LEADING OFF: Acuña has balky back, Cameron back in HOU
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
The Braves are monitoring star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. after he was scratched from Atlanta’s lineup Wednesday due to lower back tightness. The 23-year-old star was removed not long before batting practice at Citi Field.
“Came in today, his back was stiff. So they’re going to work on him and be kind of a day-to-day thing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think just probably the wear and tear. You know, sometimes I think we get in these different hotels and things like that and the beds are different, but it was just enough that they don’t want him to play today. So, like I say, they’re working on him right now. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Acuña ranks among the major league leaders in several key offensive categories. He began the day hitting .285 with 20 home runs, 45 RBIs and a .996 OPS. The 2018 NL Rookie of the Year was leading the league in runs (58) and was tied for first in stolen bases (15).
Atlanta is set to open a series in Cincinnati.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Tigers rookie Daz Cameron faces the team that originally drafted and signed him when Houston visits Comerica Park.
The 24-year-old outfielder homered Wednesday as the Tigers beat St. Louis 6-2. He also stole second base — that made him and his dad, longtime big leaguer Mike Cameron, the first father-son duo to steal bases against Cardinals star catcher Yadier Molina, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Mike was with San Diego on May 28, 2006, when he stole with Molina behind the plate.
The Astros sent the younger Cameron to Detroit at the 2017 trade deadline in a package for ace Justin Verlander. Cameron is 4 for 4 on steal tries for the Tigers since making his major league debut last September, and has swiped 113 bases (and been caught 50 times) in the minors.
Bryce Harper has hit 10 home runs this season, all of them solo shots. The Philadelphia star connected Wednesday in a 13-12 loss to Washington.
Harper has tied the team record for most home runs with nobody on base to start a season. Fred Luderus previously did it for the Phillies in 1914.
Felipe Alou’s 17 solo homers to start the season in 1966 remain the major league record.
Already down two injured starters, Cleveland needs to fill another spot in its rotation after finding out Aaron Civale will miss more than one month with a sprained right finger.
Civale is tied for the major league lead in wins, going 10-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 15 starts. The Indians have stayed competitive in the AL Central minus reigning Cy Young winner Shane Bieber (shoulder) and Zach Plesac (broken thumb) — both are expected to be sidelined several more weeks.
The 26-year-old Civale hurt his middle finger in a start against the Cubs on Monday. He will be shut down from throwing for up to two weeks and will miss between four to five weeks of game activity.
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