LEADING OFF: Votto on a roll; Turner, Yelich out with COVID


By The Associated Press



Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich (22) hits a home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich (22) hits a home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)


New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, in his return from the COVID-19 injured list, loosens up before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)


Washington Nationals' Trea Turner fouls off a pitch during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Washington. The Marlins won 3-1. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


A look at what’s happening around the majors:

VOTTO ROLLS ON

CHICAGO (AP) — Joey Votto continued his power surge with two home runs and started a dazzling double play Tuesday night as the Cincinnati Reds pulled away to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Votto has homered in a career-high four consecutive games for the second time (April 2018), one game shy of the team record. Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez also connected as the Reds won for the third time in five games.

Cincinnati rookie Vladimir Gutierrez (5-3) pitched 6 1/3 innings of five-hit ball to earn the win.

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BIG NAMES TEST POSITIVE

COVID-19 continues to impact major league rosters more than 16 months after spring training was shut down in 2020 because of the coronavirus.

The Washington Nationals will likely be without star shortstop Trea Turner for the next several days, while the Milwaukee Brewers will be missing 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich for more than a week.

Turner and Yelich recently tested positive. Yelich and teammate Jace Peterson were placed on the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday. Turner was pulled in the first inning of Tuesday night’s game at Philadelphia.

Turner began the day batting .320 with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs. He singled and scored in the first inning, then headed directly up the tunnel toward the Nationals’ clubhouse and was replaced in the bottom of the first.

The Phillies announced later in the game that Turner had tested positive, ending speculation that he was lifted for a possible pending trade or due to injury.

Yelich will miss at least 10 days from his positive test.

The 29-year-old Yelich — who has been vaccinated against the virus — was feeling mild symptoms.

Yelich played one game in a five-week stretch from mid-April to mid-May due to a lower back strain. He is batting .235 with six homers, 28 RBIs and a .367 slugging percentage in 67 games.

JUDGE RETURNS

Running out of time to make a push in the AL East, the New York Yankees hope All-Star slugger Aaron Judge can help.

Judge and backup catcher Kyle Higashioka were reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday, with Friday’s trade deadline quickly approaching. Judge started in right field and batted second against Tampa Bay. Both players had been out since July 16.

The Yankees started Tuesday 9½ games behind AL East-leading Boston and eight back of the second-place Rays.

Judge, who played in the All-Star Game just before going on the COVID-19 injured list, is batting .282 with 21 homers.

STRASBURG’S SEASON OVER

A tough season for the Washington Nationals continued with word that ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg will have season-ending neck surgery.

The 2019 World Series MVP has made just seven starts over the past two seasons.

The three-time All-Star right-hander felt discomfort after a 27-pitch bullpen last week and saw a specialist on Monday. Strasburg, who is 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in five starts this year, was diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome and will be operated on by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas on Wednesday.

Washington manager Dave Martinez said he expects the 33-year-old Strasburg to be ready for the start of spring training next year.

WHEEL AND DEAL

There’s not much time left before the MLB trade deadline, which is Friday at 4 p.m. EDT.

There were a couple of deals late Tuesday. The Yankees traded relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named, while the Seattle Mariners added left-hander Tyler Anderson in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Anderson is 5-8 with a 4.35 ERA in 18 starts this season.

Those swaps are on top of a handful of other interesting moves over the past few days: The Padres acquired All-Star Adam Frazier from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Oakland A’s grabbed left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs, and the Houston Astros pulled off a surprising intra-division swap, landing reliever Kendall Graveman from Seattle.

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Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich (22) hits a home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/07/web1_127013037-537785d836d946ebb1ca0d1a33462ee7.jpgMilwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich (22) hits a home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, in his return from the COVID-19 injured list, loosens up before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/07/web1_127013037-c16934c238884efe823e157ec9cbf7fb.jpgNew York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, in his return from the COVID-19 injured list, loosens up before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Washington Nationals’ Trea Turner fouls off a pitch during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Washington. The Marlins won 3-1. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/07/web1_127013037-8fc17d42b5f3470eafdec4635d844189.jpgWashington Nationals’ Trea Turner fouls off a pitch during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Washington. The Marlins won 3-1. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

By The Associated Press