LEADING OFF: O's try to sweep Texas; Tigers seek 9th in row
Baltimore Orioles\’ Chris Davis (19) comes in to score against Texas Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, left, on a single by Matt Wieters during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
A look at what’s happening all around the majors Thursday:
BEST OF THE BEST
Baltimore goes for a three-game sweep of visiting Texas in a series between first-place teams. The AL East-leading Orioles are 39-16 at home, the top mark in the majors. Left-hander Wade Miley (7-8, 4.98 ERA) makes his Baltimore debut after he was obtained Sunday in a trade with Seattle. A.J. Griffin (4-1, 3.99) faces the Orioles for the first time since 2013. AL West-leading Texas is 9-4 in his 13 starts.
Jordan Zimmermann (9-4) comes off the disabled list from a neck injury to pitch against the White Sox as host Detroit seeks its ninth straight victory. And teammate J.D. Martinez is expected to make his first start since missing seven weeks with a broken elbow. Martinez returned with a bang Wednesday night in a 2-1 win, breaking an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit homer off Chris Sale on the first pitch the slugger had faced since mid-June. Martinez’s timely drive helped the streaking Tigers move within two games of first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
Mike Napoli has homered in five straight games for Cleveland, matching Chris Davis and Jay Bruce for the longest streak in the majors this season. But the Indians have been wasting Napoli’s power surge lately, losing three consecutive home games to Minnesota while getting outscored 35-16. The last-place Twins are 8-4 against the AL Central leaders this year and will go for a four-game sweep when left-hander Hector Santiago, acquired from the Angels at the trade deadline, makes his Minnesota debut in the series finale. Mike Clevinger will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to start for Cleveland.
Left-hander Matt Moore makes his first start for the San Francisco Giants in Philadelphia. The skidding NL West leaders acquired Moore from Tampa Bay for infielder Matt Duffy and two minor leaguers to help get back on track. Moore’s arrival has bumped veteran right-hander Jake Peavy to the bullpen.
Cardinals pitcher Mike Leake (8-8) has a streak on the line when he faces his former Reds team for the second time. Leake hasn’t walked a batter in his last 30 innings spanning five starts, a career best. It’s the longest active streak in the majors and the second-longest this season behind Matt Shoemaker’s 30 1/3 innings without a walk for the Angels.
Ichiro Suzuki lined out softly to shortstop as a pinch-hitter Wednesday during Miami’s loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He remained two hits shy of 3,000. Suzuki and the Marlins are off Thursday before opening a three-game series at Colorado on Friday night.