LEADING OFF: Wacha, Cole try for 15th wins, A’s ace Gray set
A look at what’s happening all around the major leagues today:
FIGHT FOR 15
Pirates ace Gerrit Cole and Cardinals star Michael Wacha try for their major league-leading 15th wins. Cole (14-6, 2.48 ERA) starts against Arizona in the opener of a seven-game homestand. Wacha (14-4, 2.93 ERA) gets the ball when the Cardinals begin a three-game series vs. the visiting Giants.
AL ERA leader Sonny Gray is expected to pitch for the first time since Aug. 7 in Oakland’s series finale against Baltimore. Slowed by back spasms, he’s 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA in his last 10 starts. His return comes at an opportune time for the A’s, whose 18-2 drubbing Sunday at Camden Yards was their sixth straight loss.
The playoff-contending Twins begin their toughest road trip of the season, a 10-game swing to New York, Baltimore and Tampa Bay. Paul Molitor’s crew starts off at Yankee Stadium, where Kyle Gibson faces CC Sabathia and the AL East leaders.
Cole Hamels tries again for his first win since being traded from the Phillies to Texas. He’ll make his third start for the Rangers when they host Seattle. Hamels, who pitched a no-hitter in his final game for Philadelphia, missed a scheduled outing last week because of a sore left groin.
The Red Sox are hoping big hitters Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez can return to the lineup as they open a series against Cleveland at Fenway Park. Sandoval sat out Sunday with a bruised right elbow, a day after getting hit by a pitch. Ramirez has missed his six straight games with a bruised left foot.