LEADING OFF: Nationals take a look at K-Rod, Yankees ailing
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Joe Blanton, right, is pulled from the game by manager Dusty Baker (12) during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
A look at what’s happening all around the majors Tuesday:
CAN HE HELP?
The NL East-leading Washington Nationals were angling to add Francisco Rodriguez to their biggest trouble spot — the bullpen. The Nats have seen a lot of late leads get away this season and hope the 35-year-old reliever can boost them. K-Rod is fourth on the career saves list with 437, but was released by Detroit last week after posting a 7.82 ERA in 25 1/3 innings.
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The Yankees will see how second baseman Starlin Castro and designated hitter Matt Holliday after a tough start to the week. Castro left Monday night’s game in Chicago against the White Sox after straining his right hamstring. He had just returned to the lineup after getting a shot in his wrist. Holliday didn’t start for the second straight game because he’s feeling fatigued, and doctors are checking him.
The past two NL Cy Young Award winners square off when Nationals ace Max Scherzer takes on Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta. Scherzer (8-5, 2.09) earned the prize last year and is a leading contender again this season. He most recently pitched two-hit ball over eight innings against Miami, but lost a 2-1 game on a pair of unearned runs. Arrieta (7-5, 4.36) took the Cy Young in 2015 and finished ninth in last season’s voting, but he’s struggled this year to keep the ball in the park. His 13 homers allowed are already more than he gave up in 2015 (10) and approaching his total from last season (16).
Twins lefty Hector Santiago (4-6, 5.26 ERA) will come off the disabled list to start vs. Boston at Fenway Park. He’s been out since June 7 with a strained left shoulder.
Braves rookie Sean Newcomb seeks his first major league victory in a game at San Diego. Newcomb, a potentially key piece in Atlanta’s ongoing rebuild, is 0-2 despite a 1.96 ERA through three starts, and he’s gone at least six innings in each of them. Newcomb was the top prospect Atlanta received from the Angels while trading shortstop Andrelton Simmons in 2015.