Here’s a look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw goes for his first win in 2 1/2 months when he faces Pittsburgh in the middle game of the teams’ three-game series in Los Angeles. Kershaw (1-4 [url= http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-nick-nelson-jersey]http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-nick-nelson-jersey[/url] , 2.84 ERA) has no decisions with a 2.77 ERA in three starts since going on the disabled list in early May with biceps tendinitis. He returned to start against Philadelphia on May 31, but then went right back on the DL with a lower back injury. Kershaw, whose only win this season was against Arizona on April 15, gave up one run and four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in five innings against Chicago in his second start back last Thursday.
REALMUTO ON A ROLL
Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto looks to get a base hit in his 11th straight game as Miami continues its interleague series against Tampa Bay. He is 15 for 42 (.357 average) with two homers and 10 RBIs over his last 10 contests, a stretch broken up by him sitting out four straight games last week. Realmuto is hitting .311 with 11 homers and 36 RBIs on the season.
Cleveland rookie right-hander Shane Bieber looks to remain unbeaten as he faces the struggling Royals. The 23-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts since making his major league debut against Minnesota on May 31. Kansas City has lost 23 of its last 28 games and is tied with Baltimore for the most losses in the majors with 54. The Royals have scored four runs or fewer in 23 of their last 24 games.
Michael Fulmer (3-7, 4.20 ERA) tries to extend the Detroit’s streak of starters working at least six innings to seven games in the opener of a two-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Tigers‘ current stretch of sidx straight is the team’s longest since last July 28 to Aug. 2.
Chris Davis looks to keep up his recent hitting surge as the Baltimore Orioles open a two-game series at Philadelphia. Davis is 5 for 20 with two homers and four RBIs in his last five games. Since sitting out a stretch of 10 of 12 games last month to try to snap out a season-long hitting funk, he is 7 for 38 with three HRs and nine RBIs over the last 10 games. That has improved his totals to a .156 average with seven homers and 24 RBIs while striking out 99 times.
Sonny Gray will get at least one more chance to show he deserves to keep his place in New York’s rotation, though the Yankees are growing increasingly concerned about the struggling starter.
Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer, Yangervis Solarte reached base four times and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Gray and the Yankees 6-2 on Friday night.
Smoak connected in Toronto’s five-run second inning [url= http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-johnny-townsend-jersey]http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-johnny-townsend-jersey[/url] , when the Blue Jays batted around and put an early end to Gray’s outing.
”I am concerned but we also believe in the stuff,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Gray. ”We’ve got to try and help him right the ship a little bit.”
Gray (5-7) allowed five runs and six hits in two innings, his shortest start of the season and his third straight loss.
”It’s not early in the season anymore,” Gray said. ”This is when you’re expected to go out there and contribute and get in some type of rhythm and put together solid starts back to back. I haven’t even been close to being able to do that.”
Gray lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his previous start, matching a season worst by allowing six runs in an 11-0 loss to the division-leading Boston Red Sox.
Boone said Gray will face Baltimore next week and dismissed the idea of skipping Gray to help clear his head.
”Part of it is right now we feel like he’s our best option,” Boone said.
Solarte went 3 for 4 with a walk as the Blue Jays won for the 12th time in 16 home games.
Aaron Hicks homered and had two RBIs in the opener of New York’s 11-game road trip. Hicks has hit five home runs in his past five games.
Gray retired the first two batters before loading the bases with two walks and a single. He escaped unscathed when Russell Martin struck out swinging.
Things went downhill for Gray in the second, which began with Randal Grichuk’s double. One out later, Devon Travis and Curtis Granderson hit back-to-back RBI singles. Smoak capped the inning with a two-out homer, his 12th.
Hicks hit a solo home run in the third [url= http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-switzer-jersey]http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-switzer-jersey[/url] , his career-high 16th, then chased Blue Jays right-hander Sam Gaviglio with a bases-loaded walk in the fifth. Joe Biagini came on and struck out Giancarlo Stanton looking, then got Didi Gregorius to fly out.
New York went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners stranded.
”We just didn’t get that hit to put us over tonight,” Boone said.
Gaviglio allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Gaviglio is winless in seven starts, dating to a May 25 victory at Philadelphia.
Biagni (1-5) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the win, snapping a streak of 10 straight losing decisions.
Five Blue Jays relievers combined to pitch 4 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit.
”Our bullpen did some kind of job [url= http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-adrian-clayborn-jersey]http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-adrian-clayborn-jersey[/url] ,” manager John Gibbons said.
Boone said finishing off hitters is Gray’s biggest challenge.
”It’s getting himself into good counts and making pitches when he has a chance to put guys away,” Boone said. ”That’s what he’s really struggled with.”
David Hale pitched 5 2/3 innings in relief of Gray, his longest career outing as a reliever. Hale allowed one run and five hits.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Sallie Gibbons, the 80-year-old mother of John Gibbons, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to her son. ”It made my night, that’s for sure,” said Gibbons, who got his mom to autograph the ball afterward.
Yankees: New York recalled INF Tyler Wade from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He takes the place of 2B Gleyber Torres (right hip), who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday. … RHP Masahiro Tanaka (left and right hamstring strains) allowed two runs and three hits in five innings in a rehab start at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday. Tanaka is expected to return to New York’s rotation next Tuesday at Baltimore. … Boone said LHP CC Sabathia will pitch the opening game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Orioles. New York will call up a pitcher from the minors to start Game 2 [url= http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-paul-worrilow-jersey]http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-paul-worrilow-jersey[/url] , Boone said, with RHP Luis Cessa and RHP Jonathan Loaisiga among the candidates.
Blue Jays: LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) felt good after a bullpen session Friday and will be re-evaluated Saturday. He has yet to begin a rehab assignment. … Utilityman Darnell Sweeney cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo.
Yankees RHP Luis Severino (13-2, 1.98) faces Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-4, 4.03) on Saturday afternoon. Severino, who leads the majors in wins, will be pitching on extra rest thanks to New York’s off day Thursday. Happ lost to Detroit last Sunday, matching season worsts by allowing seven runs and 10 hits. The defeat snapped Happ’s streak of six straight winning decisions.