LEADING OFF: Sale faces Santana, Mets’ Cabrera gets MRI
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Two of the top pitchers in the American League this season square off when Chris Sale (2-2, 1.38 ERA) and the Boston Red Sox face Ervin Santana (5-0, 0.66) and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Sale has 63 strikeouts and eight walks while allowing only 26 hits in 45 2/3 innings. Santana has been even more stingy, giving up just 16 hits in 41 innings.
Already missing a string of key players due to injuries, the New York Mets hope for good news when steady shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has an MRI. Cabrera hurt his left thumb trying to make a diving stop Saturday night against Miami. The team said X-rays were negative. New York is also without ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard (lat muscle), outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring), first baseman Lucas Duda (elbow), catcher Travis d’Arnaud (wrist), left-hander Steven Matz (elbow) and right-hander Seth Lugo (elbow).
HEY OLD FRIEND
Jon Lester gets the ball for the Cubs when the World Series champions close out a weekend series against the Yankees at Wrigley Field. Lester is making his 30th start against New York, matching teammate John Lackey for the most starts by an active NL pitcher against the club. The left-hander, who began his career with Boston, is 13-6 with a 3.78 ERA against New York. Luis Severino starts for the Yankees after he was charged with five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 7-1 loss to Toronto in his previous start Monday.
Baltimore will lean on Brad Brach as closer for a bit longer after Zach Britton was put back on the disabled list Saturday. Britton said he probably rushed his return from a left forearm strain, earning himself a second DL stint this season. Brach was solid as a fill-in the first time Britton went down and entered Saturday with six saves and a 2.12 ERA this season. In better news for the Orioles, Chris Tillman is set to make his first start this season after battling right shoulder bursitis. He’ll face White Sox lefty Jose Quintana (2-4, 4.10 ERA), who pitched eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball against Kansas City on Tuesday.
TAKING IT EASY
Braves manager Brian Snitker gave Dansby Swanson a night off Saturday, hoping that a short rest can get the 23-year-old on track. Swanson, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2015, entered Saturday hitting .150 with two homers and six RBIs in 100 at-bats. He was 1 for 10 in the first four games of this homestand. Swanson batted .302 in 38 games last season.
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