LEADING OFF: Nats missing Turner, Grichuk back on track
A look at what’s happening all around the majors Friday:
CHANGE AT THE TOP
The Nationals are going to need a new leadoff man after speedy shortstop Trea Turner broke his right wrist in a loss to the Cubs on Thursday. Turner was hit by a fastball from Pedro Strop, and Washington hasn’t set a timetable for how long he’ll be out. Turner stole seven bases in four games against the Cubs to take the major league lead from Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton with 35 swipes. The second-year player is hitting .279 atop Washington’s lineup, which leads the NL in runs.
Three weeks in the minor leagues may have done the trick for Randal Grichuk. The Cardinals outfielder hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and drove in five runs Thursday in a win over Arizona. In his fourth big league season, Grichuk was sent down May 29 and recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sunday after 15 games in the minors. He homered in each of his first two games back, using a shorter swing, but was 0 for 9 entering Thursday. “I definitely took it as a wake-up call,” he explained. “I said, let’s go and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Jacob deGrom (7-3, 3.71 ERA) is scheduled to start when the Mets open a three-game homestand against the Phillies and Ben Lively (1-2, 3.90). In his past three starts, deGrom is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.72. New York has won five of six since getting swept over four games against the Dodgers.
CUBS TRY TO REGROUP
The defending World Series champions open a weekend series in Cincinnati looking to recover from a rough stay in Washington. They parted ways with Miguel Montero after the catcher blamed Jake Arrieta for allowing seven stolen bases by the Nationals on Tuesday. A day later, Kris Bryant sprained his right ankle, and he is expected to be sidelined a few days. One thing in Chicago’s favor: The Cubs have won 23 of their last 28 against Cincinnati.
Pirates ace Gerrit Cole is starting to figure things out. Cole is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts heading into a game against San Francisco, an emphatic bounce back from a bumpy four-start stretch in which he posted a 10.17 ERA. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle praised Cole for not panicking during his slump. “Overall his command has picked up,” Hurdle said. “I think that’s what he was able to work his way through during the hard period.”
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