LEADING OFF: Ellis starts for Phils, Jones maybe OK for O's
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
A.J. Ellis is set to make his first start for the Phillies when he catches 24-year-old Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31 ERA), who is winless in seven outings since July 8. The 35-year-old Ellis, obtained Thursday from the Dodgers in a surprising trade for Carlos Ruiz, was brought in to mentor the team's young pitchers. ''The waves of emotion are getting farther and farther apart, which is a good thing,'' Ellis said. ''I've started feeling re-energized, filled with a sense of purpose as to why I've been placed here and why this is where I need to be at this time, so I'm excited about that. And I've got huge shoes to fill, I know that.'' Robert Gsellman makes his first major league start for the Mets. He won his debut Tuesday at St. Louis with 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones could return to the lineup after sitting out Saturday, a day after aggravating his hamstring injury. The All-Star might even get a chance to reach over the wall at Yankee Stadium to grab a long drive by Gary Sanchez - the New York newcomer has hit 11 home runs in just 21 games this season.
Cubs fans in Chicago will get a brief chance to hear famed Dodgers announcer Vin Scully wax poetic. Comcast SportsNet Chicago will carry the live audio of Scully's broadcast during the third inning of the series finale. The 88-year-old Scully is retiring at season's end.
''The people in Chicago are in for a treat,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''After we get done with our games, I watch the Dodgers and listen to Vin on my iPad. He's one of the great ones, like Red Barber, Dick Enberg and Ernie Harwell. He's transcended the memories of baseball.''
Right-hander Yordano Ventura (9-9, 4.27 ERA) goes for the red-hot Royals in a prime-time matchup at Fenway Park. Ventura has been a big part of Kansas City's surge this month, going 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in six starts. Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11) is expected to start for Boston for the first time since leaving his Aug. 16 start at Baltimore after four hitless innings with tightness in his left hamstring.
THE ROOKIE RETURNS
Washington will call up top prospect Lucas Giolito (0-0, 4.91) to make his fourth major league start in a game against Colorado. The righty hasn't pitched in the majors since July 24, and he didn't go deeper than four innings in any of his first three outings. Chad Bettis (10-7, 5.29) starts against the Nats for the second time this month - he allowed two runs in three innings on Aug. 16.
THE OMINOUS ATHLETIC
Andrew Triggs (0-1, 4.38) looks for a little more luck in his fifth start with the A's. Triggs lost 1-0 to Cleveland despite six solid innings in his last start, and Oakland is 1-21 when the rookie has pitched this season, including 16 straight defeats. Jaime Garcia (10-9, 4.37) will pitch for St. Louis.