LEADING OFF: Pedroia rejoins Red Sox, Diamondback doldrums
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia is set to be activated by the Red Sox after missing Boston’s first 50 games while recovering from knee surgery. Manager Alex Cora says Pedroia will come off the disabled list for a weekend series at Fenway Park against Atlanta and will start one of the first two games.
Pedroia’s return to the AL East leaders will come exactly seven months after cartilage-restoration surgery on his left knee. The 34-year-old former AL MVP went 1 for 14 in a five-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket.
The Diamondbacks have lost seven in a row and 13 of 14, scoring a total of just 26 runs in that span and dropping out of the NL West lead. Slugger Paul Goldschmidt, an All-Star in each of the last five seasons, is batting .200 and has only four RBIs in his last 34 games. Arizona hopes for better results all around when Patrick Corbin (4-1, 2.60 ERA) starts a weekend series at Oakland.
Pittsburgh outfielder Austin Meadows is 11 for 25 in his first six major league games, including three home runs, two doubles and five RBIs. The 23-year-old rookie will aim to keep it going when the Pirates host St. Louis.
WHAT A RELIEF
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash is ready to try his relievers-as-starters approach again. All weekend, in fact.
Cash says he’ll go in reverse when Sergio Romo comes out of the bullpen to start the series opener at home vs. Baltimore. Reliever Ryne Stanek will start Saturday and Romo will be begin Sunday’s game. Romo had only pitched in relief for 588 games before starting twice last weekend against the Angels, throwing a total of 2 1/3 innings, for the rotation-thin Rays.
”We’re not trying to do anything that’s cute,” Cash said. ”We’re trying to do something that’s right for us to win games.”
Miami right-hander Jose Urena (0-7, 4.55 ERA) pitches at home against three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.78) and the Nationals. Urena went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA last season and was the Marlins‘ opening day starter this year. But Miami has lost all 10 of his starts, and 12 straight dating to last September – tying Brian Moehler’s dubious club record set from 2005-06.