LEADING OFF: Red Sox LH Sale faces Dodgers

National Sports

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale reacts on the mound after giving up a two-run home run to Toronto Blue Jays’ Danny Jansen in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Wednesday, July 3, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

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

REMEMBER WHEN

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale faces the Dodgers for the first time since he came out of the bullpen to finish last year’s World Series, striking out the side in the ninth inning of Boston’s 5-1 victory in Game 5. Sale struggled in his final two starts before the All-Star break, allowing 10 runs and 15 hits in 11 2/3 innings. Ross Stripling pitches for NL-leading Los Angeles.

ON THE MEND

All-Star infielder Alex Bregman could return to Houston’s starting lineup after he took a groundball off his chin during the Astros’ 5-0 loss at Texas on Thursday night. Manager AJ Hinch says Bregman, who needed four stitches, has been evaluated a couple of times since getting hit and is doing OK. He says Bregman “has not been diagnosed with a concussion at all.” Bregman was playing shortstop in the series opener when a grounder by Shin-Soo Choo popped up and hit him below his mouth in the third inning. Bregman, the team’s primary third baseman, has been playing shortstop with Carlos Correa on the injured list.

LOOKING FOR 11

Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Charlie Morton and Minnesota Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi each take the mound looking for their 11th win. Morton is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two July starts heading into his matchup with last-place Baltimore in the nightcap of a split doubleheader. Odorizzi gets the ball for the AL Central leaders at Cleveland after he had a start skipped due to a blister on his right middle finger. Odorizzi, who is 0-2 with an 8.76 ERA in his last three starts, earned a career-high 11 wins in 2014 with Tampa Bay. The 35-year-old Morton is 39-12 over the last three seasons.

FAMILIAR FOES

New York Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ faces his old club for the second time this year, pitching against Toronto in the middle game of a weekend set. The 36-year-old Happ was 59-41 with a 3.88 ERA in 135 appearances (127 starts) over two stints with Toronto, including a 20-win season in 2016. Happ hasn’t pitched since July 4, when he tossed 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a no-decision at Tampa Bay. Clayton Richard starts for the Blue Jays.

ENCORE?

The Los Angeles Angels host the Seattle Mariners in the second game of their weekend series, a day after recording the second combined no-hitter in franchise history in their first home game since the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Matt Harvey (2-4, 7.50 ERA) will make his first start for the Angels since May 23. He had been on the injured list with an upper back strain.

The Mariners will go with an opener before handing the ball to LHP Wade LeBlanc (5-2, 4.66 ERA). LeBlanc is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in seven appearances following an opener.

On Friday, Taylor Cole and Félix Peña teamed up for the 11th no-hitter in franchise history in a 13-0 win over Seattle.

It was the second no-hitter in the majors this season after Oakland’s Mike Fiers no-hit Cincinnati on May 7.

___

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

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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