LEADING OFF: Ohtani excelling on mound, Javier an Astros ace

Jul 5, 2022, 11:38 AM | Updated: Jul 6, 2022, 12:00 am

Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor, center, scores on a sacrifice fly by Cody Bellinger as San Diego...

Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor, center, scores on a sacrifice fly by Cody Bellinger as San Diego Padres relief pitcher Tim Hill, left, and catcher Austin Nola watch during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


              Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor, center, scores on a sacrifice fly by Cody Bellinger as San Diego Padres relief pitcher Tim Hill, left, and catcher Austin Nola watch during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Arizona Diamondbacks' Daulton Varsho (12) celebrates his three-run home run as he runs past San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
            
              San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler watches during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 6-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
            
              Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Chris Archer throws against the Cleveland Guardians during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
            
              Boston Red Sox top pitching prospect Brayan Bello smiles as he speaks to the media in the dugout before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Boston. Bello is scheduled to make his Major League debut on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
            
              A fan holds a happy birthday sign as Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani signs autographs before the team's baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Miami. Ohtani turned 28 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
            
              Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier reacts after striking out Los Angeles Angels' Jared Walsh to end the top of the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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

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SHO AND TELL

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani takes a scoreless streak of 21 2/3 innings to the mound when he starts at Miami.

Ohtani (7-4, 2.63 ERA) has won four consecutive starts, allowing just one run in that span. He’s struck out 101 in 74 innings this year.

The reigning AL MVP will pitch a day after his 28th birthday. This will be his first career pitching appearance against the Marlins, who have won six in a row.

Los Angeles has dropped four straight.

ASCENDING ASTRO

Houston right-hander Cristian Javier is coming off two incredibly dominant starts as the Astros go for their ninth consecutive victory when they host the Kansas City Royals.

In his last outing, Javier struck out a career-high 14 while holding the Angels to one hit in seven innings. The time before, he fanned 13 in seven innings and combined with the Astros bullpen in a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium.

The 27 total strikeouts are the most in a two-game span by a pitcher who allowed just one hit in the modern era (since 1900), ESPN Stats & Info said.

Javier walked only one batter in that span. The 25-year-old has won three straight starts overall for the AL West leaders.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW

Brayan Bello, the top pitching prospect in Boston’s system, is set to make his major league debut as he faces Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.

The 23-year-old righty has a fastball in the upper 90s mph. He is a combined 10-4 with a 2.33 ERA in Triple-A and Double-A this season.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (3-5, 3.91 ERA) starts for the Rays.

Also, Red Sox ace Chris Sale is scheduled to make a rehab start for Triple-A Worcester. The left-hander has been out since spring training because of a stress fracture in his ribcage.

TOUGH BREAK

Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor is headed to the injured list after a CT scan revealed a fracture in his left foot. He got hurt last weekend and exited Monday’s game when it swelled.

Taylor, an All-Star last year and co-MVP of the 2017 NL Championship Series, was batting .238 with six homers, 19 doubles, 27 RBIs and a .728 OPS.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is hoping Taylor will be back in a couple of weeks.

Gavin Lux, Trayce Thompson and Jake Lamb will platoon in left field during Taylor’s absence.

Los Angeles did get some good news when closer Craig Kimbrel’s CT scan came back clean. He will be available Wednesday.

Kimbrel took a line drive off his back last week.

GIANT SLIDE

San Francisco tries to stop a six-game skid when it plays at Arizona. The third-place Giants have fallen 10 1/2 games behind the rival Dodgers, who lead the NL West. Alex Cobb (3-3, 4.95 ERA) faces Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly (7-5, 3.46).

ARCHER AILING

The AL Central-leading Twins will be minus Chris Archer for a bit after the pitcher was put on the 15-day injured list because of tightness in his left hip.

Minnesota made the move before Archer was scheduled to start against the White Sox. It was retroactive to Saturday.

The 33-year-old Archer joined the Twins in the offseason and has done well, going 2-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 15 starts. He’d pitched in only six games during the previous two seasons because of injuries.

The Twins are hoping Archer will be able to rejoin the club before the All-Star break later this month.

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LEADING OFF: Ohtani excelling on mound, Javier an Astros ace