubs selected him off waivers from the Oakland A's in July. While the 29-year-old rookie may not have much long-term value, he's worth rostering for the rest of the season as long as he's hitting in the two-hole for Chicago.
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