LEADING OFF: Severino eyes No. 15, Utley back in Philly
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
LOOKING FOR No. 15
Yankees ace Luis Severino (14-2, 2.31 ERA) tries goes for his major league-leading 15th win in the opener of a series at Tampa Bay. Severino is 6-0 with a 2.41 ERA over his last six starts, including three scoreless outings of at least 6 2/3 innings each. New York, 5-5 in its last 10 games, begins the day five games behind first-place Boston in the American League East.
Former Phillies second baseman Chase Utley starts his final regular-season series at Philadelphia, where he helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series, when the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town to open a three-game series. Utley announced July 13 he will retire from baseball at the end of this season, capping a 16-year career, to spend more time with his wife and two young sons. The 39-year-old made his name with the Phillies, earning five All-Star berths and winning four Silver Slugger awards before a trade to the Dodgers in August 2015 brought him back to his roots. He was born in nearby Pasadena and played at Long Beach Poly High and UCLA.
Corey Dickerson looks to keep his recent power surge going as the Pittsburgh Pirates try for their 10th straight win in the opener of a series against the Cleveland Indians. Dickerson has hit five homers in the last four games, increasing his season total to 11. He also became the first Pirates player to homer in four straight games since Josh Harrison in 2014. Pittsburgh will send Trevor Williams (7-7, 4.36 ERA) to the mound against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber (12-5, 2.76).
After an outstanding run heading into the All-Star break, Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt looks to snap out of a 1-for-12 slump since the midseason game when the Diamondbacks open a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Goldschmidt struck out out a whopping nine times in a three-game series against Colorado, including three times on Sunday. The All-Star first baseman was the player of the month for June after beginning the season with one of the worst and most extended slumps of his career.
The New York Mets send All-Star ace Jacob deGrom (5-4, 1.68) to the mound in the series opener against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. The right-hander, sporting the lowest ERA in the majors this season, had his start pushed back a day when the Mets were rained out in the finale of their Subway Series against the Yankees on Sunday night. Left-hander Eric Lauer (5-6, 4.87) starts for San Diego.
MAKING HIS DEBUT
Daniel Poncedeleon will make his major league debut for St. Louis in the opener of a series at Cincinnati. The right-hander underwent surgery last year to relieve pressure around his brain after he was hit in the head by a line drive while pitching for Triple-A Memphis. Luis Castillo (5-8, 5.49) is set to start for the Reds.
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