LEADING OFF: Rangers, Blue Jays await penalties after fight
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
AFTER THE FIGHT
One day after their wild brawl that featured Texas second baseman Rougned Odor punching Toronto slugger Jose Bautista in the jaw, the Rangers and Blue Jays go their separate ways while awaiting possible suspensions from Major League Baseball. Texas opens a three-game series at Oakland, with Derek Holland coming off two terrible outings. Toronto returns home to play Tampa Bay as J.A. Happ (5-0, 2.05 ERA) tries to win his eighth straight decision dating to last season.
Local bragging rights are on the line in a pair of interleague series: Kenta Maeda and the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Angels in the Freeway Series, hours after Cincinnati visits Cleveland in the battle of Ohio.
ROLLIN' RED SOX
Boston's relentless lineup begins a three-game series in Kansas City against the defending World Series champions. The Red Sox are coming off a 6-1 homestand when they reached double digits in runs five times and scored 73 in all. Rick Porcello (6-1, 3.11 ERA) starts the opener against Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura (3-2, 4.62). Porcello has pitched at least six innings in 15 straight starts, the longest active streak in the majors.
STARTS ON TOP
The surprising Phillies are a game behind the Nationals for the NL East lead and one of the big keys has been leadoff man Odubel Herrera. The former Rule 5 draft pick has become a walk machine, ranking third in the majors with a .448 on-base percentage and already eclipsing his total from last season with 29 free passes. Philadelphia opens a series against Miami.
Williams Perez tries to keep up an impressive run by Atlanta's rotation of late – Braves starters have a 2.85 ERA over the past 14 games. Perez (1-0, 3.54) is a recent addition to a group that includes youngsters Julio Teheran, Matt Wisler, Mike Foltynewicz and Aaron Blair. Despite their efforts, Atlanta is 4-10 in those games and 9-27 overall. Perez faces Jonathon Niese and the Pirates.