LEADING OFF: Kluber’s on a roll, Burnett vs Harvey
A look at what’s happening all around the major leagues Saturday:
LOOKING MORE LIKE CY
Corey Kluber is only 1-5, but he’s looking more like the pitcher who won the AL Cy Young last season. The Indians right-hander heads into his start against the Reds on quite a roll: He has 30 strikeouts while allowing just one run in 17 innings over his last two starts. Kluber pitched 6 2-3 no-hit innings and struck out 18 in eight shutout innings against St. Louis on May 13. He followed that by holding the White Sox to one run in nine innings.
A.J. Burnett’s revival for the Pittsburgh Pirates faces a stiff challenge against Matt Harvey and the New York Mets. The 38-year-old Burnett – who will retire at the end of the season – is 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA, the second-lowest in the majors and is coming off seven scoreless innings in a win over the Cubs last Sunday. Harvey (5-1, 1.98) has not given up a run in 16 innings, becoming the fifth pitcher in team history to yield no runs with nine strikeouts in consecutive starts as his comeback from Tommy John surgery picks up steam.
Nick Martinez starts for the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium, three miles from where he played in college. The 24-year-old righty was 1-3 with three saves and a 5.54 ERA in 15 games at Fordham before blossoming as a pro. Martinez is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in eight starts for Texas this season.
PUTTING UP ZEROES
Mariners LHP James Paxton carries a 20-inning scoreless streak into his start against the Blue Jays. Paxton hasn’t allowed a run since Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer off him in the first inning on May 5. Paxton, from British Columbia, will make his second career start in Canada. He didn’t fare well in the first, allowing a career-high nine runs, eight earned, in 2 2-3 innings last Sept. 22.