LEADING OFF: Cards’ Carpenter on tear, deGrom wants to stay

July 21, 2018
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St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter celebrates his second home run of the game off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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


A day after hitting three homers and two doubles in just six innings, Cardinals slugger Matt Carpenter tries to torment the Cubs over a doubleheader. Carpenter drove in seven before getting pulled early in St. Louis’ 18-5 thrashing at Wrigley Field on Friday. He tied the major league record for extra-base hits in a game, and became the first player to do it in just six innings. He’ll look to inflict more damage against starters Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 5.04) and Mike Montgomery (3-3, 3.91).


Jacob deGrom knows he could be traded this month, but he says his preference is to remain with the Mets. His agent, Brodie van Wagenen, said this week that if New York is not interested in a long-term deal for the 30-year-old All-Star right-hander, it should consider trade options. DeGrom said Friday in New York that “I want to win here” and he hopes “the feeling is mutual.”

Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said the team has been in touch with van Wagenen but that New York will do what’s best for the organization.

“We certainly respect Jacob’s position clearly,” Ricco said. “But we also have an obligation to do what’s best for the organization, whether that’s trading him, extending him or letting the contract play out.”


Big Sexy might look more like Big Sweaty in Texas.

Bartolo Colon, the Rangers’ portly 45-year-old right-hander, pitches on a weekend featuring record heat in Arlington. The Rangers opened a series against Cleveland on Friday night with a first-pitch temperature of 107 degrees, the highest ever at the start of a game at Texas’ 25-year-old ballpark. The expected high Saturday is 109 degrees, with the teams set to play at night. The forecast during Sunday afternoon’s finale calls for a high of 108. The hottest temperature for a game this season is 108 degrees, set when the Angels hosted the Dodgers on July 7.

Colon is making his third attempt to break a tie with Dennis Martinez for the most wins in the majors by a native of Latin America. Colon and Martinez each have 245 victories.


The Braves are being cautious with All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies after he was pulled Friday with right hamstring tightness, likely holding him out for a couple of days to recover. The 21-year-old returned from the All-Star break leading the NL in at-bats (405) and runs (74), and he was tied for the league lead in doubles (29) with teammate and fellow All-Star Nick Markakis. Albies is batting .283 with 20 home runs and 55 RBIs. Atlanta will continue a series against the Nationals.


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