LEADING OFF: Trout trots at Yankee Stadium, NL East stout
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Mike Trout tries to homer in his fourth straight game when the Los Angeles Angels play their series finale at Yankee Stadium. The two-time MVP is coming off his first career game with four extra-base hits – and first five-hit performance – on Saturday night. He will face New York righty Masahiro Tanaka (5-2, 4.95 ERA), who has a 1.60 ERA in five lifetime starts against the Angels.
Tanaka was initially lined up to pitch against Japanese countryman Shohei Ohtani, but the two-way rookie sensation was pushed back to manage his workload. Instead, it will be Garrett Richards (4-3, 3.31) getting the ball for Los Angeles on his 30th birthday. Richards is 0-4 with an 8.10 ERA in six career games, five starts, against the Yankees. They tagged him for a season-high nine runs – five earned – over 1 2/3 innings in an 11-1 loss to Tanaka at home on April 28.
The defending NL East champion Washington Nationals are 28-22 through 50 games and still stuck in third place in the surprisingly stout division. The division leaders? The Philadelphia Phillies, who haven’t led this late in a season since 2011, when they won 102 games. The Nats clinched what was dubbed the NL ”Least” in early September last year, but this year there are four teams above .500 on Memorial Day weekend, including the second-place Braves and fourth-place Mets. Stephen Strasburg starts as Washington tries for a sweep in Miami.
Trevor Bauer will pitch against Houston for the first time since questioning on Twitter how Astros pitchers have been able to improve the movement on their pitches. Bauer later told reporters that he never accused them of cheating.
Several Houston players criticized Bauer on their Twitter accounts, including McCullers and Collin McHugh.
Gerrit Cole, a teammate of Bauer’s at UCLA, will start for Houston. The two reportedly had a strained relationship in college, adding more intrigue to the game. Cole was the first pick in the 2011 draft by Pittsburgh while Bauer was taken third by Arizona.
Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas (6-0, 2.24) has excelled since returning from a three-season stint in Japan. The 29-year-old threw his first career shutout in his last start against Kansas City, and aims to duplicate that success when he faces Pittsburgh at PNC Park. Jameson Taillon (2-4, 4.56) will look for his first win since April 9. He is 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA in his last eight starts for the Pirates.
Tigers star Miguel Cabrera could return after missing more than three weeks. The first baseman has been out since May 4 because of a strained right hamstring. Detroit takes on the White Sox at Comerica Park.
HAM IT UP
Royals righty Jason Hammel faces Rangers lefty Cole Hamels in Texas. Hamels (3-4, 3.38) has won his last two starts, allowing just five hits in 13 innings against the Astros and Yankees. Hammel (1-5, 5.70) pitched well vs. St. Louis in his previous start to post his first win of the year.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball