LEADING OFF: Swanson joins Braves, Utley’s homecoming
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Chase Utley hopes for more homecoming magic after a remarkable return Tuesday. It’s Utley’s first series at Citizens Bank Park since being traded last season to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and fans gave him a 1 1/2-minute ovation before his first at-bat then pleaded for a curtain calls after a solo homer in the fifth inning and a grand slam in the seventh.
LT. DANS REPORTS FOR DUTY
Top prospect Dansby Swanson is expected to join the Braves for his major league debut before a game against the Twins. Swanson was the first overall pick by Arizona in the 2015 draft and traded to Atlanta in the offseason in a package for right-hander Shelby Miller. Swanson hit .261 with eight homers and six stolen bases in 84 games with Double-A Mississippi this season. Miller, meanwhile, is back at Triple-A sorting himself out after a disastrous start to this season.
TOP OF THE HEAP
J.A. Happ (16-3, 2.96) goes for his major league-leading 17th win when the Blue Jays wrap up their three-game series in New York against CC Sabathia (7-9, 4.20) and the Yankees. Sabathia, the active major league leader in strikeouts (2,672) and complete games (38), is 15-8 with a 3.20 ERA in 24 career starts vs. Toronto.
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg (15-3, 3.07) has lost two straight entering his start against the Rockies. He allowed six runs over 5 1/3 innings last time out against last-place Atlanta and has a 4.38 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break. Rockies righty Jon Gray (8-6, 4.55) has allowed 15 runs over his past two starts.
Yu Darvish (3-3, 2.77) has been rounding into form for the Rangers in his return from Tommy John surgery, a trend he’ll try to continue in a game against Oakland. Darvish went over 100 pitches for the first time since surgery in his last start, limiting Detroit to two earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. Rookie left-hander Sean Manaea (4-7, 4.57) is up for the A’s.
GIVE ME NOVA-CAIN
Expect to hear Green Day over the AT&T Park speakers when Ivan Nova and Matt Cain square off in a game between the Pirates and the Giants. The Nova-Cain matchup is getting chuckles from pun-minded social media users, and also reminding baseball fans that it might be time to check in with the dentist.