LEADING OFF: Red Sox-Yankees, part 3, for MLB lead
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the major leagues today:
BEASTS OF THE EAST
The Red Sox and Yankees start a three-game series in the Bronx, with the American League East division race as tight as ever. Boston comes in with a one-game lead, with the teams still toting the top two records in the major leagues. Boston and New York have split their first six matchups this season, with each team winning a home series so far.
CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees. The 37-year-old left-hander took a no-decision against the Red Sox with four runs allowed in four innings on May 10. Boston counters with Eduardo Rodriguez, who is coming off just his second loss of the season against Seattle last week. Rodriguez also squared off against Sabathia in that May 10 meeting at Yankee Stadium, striking out eight with only one hit allowed over five scoreless innings.
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is expected back in the lineup after sitting out the series finale at Philadelphia on Wednesday that manager Aaron Boone wanted to pair with a day off on Thursday. Judge has 34 strikeouts in 25 career games against the Red Sox.
The Chicago Cubs return home from a 2-6 finish on an eight-game road trip to host the Minnesota Twins, but they’ll start the series without ailing right-hander Yu Darvish. The 31-year-old is still feeling pain in his pitching arm, having been dealt a setback during a bullpen session on Thursday in Los Angeles where the Cubs split a four-game set with the Dodgers.
Darvish was on track to rejoin the rotation on Saturday, but Tyler Chatwood will take the mound in that game instead. Darvish, who threw five innings and 57 pitches for Class A South Bend in a rehabilitation start on Monday, has been on the disabled list for more than a month, his second stint of the season, because of triceps tendinitis. Darvish, who has a 4.95 ERA in eight starts, signed a $126 million, six-year contract with the Cubs in February.
Minnesota plays the Cubs at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2009, continuing the easiest three-city road trip possible for the Twins. They arrived in Chicago earlier this week, losing two of three to the White Sox while needing 13 innings to salvage the final game on Thursday afternoon. Next week, it’s a brief bus ride north to Milwaukee for three games against the Brewers.
National League Central leader Milwaukee continues a four-game series in Cincinnati, with the Brewers sending Chase Anderson to the mound after striking out a season-high nine batters in his previous outing against St. Louis. Sal Romano pitches for the Reds against a dangerous Brewers lineup featuring Jesus Aguilar, who hit his 19th home run on Thursday to tie for the league lead.
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