LEADING OFF: Rays on a roll, Cubs vs Cards, Red Sox at Yanks
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
ON A ROLL
Austin Meadows and the Rays have won six games in a row heading into another matchup with major league-leading Minnesota. Meadows drove in four runs Thursday night in a 14-3 rout of the Twins. The young outfielder has multiple hits in five consecutive games, not to mention three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs during Tampa Bay’s longest winning streak since taking eight straight in August last year. Minnesota right-hander Jose Berrios (7-2, 3.20 ERA) attempts to slow the Rays after allowing 13 runs (11 earned) and 29 hits over his last three outings.
The Cubs and Cardinals renew their rivalry in St. Louis, with Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40 ERA) set to pitch the series opener for first-place Chicago against 2018 All-Star Miles Mikolas (4-5, 4.76). Darvish gave up 12 hits and six runs in a season-high seven innings of an 8-6 win against Cincinnati last time out. Mikolas is 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA in six career appearances, four starts, versus the Cubs. The NL Central foes are set to play at London next season in a two-game series at West Ham’s Olympic Stadium on June 13 and 14.
TWO AT THE TOP
It’s a matchup of National League division leaders at Dodger Stadium when Jake Arrieta (5-4, 3.60 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series for Philadelphia. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner is 3-3 with a 3.07 ERA in seven career starts against Los Angeles. Kenta Maeda (6-2, 3.67) is up for the Dodgers.
Beautiful weather is finally forecast for New York, where the first-place Yankees host longtime rival Boston after their scheduled series opener was rained out Thursday. J.A. Happ (4-3, 5.09 ERA) and Red Sox lefty Chris Sale (1-6, 4.19) were both pushed back a day, and the game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 3. New York (36-19) has a half-game lead in the AL East over Tampa Bay. The defending champion Red Sox are 7½ games behind the Yankees at 29-27.
WALK IT OFF
Say one thing for the streaking Rockies, they’re certainly giving their fans some fantastic finishes lately. Colorado has won five straight, and its past four wins at home have come on walk-offs by different players. Daniel Murphy did the honors Thursday with an RBI single in the 10th inning that gave the Rockies an 11-10 victory and a four-game sweep of NL West rival Arizona. “It’s been really remarkable. It’s been a testament to this team,” Murphy said. “It’s as resilient a group I’ve ever been a part of.” Colorado slugger Nolan Arenado is 12 for 27 with four home runs in the last week and is riding a 10-game hitting streak. Up next, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. takes his first swings at Coors Field when the Blue Jays make an interleague visit.
Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer looks to close out a difficult May on a high note when he pitches against the White Sox. Bauer, who went 12-6 with a career-low 2.21 ERA last year, is 0-3 with a 6.52 ERA in his last five starts. He struck out eight in six innings against Tampa Bay on Sunday, but also threw a wild pitch and hit two batters while allowing three earned runs in the Indians’ 6-3 loss. Dylan Covey gets the ball for Chicago. The 27-year-old righty is 0-3 with a 5.75 ERA in his past four starts.