LEADING OFF: Braves try to clinch, Bosox aim for wins record
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
The Atlanta Braves can clinch their first NL East title since 2013 by beating Philadelphia at SunTrust Park. Sparked by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, the Baby Braves moved closer to the division crown with a 6-5 win over the Phillies on Friday night.
The Braves are skipping Sean Newcomb’s spot, moving up Mike Foltynewicz (11-10, 2.90 ERA) to face Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.77 ERA). Newcomb has a 7.44 ERA over his last seven starts, endangering his place in the possible playoff rotation after he spent much of the season as one of Atlanta’s most effective pitchers. Newcomb will be available out of the bullpen for the remainder of the weekend but could still make another start in the final week of the regular season, according to manager Brian Snitker.
The Red Sox go for their 106th win, which would break a team record that’s more than a century old. Boston (105-49) beat Cleveland in a matchup of AL division champions to tie the club mark set in 1912. Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.30 ERA), the team leader in wins, starts for the Bosox at Progressive Field against Mike Clevinger (12-8, 3.06).
Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez plans to play the final game of his 16-season career when the Tigers host Kansas City. The five-time All-Star announced he will sit out Sunday’s series finale, then accompany the team on its final road trip without playing.
“I feel like I owe it to the fans to have my final at-bats here,” said Martinez, who will be honored in a pregame ceremony at Comerica Park.
HE’S ALL WRIGHT
Adam Wainwright makes his first start for St. Louis since pitching six shutout innings to beat the Dodgers last weekend. The 37-year-old righty has missed most of the season because of elbow trouble. The longtime ace (2-3, 3.72 ERA) is making a bid to re-establish himself in the rotation as the Cardinals push for a playoff spot. Wainwright will be facing the Giants at Busch Stadium.
Aaron Judge and the Yankees can clinch their second straight AL wild-card slot if they beat Baltimore and if Tampa Bay loses to Toronto. New York also is trying to stay ahead of the Athletics to host that one-game playoff on Oct. 3.
WINDY CITY WEEKEND
Jon Lester (16-6, 3.43 ERA) will start for the NL Central-leading Cubs when they travel across Chicago to visit the White Sox. Lester is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last five starts. Lucas Giolito (10-11, 5.77 ERA) is set to pitch for the Chisox.