LEADING OFF: Astros-Indians again, Mets limp to tough trip

Houston Astros starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Friday, May 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:


Houston’s Charlie Morton and Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger get a rematch of their most recent outing when the Astros and Indians begin a series at Progressive Field. Morton (6-0, 1.94 ERA) pitched Houston to a 4-1 victory last Friday, striking out eight over seven innings. Clevinger (3-1, 2.87) got his first loss of the season after allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings. The past two AL champions are in very different places, with Cleveland hovering near .500 while Houston is off to the second-best start in franchise history at 32-18 – trailing only last year’s 34-16 opening.


Minus injured sluggers Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier, the Mets begin a stretch of eight road games in seven days against two teams currently in first place: Milwaukee and Atlanta. Left-hander Steven Matz (1-3, 4.42 ERA) opens the trip at NL Central-leading Milwaukee. Right-hander Zach Davies (2-3, 4.24), who lost to Matz 6-5 on April 13 at Citi Field, comes off the disabled list to start for the Brewers after being sidelined since May 3 with right rotator cuff inflammation.


Rick Porcello tries to recapture his April form when Boston concludes a three-game series at Tampa Bay. Porcello (6-1, 3.39) went 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in six April starts, but he’s 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four outings since. The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner faces hard-throwing left-hander Blake Snell (5-3, 3.07) at Tropicana Field.


Oakland will have to power on without slugger Khris Davis after the outfielder hit the DL on Wednesday with a Grade 1 strain in his right groin. Davis has topped 40 homers the past two seasons and has a team-leading 13 this year. He was hurt Sunday in Toronto running out a grounder.

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