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LEADING OFF: Dodgers’ Buehler makes 1st start, Bryant rests

April 23, 2018
Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant reacts after taking a pitch to the batting helmet from Colorado Rockies starter German Marquez in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Denver. Bryant was pulled from the game after getting hit. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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START HIM UP

Prized Dodgers prospect Walker Buehler makes his first big league start, taking on visiting Miami. The 23-year-old righty reached the majors last September and had a 7.71 ERA in eight relief appearances. Buehler was a first-round draft pick in 2015. He’s getting this chance because starter Rich Hill is on the disabled list with a cracked fingernail.

REST HELPS

The Cubs are off, meaning slugger Kris Bryant gets to heal from a beaning. He had a cut above his eye, caused by his sunglasses, after a fastball from Colorado’s German Marquez hit off helmet Sunday. The team said Bryant passed tests and had no sign of a concussion. The 2016 NL MVP is hitting .319 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. The Cubs next play on Tuesday night at Cleveland.

“As good as can be expected,” manager Joe Maddon said after Chicago’s 9-7 win. “I haven’t heard the word concussion yet, so hopefully good.”

ASCENDING ASTROS

Fresh off sweeping a three-game series from the White Sox and outscoring them 27-2, the World Series champion Astros return home to face the Angels, having won six in a row. Gerrit Cole is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA over four starts in his first season for Houston, striking out 41 in 28 innings. Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to pitch the second game of the series on Tuesday night for Los Angeles.

STREAKS

Twins star Brian Dozier has set a team record with a 16-game hitting string to begin a season. He passed the 15-gamers by Kirby Puckett (1994) and Josh Willingham (2012). Dating to last year, Dozier has a hit in 23 straight games. He’ll try to extend the streak when Minnesota opens a series against Masahiro Tanaka at Yankee Stadium. ... Indians righty Carlos Carrasco is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27. He pitches the series finale at Baltimore.

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