LEADING OFF: Lincecum returns to mound with Angels
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Tim Lincecum is back in the big leagues and ready to make a comeback 9 1/2 months after left hip surgery. The right-hander starts for the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland in his first major league appearance in nearly a year. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner had surgery on Sept. 3 and didn't immediately sign with a team after concluding a $35 million, two-year deal with San Francisco last season. Lincecum said he is throwing all his pitches with confidence and isn't concerned with his velocity as long as he maintains a good rhythm. ''Definitely excited to be out here, nervous about being with a new team and kind of just showing what I've got and trying to live up to my own expectations,'' he said.
Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester goes for his fifth consecutive win when he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Lester is 4-0 with a sparkling 0.59 ERA in four starts since he pitched just 2 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss at San Francisco on May 21. He has allowed just one earned run in 24 innings in June. Also pitching on Saturday: Max Scherzer, coming off a dominant performance against the Cubs, tries for his fourth straight victory when Washington visits San Diego; and Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke takes a shot at his seventh consecutive win when the Diamondbacks take on the Philadelphia Phillies.
MAJOR LEAGUE RETURN
St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong is looking for his first start since he returned to the majors on Friday after a brief demotion to Triple-A Memphis. The 25-year-old Wong batted .429 with four homers and 11 RBIs in seven games in the minors, including a game-winning grand slam. Wong lost his starting spot with St. Louis when Matt Carpenter moved from third base to second to accommodate Jhonny Peralta. Wong played some center field while he was with Memphis to add to his versatility.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
Cody Reed makes his major league debut when he starts for Cincinnati at Houston. Reed joins Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb in the rotation after the Reds acquired the three pitchers in last year's trade that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City. The 23-year-old Reed, a second-round pick by the Royals in the 2013 draft, went 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA at Triple-A Louisville.