LEADING OFF: Indians eye No. 20 to match “Moneyball” A’s
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Cleveland goes for its 20th consecutive victory in a game against Detroit, a mark that would match the 2002 ”Moneyball” Athletics for the best streak this century. Corey Kluber (15-4, 2.56 ERA) is 3-0 during the run, including a 13-strikeout effort against the White Sox last Thursday. The Indians are approaching the record 26-game mark set by the 1916 New York Giants. That team also had one tie during its run, but those don’t count as completed games in baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
WILD, WILD WEST
NL West rivals Colorado and Arizona resume a possible wild-card preview with a showdown of promising young right-handers. Jon Gray (7-4, 4.07) is up for Colorado and will be 10 days removed from a loss to Arizona in which he gave up three runs in five innings. Taijuan Walker (9-7, 3.33) has won three straight starts, including when he struck out 10 in five scoreless innings against the Rockies on Sept. 1. Colorado is also awaiting word on pitcher Kyle Freeland, who was struck in his throwing shoulder by a line drive and left Monday’s game.
The Astros begin a series in Anaheim just happy to be out of the Bay Area. Houston was swept over four miserable games at Oakland last weekend, blowing leads in the first three before ace Dallas Keuchel fell apart in the finale. Justin Verlander (11-8, 3.74) makes his second start for the Astros since being acquired in a waiver trade from Detroit. He won his debut by pitching one-run ball over six innings against Seattle. Garrett Richards (0-0, 1.13) makes his second start for the Angels since returning from a right biceps strain.
Giancarlo Stanton is still on pace to reach 60 homers, taking 54 long balls into Miami’s 144th game of the season – the opener of a series at Philadelphia. Stanton has already set the Marlins franchise record, soaring past Gary Sheffield’s 42 homers in 1996. He also has one homer this year against Phillies starter Nick Pivetta.
TOUCHING THEM ALL
Jose Abreu has been tough to keep off the bases. The White Sox slugger hit for the cycle Saturday, had a pair of homers Sunday and then finished a homer shy of another cycle Monday. He’ll face Royals righty Sam Gaviglio (3-5, 4.41), making his second start since being acquired from Seattle on Sept. 1.
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