LEADING OFF: Cole vs Cole; Beeks makes big debut in Boston
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
SAME NAME GAME
Cole Hamels (3-5) pitches for Texas against Gerrit Cole and the visiting Astros in the opener of a four-game series. Hamels, with a 2.89 ERA in his last seven starts, threw six shutout innings vs. Houston on May 11. Cole (6-1, 2.20 ERA), who leads the AL with 116 strikeouts, has a four-game winning streak. The defending World Series champions are hoping for positive news on star shortstop Carlos Correa, who will be re-evaluated after leaving Wednesday’s game. Correa experienced discomfort on his right side when he swung the bat in the seventh inning.
BIG MOMENT IN BOSTON
Jalen Beeks makes his major league debut for the Red Sox (43-19) when baseball’s top team, looking for its fifth straight victory, hosts Detroit. The 24-year-old lefty allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his 10 starts for Triple-A Pawtucket. He said he expects his wife, two kids and “I’m guessing like 15 others” to be in the stands. Before the game, Boston star Mookie Betts (10-day disabled list, left abdominal strain) plans to take batting practice and second baseman Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) is expected to resume baseball activities.
The Chicago Cubs haven’t ruled out a trip to the disabled list for shortstop Addison Russell, who has a bruised left middle finger. Russell was out of the lineup for the second straight game Wednesday but “felt better than he thought he would” hitting in the cage, according to manager Joe Maddon. Meanwhile, the Angels put Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons on the 10-day DL because of a right ankle sprain sustained when he slipped going down the dugout steps before Tuesday’s game. Third baseman Zack Cozart replaced Simmons at shortstop Wednesday, and Kaleb Cowart started at third after being recalled from Triple-A. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said there’s no timeline yet for Simmons’ return, but added “it’s certainly going to take a little bit of time” to recover. Simmons was batting .330 with 34 RBIs.
ANOTHER YOUNG ARM
Dodgers rookie Dennis Santana makes his first major league start in the series finale at Pittsburgh. The 22-year-old Santana earned his first victory in the majors by working 3 2/3 innings of relief last week against Colorado. On the mound for the Pirates is Jameson Taillon, who pitched eight shutout innings against St. Louis last Friday.
SOMETHING’S GOT TO GIVE
White Sox right-hander James Shields (1-6) faces the Twins again after holding them hitless for 6 1/3 innings May 6 in Chicago. He’s pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four starts. Minnesota turns to Jose Berrios (6-5), who is 2-0 against the White Sox this year. He struck out 11 Chicago batters over seven innings in a 4-0 win at Target Field on April 12.
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