A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Albert Pujols is one big fly from becoming the ninth member of the 600-homer club. The 37-year-old slugger hit No. 599 off 44-year-old Atlanta starter Bartolo Colon on Tuesday night. Pujols has homered in consecutive games for the first time this season. He and the Angels are set to face Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia.
NIGHT AND DAY
Masahiro Tanaka appears to do his best work at night. The New York Yankees right-hander makes his 11th start of the season in Baltimore, looking to extend an unusual run of success under the lights. Tanaka is 5-1 with a 2.51 ERA in six night starts and 0-3 with a 17.51 ERA in four day games. He faces Kevin Gausman (2-4, 6.17) and the Orioles. Opponents are batting .322 with 10 homers in 54 innings against Gausman.
The Blue Jays can move within a game of .500 by beating the Reds, a stark improvement following a 6-17 start to the season. Toronto has 47 homers in May, including four while improving to 25-27 with a 6-4 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday night. Jose Bautista has been a driving force in the resurgence, hitting .320 with nine homers with 21 RBIs following a miserable April. Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin and Kendrys Morales each homered in Tuesday’s win.
Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea (3-3) gets the ball at AL champion Cleveland, his latest assignment against one of the league’s heavyweights. The second-year pitcher has won two straight starts, beating the Red Sox and Yankees while posting a 1.50 ERA with 11 strikeouts over 12 innings.
PAX IS BACK
James Paxton is set to come off the disabled list for the Mariners against Colorado. Paxton (3-0, 1.43 ERA) was among baseball’s best pitchers in April before landing on the DL with a left forearm strain. He’ll face standout rookie Antonio Senzatela (7-1, 3.19), who most recently pitched eight shutout innings in a win over the Cardinals.
The major league-leading Astros (37-16) turn to another substitute starter as they attempt to win their seventh straight game. David Paulino was called up from the minors to pitch at Minnesota after Houston put right-hander Joe Musgrove on the disabled list Tuesday with shoulder discomfort. Paulino was at Triple-A Fresno and is considered one of the team’s top prospects. Musgrove, who is 4-4 with a 4.89 ERA after throwing seven scoreless innings against Baltimore last Friday, could miss just one turn. But for now, he joins fellow Astros starters Charlie Morton and Collin McHugh on the DL.
Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley will try to follow a gem by Robbie Ray with another one against the Pirates. Ray threw a four-hitter for his first complete game Tuesday night, and Godley (1-1, 1.99 ERA) is on a tear of his own. He pitched six scoreless innings in a 4-2 win over Milwaukee last time out and has churned out four straight quality starts. Pittsburgh right-hander Chad Kuhl (1-5, 6.29) is winless in nine starts since beating Atlanta on April 8 in his season debut.
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