LEADING OFF: O’s get 1st pick in draft, M’s win 13 in row

Jul 16, 2022, 11:47 AM | Updated: 11:48 pm
Tampa Bay Rays catcher Christian Bethancourt, left, looks on as Baltimore Orioles pinch hitter Adle...

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Christian Bethancourt, left, looks on as Baltimore Orioles pinch hitter Adley Rutschman hits a solo home run to right field during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 16, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

(AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

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

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ON THE CLOCK

The Baltimore Orioles have the first pick in the amateur draft for the second time in four years — and they’ll be looking for someone who can join 2019 top pick Adley Rutschman in the core of their next contender.

Many consider the best player available to be Georgia high school outfielder Druw Jones — son of former Braves star Andruw Jones. Several other players have big league family connections, including Jackson Holliday (son of Matt), Justin Crawford (son of Carl) and Cam Collier (son of Lou). Right-hander and former Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker is also back in this year’s class after failing to reach an agreement as the Mets’ first-round pick last summer.

Rounds 1 and 2 are set for Sunday night, with 3-10 on Monday and 11-20 on Tuesday.

M-M-M GOOD

The Mariners have won 13 in a row, two shy of matching the team record set in 2001 when Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez and Bret Boone led Seattle to 116 wins and its last playoff appearance.

J.P. Crawford hit an RBI single in the 10th inning as the Mariners beat Texas 3-2 on Saturday. Carlos Santana homered to help Seattle (50-42) win for the 21st time in 24 games.

The reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves hold the longest winning streak this season, taking 14 in a row last month.

Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen (6-8, 3.84 ERA), who is 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA in five career starts against Texas, opposes rookie righty Glenn Otto (4-5, 5.50) has given up no more than two runs in eight of his 12 starts overall.

HALFTIME

It’s the final day of play before the All-Star break, with the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers holding big division leads and the Mets, Brewers and Twins on top in closer races.

Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, Mookie Betts and Los Angeles face the Angels in the Freeway Series, two days before the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.

First-time All-Star Luis Arraez, Carlos Correa and Minnesota play the White Sox at Target Field. Dylan Cease (8-4, 2.30 ERA) starts for Chicago — he has allowed just three earned runs over his last nine starts and leads all starters with 13.09 strikeouts per nine innings, but hasn’t been picked for the All-Star Game. Minnesota is expected to activate and start RHP Chris Archer (2-3, 3.08). Archer has been out since July 2 left hip tightness.

SUNDAY SPECIAL

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale faces Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (8-2, 3.05) in his second start of the season after being sidelined by a broken rib.

Sale pitched five scoreless innings against the Rays in his season debut Tuesday night, reaching 97 mph during his final inning. Manager Alex Cora was pleased with the arm strength and thought Sale succeeded despite some rust in his delivery.

Cole pitched seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts against Cincinnati in a 4-3 loss Tuesday for the major league-leading Yankees.

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LEADING OFF: O’s get 1st pick in draft, M’s win 13 in row