A look at what’s happening around the majors today:ON THE CUSPJose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians can clinch their third consecutive AL Central crown with a victory at home over Detroit and a Minnesota loss at last-place Kansas City. Josh Tomlin (1-5) pitches for the Indians against Matthew Boyd (9-12) and the Tigers. All-Star right-hander Jose Berrios (11-11) and the Twins face rookie Jorge Lopez (2-4) http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-max-muncy-jersey
, who took a perfect game into the ninth inning last Saturday at Minnesota.STROP STOPPEDThe NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs probably won’t have their closer when they open a three-game series against Cincinnati. Pedro Strop injured a hamstring while running to first on a double-play grounder Thursday in just his second at-bat of the season. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Strop will have an MRI on Friday. Strop has served as Chicago’s closer since Brandon Morrow was placed on the disabled list July 18. Strop has converted 11 of 13 save opportunities in that span and has a 2.26 ERA on the season.LAST GASPIt might be too late already, but Bryce Harper and the Nationals get perhaps their final chance to at least make a charge in the NL East when they begin a three-game series at first-place Atlanta. A heavy favorite before the season, Washington (74-73) sits third in the division, 8½ games behind the Braves with 15 to play. Max Scherzer (17-6, 2.31 ERA) starts the opener, looking to boost his bid for a fourth Cy Young Award and third straight in the National League. He leads the NL in wins and is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 27 innings this season against Atlanta.SNAKE EYESIf the plummeting Diamondbacks want to keep pace in the playoff hunt, they’ll have to do it against a first-place team. Arizona dropped two of three against NL West-leading Colorado to fall 4½ games back in the division and has lost 10 of 13 heading into a three-game series at AL West-leading Houston. The Diamondbacks also lost starter Clay Buchholz to injury during the Colorado series. They do have their pair of Zacks — Godley and Greinke — pitching Saturday and Sunday. “Time is running out,” Steven Souza Jr. said. “We are making it more difficult on ourselves, but it’s not impossible.”TRUE TESTNoah Syndergaard (11-3, 3.44 ERA) takes on baseball’s best team when the Mets play the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Syndergaard is 5-1 over his last seven starts. Hector Velazquez (7-2, 3.29) gets the ball for Boston, which is closing in on a third straight AL East title. The magic number for the Red Sox is six over the second-place Yankees. Boston is the only team in the majors that’s already locked up a playoff berth. JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Leaving the clubhouse after his first exhibition game this year Joc Pederson Jersey
, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina got a fist bump from third baseman Matt Carpenter.“It’s good to have you back,” said Carpenter, one All-Star to another.Molina went 1 for 2 as a designated hitter Friday, the 36-year-old’s first game since left knee surgery in mid-December. Molina is likely to be behind the plate on Saturday, catching Adam Wainwright against Houston — about a week ahead of the original projection for him to catch.“I can’t really tell you how happy I am just to be back with Waino,” Molina said.A nine-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove, Molina singled through the left side off Washington newcomer Patrick Corbin and scored in a three-run Cardinals‘ first.“Just proves yet again he’s a special guy,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “Comes in, first at-bat, gets down 0-2 and battles, battles, battles. It’s impressive to see a guy that takes a pro at-bat like that — that can work on getting his timing as the at-bat goes.”Molina then lined out to first.“I was nervous about how I was going to feel but that’s a good nervous and everything feels fine, everything feels good with my body http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-max-muncy-jersey
,” Molina said. “I’m happy to be back and part of the team again.”Marcell Ozuna replaced Molina at designated hitter, striking out twice. Ozuna, hitless in 14 spring training at-bats, had right shoulder surgery on Oct. 30. He is slated to join outfielders in throwing drills on Saturday and could make his first outfield appearance on Monday in left.“I think it’s going to help when he gets into games because that flow of play will get him in a little bit of rhythm,” Shildt said.AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUESCUBS 9, MARINERS 3Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager is expected to be OK after rolling over his glove hand diving for a groundball by Javier Baez. The Mariners said Seager was pulled as a precaution and did not receive medical treatment.Anthony Rizzo homered and singled twice for Chicago.WHITE SOX 15, ANGELS 8AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani played soft toss for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October. The Angels expect Ohtani to rejoin the team in May as a designated hitter. He won’t take the mound again for Los Angeles until 2020.Mike Trout doubled and drove in a run with a groundout and Albert Pujols had an RBI single and is batting .500 for Los Angeles. Andrew Heaney made his second start, allowing a hit and walk while retiring two batters. Heaney, who is battling elbow inflammation, was on a 25-pitch limit.Yonder Alonso hit his third spring home run for Chicago, singled twice and drove in three runs. Welington Castillo hit his first home run and his third double, driving in two and scoring twice.MARLINS 10, METS 3Neil Walker hit his first two home runs for Miami http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-max-muncy-jersey
