LEADING OFF: Bucs can sweep Cubs, Chapman deals vs Cards
A look at what’s happening all around the majors Sunday:
After going 4-14 against the Cubs last season, the Pirates can take a three-game sweep from Chicago with a win at Wrigley Field. Andrew McCutchen hit a go-ahead, three-run homer during a five-run seventh to lead Pittsburgh to an 8-7 victory Saturday. Right-hander Jameson Taillon (0-0, 1.38 ERA) leads the Pirates’ effort in going for the sweep, while lefty Jon Lester (0-0, 1.64) is up for the Cubs.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has gone 30 straight appearances against the Cardinals without allowing a run. The streak began in 2012 and spanned 30 1/3 innings, during which he’s struck out 51 and allowed just seven hits. Chapman and his 100 mph heat might get a chance to extend the longest consecutive-game shutout string ever vs. St. Louis in the Sunday night game at Yankee Stadium.
Jose Ramirez looks to lift Cleveland again in the finale of a series against AL Central foe Detroit. Ramirez had a pair of three-run homers among his four hits in a 13-6 win over the Tigers and ace Justin Verlander on Saturday, setting a career high with six RBIs. The Indians locked up Ramirez with a five-year contract in March and he’s playing up to it, batting .341 with three homers, 12 RBIs and a 1.014 OPS.
The Rockies are off to a strong start thanks in part to some impressive performances from their young starting rotation. After Tyler Chatwood threw a two-hitter to beat San Francisco 5-0 on Saturday, rookie Antonio Senzatela (1-0, 1.50) will look to build off getting his first major league win last time out. The 22-year-old righty has shut down the Padres and Brewers in his first two starts. Colorado is 8-5 this season and can win its four-game series against the Giants with a victory in the finale.
Toronto faces Orioles righty Dylan Bundy for the second time this season, and the first go-round wasn’t encouraging. Bundy (1-1, 2.70) struck out eight and allowed a run and four hits over seven innings on April 5 in a 3-1 Baltimore win. The 24-year-old has started well in what’s expected to be his first full season in the rotation. J.A. Happ (0-2, 5.40) is set to pitch for the Blue Jays.