LEADING OFF: Lindor hurt, Red Sox dominating depleted Yanks

Sports

New York Mets’ Francisco Lindor grounds out in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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

SHORT STORY

The first-place Mets are waiting for news on Francisco Lindor, who left Friday night’s heated 4-1 loss in Pittsburgh with soreness on his right side. New York manager Luis Rojas had no further update after the game other than to say the star shortstop would be examined in the morning.

Lindor winced after grounding out to second base in the fifth inning. The four-time All-Star took a few steps out of the batter’s box but then peeled off toward the Mets’ dugout on the first base side.

In his first season with the Mets after being acquired from Cleveland in a January trade, Lindor is hitting .228 with 11 home runs in 88 games. He agreed to a $341 million, 10-year contract just before opening day.

PITCHING A SHUTOUT

Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.66 ERA) and the Boston Red Sox try to improve to 8-0 against the rival New York Yankees this season when they face Gerrit Cole (9-4, 2.68) in a prime-time matchup of AL All-Stars in the Bronx.

With slugger Aaron Judge and five of his teammates sidelined due to a coronavirus outbreak, the fourth-place Yankees were held to three hits Friday night in a 4-0 loss to Boston that dropped them nine games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox. New York is also minus first baseman Luke Voit, who went on the injured list with a bone bruise in his left knee.

ANOTHER OUTBREAK

The Colorado Rockies have also been compromised by COVID-19 coming out of the All-Star break. They were without manager Bud Black and five other team members during Friday night’s 10-4 home loss to the Dodgers due to health and safety protocols and contact tracing.

In addition to Black, first base coach Ron Gideon and four Rockies players were not available. Right-hander Antonio Senzatela was scheduled to start but was added to the COVID-19 injured list instead, along with fellow pitchers Yency Almonte and Jhoulys Chacín, and outfielder Yonathan Daza. Bench coach Mike Redmond served as acting manager.

WORTH WATCHING

The Houston Astros send Jake Odorizzi to the mound against Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox as the AL division leaders continue their weekend set. Odorizzi is 2-1 with a sparkling 1.04 ERA over his last five appearances. He is 3-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 career starts against Chicago.

Giolito struck out nine over 5 1/3 innings in an 8-3 win at Baltimore last Saturday. The 6-foot-6 right-hander is 1-3 with a 4.68 ERA in four career starts versus the Astros.

STREAKING

Angels second baseman David Fletcher tries to extend his hitting streak to 26 games, which would break a tie with Hall of Famer Rod Carew (1982) for the second-longest in franchise history behind Garret Anderson’s 28-game run in 1998. Fletcher and his Los Angeles teammates face Seattle lefty Yusei Kikuchi (6-4, 3.48 ERA).

JOC AT THE TOP

Joc Pederson’s first start with the Braves could come against Tampa Bay, and it likely will be as his new team’s leadoff hitter.

Atlanta acquired Pederson from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday for minor league first baseman Bryce Ball. Pederson was added to the active roster shortly before Friday night’s game versus the Rays and grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the 10th inning of a 7-6 defeat.

The Braves moved to obtain Pederson two weeks before the July 30 trade deadline after losing star right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee on July 10. Acuña had been the team’s leadoff hitter.

Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Pederson could fill that spot in the lineup.

“Right now that’s kind of where I see him,” Snitker said. “It’s get our better hitters up there more often.”

The 29-year-old Pederson was batting .230 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs in 73 games with the Cubs. He spent his first seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The injury-depleted Braves made another deal late Friday night, acquiring veteran catcher Stephen Vogt from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league first baseman Mason Berne.

EXTRA REST

The Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers had their All-Star break extended by a day when their doubleheader was rained out Friday, making them the only major league clubs to get a five-day midsummer respite.

The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday in Detroit and make up the other postponed game on Aug. 30.

José Ureña (2-8, 6.43 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener for the Tigers, who were planning a bullpen game in the nightcap. Charlie Barnes makes his major league debut in Game 1 for the Twins, and Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.66) is set for Game 2.

Minnesota swept Detroit in a four-game series at Target Field before the break.

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