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BC-BBO--Leading Off

April 3, 2019
By The Associated Press

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

FINGERS CROSSED

Nationals shortstop Trea Turner will be out indefinitely after breaking his right index finger while trying to bunt. Standing at the plate in the first inning Tuesday night against Philadelphia, Turner squared to bunt versus Zach Elfin. The fastball hit the finger on his right hand, which was wrapped around the bat. Wilmer Difo replaced Turner and will assume the role of starter for the time being.

Meanwhile, Bryce Harper and the Phillies are 4-0 for the first time since 1915, when they opened 8-0 en route to an NL pennant. Harper has been a driving force after signing a $330 million, 13-year deal, crushing his third homer in his first game at Washington since ending his seven-year tenure with the Nationals. He was booed heartily throughout the game — “That’s sports,” he said — but serenaded by “MVP!” chants after the game by the hundreds of Philly fans.

UPDATE COMING

The Indians may provide a more definitive timetable for Francisco Lindor’s return from a sprained left ankle. Lindor visited a specialist Monday, and Cleveland said Tuesday that Lindor would miss more time, but the injury only appears to be a minor setback for the star shortstop. Lindor will meet Wednesday with manager Terry Francona and Chris Antonetti, the club’s president of baseball operations, and the Indians might have more info on Lindor’s prognosis after that.

DOMINANT DEGROM

NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom makes his second start this season for the Mets, this time facing the Marlins. DeGrom is seeking his 31st consecutive start allowing three runs or fewer, already a major league record, after striking out 10 in a thrilling matchup against Washington’s Max Scherzer on opening day. DeGrom is 4-6 against the Marlins, who have beaten him more than any other team.

BUILDING AROUND PILLAR

Kevin Pillar is expected to make his first start with the Giants after being acquired Tuesday from the Toronto Blue Jays. Pillar has been one of the AL’s best defensive center fielders, a highlight machine nicknamed Superman for his high-flying catches. But he’s expected to play more right field for San Francisco in deference to youngster Steven Duggar. Pillar batted .252 with 15 homers last season. The seven-year veteran also has a strong clubhouse reputation.

FLYING HIGH

The Orioles have won four straight, already matching their longest winning streak during a 115-loss 2018 season. They’ll try to make it five against Toronto. All the victories have come on the road, Baltimore’s first four-game streak away from home since 2016. Nate Karns will take his second turn as an opener — he pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday. Blue Jays righty Matt Shoemaker looks for a second straight strong outing to open the season after shutting down the Tigers last week.

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