LEADING OFF: DeGrom aims to right Mets, Ryu tries to rebound

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              New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom throws during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

DOING IT ALL

Jacob deGrom (8-7, 2.56 ERA) tries to stop the Mets‘ five-game skid when he faces Cubs lefty Jon Lester (10-9, 4.49) in a series finale between playoff hopefuls at Citi Field. Last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, deGrom has pitched himself right back into contention this season and leads the league with 207 strikeouts. He fanned 13 over seven innings and homered last time out but the Mets lost 2-1 to Atlanta in 14 innings. The right-hander is the first pitcher since at least 1900 to homer and strike out 13 or more in the same game twice in one season.

BUMP IN THE ROAD

Major league ERA leader Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4) looks to rebound from a rough outing when he pitches for the NL West-leading Dodgers at Arizona. The All-Star lefty gave up a grand slam to Didi Gregorius last Friday and was tagged by the New York Yankees for a career high-tying seven runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings — his shortest outing since June 28. It was Ryu’s second consecutive loss, and his ERA jumped from 1.64 to 2.00.

RED HOTS

Aristides Aquino and Eugenio Suarez are providing lots of long balls for Cincinnati, and will try to power up again at Marlins Park.

Aquino tied the National League rookie record for home runs in a month with his 13th on Wednesday night. The 24-year-old outfielder, who got just one at-bat in the majors last season, has broken loose since being promoted from the minors on Aug. 1. He matched the NL homer mark for rookies in a month set by Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers in June 2017.

The major league rookie record for homers in a month is 18 by Rudy York of Detroit in August 1937.

Suarez hit his 38th home run, connecting in the fourth straight game. The Reds will try for a four-game sweep when they face rookie Robert Dugger, who was hit hard earlier this month in his first start.

ON THE WAY

Cleveland pitcher Carlos Carrasco is set to return to the majors, coming back after being diagnosed with leukemia in May. Indians manager Terry Francona told MLB Network Radio the team plans to activate Carrasco from the 60-day injured list Sunday, when rosters can expand to 40 players.

The 32-year-old Carrasco has made three rehab appearances so far with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, permitting one run while striking out six in 3 2/3 innings. He will make one final minor league appearance and, assuming all goes well, will join Cleveland’s bullpen as he continues to build endurance in his arm.

JUST LOOKIN’

Nationals reliever Roenis Elías is ready to come off from the injured list this week. Acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline, the left-hander strained his hamstring running out a grounder on Aug. 2 in his first game for Washington.

The injury came in his seventh career at-bat in the majors. He has a plan for the next time he comes to the plate to avoid any more pain on the bases.

“That’s prohibited for me anymore,” Elías said through a translator. “So if they want to throw three straight fastballs down the middle, go ahead. I’ll take all of them.”