LEADING OFF: Altuve streaks, Stanton surges, Devers debuts
By The Associated Press
Jul. 25, 2017
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Jose Altuve leads the majors in hitting at .365, boosted by a recent run that's extraordinary even by his lofty standards. The two-time AL batting champion from Houston has gotten four hits in two straight games. That's given him a 16-game hitting streak during which he's batting .528 (38 for 72). He can extend the string when the Astros visit Philadelphia.
Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton has hit six home runs in seven games and is tied with Yankees rookie Aaron Judge for most in the majors at 32. Stanton has 11 this month, including two Monday night against the Rangers. He'll next face lefty Cole Hamels in Texas.
Prized Red Sox prospect Rafael Devers is set to make his first big league start, facing ace Felix Hernandez in Seattle. The 20-year-old rookie was called up Monday, with AL East-leading Boston hoping he can fill a hole at third base.
Devers hit .300 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs in 77 games with Double-A Portland, then hit .400 with two homers in just nine games at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Sonny Gray (6-4, 3.66 ERA) could be making his final start for the A's when he pitches at Toronto. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA over his past five starts, furthering boosting his trade value as Monday's deadline to make deals without waivers gets closer.
ON THE MOVE
Starting pitcher Trevor Cahill, closer Brandon Maurer and reliever Ryan Buchter are set to report to the Kansas City Royals after being acquired in a trade from San Diego. And lefty Jaime García joins the Minnesota Twins after being traded from Atlanta — he'll start Friday in Oakland.
A lot of playoff contenders are busy, trying to firm up their rosters before Monday's nonwaiver trade deadline.
HOMER NOT HAPPY
Rookie Luis Castillo will try to reverse a recent trend for Cincinnati pitchers — they've given up 25 home runs in the last 11 games, and a major league-high 171 this year. Not the easiest task for the Reds going into a two-game series at Yankee Stadium, facing Aaron Judge and a power-packed lineup.
Tampa Bay catcher Wilson Ramos won't start against the Orioles, a day after he was struck on the head by a piece of Ruben Tejada's broken bat in the series opener. Ramos left the game and got six staples to close the cut.
"A little bit of a scare there," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I think Wilson would have preferred to stay in the game. We just weren't able to stop the bleeding."
Cesar Valdez makes his first start for Toronto, taking on Oakland at Rogers Centre. The right-hander was pitching for the Athletics when he made his only other start this year, on April 20. The Blue Jays claimed him off waivers in May.