LEADING OFF: Merrifield on Royal run, Harper vs Nats again


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


Whit Merrifield can set a record for the longest hitting streak in Royals history. He extended his streak to 30 games Tuesday night, tying the team mark set by George Brett in 1980. Merrifield’s string started last season and he’s hit safely in all 10 Kansas City games this year. The Royals will face rookie Yusei Kikuchi and the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.


Mike Trout will likely miss the Angels’ series finale against Milwaukee after straining his right groin Tuesday night. The two-time AL MVP said he first felt discomfort after completing a workout earlier in the day and it flared up as he was running to second base in the second inning. He was removed for Peter Bourjos in the fourth and is day-to-day. “I didn’t want to push it. It is better to take time out than blow it out,” Trout explained. Los Angeles has Thursday off before beginning a three-game series Friday in Chicago against the Cubs. “When it is 100 percent I will play,” Trout said.

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Yu Darvish tries again to find the strike zone after two shaky starts for the Cubs. The four-time All-Star has walked 11 over 6 2/3 innings so far, with an 8.10 ERA. Darvish was hurt for most of last season, his first with Chicago after signing a $126 million, six-year deal. He next faces Pittsburgh at Wrigley Field.


Bryce Harper takes another swing at his former team when the Philadelphia Phillies host Washington. Harper hit a three-run homer Tuesday night off ex-teammate Stephen Strasburg, but the Nationals rallied from a five-run deficit to win 10-6 in 10 innings. Harper, who spent his first seven seasons in Washington before signing a $330 million, 13-year contract with the Phillies, also homered in his first game against his old club last week.


Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer (1-0, 0.64 ERA) pitches in Detroit, looking to extend his dominant start to the season. Bauer was pulled after seven hitless innings last Friday against Toronto and has yielded only one hit over 14 innings. Matthew Boyd (0-1, 3.18) and the Tigers try to halt the Indians’ five-game winning streak. The lefty struck out a career-high 13 in his last outing April 3 at Yankee Stadium.


Slumping Orioles slugger Chris Davis might get a chance to end his record hitless streak. The lefty hitter didn’t play Tuesday night when the A’s started a left-hander against Baltimore. Davis extended his drought to 0 for 49 this week, the longest rut by a position player ever in the majors. The former home run champion will see if he plays when Oakland starts right-hander Frankie Montas at Camden Yards.


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