LEADING OFF: Cano back from suspension, Acuna on HR streak
By The Associated Press
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Robinson Cano is set to return from his 80-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug agreement when Seattle plays at Oakland. The All-Star second baseman has been out since May 15, though he’s been playing in the minor leagues for the past week. Cano is ineligible for the postseason if Seattle makes it, but manager Scott Servais hopes the 35-year-old can help the Mariners get there as a versatile piece around the infield. Servais said the team will work Cano in slowly, getting him reps at first, second and third base.
“We need to be smart in breaking him in,” Servais said. “He wants to get going, he wants to contribute right away. He’s missed playing, he’s missed his teammates and being around this whole thing. I know he wants to come in and do a lot. But again small little things.”
Seattle entered Monday 1 1/2 games behind Oakland for the second AL wild card.
Ronald Acuna Jr. is the youngest player to homer in four straight games during the live ball era, according to ESPN, and he’ll go for five when Atlanta hosts Miami. Acuna homered to lead off both ends of Monday’s doubleheader against the Marlins, making him the first to do that since Baltimore’s Brady Anderson in 1999 and just the fourth to do it overall, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Kenley Jansen is back with the Dodgers and preparing to return to action sooner than expected after being diagnosed last week with an irregular heartbeat. Jansen threw a light bullpen session Monday and will also throw Wednesday and Friday this week. Jansen expects to return much sooner than the initial projection of 4 to 6 weeks, though he says he may still require an ablation procedure on his heart this offseason. He had a similar operation in 2012.
The Cubs and Brewers begin a pivotal two-game series at Wrigley Field. Milwaukee is three games back of Chicago for the top spot in the NL Central after David Bote’s game-ending grand slam pushed the Cubs over the Nationals in the ninth inning Sunday night. Jhoulys Chacin (11-4, 3.91) will pitch for the Brewers against Jose Quintana (10-8, 4.28), who gave up five runs in a 9-0 loss to Kansas City last time out.
NOT VERY VERLANDER
Justin Verlander tries to bounce back from his worst start of the season when Houston hosts Colorado. Verlander allowed six runs in two innings against the Mariners last time out before getting ejected for arguing a balk call. Verlander allowed three homers in that game and has given up 10 in his past five starts — compared to 12 in his first 20. German Marquez (9-9, 4.69) will start for the Rockies.
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