LEADING OFF: Red Sox return home, Nola goes for 12th win
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
BACK HOME IN BOSTON
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.
BIG APPLE TWINBILL
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.
CHAMPS ON A ROLL
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.
AN EVEN DOZEN
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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