LEADING OFF: Indians aim for 22nd straight, Miller off DL
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Now that they’ve set an AL record with 21 consecutive wins, the seemingly unstoppable Indians take aim at the major league mark of 26 in a row by the 1916 New York Giants. Cleveland tries for No. 22 when it hosts Kansas City in the opener of a four-game series. Josh Tomlin, who is 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last six outings, pitches against Royals rookie Jake Junis. Kansas City was outscored 20-0 during its three-day visit to Cleveland last month, but maybe Junis can finally slow down the Indians. He is 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his past six starts. With a 5-3 victory Wednesday over Detroit, the Indians matched the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest winning streak since 1900. One note about those 1916 Giants – their century-old record includes a tie during the string. At 14-0, the Indians are off to the best September start since the 1991 Minnesota Twins went 15-0.
As if the Indians needed any help, they expect to get All-Star reliever Andrew Miller back following his second stint on the disabled list with knee tendinitis. Cleveland pitching coach Mickey Callaway said the club hopes to have Miller pitch Thursday in a ”low leverage” situation where he gets one out in an inning. From there, the Indians will give Miller a few days off and then steadily increase his workload to prepare him for the postseason. ”He feels great,” Callaway said. ”We’re very encouraged with everything so far.” One of the majors’ best late-inning pitchers, Miller is 4-3 with a 1.65 ERA in 48 games.
KING FELIX RETURNS
Felix Hernandez (5-4) is expected to come off the disabled list to make his first start for Seattle since July 31, when he also pitched at Texas. Hernandez is set to start the finale of a four-game series against the Rangers, but could be limited to about 50-60 pitches. This is the second time this season Hernandez has been on the DL because of right shoulder bursitis – he missed almost two months the other time. Hernandez is 19-23 with a 3.93 ERA in 52 career starts against Texas.
MARLINS TO MILWAUKEE
After wrapping up their series in Philadelphia, the Marlins will head to Milwaukee rather than back home. The team’s three-game series starting Friday against the Brewers has been moved from Miami to Wisconsin as South Florida recovers from Hurricane Irma. Miami, which has lost four in a row and 14 of 16, will be the home team in Milwaukee – but the first game at Marlins Park since the storm will instead be Monday against the New York Mets. Marlins officials didn’t want to strain the resources of police and fire rescue crews to work the Brewers games.
”All of our employees, as well as our entire community, have other needs that must take a priority,” team president David Samson said in a statement.
Major League Baseball agreed the decision was in the best interests of South Florida, Samson said. The switch means three extra games at Miller Park for the Brewers, who are competing for a National League playoff berth.
”It works out certainly good for us,” manager Craig Counsell said. ”I hope it turns out to be an advantage, I’m not going to lie to you.”
The series is the third in the majors to switch sites in recent weeks because of hurricanes.
The scheduling change means Miami’s current trip will become a three-city, 10-game swing. In anticipation of Irma, family members accompanied the team on its trip, and they’re expected to go to Milwaukee as well.
HOME RUN HAPPY
Philadelphia rookie Rhys Hoskins tries to go deep again when the Phillies host Miami. He hit his 17th homer in just his 33rd major league game Wednesday night. Hoskins, called up from the minors on Aug. 10, is the fastest player in big league history to get to 17 career homers. The previous record was 42 games by Wally Berger, an outfielder for the Boston Braves in 1930.
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