LEADING OFF: Yanks star Judge hurt, Cubs ace Lester close


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


The New York Yankees are expected to put All-Star slugger Aaron Judge on the injured list, a day after he hurt his left oblique taking a swing against Kansas City.

The Yankees already had a dozen players out, including Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks, before Judge was set to join them on the IL.

Judge has five home runs and is batting .288 with 11 RBIs. The right fielder has played in every game this season.

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After passing Babe Ruth for fifth place on baseball’s career RBI chart, Albert Pujols can eclipse two more all-time greats: Lou Gehrig and Barry Bonds.

The Angels slugger hit a run-scoring double and his 636th homer Saturday night against Seattle to give him 1,993 RBIs, surpassing Ruth’s total of 1,992 after RBIs became an official statistic in 1920. Ruth’s career began in 1914, but baseball’s official records don’t count his RBIs with the Boston Red Sox before 1920.

Next up on the list for Pujols are Gehrig (1,994) and Bonds (1,996). Hank Aaron (2,297) holds the major league record and Alex Rodriguez (2,086) is second.


Cubs ace Jon Lester could be close to rejoining the rotation after throwing 45 pitches in a simulated game Saturday. He’s been out with a strained left hamstring.

Manager Joe Maddon said Lester looked “very good” and the team will see how he feels before determining the next step. Maddon did not rule out a return for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field that starts Tuesday.


Clayton Kershaw makes his second start of the year for the Dodgers as they wrap up their seven-game season series against hot-hitting Christian Yelich and the Brewers. Los Angeles beat Milwaukee in Game 7 of the 2018 NL Championship Series to win its second consecutive pennant, and both teams are expected to contend again. Kershaw allowed two runs in seven innings with six strikeouts Monday against Cincinnati. The three-time Cy Young Award winner had been bothered by left shoulder inflammation in spring training.

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A pair of 2018 division winners square off in prime time as the Braves and Indians complete their interleague series at Cleveland. Left-hander Max Fried (2-0, 0.92 ERA) pitches for Atlanta against Shane Bieber (2-0, 1.71) in a matchup of promising youngsters. Bieber was born in 1995, the same year the Braves beat the Indians in the World Series. All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor is expected to play again after making his season debut for Cleveland in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Lindor had been sidelined since spraining his left ankle while running the bases near the end of spring training as he was rehabbing a right calf sprain.


When the Astros finish their second three-game series already this season at Texas, they will have played as many games at Globe Life Park in Arlington as they have at Minute Maid Park in Houston. They are 6-0 at home. Collin McHugh (3-1, 1.96 ERA) starts the series finale versus the Rangers. He made six relief appearances against them last year, tossing 9 2/3 scoreless innings.


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