, a three-run shot off Noah Syndergaard and a solo drive off Seth Lugo.Robinson Cano homered for the first time with New York and Jeff McNeil homered for his first hit of spring training. Both came off Dan Straily, who pitched 3 1/3 innings in his third start.Syndergaard allowed six hits and four runs, striking out eight. He didn’t walk anyone after issuing five in his last start. New closer Edwin Diaz gave up a hit in a scoreless inning.BLUE JAYS (SS) 11, PIRATES (SS) 0Toronto prospect Bo Bichette homered and had two singles, scoring twice and raising his average to .368. Anthony Alford hit two solo home runs and singled. Billy McKinney add Jonathan Davis added two-run homers for the Blue Jays‘ split squad.Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams gave up five hits and two walks in three innings.BLUE JAYS (SS) 5, PIRATES (SS) 2Brandon Drury hit his second spring home run and Justin Smoak had two singles for Toronto’s split squad. Marcus Stroman made his third start, allowing one hit in four shutout innings, striking out three.Pittsburgh starter Rookie Davis gave up four hits and four walks in two innings.CARDINALS (SS) 3, NATIONALS 2Matt Wieters singled twice and drove in a run for St. Louis. Michael Wacha made his third start, pitching four innings and yielding two runs and six hits.Matt Adams hit his second home run for Washington. Closer Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one in his second appearance.ORIOLES 4, RED SOX 2Andrew Cashner made his second start for Baltimore, going 1 2/3 innings and allowing one run on a hit and two walks. Boston managed just Tzu-Wei Lin’s RBI double and a single by Eduardo Nunez.TWINS 5 Sandy Koufax Jersey
, RAYS 5, 9 INNINGSMinnesota prospect Alex Kirilloff hit a pair of singles. Jose Berrios made his third start, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings.Willy Adames hit a two-run homer and Ji-Man Choi and Jake Smolinski both hit solo shots for Tampa Bay. Brandon Lowe had his fifth double, scoring a run and raising his average to .435.BREWERS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 3Travis Shaw hit two home runs for Milwaukee, Lorenzo Cain had two singles and an RBI and Christian Yelich doubled and scored.Zack Godley’s ERA rose to 7.36 in his third start, pitching four innings and allowing three runs and five hits. Closer Archie Bradley followed Godley, allowing a run on three hits while striking out three.ROYALS (SS) 8, REDS 3Billy Hamilton hit his third double this spring and singled, scoring two runs and driving in another for Kansas City’s split squad. Alex Gordon had an RBI double. Ian Kennedy made his second start, pitching four innings and giving up three runs and five hits while striking out five.Eugenio Suarez had a double and single for Cincinnati. Jose Peraza hit his first home run.ATHLETICS 6, PADRES 5Marco Estrada struggled in his second start for Oakland, pitching three innings and allowing three runs on three hits http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-max-muncy-jersey
, two walks. Chad Pinder had two doubles and an RBI for the A’s.Hunter Renfroe had a double and single, driving in three runs for San Diego.ROCKIES 11, RANGERS 10Pat Valaika hit his fourth home run and Ryan McMahon connected for Colorado. Daniel Murphy had an RBI double and Nolan Arenado added a run-scoring single for just his third hit this spring. Arenado is batting .143.Rockies prospect Colton Welker won the game with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth.Elvis Andrus hit a grand slam for his first home run and singled for Texas. Joey Gallo doubled and singled. Lance Lynn allowed just one hit, striking out four in four innings in his second start.BRAVES 5, PHILLIES 4Josh Donaldson popped out and walked in his exhibition debut for Atlanta. Kevin Gausman, bothered by a sore shoulder this spring, gave up three runs and four hits in 1 1/3 innings.Aaron Altherr doubled and singled twice for Philadelphia. Newcomer Bryce Harper is set to make his debut Saturday as a DH against Toronto.TIGERS 6, YANKEES 5New York starter Masahiro Tanaka struck out five in 3 1/3 innings. He also gave up a home run to Daz Cameron.Giancarlo Stanton homered for the Yankees. Detroit starter Matthew Boyd went four innings.GIANTS 2, INDIANS 0San Francisco starter Drew Pomeranz pitched four scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Carlos Santana had two hits for Cleveland.CARDINALS (SS) 6, ASTROS 3Matt Carpenter homered for St. Louis. Houston starter Gerrit Cole gave up one hit in three scoreless innings.ROYALS (SS) 7, DODGERS 5Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer for Kansas City. A.J. Pollock and Joc Pederson homered for Los Angeles.