Scherzer leads the American League with a 1.72 ERA in seven appearances. The right-hander won four consecutive starts from April 19-May 5, and he produced 35 strikeouts in the span. On May 5, he matched a season-high by going eight innings and allowing just three hits in a victory over the Houston Astros. He's 4-1, and he has lasted at least seven innings four times this season.
Cueto leads the majors with a 1.31 ERA in seven appearances. The right-hander allowed just two runs and three hits in eight innings in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on May 3. He has lasted at least seven innings in each start this season, and he went at least eight in four consecutive outings from April 16-May 3 with two complete games. He's 3-2 this season — Stats don't include Friday's start vs. the Rockies.
Brantley hit .400 (12 for 30) with two home runs and nine RBI in seven games from May 2-8. He had at least one hit in each contest during the span, and he had three games with at least two. He earned six RBI in a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins from May 6-8. He has hit .289 with six home runs and 29 RBI this season.
Arenado extended his hitting streak to 28 games by going 1 for 4 in a loss to the Texas Rangers on May 8. Arenado's run, which began April 9 in a victory over the Chicago White Sox, is a franchise record that has aided the Rockies' hot offense. Michael Cuddyer held Colorado's previous record, set last year, of 27 consecutive games with a hit. Arenado has hit .322 with six home runs and 26 RBI this season — Stats don't include Friday's game at the Reds.
AL -- Detroit Tigers
The Tigers won six of seven games from May 2-8, a run that included a three-game sweep of the division-rival Kansas City Royals from May 2-4. Detroit scored at least eight runs four times from May 2-6. The loss on May 8 to the Houston Astros was just the Tigers' second defeat in 10 games since April 26. At 20-10, they own the best record in the majors by win percentage (.667).
The Marlins are tied with the Toronto Blue Jays with a current majors-best five-game winning streak. The Marlins went 6-1 in games from May 2-8, a hot streak that included a three-game sweep of the New York Mets from May 5-7. With a 20-15 record, they lead the National League East by a half game over the Washington Nationals. They rank second in the NL with 160 runs, behind the Colorado Rockies' major-league-high 215.
(Clockwise from top left) Los Angeles Angels' Hector Santiago, Atlanta's Mike Minor, Los Angeles Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez and Oakland's Josh Reddick are this week's featured cold pitchers and hitters.
Santiago went 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA in starts against the Texas Rangers on May 2 and New York Yankees on May 7. He allowed 11 runs (seven earned) and 12 hits with five walks in 8 1/3 innings. The left-hander earned losses in four consecutive starts from April 20-May 7, and he failed to reach the sixth inning in two of those appearances. He's 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in seven appearances this season.
Minor went 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in starts against the San Francisco Giants on May 2 and St. Louis Cardinals on May 7. The left-hander allowed 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Cardinals after surrendering at least 10 hits just once in 32 appearances last season (11 on Sept. 11 against the Miami Marlins). The outings this year were his first in a return to the rotation after suffering from left shoulder soreness.
Reddick hit .056 (1 for 18) in six games from May 2-7. He went hitless in four consecutive games from May 2-5, and his lone hit from May 2-7 came on a single in a loss to the Seattle Mariners in the first game of a May 7 doubleheader. He went without producing an RBI in seven consecutive games from April 30-May 7, his longest drought of the season. He has hit .208 with one home run and nine RBI this year.
Gonzalez hit .043 (1 for 23) with four strikeouts in six games from May 2-8. He went hitless in four consecutive games from May 2-5, and he saw his average drop from .321 to .273 in the slide. His lone hit from May 2-8 came on an RBI single in a loss to the Washington Nationals on May 7. He has nine home runs and 26 RBI this season, though he produced just two RBI from May 1-8 after earning seven in five games from April 24-30.
AL -- Minnesota Twins
The Twins went 3-4 from May 2-8. They lost three consecutive games to the Cleveland Indians from May 6-8 after winning three straight against the Baltimore Orioles and Indians from May 3-5. The Twins are in last place in the AL Central with a 15-18 record — only the Houston Astros have fewer victories in the AL at 11-24. Minnesota went 3-7 from April 30-May 8.
NL -- Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies lost four consecutive games from May 5-8 to drop to 15-18. The losing streak included 10-0 and 12-6 routs by the Toronto Blue Jays on May 7 and May 8, respectively. Philly went 2-5 in games from May 2-8 and failed to score more than two runs three times in the span. The four-game losing streak matches a season high from April 6-10. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates (14), Arizona Diamondbacks (13) and Chicago Cubs (12) have fewer victories in the NL.
Welcome back, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. So far, this season has included notable pitching performances from stars such as right-handers Jose Fernandez, Cueto and Scherzer. But Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, remains the man to top whenever he steps on a mound. The left-hander returned May 6 against the Washington Nationals after not making a start since March 22 because of a muscle strain in his back. The appearance was typical Kershaw: Seven scoreless innings, nine hits and nine strikeouts in a victory. Magic Johnson approves, as he should.