LEADING OFF: Dodgers-Padres in Mexico, Kingham pitches again
A look at what’s happening all around the majors Friday:
Major League Baseball returns to Mexico in the regular season for the first time in nearly two decades when the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego play a three-game series in Monterrey. It’ll be a matchup of promising rookies when Joey Lucchesi starts for the Padres against Walker Buehler at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey.
The previous visit was opening day in 1999 when Mexican native Vinny Castilla helped Colorado top the Padres. The first trip was in 1996, with Mexican star Fernando Valenzuela leading San Diego over the Mets to begin a three-game series.
Pirates rookie Nick Kingham makes his second career start. His first one went pretty well – in his major league debut last weekend, he took a perfect game into the seventh inning against St. Louis before it was broken up. The 26-year-old right pitches vs. the Brewers at Miller Park.
The Atlanta Braves – the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves – return to SunTrust Park to host San Francisco. Fueled by Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies and Mike Soroka, the three youngest players in the majors, Atlanta has won five in a row.
Kris Medlen is set to start for Arizona at Minute Maid Park against the Astros. The 32-year-old righty last pitched in the majors in 2016 with Kansas City. He’s been beset by injuries, including a pair of Tommy John surgeries, since coming up with Atlanta in 2009. Gerrit Cole (2-1, 1.73 ERA) starts for Houston. Cole set the AL record for strikeouts in April with 61.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera’s return to the lineup was brief. After missing three games with spasms in his biceps, he made an early exit Thursday because of a strained hamstring. He’ll test it before Detroit plays again in Kansas City.