By The Associated Press
Wed., Aug. 18, 2021 timer 4 min. read
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Miguel Cabrera’s next attempt to reach 500 career home runs comes against Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani — who is 7-1 with a 2.93 ERA on the mound and leads the majors with 39 homers this season.
Cabrera, stuck on 499, went 0 for 2 in Detroit’s 8-2 loss to the Angels on Tuesday night. He also enjoyed some playful banter with Ohtani at first base and worked two walks that Los Angeles manager Joe Maddon insisted were not intentional.
“We were just trying to sell tickets for (Wednesday),” Maddon joked.
Although Ohtani’s home run pace has slowed in the second half of the season, his pitching is on the upswing.
Ohtani has won three consecutive mound starts and will try to extend that streak in Detroit. At the plate, he has just two homers in August and six since the All-Star Game at Coors Field, where he made history by batting leadoff and starting on the mound.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...
In five pitching starts since July 6, the right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA. He allowed two runs over six innings against Toronto last Thursday and wasn’t entirely satisfied.
“I feel like I really haven’t hit my potential yet,” Ohtani said after that outing.
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta throws to a Milwaukee Brewers batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
The Oakland Athletics hope for good news on pitcher Chris Bassitt after the right-hander was carted off the field Tuesday night and taken to a hospital. Bassitt was struck on the side of the head by a line drive against the Chicago White Sox.
In the second inning, Bassitt threw an 89.5 mph cut fastball that Brian Goodwin drove right back up the middle. Bassitt went down on the mound when he was hit, holding his head, and his teammates quickly waved to the dugout for assistance.
As players on each side looked on, Bassitt was attended to by an Oakland trainer and other personnel before he was helped into the back of a cart while holding a towel to his face. A’s center fielder Starling Marte had his hands on his head as Bassitt was driven by him.
“Bass is conscious. He was the entire time,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said after his team’s 9-0 loss. “We don’t think the eye is a problem at this point. It felt like it was below it. He’s got some cuts. They had to do some stitches. He’s in a scan and we’ll know more about potential fractures or whatever tomorrow, or later tonight.”
The 32-year-old Bassitt, who broke into the majors with the White Sox in 2014, is in the midst of a breakout season for Oakland. He was 12-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 24 starts heading into the game, leading the AL in wins.
JAKE’S NEW JOB
Jake Arrieta makes his first start for San Diego since signing with the Padres on Monday following his release by the Chicago Cubs. He’ll face Charlie Blackmon and the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner was 5-11 with a 6.88 ERA for the Cubs this season.
The scuffling Padres signed Arrieta to add depth to their injury-plagued rotation. Chris Paddack (left oblique strain) and Yu Darvish (lower back tightness) are on the 10-day IL.
San Diego holds a 1 1/2-game lead over Cincinnati for the second NL wild card.
TIDE HAS TURNED
Giancarlo Stanton and the New York Yankees go for a three-game sweep of Boston after winning both games of a day-night doubleheader Tuesday to move percentage points ahead of the rival Red Sox for an AL wild-card spot.
The Yankees have won five straight and 12 of 15 to narrowly overtake Boston for second place in the AL East — New York is 68-52 and the Red Sox 69-53, a difference of .001 percentage points. The Yankees were 10 1/2 games behind first-place Boston on July 5 but have gone 26-11 since.
The Red Sox had seemingly snapped out of a 3-11 slump when they swept last-place Baltimore in three games last weekend. Now, Boston is suddenly out of postseason position after leading the division for much of the season.
Nick Pivetta (9-5, 4.20 ERA) pitches for the Red Sox against Andrew Heaney (7-8, 5.78) in the series finale.
0 FOR O’S
Baltimore has dropped 13 in a row heading into another game at first-place Tampa Bay, which routed the Orioles 10-0 on Tuesday night.
Baltimore has been outscored 123-36 during the skid and is in danger of falling below Arizona as the worst team in the majors. The Orioles lost 14 in a row from May 18-31.
“It’s awful,” pitcher John Means said. “A lot of our guys are losing sleep. A lot of guys are frustrated with what they’re doing, especially me.”
Mike Zunino has homered in five straight games for the Rays, who are 13-1 against Baltimore this season. Tampa Bay has scored at least nine runs nine times and reached double digits five times in the season series.
Tampa Bay holds a season-high five-game lead in the AL East over Boston and the New York Yankees.
Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (6-4, 4.76 ERA) is set to come off the COVID-19 injured list and pitch against Spenser Watkins (2-4, 5.25). Yarbrough missed eight days.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports when
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Anyone can read Conversations, but to contribute, you should be registered Torstar account holder. If you do not yet have a Torstar account, you can create one now (it is free)
Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the
Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.