LEADING OFF: More bad blood between Diamondbacks and Pirates
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
The Pirates and Diamondbacks already had a history of ill will toward each other dating to 2014 before Arizona’s Chris Iannetta was hit in the face by a fastball from reliever Johnny Barbato. Bloodied, Iannetta was able to walk off the field in the seventh inning and head to a hospital. A couple innings later, Chris Stewart of the Pirates was hit in the leg. Could be tense when the teams meet again at Chase Field.
WHAT A SALE
Red Sox ace Chris Sale has struck out at least 10 in six straight starts going into this outing vs. Tampa Bay at Fenway Park. In 2015, Sale matched Pedro Martinez’s big league record with eight double-digit strikeout performances in a row. Sale is 3-2 with a 1.92 ERA in seven starts this year for his new team, and leads the majors with 73 strikeouts.
The Cubs hope NL MVP Kris Bryant is feeling better, a day after he was scratched from the lineup at St. Louis because of a stomach ailment. Chicago could see the star slugger return during the weekend series at Busch Stadium.
GRAY IN TEXAS
Athletics righty Sonny Gray is certainly comfortable pitching on the road against the Rangers. Gray makes his seventh career start at Texas – he’s 6-0 with a 1.45 ERA so far. He has eight wins overall against the Rangers since the start of the 2014 season, the most by any pitcher in that span.
WASHED OUT IN WASHINGTON
Rained out two days in a row at home, the Nationals hope to get back on the field. The NL East leaders were postponed Thursday vs. Baltimore and again Friday in the series opener against Philadelphia. The Phils and Washington might have a chance this time – the weather in Washington calls for the showers to end around noon, but the storm system could cause trouble at ballparks up the East Coast.
Orioles outfielder Adam Jones has donated $20,000 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and plans to visit the site and speak with its president before Baltimore plays the Royals. Earlier this month, Jones was the target of racial taunts during a game at Fenway Park. The museum was founded by a group of former Negro Leagues stars.