LEADING OFF: Herrera on home run roll, D-backs bashing Bucs
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
PACKING A PUNCH
Odubel Herrera tries to homer in his fifth straight game when the Phillies begin a three-game series at Washington. ”What he’s doing is special,” Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler said. ”It’s elite.” Herrera is batting .419 (13 for 31) with two doubles, five homers and eight RBIs in the last seven games. Seven of his 12 homers have given the Phillies a lead. ”He’s a different breed,” pitcher Jake Arrieta said. ”When he gets hot, he’s fun to watch.”
A sprained right index finger is expected to keep Angels star Mike Trout from playing the outfield during a four-game series against Toronto. Trout, who has reached base in 31 of 47 plate appearances over his last nine games, was the designated hitter Thursday night during an 8-5 victory over the Blue Jays. The two-time MVP went 0 for 2 with three walks in his 1,000th career game, ending his hitting streak at eight games. Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said the injury isn’t serious and it won’t hinder Trout’s ability to grip or swing the bat.
BASHING THE BUCS
Jon Jay and the Diamondbacks look to keep feasting on Pirates pitching when the teams square off in Pittsburgh again. Arizona has scored 35 runs in going 3-1 against the Pirates this season. Jay doubled in each of the first two innings Thursday night, when the Diamondbacks cruised to a 9-3 victory. The center fielder is hitting .340 in 13 games since being acquired from Kansas City in a June 6 trade. Ivan Nova (4-5, 4.42 ERA) will try to slow down Arizona – the right-hander has won both starts with a 1.54 ERA since being activated from the disabled list June 10. He missed two weeks with a sprained right ring finger. Patrick Corbin (6-5, 3.48) gets the ball for the Diamondbacks. The lefty is 1-2 with a 5.90 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates.
Keep an eye on the Mariners‘ dugout at Fenway Park for a mysterious, mustachioed visitor when Seattle opens a series in Boston. Associated Press photographer Bill Kostround spotted Ichiro Suzuki hiding on Seattle’s bench Thursday at Yankee Stadium wearing a fake mustache, sunglasses and a hoodie. Officially, Suzuki isn’t allowed to be in the dugout during games under Major League Baseball rules after moving to the team’s front office in early May. But the 44-year-old outfielder channeled former Mets manager Bobby Valentine to sneak his way onto the bench – Valentine donned a fake mustache and sunglasses and returned to the dugout after being ejected from a game in 1999. ”He was perfect. I never would have known it was him,” Valentine texted to the AP.
The Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox are set to play a single-admission doubleheader after Thursday night’s scheduled game in the Windy City was postponed because of rain. It was the 40th postponement in the majors this season, already one more than all of last year. James Shields (2-8, 4.63 ERA) and Lucas Giolito (4-7, 7.19) will start for Chicago, which has lost seven straight to match a season high and is a season-low 25 games under .500. Oakland will send Sean Manaea (6-6, 3.56) and Chris Bassitt (0-2, 2.45) to the mound.
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