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LEADING OFF: Cubs on win streak, Mariners on losing skid

May 5, 2019
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Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez reacts after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

A CUBBIN’ DRUBBIN’

Javier Baez and the Cubs look to finish off a three-game sweep of the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. After a 2-7 start that had some fans wondering what was wrong with the Cubbies, a win over St. Louis would put them in the NL Central lead.

“The first 10 games of the season, it was everybody talking about us,” said Baez, who hit a go-ahead homer Saturday in Chicago’s sixth straight victory. “And now, where’s everybody?”

Lefty Jose Quintana, who’s 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last four starts, goes against Adam Wainwright, who’s won his last two starts for the Cards.

SEATTLE SKID

Despite keeping up their home run barrage, the Mariners have lost six in a row. After starting out the season 13-2, they’ve dropped 15 of their last 20 games.

Edwin Encarnacion, Daniel Vogelbach, Tim Beckham and Dylan Moore homered Saturday in a 5-4 loss at Cleveland. Seattle leads the majors with 65 homers.

Rookie Erik Swanson (0-3, 6.62 ERA) tries again for his first major league win when he starts against the Indians.

WELCOME BACK

Michael Pineda makes his first start at Yankee Stadium since an elbow injury in 2017 brought his time with New York to a close. Pineda (2-2, 6.21) had Tommy John surgery, became a free agent and signed a two-year deal that offseason with Minnesota, returning to the mound this season after missing all of 2018. The right-hander was 31-31 with a 4.14 ERA in 89 starts from 2014-17 with New York. First pitch was moved from 1:05 p.m. ET to 4:05 p.m. ET due to poor weather forecasts.

MISS YA

Jameson Taillon’s surgically repaired right elbow is intact. That’s about the only good news for the Pittsburgh ace, who will be shut down for at least a month after the pain he’d been dealing with off and on since spring training was diagnosed as a flexor tendon strain.

The Pirates put Taillon on the 10-day injured list Saturday after he complained of lingering pain following a victory over Texas earlier in the week. The 27-year-old is 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA in seven starts this season. He’s the second member of Pittsburgh’s rotation to go on the injured list in the last week. Chris Archer is dealing with inflammation in his right thumb.

QUICK TURNAROUND

After the Milwaukee Brewers outlasted the New York Mets 4-3 in 18 innings on Saturday night in the longest game in Miller Park history, the teams will be back at it Sunday afternoon.

Ryan Braun won it with his career-high sixth hit of the game, a two-run single. Both teams used eight pitchers and all of their position players, so fresh arms and legs might be in short supply.

Jason Vargas (1-1) is scheduled to start for the Mets, who are looking to avoid being swept in the three-game series by the Brewers, who will start Zach Davies (3-0).

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