LEADING OFF: Gurriel debuts; Royals, Duffy on a roll
A look at what's happening all around the majors Sunday:
Yulieski Gurriel will join the Astros prior to a game at Baltimore. The Cuban defector signed a five-year contract in July, and after some time shaking rust in the minors, the 32-year-old third baseman joins the club a day after it found out Luis Valbuena might be done for the season following a setback in his recover from a strained right hamstring. Gurriel will debut as the designated hitter.
Royals lefty Danny Duffy goes for his 10th straight victory when he starts vs. the visiting Twins. Kansas City has won seven in a row, moving the defending World Series champs back into wild-card contention.
Neil Walker will fly home to Pittsburgh after a game against San Francisco to be with his wife Niki for the expected birth of their baby girl. Walker said doctors will induce the birth on Monday night, a Mets off day. Walker said his wife is doing well. ''It's just been a big waiting game,'' Walker said. ''I knew as soon as she got pregnant that we'd probably be out here on the West Coast, whether it was here or Arizona or St. Louis, we knew that was going to be challenging.''
The Red Sox scratched left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and instead will pitch lefty Henry Owens in the series finale against Detroit. Rodriguez left a game Tuesday with left hamstring tightness. Justin Verlander (12-7, 3.44) has a 2.01 ERA over his past nine starts.
LOOKING FOR MILESTONE
Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez seeks his 100th career win when he starts the finale of a four-game series at Atlanta. Gonzalez is 99-75 in his career, which began in 2008 with Oakland. Gonzalez threw six scoreless innings but received no decision in his only other start of the season against Atlanta, a 2-1 win on April 12. Braves starter Joel De La Cruz (0-6) is still searching for his first big league win.
Carlos Gomez is expected to be in the lineup for the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Released by Houston on Friday, the two-time All-Star outfielder signed a minor league deal with Texas. The Rangers have lost right fielder Shin-Soo Choo to a broken left arm, and general manager Jon Daniels says Gomez - a Gold Glover in center in 2013 - would be used as a corner outfielder.