LEADING OFF: Nola and Means back on mound, Rojas suspended
A look at what’s happening around the majors Tuesday:
Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola returns to the mound in New York against the Yankees after missing his last scheduled start because of COVID-19 contact tracing.
Nola never tested positive for the coronavirus but was sidelined after teammate Alec Bohm tested positive on July 10 in Boston.
Nola is 6-5 with a 4.53 ERA in 18 starts for the Phillies, who entered Monday’s play two games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East. Domingo Germán (4-5, 4.72) pitches for the Yankees.
SERVING HIS TIME
The NL East-leading New York Mets will continue their series at Cincinnati without manager Luis Rojas, whose outburst after a bizarre play Sunday in Pittsburgh led to a two-game suspension.
Rojas was livid at umpires for calling a ball fair that starting pitcher Taijuan Walker swatted toward the dugout, thinking it was foul. The gaffe led to three Pirates crossing the plate when no Mets player went to retrieve the ball.
The play wasn’t reviewable, but Rojas wanted the umpires to talk about it anyway. He was suspended and fined an undisclosed amount for “excessive arguing.”
“I still firmly believe it was foul. I would love for a play like that to be reviewable,” Rojas said.
Rojas began his suspension Monday night. Bench coach Dave Jauss is managing the team in his absence.
MEANS ON THE MEND
The American League-worst Baltimore Orioles get one of the league’s best pitchers back on the mound when John Means returns from the injured list to start at Tampa Bay.
Means looked like an early contender for the AL Cy Young Award before he was sidelined by a shoulder injury in early June. He is 4-2 with a 2.28 ERA in 12 starts, including a no-hitter at Seattle on May 5 that was a dropped third strike away from being a perfect game.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said he would “closely monitor” Means during the left-hander’s first couple of starts back.
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