A look at what’s happening around the majors Friday:
Mookie Betts tries to follow up his first career cycle when Boston opens a series at Baltimore. The AL MVP contender homered off Ken Giles in the ninth inning Thursday to complete his first career cycle, though the Red Sox still lost 8-5. A trip to Camden Yards doesn’t figure to slow Betts – he’s hit 13 homers there in 35 games, by far his most in any stadium other than Fenway Park. Betts is hitting .347 with 27 homers, 59 RBIs and a 1.102 OPS this season.
CARLOS COMES BACK
Carlos Correa is expected back in the lineup for Houston. The star shortstop has been out with lower back soreness since June 25. Correa completed a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi on Wednesday and was in Houston for a scheduled day off Thursday. Correa is batting .268 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs.
The Athletics have charged into the AL playoff picture with a never-say-die lineup, but Oakland is looking to make a name for keeping leads, too. Fernando Rodney may join the team Friday after being acquired via trade from Minnesota on Thursday night. The longtime closer joins a deep bullpen led by Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino and former Mets closer Jeurys Familia. That quartet could prove pivotal if Oakland winds up in the AL wild-card game. For now, the group will try to lock down victories as the A’s open a series in Anaheim.
Jon Gray aims to continue a strong second half of the season when Colorado hosts the Dodgers. Gray struggled hard in the first half, even getting demoted to Triple-A in early July, but he’s been solid since returning to the majors. He’s 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his past four starts, and the Rockies haven’t lost with him on the mound since June 17. Kenta Maeda (7-7, 3.73) pitches for LA as the NL West contenders continue their four-game series.
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