Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. Looks like Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder is back. The 31-year-old came into the year with major questions after undergoing neck surgery last season, but he’s been able to quiet the doubters thus far. He put those skills on display on the national level Sunday night against the New York Yankees. Fielder picked up three hits during the contest, leading Texas to the 5-2 win. Fielder hit a double and two singles, finishing 3 for 5, with two RBI. That stat line seems pretty familiar to Prince this season. Over 193 plate appearances, he’s hitting an impressive .360/.415/.554. Some of the batting average is due to luck, but Fielder deserves credit for returning to form. He’s been able to cut his strikeout rate to a career-low 11.1 percent. While his walk rate is also at a career-low, he’s shown the ability to take walks at a high pace in the past. Also, his low walk rate is hardly a concern if he continues producing like this. While Fielder is swinging a bit more, he’s also making contact at a career-high 85.6 percent. It appears he’s traded some patience for contact, and it’s been working. The biggest positive is that his aggressive approach hasn’t limited his power just yet. His home run rate of 14.5 percent is slightly low compared to his career-rate, so there’s a chance it will rise moving forward. Then again, perhaps this new version of Prince isn’t as dependent on the long ball. For now, whatever he’s doing is working. Though the Rangers are just 21-23, Fielder’s revival has been an encouraging sign for the franchise. PIRATES’ PITCHING PUTS METS IN PRECARIOUS POSITION The Pittsburgh Pirates managed to complete the sweep over the New York Mets on Sunday. Francisco Liriano led the way during the 9-1 victory. Actually, all three of the Pirates starters dominated during the series. Gerrit Cole struck out 10 while nearly tossing a complete game Friday, A.J. Burnett followed that up with a 10 strikeout performance Saturday and Liriano added an incredible 12 strikeouts during Sunday’s game. It was the first time since 1969 that a trio of Pirates starters struck out double-digit batters in three straight games. Burnett, Cole and Liriano struck out 32 Mets over 21 1/3 innings during the sweep. With the win, the Pirates are just one game under .500. They trail the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central by 3.0 games. MICHAEL WACHA REMAINS PERFECT St. Louis Cardinals starter Michael Wacha may never lose another game. The 23-year-old improved to 7-0 after Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Kansas City Royals. Wacha has been operating with a slightly altered approach this year, but it seems to have worked out thus far. The right-handers strikeout rate has dropped quite a bit, but he’s been able to balance that by picking up more grounders. Wacha’s .231 BABIP suggests regression could be coming, however, so there may come a time where he’ll need to reach back and start picking up more strikeouts. For now, though, all appears to be right. The Cardinals have been able to remain at the top despite losing Adam Wainwright for the season, and Wacha’s emergence has been a big part of it. Wacha tossed just 107 innings last season due to shoulder issues, so the club may want to limit his usage moving forward. Based on how he’s going now, it’s going to be incredibly tough to take him out of the rotation at any point. HOT IN CLEVELAND Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Indians are starting to get hot. The franchise picked up its sixth-straight win with a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Since their 7-14 start in April, the club has improved to 13-9 during May. Despite the recent winning streak, the team remains eight games out of first in the American League Central. The rotation has been a big part of the recent surge. The Indians have four of the 12 best starting pitchers in the American League by FIP this season http://t.co/pq97rL0hD5 — August Fagerstrom (@AugustF_MLB) May 24, 2015 On top of that, catcher Yan Gomes just returned from a knee injury Sunday. He’ll not only provide a strong upgrade on offense, but he’s also considered a useful defensive asset. While Cleveland still has a long way to go before they are considered contenders, they are finally starting to perform like many expected in the preseason. Want to see more from Sunday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard .
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