LEADING OFF: Rookies Morel, Hall look to extend homer runs

Jul 1, 2022, 7:05 AM | Updated: 11:34 pm
Chicago Cubs' Christopher Morel hits a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game ...

Chicago Cubs' Christopher Morel hits a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Chicago, Friday, July 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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

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NICE NEWCOMER

Cubs rookie Christopher Morel has homered in three straight games and looks to keep up the run when he faces Boston at Wrigley Field.

The 23-year-old Morel connected Friday night for a two-run drive as Chicago rallied past the Red Sox.

Morel got five hits, including a home run, on Thursday in a romp over Cincinnati. He also homered Wednesday and made a terrific throw from center field to nail a runner at the plate.

Against Boston, he started at second base. And as far as he’s concerned, that’s just fine.

“That’s why I work on it every single day. Every position,” Morel said. “Anywhere they need me, that’s what I’m there for, the team. Wherever they need me, I’ll be there.”

Red Sox rookie Josh Winckowski (3-1, 3.60 ERA) looks to win his fourth straight start since being recalled from Triple-A on June 15. Alec Mills (0-1, 9.87) pitches for Chicago.

POWER SHOW

Phillies rookie Darick Hall has three hits in his major league career, all of them home runs after connecting again in a win over St. Louis.

Batting cleanup, the 26-year-old Hall homered to help beat the Cardinals 5-3 Friday night. He homered twice Thursday in a 14-4 win over Atlanta.

Hall is 3 for 13 since being promoted Wednesday from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he had 20 home runs in 72 games this year. He has 118 homers in six minor league seasons.

DOUBLING UP

The Cleveland Guardians are set to play yet another doubleheader after getting rained out against the New York Yankees at Progressive Field.

The washout Friday night was to be made up a day later with a day-night twinbill. It will be the Guardians’ sixth doubleheader at home this season.

Cleveland also played a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, and the Guardians are scheduled to play a doubleheader Monday in Detroit.

Rookie Kirk McCarty (0-1, 10.29 ERA) will start Game 1 for Cleveland against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (6-2, 2.99). McCarty made his big league debut against New York in April and gave up four runs and four hits in three innings.

Aaron Civale (2-4, 7.20), who was originally slated to start Friday for Cleveland, will start the second game against New York’s Nestor Cortes (6-3, 2.51).

RICKETY RAYS

Kevin Kiermaier and Tampa Bay will get a couple of chances to stop their skid when they play a doubleheader at Toronto.

The Rays have lost four in a row, matching their longest drought of the season, and have scored a total of nine runs in that span. They went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position as they fell 9-2 to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lefty Shane McClanahan (8-3, 1.77) will start Game 1 for Tampa Bay and righty Drew Rasmussen (5-3, 3.41) is expected to be activated off the injured list to start Game 2.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman (6-6, 2.93) will start Game 1 for Toronto and righty Thomas Hatch (4-4, 5.12 at Triple-A Buffalo) is expected to be added to the roster to start Game 2.

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LEADING OFF: Rookies Morel, Hall look to extend homer runs