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LEADING OFF: Sparkman faces Anderson again, Gardner’s lip

June 9, 2019
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Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Glenn Sparkman, left, walks off the field after being ejected by home plate umpire Mark Carlson for hitting Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson with a pitch during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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

KEEP IT COOL

Royals right-hander Glenn Sparkman pitches against the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium — in his last outing, he was ejected for hitting Chicago sparkplug Tim Anderson in the helmet with a pitch.

Sparkman was tossed in the second inning on May 29 in Chicago. The Royals have mixed it up with the bat-flipping Anderson a few times.

RIVALRY NIGHT

It’s Cardinals-Cubs under the lights at Wrigley Field when Adam Wainwright (5-5, 4.34 ERA) faces Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.16) in the series finale. Wainwright tossed eight shutout innings in a 2-1 win over the Cubs at St. Louis last Sunday when he allowed two hits but walked a career-high seven. Hendricks has won five straight decisions over his last seven starts with a 2.09 ERA during that span.

OUCH!

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner will see how he’s feeling, a day after his hard hit — but not the kind he hoped for.

Fuming after his bid for extra bases was caught Saturday, Gardner fired his batting helmet against a dugout wall in Cleveland— only to have the protective gear ricochet back and smack him in the face.

The result: A bloody lower lip that took six stitches to close. He said getting the stitches hurt more than being hit with the helmet.

“It was just frustration building up, we gave up the lead,” Gardner said. “You hit a ball like that that’s an out, it’s just frustrating.”

Gardner was 0 for 4 in the 8-4 loss to Cleveland. He’s hitless in his last 22 at-bats, dropping his batting average to .217.

CHECK THEM

Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez has missed three straight games after being removed Thursday with back tightness. “We’ll try for Sunday,” manager Alex Cora said after a doubleheader split with Tampa Bay at Fenway Park. ... Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Jones was held out of the starting lineup in Toronto for a third straight game because of a hamstring problem.

STILL WAITING

Dallas Keuchel’s first start in the minors for the Atlanta Braves was rained out, meaning he’ll need to wait another day or two before taking the mound.

The newly signed former Cy Young Award winner was supposed to pitch Saturday for Triple-A Gwinnett, but the game never began. More rain is in the forecast, so Keuchel is likely to pitch Monday for Class A Rome in the South Atlantic League. The 31-year-old lefty is expected to throw 75 to 90 pitches.

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