LEADING OFF: Will July be a hit or miss for MLB batters?
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the majors today:
SWING OR MISS?
Many hitters got off to a smashing start in July as Cleveland socked 11 doubles, Baltimore homered four times and the Cubs combined with Minnesota for 21 runs at Wrigley Field on Sunday. Now, we’ll see if the trend continues as the weather heats up and the balls fly.
June marked the second time in three months that strikeouts exceeded hits in the major leagues, a pattern that had never occurred until this year. About halfway through the season, there had been 21,090 strikeouts and 20,671 hits.
The Reds try to keep socking grand slams when the White Sox come to Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati leads the majors with nine slams and has already tied the single-season franchise record set in 2002.
Shortstop Jorge Polanco is set to rejoin the Twins after serving an 80-game drug suspension. He went 8 for 19 in six rehab games at Triple-A and Class A, and will report to the big league club for the series opener at Milwaukee. The 24-year-old Polanco was a key contributor last season when the Twins earned an AL wild-card spot.
The Mariners plan to monitor Felix Hernandez and his back stiffness over the next few days. Hernandez pitched five innings Saturday night and earned the victory over Kansas City, but struggled with back pain and wasn’t able to sit down in the dugout between innings. The six-time All-Star is 8-6 with a 5.11 ERA in 18 starts this season.
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