LEADING OFF: Marlins-Braves at Fort Bragg, McCarthy back
FILE - In this June 11, 2016, file photo, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker sits in the dugout during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians. Less than two years after the Los Angeles Angels finished with the majors' best record, Mike Trout's team is on pace for the worst season in franchise history. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
The Braves host the Marlins in a special for-the-troops contest in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It's believed to be the first regular-season baseball game played at an active military installation. Major League Baseball is staging the game at the sprawling U.S. Army post on the day before Independence Day as a thank you to the armed forces. It has turned an overgrown golf course into a major league-ready field surrounded by a temporary 12,500-seat ballpark – a project that's costing MLB and the players' association roughly $5 million.
The limping Dodgers get Brandon McCarthy back from the DL to make his season debut against Colorado. McCarthy made four starts after signing a $48 million, four-year free agent deal with Los Angeles in 2015 before having to have Tommy John surgery. His return is timely for L.A., which has sent six starting pitchers to the DL this season, including ace Clayton Kershaw on Friday.
WRAP IT UP
The Mets try to complete a four-game sweep of the Cubs in a rematch of last year's NL Championship Series with aces Jon Lester (9-3, 2.03) and Noah Syndergaard (8-3, 2.49) on the mound. Lester has won five straight decisions, though he's coming off two consecutive no-decisions despite allowing just three runs over 14 2/3 innings. Syndergaard allowed five runs in three innings last time out against the Nationals, ending a six-decision winning streak.
BETTER LUCK THIS MONTH
Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker (3-8, 4.12 ERA) hopes for better luck this month starting against Boston in the series finale at Fenway Park. He was winless in six starts (0-3) in June despite an impressive 2.14 ERA. Right-hander Sean O'Sullivan (1-0, 7.94) is slated to pitch for the Red Sox.
Jose Quintana (5-3, 3.18) will start for the White Sox against Houston. Quintana looks to get back on track after going 0-7 with a 4.58 ERA in his last nine starts. Collin McHugh (5-5, 4.58) is up for Houston and is searching for his first win since May 30 after getting one loss and four no-decisions over his past five starts.
Rangers lefty Cole Hamels (9-1, 2.60) has won four straight starts, giving up just two earned runs in 27 2/3 innings. He'll look to extend that streak against Minnesota's Kyle Gibson (1-5, 5.12), who earned his first win of the season on Tuesday. Gibson pitched seven innings in a 4-0 win over the White Sox.