LEADING OFF: Royals, Duffy on a roll; Walker expecting child

BY foxsports • August 20, 2016

A look at what's happening all around the majors Sunday:



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.''


Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11) starts against Detroit after leaving a game Tuesday with left hamstring tightness. Rodriguez has a 2.52 ERA in seven starts since a midseason demotion to the minors to make mechanical adjustments. Justin Verlander (12-7, 3.44) has a 2.01 ERA over his past nine starts.


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.


Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena could be lost for the season after a setback in his recovery from a strained right hamstring. He's been out since late July, and hurt himself in a workout this weekend in Baltimore. Valbuena has been sent back to Houston to be re-evaluated. He is hitting .258 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 86 games.