LEADING OFF: Swanson joins Braves, Utley’s homecoming

August 17, 2016
FILE - This July 10, 2016 file photo shows U.S. Team's Dansby Swanson, of the Atlanta Braves, follows through during the second inning of the All-Star Futures baseball game against the World Team in San Diego. Atlanta Braves' shortstop Erick Aybar has been traded to the Detroit Tigers for minor league catcher Kade Scivicque, clearing room for Atlanta to call up top prospect Dansby Swanson. Swanson, the No. 1 overall draft pick of 2015, will be in the lineup at shortstop and make his major league debut Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

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.


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.


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.


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.

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