LEADING OFF: Cruz HR streak, Subway Series doubleheader
A look at what’s happening around the majors Tuesday:
Twins slugger Nelson Cruz has homered in four straight games, his streak coming soon after his return from a strained wrist that put him on the injured list for more than three weeks.
The 38-year-old Cruz is batting .279 with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs, helping Minnesota post the best record in the American League. He now faces Seattle in the series opener at Target Field.
The Subway Series gets underway with a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
After a rainout Monday in the Bronx, the Mets flip-flopped their pitchers. Zack Wheeler (5-3) will start the opener for them against Masahiro Tanaka (3-5) in the first of four matchups this season between the crosstown rivals. Jason Vargas (2-3) goes in the nightcap versus fellow left-hander James Paxton (3-2) and the Yankees.
TAKE A SEAT
Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson and Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove can expect a little time off after their bench-clearing confrontation. Major League Baseball will take a look at possible penalties following the fracas Monday night in Atlanta.
With two outs in the first inning, Musgrove’s pitch grazed Donaldson’s jersey. As Donaldson headed to first base, he exchanged words with Musgrove and then took a few steps toward the mound. Pirates catcher Elias Díaz intervened and Donaldson shoved him, and tempers flared.
Donaldson, Musgrove and Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle were ejected.
Home runs are coming in bunches lately, with the Arizona and Philadelphia Phillies combining for an MLB-record 13 homers, including a team-record eight for the Diamondbacks.
Arizona started quickly, hitting three in a row to open Monday night’s game at Philadelphia. Jarrod Dyson, Ketel Marte and David Peralta all connected off Jerad Eickhoff. Eduardo Escobar became the first Diamondback to homer from both sides of the plate in consecutive innings. Ildemaro Vargas homered twice and Alex Avila went deep for Arizona at Citizens Bank Park.
The Diamondbacks had hit six homers in a game six times in franchise history, the last coming June 1, 2018, against the Marlins.
The Phillies played long ball, too. Scott Kingery hit two of Philadelphia’s five home runs. Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins and Jay Bruce also went deep.
A day earlier, the Nationals hit four straight homers in the eighth inning at San Diego. Howie Kendrick, Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon tagged former Washington reliever Craig Stammen.