LEADING OFF: Astros seek sweep in Boston, deGrom’s Cy pitch
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Houston tries to become the second team to sweep major league-leading Boston this season when the teams complete their three-game series on national TV. The defending World Series champion Astros took the first two games to extend their winning streak to seven, including a 5-3 win Saturday backed by Alex Bregman’s 30th homer. The finale will be a matchup of former AL Cy Young Award winners, with Houston’s Dallas Keuchel opposing Boston’s Rick Porcello. The Red Sox were swept for the first time by Tampa Bay in late August.
Jacob deGrom has allowed more than three runs in one start this season, back in April. That’s why he’s a candidate for the NL Cy Young Award despite an 8-8 record for the fourth-place Mets, who’ve struggled to score when he’s been on the mound. He’s winless in his last three starts despite pitching to a 1.35 ERA in those outings. DeGrom will go for his ninth win in a matchup with the contending Phillies, who have their own Cy Young candidate in Aaron Nola (16-4).
Robbie Ray and the playoff-chasing Diamondbacks conclude a series against NL East-leading Atlanta. Ray (5-2, 4.25) hasn’t lost since July 12 and is coming off 6 1/3 electric innings against San Diego, when he struck out 10 and allowed two hits in a 6-0 win. Braves starter Touki Toussaint (1-1, 3.38) pitched no-hit ball through four innings against Boston last time out before getting hit around in the fifth.
The Rockies and Dodgers conclude their series with Colorado holding a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West. The finale will be a battle of left-handers, with Los Angeles veteran Rich Hill opposing struggling Tyler Anderson. Hill is 5-1 with a 2.87 ERA over his past nine starts, while Anderson is seeking his first victory since July 4, a span of 10 outings.
The Reds moved their series finale against the Padres to 4:10 p.m. to give the teams a better chance of escaping the rain that has interfered with the previous two games in Cincinnati. Friday night’s game ended after midnight because of a 2-hour, 37-minute rain delay, and Saturday’s game was called after seven innings because of more bad weather. If Sunday’s game were postponed, the Padres would be forced to fly back from San Francisco on Sept. 27 for a makeup game between last-place teams. “We would love, love, love to get these games in here the next couple days,” San Diego manager Andy Green said.
Rain also forced a postponement of the Cubs-Nationals game in Washington on Friday night, forcing a doubleheader Saturday with more rain forecast for Sunday.