LEADING OFF: Yanks try for HR record, Braves-Cubs cool off

National Sports
Luke Maile, Aaron Hicks

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile, left, watches from behind the plate as New York Yankees’ Aaron Hicks reacts after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 24, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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

HOMER HAPPY

Aaron Judge, Gary Sánchez, Edwin Encarnación and the New York Yankees try to set the major league record for most consecutive games with a home run.

The Yankees homered in their 27th straight game Monday night, matching the mark set by Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and the 2002 Texas Rangers.

Next up, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres and their New York teammates take on Toronto lefty Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.46 ERA) at Yankee Stadium. Richard has allowed five homers in 25 1/3 innings this season.

SAY WHAT?

Catchers Willson Contreras and Tyler Flowers aim to keep cool, a day after things got testy between them at Wrigley Field, prompting the Cubs and Braves to clear the benches.

Contreras homered for Chicago in the second inning Monday night, turned around to look at Flowers and then thumped his chest rounding first. Contreras shouted at Flowers after crossing the plate, and the dugouts emptied. Cubs manager Joe Maddon and Flowers calmly spoke as things simmered down.

CLOSING TIME

The Cardinals need to rework their bullpen after closer Jordan Hicks was diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament. The team says it’s determining what to do with the hardest-throwing pitcher in the majors — his injury usually leads to Tommy John surgery.

The rocket-armed Hicks has hit 105 mph with fastballs this season and routinely reaches triple digits with his heater. The 22-year-old is 2-2 with 14 saves and a 3.14 ERA in 29 games.

ALMOST READY

The Cubs says newly signed closer Craig Kimbrel could be activated later this week. He’s set to pitch again for Triple-A Iowa, and the team will then make a decision on what direction to go with him.

Kimbrel signed a three-year, $43 million contract on June 7. The All-Star righty has pitched three times in the minors, preparing to join Chicago.

BOUNCE BACK

Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner is coming off his shortest outing of 2019, looking to rebound when he starts at home against the Rockies. Bumgarner (3-7, 4.28) allowed a season-high six runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

Colorado right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez comes up from Triple-A Albuquerque to make his first major league start since 2016 with Texas.

___

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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