LEADING OFF: Slumping Dodgers getting healthy
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
BACK TO EARTH
While they’re still the best team in the majors by far, the Dodgers have been less otherworldly for the past week, dropping seven of their last eight. But their weekend series in San Diego has been encouraging nonetheless, because two stars are healthy again.
Rookie phenom Cody Bellinger, who missed nine games with a sprained ankle, hit his first homer since Aug. 12 and 35th of the season in Saturday’s loss to the Padres. Clayton Kershaw got Los Angeles’ only win this week on Friday with six scoreless innings. The Dodgers send Alex Wood (14-1, 2.41 ERA) to the mound in Sunday’s series finale.
The Orioles have gotten back into the AL wild-card race without much help from the formerly reliable Chris Tillman, who made three straight Opening Day starts for Baltimore before he missed this season’s opener with an injury. A brief demotion to the bullpen didn’t change much for the struggling right-hander, who’s allowed 10 runs over 10 2/3 innings in two starts since rejoining the rotation. Tillman (1-7, 7.91 ERA) takes the mound Sunday against Toronto.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale tops the majors with 264 strikeouts, and has fanned 44 in 29 2/3 innings against the Yankees. But the lefty is 0-2 in four starts vs. New York this year despite a 2.12 ERA in those matchups. Sale (15-6) can tie for the big league lead in wins with a night-time victory at Yankee Stadium in the last scheduled game between the rivals this season.
Luis Severino (11-6, 3.14) faces Boston for the fourth time this season. After two sharp starts, he was tagged for a career-worst 10 runs by the Red Sox on Aug. 12.
No word yet from Major League Baseball on the appeals by Yankees catchers Gary Sanchez (four games) and Austin Romine (two games) of their suspensions from recent brawls in Detroit. Tigers star Miguel Cabrera and reliever Alex Wilson had their penalties cut by a game apiece after appeals to MLB.