LEADING OFF: World Series rematch; Cueto, Sale on mound
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard (7-2, 1.91 ERA) has won five straight decisions going into his start against Ian Kennedy (5-5, 4.17) and the Royals at Citi Field. Syndergaard won 2-0 in Kansas City when the teams split two games to open the season. Of course, he also earned New York's lone World Series victory last October and rankled the Royals by firing his first pitch above the head of leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar. ... Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud is expected to come off the disabled list after being sidelined since late April with a strained rotator cuff.
Johnny Cueto (10-1, 2.10 ERA) hasn't lost in two months, a streak he'll try to extend when the Giants play the Pirates. His last loss was on April 21 against Arizona, and since then he's 7-0 with a 1.57 ERA. He's allowed two or fewer runs in eight consecutive outings and is coming off seven dominant innings in a 10-1 win over the Brewers. Cueto is 18-4 with a 2.13 ERA in 28 career starts against the Pirates.
Chris Sale (11-2, 2.94 ERA) tries to become the first 12-game winner in the majors when his Chicago White Sox face the Red Sox. The left-hander has struggled lately, posting a 6.07 ERA and allowing six home runs over his past five starts. He's gotten plenty of run support, though - Chicago has scored 21 runs in over his last two outings. Clay Buchholz (3-6, 5.86) pitches for Boston.
STILL PERFECT (RECORD)
Colby Lewis (6-0, 2.81 ERA) aims to become the fourth Rangers starter to begin a season 7-0 when he pitches at home against Cincinnati. Lewis took a perfect game into the eighth inning his last time out, a 5-1 victory at Oakland. The 36-year-old righty was the oldest pitcher to throw at least seven perfect innings since 40-year-old Randy Johnson completed a perfect game for Arizona 12 years ago.
HOME SWEET HOME
Miami ace Jose Fernandez (9-3, 2.57 ERA) starts on nine days' rest against last-place Atlanta. Fernandez is 23-1 with a 1.53 ERA at Marlins Park in his career.
The Cubs host the Cardinals and try to keep up their torrid pace without Dexter Fowler , one of baseball's best players this season. The outfielder went on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a right hamstring strain. Fowler is hitting .290 with a .398 on-base percentage and was leading NL outfielders in voting for the All-Star Game in the most recent update last Wednesday.
The Phillies plan to introduce No. 1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak at an afternoon news conference. The high school outfielder from California signed with Philadelphia on Monday, and the team announced the move on Twitter with a picture of Moniak inking his contract.
CLOSER TO COUNT ON
Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler has converted 43 consecutive save opportunities, one shy of Grant Balfour for the sixth-best stretch in history. The side-arming righty has 15 saves and a 2.64 ERA this season. Former Dodgers closer Eric Gagne holds the record with 84 straight saves.