LEADING OFF: MLB Honors 100th Anniversary Of Negro Leagues
AP – A look at what’s happening around the majors on Sunday:
Major League Baseball will honor the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues with all players, managers, coaches and umpires wearing a commemorative patch on their uniforms. The special logo also will appear on bases and lineup cards.
The celebration had been scheduled for June 27 but was postponed when the start of the season was delayed by the coronavirus.
The upcoming festivities stirred a memory for Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who said he was playing in the New York Yankees’ system at Single-A Greensboro in 1980 when he happened to meet pitching great Satchel Paige.
“I was in the South Atlantic League in a Shoney’s, just going in there after a game to get a burger, and Satchel was sitting there all by himself,” Mattingly said. “We ran back and got a couple of balls, and I still to this day have a Satchel Paige baseball.”
The Milwaukee Brewers have a chance to put a little heat on the front-running Chicago Cubs if they can beat them for the third straight time.
After losing the series opener at Wrigley Field, the Brewers bounced back with a pair of taut one-run victories. The setbacks marked the first back-to-back losses by Chicago this season. Cubs ace Jon Lester @-0, 1.06 ERA) will try to end the short skid in the finale against Milwaukee’s Josh Lindblom (1-0, 5.68).
ACHING IN ATLANTA
The Atlanta Braves are going to have to wait a little longer before star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.’s aching left wrist is ready to go. The team opted to place the 22-year-old on the injured list retroactive to last Tuesday, meaning he won’t be eligible to return before Friday. The Braves had held off putting Acuña on the list in hopes he’d be ready to go by the end of the weekend.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been able to avoid any active COVID-19 cases in their clubhouse, but the novel coronavirus is messing with their schedule anyway. After having a three-game series in St. Louis wiped out earlier in the week while the Cardinals dealt with a widespread outbreak, the Cincinnati Reds were forced to scrap the final two games of their weekend series against Pittsburgh after one of their players tested positive.
Both teams are scheduled to be off on Monday, though Major League Baseball has yet to schedule makeup games for the two lost over the weekend.
The defending World Series champions will have to try and climb out of an early-season funk without Stephen Strasburg. The ace landed on the 10-day injured list with carpal tunnel neuritis on his right (pitching) hand. Strasburg, in the first season of a seven-year, $245 million contract extension he signed in the offseason, had been dealing with a hand issue off and on since the summer restart. This is his first trip to the injured list since 2018.
Minnesota Twins rookie pitcher Randy Dobnak and his meticulously maintained Fu Manchu beard will try to chisel his already minuscule ERA down even further against Kansas City. Dobnak is 3-1 with a 0.90 ERA in four starts this season. The 25-year-old has won each of his last three starts and hasn’t allowed more than four hits in any appearance. Dobnak isn’t doing it with gas. He has just 11 strikeouts in 20 innings.
The Los Angeles Angels are waiting for their one-year gamble on Julio Teheran to pay off. Teheran has yet to make it beyond the third inning this season. He’ll get a chance in the finale of the Freeway Series against the Dodgers. Teheran is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA and has surrendered seven runs while getting just 14 outs through two starts. Trying to get it right against his team’s crosstown rival might be tough. Teheran is 0-6 with a 5.33 ERA in eight career starts when facing the Dodgers.
TYING THE DUKE
Minnesota’s Nelson Cruz keeps on climbing the home run chart. Cruz homered in both games of a doubleheader against Kansas City on Saturday, boosting his career total to 407 and into a tie with Hall of Famer Duke Snider for 56th on the all-time list. Next up is former New York Yankees star Mark Teixeira, who is at 409. Brady Singer starts for the Royals in the series finale. Cruz went 1 for 3 with a single earlier this season against Singer.