LEADING OFF: Ohtani works off mound, Keuchel makes 2nd start

National Sports
Shohei Ohtani, Mike Zunino

Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, watches his triple off Tampa Bay Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Catching for the Rays is Mike Zunino. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

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

GETTIN’ LOOSE

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will throw off a mound for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani had surgery Oct. 1 at the conclusion of his AL Rookie of the Year season. He returned to the Los Angeles lineup as a designated hitter May 7, posting nine homers and 30 RBIs already this season with an .834 OPS.

The Angels repeatedly have said Ohtani won’t pitch in games until 2020, but his recovery appears to be progressing well.

Ohtani went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 10 starts as a rookie. He also hit 22 homers and drove in 61 runs with a .925 OPS.

STEP IT UP

Dallas Keuchel makes his second start since signing a one-year, $13 million contract with Atlanta earlier this month. The former AL Cy Young Award winner lost in his Braves debut, laboring through five innings in a loss at Washington.

Keuchel will face Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.75) in Chicago. Darvish has no-decisions in his last 10 starts and has yet to win at Wrigley Field as a Cub.

CHECK HIM

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will see how he’s feeling, a day after bruising his right knee when he got tangled up with Toronto pitcher Clayton Richard while getting thrown out on a headfirst slide into third base.

The 2017 NL MVP just returned last Tuesday from injuries to his biceps, shoulder and calf that had sidelined him since March 31.

ROYAL RETURN

Kansas City left-hander Eric Skoglund’s rejoins the roster after the end of his 80-game suspension for testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Skoglund was in the mix to make the Royals’ rotation before the penalty. He’s made three minor league rehab starts, and reports to the club in Cleveland.

REPEAT AFTER ME

Miami rookie Zac Gallen faces Trea Turner, Juan Soto and the Nationals at Marlins Park.

The 23-year-old righty made his major league debut last week and pitched five impressive innings at St. Louis, allowing one earned run and five hits while striking out six.

___

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.

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