LEADING OFF: Indians try for 1st place, Sanchez amps Astros

Sports
Jose Ramirez

Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez, left, scores on a double by Franmil Reyes off Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

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

CLEVELAND CLOSES IN

The Indians can take over the AL Central lead with another win at Target Field. After trailing the Twins by 11½ games on June 3, Cleveland has gone 41-16 to tie them for the division lead.

José Ramírez and the Indians have won the first two in a four-game series at Minnesota. His slow start was one reason they faced a large deficit — the two-time All-Star was hitting .201 as of June 20, but has hit .338 with 17 doubles, 11 home runs and 33 RBIs since. He has an extra-base hit in eight straight games.

Adam Plutko (4-2, 4.55 ERA) tries to pitch Cleveland into first place when he faces All-Star Jake Odorizzi (12-5, 3.61). The Twins have lost four in a row for the first time this season.

SANCHEZ STRING

Aaron Sanchez (4-14, 5.76 ERA) makes his second start for Houston, facing the Orioles at Camden Yards. Acquired from Toronto on July 31, he had quite a debut for the Astros, going the first six innings in a combined no-hitter against Seattle.

The Astros have won seven in a row and 17 of 20 to open a 10-game lead over Oakland in the AL West. They’ve also tied the Yankees for the best record in the league at 76-40 — the team with the top mark gets home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

METS MOVIN’

Noah Syndergaard (8-5, 3.96 ERA) tries to keep the Mets surging when he starts at Citi Field against Washington. New York has won seven in a row and 14 of 15 — New York rallied for four runs in the ninth inning Friday night to beat the Nats 7-6, pulling within 1 1/2 games of them for the top NL wild-card spot.

Syndergaard has a 1.78 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break, striking out 39 over 35 1/3 innings. He has not allowed a homer since July 6.

Patrick Corbin (9-5, 3.43 ERA) will make his fifth start against New York this season. He is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in those games.

ON THE WAY

The AL East-leading Yankees could get a couple of their big hitters back in the lineup this weekend.

Catcher Gary Sanchez, who’s been sidelined by a strained left groin, is expected to be activated off the injured list for the game at Toronto. Infielder Gleyber Torres, who’s missed three straight games with a core injury, might return during this series, manager Aaron Boone said.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Get FREE Text Alerts
Report It
Clear the Shelters

Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Latest News

More Local News