LEADING OFF: Local rivalries, Phils vs Mets for NL East lead

Aug 5, 2021, 2:52 PM | Updated: Aug 6, 2021, 3:08 am

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



In-state interleague matchups take center stage in several locales as the Chicago White Sox play the Cubs in a Wrigley Field matinee, the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Angels, and the Kansas City Royals visit the St. Louis Cardinals.

Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.07 ERA), with the lowest ERA in the majors, pitches for the AL Central-leading White Sox against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks (13-4, 3.71), who is tied for most wins.


First place in the NL East is on the line when Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies welcome the New York Mets for the opener of a pivotal three-game series.

“Can’t wait,” Harper said. “I hope that place is rockin’ all the way to the top.”

New York has been atop the division every day since May 8, but the surging Phillies are only a half-game behind and can overtake the scuffling Mets with a victory. Philadelphia is riding a five-game winning streak, the longest current run in the majors, and is three games over .500 for the first time since May 14.

Phillies newcomer Kyle Gibson (7-3, 2.86 ERA) pitches against Marcus Stroman (7-10, 2.80).


New slugger Kris Bryant and the San Francisco Giants are at Milwaukee in a matchup of National League division leaders. Logan Webb (5-3, 3.33 ERA) starts against Brewers All-Star Corbin Burnes (6-4, 2.46).


Bo Bichette and the Toronto Blue Jays (57-49) have won six of seven since returning north of the border last week to move a season-best eight games above .500. Next up, they host AL East rival Boston in a four-game weekend series. Rookie right-hander Alek Manoah (3-1, 2.47 ERA) pitches the opener against Nathan Eovaldi (9-6, 3.71) and the Red Sox.

Blue Jays starting pitchers have a 1.25 ERA over 43 1/3 innings through the first seven games of their homestand. At the plate, Bichette has 15 RBIs in 13 games since moving into the cleanup spot.

Eovaldi is seeking his first win since July 1. He held the hard-hitting Blue Jays scoreless for 6 2/3 innings on June 14.

Toronto has 164 home runs, tied with San Francisco for the major league lead.


Javier Báez has hit two big home runs for the Mets — both in victories — since the NL East leaders acquired the star shortstop in a trade-deadline deal with the Chicago Cubs.

In his other four games, all Mets defeats, Báez is a combined 1 for 16.

Báez reached a new low Thursday by striking out in all five plate appearances during a loss to the Miami Marlins.

“Javy is a free swinger. That’s something we know we can probably work on and get better at,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Vegas Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81) scores against Philadelphia Flyers goaltende...
Associated Press

Marchessault’s OT goal lifts Vegas to 2-1 win over Flyers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault scored 3:21 into overtime and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Friday night. After the Flyers controlled much of the action in their offensive zone for the first three minutes of the extra period, Marchessault stole the puck from Kevin Hayes, raced in on a […]
1 day ago
Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) skates with the puck against Arizona Coyotes center Tr...
Associated Press

Coyotes end 19-game losing streak to Bruins with 4-3 win

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes’ return to the Mullett turned into one big streak-ending party. Lawson Crouse scored his second goal with 13.5 seconds left in the third period and the Coyotes returned home to end a 19-game losing streak to the Boston Bruins with a 4-3 victory Friday night. “They are a […]
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) checks on Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34...
Associated Press

Lopez layup, Mavs FT woes save Bucks after Giannis fouls out

DALLAS (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out before the Milwaukee Bucks hung on and beat Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. That sixth foul set the stage for how the Bucks made it four consecutive victories. Tim Hardaway Jr. missed all three free throws after getting fouled by the Greek Freak and Dorian Finney-Smith missed […]
1 day ago
Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk, left, and Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) look for a...
Associated Press

D’Angelo Russell powers Timberwolves past Jazz, 118-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 20 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 13 rebounds in his return to Utah and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Jazz 118-108 on Friday night. Gobert was traded to Minnesota over the summer. The French center spent his first […]
1 day ago
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green, second from left, puts his hand on Phoenix Suns guard...
Associated Press

Williamson’s 35 points lift Pelicans past Suns, 128-117

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson apologized for his 360-degree, one-handed slam dunk that angered the Phoenix Suns at the end of a game that the New Orleans Pelicans were already going to win. Still, the crowd-pleasing play symbolized Williamson’s potential to rise above the disappointments of previous seasons and live up to the extraordinary […]
1 day ago
Luuk de Jong of the Netherlands celebrates after scoring a penalty kick during the World Cup quarte...
Associated Press

Outnumbered Dutch eliminated in Louis van Gaal’s finale

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — The Dutch were outnumbered. Argentina had one Lionel Messi and the Netherlands had none. And still, the Oranje came back and forced extra time in a World Cup quarterfinal for the ages by scoring in the 83rd minute and then on a playground-type restart in the 11th — yes, 11th! — […]
1 day ago
LEADING OFF: Local rivalries, Phils vs Mets for NL East lead