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Sunday, April 27, 2014
Updated: April 28, 11:00 AM ET
Starters have record day on mound

ESPN.com news services

From World Series heroes to journeymen, starting pitchers had a historic day Sunday.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, a record 10 pitchers -- one-third of all of Sunday's starters -- threw at least seven innings while allowing three or fewer hits.

Perhaps the least surprising starters to accomplish the feat were veteran aces Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati Reds), James Shields (Kansas City Royals) and Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals).

Wainwright became the first pitcher to five wins this season as the Cards blanked the Pirates 7-0. Wainwright, known for his knee-buckling curveball, instead relied on his fastball to best Pittsburgh, throwing the pitch 43 times and recording 10 outs while allowing no hits on his heater.

Shields also turned on the gas, getting five of his six strikeouts against the Orioles via the fastball as the Royals picked up a series victory in Baltimore.

Cueto threw eight scoreless innings and struck out 11 for the Reds but didn't factor into the decision as the team suffered a 1-0 loss to the Braves in 10 innings. How could the Reds lose on a day when they got such a strong performance out of their starter? Because Braves pitcher Julio Teheran also threw eight scoreless innings -- and also earned a no-decision.

Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels was equally unlucky, as he failed to earn a decision despite twirling a gem. Richards struck out seven New York Yankees over seven innings, but the Angels couldn't close out the game as New York got a run in the eighth to pick up the win.

Also left without a decision was San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong. The right-hander fanned six Cleveland Indians over seven innings but watched his bullpen give up the lead before San Francisco pulled out a late win.

Collin McHugh gave Astros fans something to cheer for, a rarity in Houston, with his seven-strikeout performance. The only disappointment for McHugh (2-0, 0.59 ERA) on Sunday was that he came one out shy of his first career complete game.

Dillon Gee also served as a Sunday bright spot for a struggling franchise, as his eight-inning outing propelled the New York Mets to a 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins and National League RBIs leader Giancarlo Stanton.

Journeymen Jason Hammel (Chicago Cubs) and Ian Kennedy (San Diego Padres), pitching on their fourth and third teams, respectively, over their careers turned in dynamic performances as well.

Hammel used a good slider that ended four of his seven strikeouts in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kennedy preferred to work out of trouble Sunday, however. The veteran righty struck out nine Washington Nationals and picked up the win despite falling behind 1-0 to 10 of the 25 batters he faced.

And Kennedy accomplished his feat after a rough start. After yielding consecutive doubles in the first inning, he allowed just one more hit over his final six innings of work.

"First inning, you're kind of like a lot of pitchers, you're trying to feel what's going to work for that moment," Kennedy said.

And for one moment in a long baseball season, the pitchers had their day.

Information from ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press was used in this report.