LEADING OFF: Sale seeks 8th win, Pirates try to slow Cubs
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling delivers to the Toronto Blue Jays during first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Sunday, May 8, 2016. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
A look at what's happening all around the majors Friday:
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Chris Sale (7-0, 1.79 ERA) looks to become the majors' first eight-game winner this season when the White Sox face struggling Luis Severino (0-5, 6.12) and the Yankees. Sale has allowed just three homers over 50 1/3 innings this season, while Severino allowed three homers just in his previous start. Severino is one loss shy of tying Phil Hughes for the majors lead.
The Pirates try to slow down the majors-leading Cubs in a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Chicago (.368) and Pittsburgh (.360) are first and second in the majors in on-base percentage, with the Cubs also holding a commanding MLB lead with 172 walks. At 25-8, Chicago has a seven-game lead on the second-place Pirates in the NL Central.
KID COMES BACK
Lance McCullers makes his first appearance of 2016 after doing a DL stint for a sore throwing shoulder. The 22-year-old is coming off a solid rookie season for the Astros in which he went 6-7 with a 3.22 ERA. He'll face knuckleballer Steven Wright (3-3, 1.52) and the Boston Red Sox.
Matt Harvey (3-4, 4.50) and Jon Gray (0-1, 5.40) are trending in the right direction after disappointing starts to the season. Harvey struck out 10 and allowed two runs over six innings in his last start for the Mets, while Gray has dominated at San Francisco and San Diego in his past two starts for the Rockies after posting an 11.42 ERA in April. They face each other at Coors Field.
Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling has flirted with a big league no-hitter, but he's yet to get his first MLB victory. The 26-year-old is 0-2 in six starts despite a solid 3.82 ERA to begin his career. His last start was one of his best yet, as he allowed a run on one hit over six innings in a 4-2 victory at Toronto. He faces the Cardinals and Michael Wacha (2-3, 3.12).