LEADING OFF: Smeltzer’s amazing story, Paxton vs Paddack


Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his Major League debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his Major League debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his major league debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


San Diego Padres starting pitcher Chris Paddack looks in as he works against an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 20, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)


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

CONGRATS

The inspiring story of Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer is sure to spread following his dazzling debut in the big leagues.

Diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized cancerous tumor against his bladder when he was just 9 years old, Smeltzer wasn’t deterred in his goal to reach the majors. He made it Tuesday and pitched six shutout innings for Minnesota against Milwaukee at Target Field.

The lanky, 23-year-old lefty with a funky delivery gave up three hits, walked none and struck out seven. He got a no-decision in a game the Twins won.

“I know that tomorrow, between the lines, may not happen. It’s been told to me before, and I don’t take a day for granted out there,” he said later.

PAD PAX

Yankees lefty James Paxton is set to start against San Diego after missing nearly a month because of inflammation in his left knee. He is 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA in seven starts this season. Manager Aaron Boone says Paxton will have a limited pitch count as he comes off the injured list.

Padres rookie Chris Paddack (4-2, 1.93) will start at Yankee Stadium. The 23-year-old righty was scratched from a scheduled start in Toronto on Sunday with a stiff neck.

ANYONE HOME?

AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays will see how many fans show up at Tropicana Field for the series finale against Toronto.

An announced gathering of 5,786 — the smallest crowd ever for the Rays at the Trop — saw Tampa Bay beat the Blue Jays 3-1 on Tuesday.

“I noticed it during the anthem, and I was like: ‘Oh it’s still early, maybe people will still file in,’” Rays pitcher Ryne Stanek said.

The Rays routinely rank at or near the bottom of the major leagues in attendance. They began the night averaging an AL-worst 14,578 per game.

There have been only two smaller crowds for big league games played in the domed stadium, both in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey forced relocation of a Rangers-Astros series from Houston. Those teams attracted a low of 3,385.

NAME GAME

Cardinals left-hander Genesis Cabrera makes his major league debut when he starts at Philadelphia against ace Aaron Nola (5-0, 4.53 ERA).

CHECK THEM

The Twins will see how center fielder Byron Buxton is a feeling, a day after he crashed hard into the fence at Target Field trying to catch a flyball. Buxton exited early. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton was OK and that it was a precautionary move. … Cubs infielder Kris Bryant has missed two games after an outfield collision with Jason Heyward, but could return for the series wrapup at Houston.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his Major League debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/05/web1_122947724-be946749662d4748a1baecdc7dab0148.jpgMinnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his Major League debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his major league debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/05/web1_122947724-9c12ffaef65f401b807e008c2dc48620.jpgMinnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his major league debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Chris Paddack looks in as he works against an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 20, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/05/web1_122947724-d264025f455f42f9852cf3d60ffc785a.jpgSan Diego Padres starting pitcher Chris Paddack looks in as he works against an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 20, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)