LEADING OFF: Patriots’ Day at Fenway, Twins still on pause
A look at what’s happening around the majors on Monday:
The White Sox and Red Sox begin at 11:05 a.m. at Fenway Park in the annual Patriots’ Day game. Could mean early-morning batting practice for J.D Martinez and José Abreu.
The event usually coincides with the Boston Marathon -- in past years, fans in the Green Monster seats would turn around to catch a glimpse of the leaders while others headed over after the final out to cheer on the runners in Kenmore Square, about a mile from the finish line. This year, the famous race has been moved to Oct. 11 due to the pandemic.
Chicago ace Lucas Giolito (1-0, 2.55 ERA) is slated to start the series finale against Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.08).
The Twins will continue coronavirus testing and contact tracing with the hope of getting back on the field Tuesday for a doubleheader at Oakland.
Minnesota had games against the Angels in Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday postponed. The Twins-Athletics game Monday also was called off.
The Twins have had at least four positive coronavirus tests in the past week.
There have been six MLB games postponed this year because of the virus, including a season-opening, three-game series between the Nationals and Mets after Washington’s coronavirus concerns.
MIZZOU FOR YOU
Rays left-hander Josh Fleming is set to pitch the series opener at Kansas City in front of his own personal rooting section.
The 24-year-old Fleming is from Bridgeton, Missouri, on the other side of the state in the St. Louis area. He’s expecting about 12 family members and 25 friends for the game. Many of them have not seen him pitch since 2018 at Bowling Green.
“Any time I hear screaming, here I’ll know it’s going to be from there,” he said.
Fleming’s parents will be on hand. They were forced by the pandemic to watch his debut on television at a hotel across from Tropicana Field but did attend World Series games.
San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler returns to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since being fired as Philadelphia’s skipper.
The Phils went 80-82 in 2018 during Kapler’s first year and 81-81 in 2019. The Giants didn’t play in Philly last season.
“I’m looking forward to seeing people. It’s not going to be the easiest thing with the COVID protocols. But I plan on getting a little bit of time with some people I grew close to during my time in Philly.”
What kind of reception does he expect from fans?
“Making that prediction, I just don’t know where to begin,” he said. “I did the best job I could every day. It didn’t work out. We didn’t win enough. That ultimately is the bottom line.”
Jay Bruce has called it a career.
The three-time All-Star who was with the Yankees this season announced his retirement Sunday, 15 days past his 34th birthday. Bruce received an ovation when shown on the Yankee Stadium video board before the eighth inning but did not get in the game, a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay that was New York’s fifth straight defeat.
“Just the consistent underperformance for me,” he said, his voice quavering at times. “Felt like I wasn’t able to do it at a level that was acceptable for myself.”
Bruce hit .118 with one homer and three RBIs in 39 plate appearances this year. He had a .244 average with 319 homers and 951 RBIs in 14 major league seasons with Cincinnati (2008-16), the Mets (2016-18), Cleveland (2017), Seattle (2019), Philadelphia (2019-20) and the Yankees.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports