LEADING OFF: Verlander, Gonsolin go for 11th; Cole at Fenway

Jul 6, 2022, 11:06 AM | Updated: 11:08 pm
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers against the New York Mets during the firs...

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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

___

V IS FOR VICTORY

Justin Verlander (10-3, 2.03 ERA) looks to become the first 11-game winner in the majors when Houston hosts the last-place Kansas City Royals in the afternoon finale of a four-game series.

The 39-year-old ace, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, appears a lock for his ninth career All-Star selection Sunday as he enjoys a terrific return this season from a long layoff following Tommy John surgery.

Verlander will be on seven days’ rest since pitching eight innings of two-hit ball in a 2-0 victory at the New York Mets last week. Since getting tagged by the White Sox in a 7-0 loss June 18, he’s permitted just one run and six hits over 15 innings in consecutive wins against the first-place Yankees and Mets.

ARTFUL DODGER

Breakout ace Tony Gonsolin (10-0) of the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers takes a major league-low 1.54 ERA into his matchup with rookie outfielder Seiya Suzuki and the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Gonsolin should be a shoo-in to make his first All-Star team this weekend, and another stingy outing would only augment his strong case to start for the National League on his home mound at Dodger Stadium on July 19.

Sandy Alcantara (9-3, 1.82 ERA) of the Miami Marlins appears to be Gonsolin’s primary competition for that honor.

BOSTON BOUND

With a huge lead in the AL East over their longtime rivals, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees open a four-game series at Fenway Park against Xander Bogaerts and the Boston Red Sox.

Gerrit Cole (7-2, 2.99 ERA) pitches for the Yankees, who arrive with the best record in baseball. It’s the first of seven meetings between the teams over the next 11 days before the All-Star break. They haven’t played each other since the Yankees took two of three from Boston at home April 8-10 to begin the season.

BETTING ON HIMSELF

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said Wednesday he realizes the price may be rising to sign Judge to a long-term contract because of the slugger’s outstanding first half.

Judge turned down an eight-year deal worth $230.5 million to $234.5 million before the season, and now he leads the majors in homers with 30.

“We made an offer that I feel was a very good one,” Steinbrenner said. “It was based on the numbers, of course, but it was also based in part as what he means to this organization. It was a combination of both. And we just didn’t get a deal done.”

CEASE THE HITTING

Dylan Cease looks to continue his hot streak when he takes the mound for the White Sox in the opener of a four-game home series against the Detroit Tigers.

Cease was 4-2 with a 4.24 ERA after an uncharacteristically poor start on May 24, when he gave up seven runs over three innings in a loss to Boston.

Since then, he’s 3-1 with a 0.45 ERA in seven starts. Cease went five appearances without allowing an earned run, and has allowed one run in each of his last two outings, both wins.

He’s 7-3 with a 2.51 ERA this season.

___

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.

AP

Cleveland Guardians' Luke Maile watches his solo home run off Houston Astros starting pitcher Crist...
Associated Press

McKenzie’s 8 Ks, Maile’s HR puts Guardians over Astros 1-0

CLEVELAND (AP) — Triston McKenzie held Houston to two hits and struck out eight in eight innings, Luke Maile homered for the first time in three years and the Cleveland Guardians defeated the Houston Astros 1-0 on Sunday. McKenzie (8-8) retired 15 straight hitters before pinch-hitter Kyle Tucker walked with one out in the eighth. […]
2 days ago
Manchester City's Erling Haaland, 2nd left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first...
Associated Press

Haaland shines for Man City, United loses under Ten Hag

LONDON (AP) — Erik ten Hag pleaded for time after starting his Manchester United reign with a disappointing loss. Erling Haaland didn’t need much time at all to show what kind of impact he will have at Manchester City. The two biggest offseason arrivals in Manchester had starkly different starts to the Premier League season […]
2 days ago
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson throw to first to complete the double play after forcing T...
Associated Press

White Sox shortstop Anderson starts reduced 2-day suspension

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson had his suspension for making contact with an umpire late last month cut from three to two games. Anderson sat out the afternoon game at the Texas Rangers to begin the suspension, which will end with the first game of a doubleheader at Kansas City […]
2 days ago
Former Philadelphia Phillies player Pete Rose tips his hat to fans during an alumni day event befor...
Associated Press

Rose dismisses sexual misconduct questions at Phillies fete

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pete Rose dismissed questions Sunday about his first appearance on the field in Philadelphia since the franchise scrapped 2017 plans to honor him because of a woman’s claim she had a sexual relationship with baseball’s hit king when she was a minor. “It was 55 years ago, babe,” Rose told a female […]
2 days ago
First time skiers take a lesson at the Afriski ski resort near Butha-Buthe, Lesotho, Saturday July ...
Associated Press

Tiny African kingdom has skiing as Europe sweats summer heat

BUTHA-BUTHE, Lesotho (AP) — While millions across Europe sweat through a summer of record-breaking heat, they’re skiing in Africa. Don’t worry. This isn’t another sign of climate change but rather the fascinating anomaly of Lesotho, a tiny mountain kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa. Lesotho has an obscure geographical claim to fame: It’s the only […]
2 days ago
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt runs with the ball during the NFL football team's trainin...
Associated Press

Browns RB Kareem Hunt practices after demanding trade

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The Cleveland Browns’ training camp hasn’t lacked for drama because of quarterback Deshaun Watson’s NFL disciplinary case over sexual misconduct allegations. Now, there’s a new storyline involving running back Kareem Hunt — even if the head coach insists the 27-year-old’s fight for an extension is “normal.” The NFL’s rushing leader in […]
2 days ago
LEADING OFF: Verlander, Gonsolin go for 11th; Cole at Fenway