LEADING OFF: Cole for 12; Hamilton takes swings; Nova back
A look at what’s happening all around the major leagues today:
AN EVEN DOZEN
Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole goes for the 12th win of the season on Wednesday night when the Pirates host Cincinnati. Cole (11-3, 1.78 ERA) is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in June and has won six straight starts, including 3-2 over the Chicago White Sox last week. The 24-year-old Cole will try to become the first Pittsburgh pitcher since Ken Brett in 1974 to reach 12 wins before the All-Star break.
COME SALE AWAY
Left-hander Chris Sale will take the mound for the sputtering Chicago White Sox in the series finale at Minnesota, with the chance to set a major league record. Sale has struck out at least 12 batters in each of his last five starts, matching Pedro Martinez (Boston, 1999) and Randy Johnson (Seattle, 1998). No pitcher has ever done so in six straight appearances.
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton is set to start a rehab assignment, as the designated hitter for Double-A Frisco before joining Triple-A Round Rock in New Orleans on Thursday. He hasn’t played since he strained his left hamstring on his game-ending two-run double in a 4-3 win over Boston on May 31, which wrapped up his first week back with Texas.
Right-hander Buck Farmer has been called up from Triple-A Toledo to make a spot start for Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who was scratched from the outing on Tuesday because of back stiffness. Verlander had made two starts in his return from a right triceps injury and was 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA this season. Farmer made one start for the Tigers this year, allowing seven runs and nine hits in five innings.
LONG WAIT, BRIEF ABSENCE
Ivan Nova returns to the mound nearly 14 months after Tommy John surgery, providing a potential boost to the New York Yankees’ rotation. The right-hander is 40-22 with a 4.20 ERA in five major league seasons. He made three rehab starts in the minors. Nova will face Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels, who missed his previous turn Friday with a strained right hamstring.
Mike Bolsinger makes his first start of his career against the Cubs, in Chicago, where he was born. The right-hander is winless in four outings away from Dodger Stadium but is 4-2 overall in nine starts.
Arizona’s Ian Kennedy (4-5) is 2-0 over his last four starts following a four-game skid. He’s lowered his ERA from 7.15 with a 2.63 ERA during his winning streak. He’s faced the Giants twice this season, allowing one run over 9 1/3 innings.