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Pitching across MLB has day of record quality

Ten starters complete at least seven innings with three hits or fewer allowed

Pitching across MLB has day of record quality play video for Pitching across MLB has day of record quality

Home runs and diving catches dominate the highlight reels, but Sunday was all about the pitchers.

A strong start is not always glamorous or exciting, but 10 of Sunday's pitchers were at the top of their game and provided baseball fans with spectacles as they carved up opposing lineups.

Sunday provided a first -- a rarity in a sport that has been around for so long -- as 10 pitchers completed at least seven innings while allowing three hits or less. That's a record, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

In Spring Training and throughout the first month of the regular season, several big-name pitchers went down with injuries, but it is apparent that there is still plenty of talent on the mound.

Garrett Richards, Ryan Vogelsong, Adam Wainwright, Julio Teheran, Dillon Gee, Johnny Cueto, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Collin McHugh and James Shields all stifled opposing hitters.

Despite the strong performances, only six of the 10 notched a win, while the other four were stuck with no-decisions.

While the collective numbers speak for themselves, Sunday's games also provided some great storylines.

Wainwright threw eight scoreless innings in the Cardinals' 7-0 victory over the Pirates. The right-hander has lowered his ERA to 1.20 with a streak of 25 consecutive scoreless innings.

Hammel did not allow a hit until the sixth inning in the Cubs' 4-0 victory win against the Brewers. He pitched seven scoreless innings to improve to 4-1 for the season.

McHugh was making just his second start of the season for the Astros, but he has been brilliant in both. He retired 19 consecutive batters at one point and fell one out shy of a shutout in the 5-1 victory over the A's.

The best duel of the day took place in Atlanta, where Reds right-hander Cueto and Braves righty Teheran matched each other pitch for pitch over eight scoreless innings. The game was not decided until both were done, when Freddie Freeman hit a walk-off single in the 10th for a 1-0 Braves victory.

This season the league ERA sits at 3.81, which if it holds, would be the third straight year in which that number has declined.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["top_pitching_performances" ] }
{"content":["top_pitching_performances" ] }
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