LEADING OFF: Scherzer vs Hamels, Wright returns, Sale back
A look at what’s happening around baseball today:
Nationals ace Max Scherzer (15-5, 2.28 ERA) will try to become the first 16-game winner in the majors when he starts the Sunday night game at Wrigley Field. Owner of three Cy Young Awards, he also leads the majors in strikeouts this year with 216 in 161 2/3 innings. Cole Hamels starts for the Cubs — he’s allowed just one earned run in 11 innings during the first two starts since being acquired from Texas.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale returns from a two-week stint on the disabled list because of shoulder inflammation. Manager Alex Cora said the lefty could throw 100 pitches if he’s not too rusty. Sale (11-4) leads the AL with a 2.04 ERA and will try to pitch Boston to a four-game sweep of the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Mets third baseman David Wright is set to play in a minor league game, more than two years since the oft-injured team captain last appeared in the majors. The 35-year-old Wright has been beset by back, neck and shoulder trouble. He’s scheduled to start a rehab assignment by playing five innings in the field for Class A St. Lucie. His last game in the bigs was May 27, 2016 — he had a brief stint in the minors last August before being shut down.
The Rockies will see how third baseman Nolan Arenado is feeling, a day after he was out of the starting lineup at Coors Field against the Dodgers. The All-Star third baseman left Friday night’s game with a strained right shoulder. Arenado is hitting .307 with 29 home runs and 82 RBIs, and Colorado is hoping he can avoid a trip to the disabled list.
The AL Central-leading Indians have put slugger Edwin Encarnacion on the DL because of swelling in his left biceps. The cleanup man has struggled since being hit on the right hand by Yankees reliever Chad Green before the All-Star break.
Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has hit four home runs in the last four games for Triple-A Buffalo. The 19-year-old son of a Hall of Famer is batting a combined .406 with 18 home runs at four levels of the minor leagues. The Bisons host the Toledo Mud Hens to wrap up the weekend.