LEADING OFF: Mets GM Alderson steps down, Cain to DL

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 file photo, New York Mets' general manager Sandy Alderson speaks at a news conference at Citi Field in New York. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is taking a leave of absence because his cancer has returned. The 70-year-old made the announcement before the game against Pittsburgh, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:

STEPPING DOWN

The Mets march on in their difficult season a day after learning general manager Sandy Alderson had effectively stepped down because his cancer has returned. Officially, Alderson will take a leave of absence, but he said Tuesday that he was essentially ending his tenure both for his health and because he doesn’t think he’s been successful enough to continue. Assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistants J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya will run the club’s baseball operations in Alderson’s absence. Minaya preceded Alderson as Mets general manager, and Ricciardi was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-09.

CAIN NOT ABLE

Lorenzo Cain is missing the chance to face his former teammates this week due to a left groin strain. The Brewers center fielder was placed on the disabled list Tuesday, just as Milwaukee opened a series against Kansas City. Cain left the Royals last offseason for an $80 million, five-year deal with the Brewers, and he’s batting .291 with eight homers, 48 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and an .832 OPS for the NL Central leaders.

MAKING BELIEBERS

Indians rookie Shane Bieber is off to a strong start and gets his first interleague test in a game against St. Louis. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA through three starts, including seven scoreless innings against Detroit last time out. Bieber has 22 strikeouts and three walks in 18 1/3 innings after walking just 18 batters in 274 career minor league innings. The Cardinals will counter with another promising young righty, Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.50).

HEATING UP

Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 3.90) has been the weakest link in Houston’s rotation – which says more about the Astros than Keuchel – but he’s been sharp of late. Over his past two starts, he’s thrown 12 innings without allowing an earned run, and now he’ll face a Toronto team that struck out 13 times against Charlie Morton in a 7-0 loss Tuesday to Houston.

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