LEADING OFF: Red Sox return home, Nola goes for 12th win

July 9, 2018
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Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts slides home to score on a sacrifice fly by Steve Pearce during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Sunday, July 8, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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


The Red Sox went 7-2 on their recent road trip against the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and Kansas City Royals. After winning six straight, they return home for a seven-game homestand leading into the All-Star break, beginning with a series against the Rangers. Eduardo Rodriguez (10-3, 3.84 ERA) starts the opener for Boston, and Mike Minor (6-4, 4.63) goes for Texas.


Both teams from New York play a single-admission doubleheader to make up a previous postponement. Aaron Judge and the Yankees are in Baltimore to face the Orioles, who have lost six in a row and own the worst record in the majors. The struggling Mets, shut out in their past two games by Tampa Bay, host the first-place Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.


Houston All-Star Gerrit Cole (9-2) opposes Oakland’s Frankie Montas (4-2) when the World Series champion Astros try to extend their winning streak to seven games in the opener of a four-game series against the ascending Athletics.


Rays right-hander Chris Archer (3-4, 4.24 ERA), a potential trade target as the July 31 deadline approaches, pitches the series opener at home against Detroit. It will be Archer’s first start since June 2 when he was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career with a left abdominal strain. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said Archer will be limited to “loosely” 70 pitches.


Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola tries to become the National League’s first 12-game winner — and match his career high for victories — when he starts the nightcap against the Mets. The right-hander was selected to his first All-Star Game on Sunday, and he enters this start fifth in the NL in ERA (2.41) and sixth in strikeouts (116).


Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (2-4, 2.86 ERA) pitches for the Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego. In 32 career starts against the Padres, he is 17-6 with a 1.94 ERA.


Kyle Hendricks has been one of the most consistent starters for the Chicago Cubs since entering the rotation in 2014. But the right-hander has been going through a difficult stretch over his last six outings, a trend he hopes to turn around when he pitches at San Francisco. Hendricks (5-8, 4.27 ERA) has allowed 22 runs over his last 29 1/3 innings since the start of June, wining only once during that span.


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