LEADING OFF: Dodgers fans covet Soto, Red Sox slumping

Jul 24, 2022, 11:53 AM | Updated: 11:54 pm
National League's Juan Soto, of the Washington Nationals, holds the winner's trophy after the MLB A...

National League's Juan Soto, of the Washington Nationals, holds the winner's trophy after the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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

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DODGING THE QUESTION?

Washington star Juan Soto is sure to get asked about his near future during a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. As the Aug. 2 trade deadline approaches, there’s been increased speculation Soto could be on the move.

Soto was serenaded with chants of “Future Dodger!” during the All-Star Game last week at Dodger Stadium. The Nationals have the worst record in the majors and Los Angeles has the best.

Tony Gonsolin (11-0, 2.02 ERA) returns from his All-Star Game loss to start for Los Angeles. The Dodgers have won a season-high eight in a row overall and 11 straight at home, including a four-game sweep of the Giants over the weekend.

REELING RED SOX

Xander Bogaerts and the ailing Red Sox have lost five in a row as they begin a four-game series against Cleveland at Fenway Park.

Boston made three errors and a series of other blunders in an 8-4 loss Sunday as the Blue Jays finished off a three-game sweep that included a record-setting 28-5 romp.

“The brand of baseball we’re playing is awful,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

“We’re not catching the ball. We’re not putting in good at-bats. We’re not throwing strikes. It’s bad. It’s really bad right now,” he said. “But we’re talented. And we can turn around quick, and it starts tomorrow.”

The Red Sox are just a half-game out of last place in the AL East. They’ve lost nine of 10 and 13 of 16.

Right-hander Zach Plesac (2-7, 4.02 ERA) starts the opener for the Guardians. Righty Nick Pivetta (8-7, 4.50) pitches for Boston.

PAYING OFF

Brewers lefty Aaron Ashby makes his first start since signing a $20.5 million, five-year contract.

Ashby (2-7, 4.57 ERA) faces Colorado’s Kyle Freeland (4-7, 4.96) in the wrapup of a four-game series at Milwaukee.

The 24-year-old Ashby made his big league debut in June 2021, and he went 3-2 with a 4.55 ERA in four starts and nine relief appearances. He is the nephew of Andy Ashby, who pitched for five major league teams from 1991-2004.

FAMILIAR FOE

Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi pitches the opener against Oakland at the Coliseum — it’ll be his third straight start versus the Athletics.

Odorizzi (4-2, 3.56 ERA) got the win on July 10 at Oakland with seven shutout innings. He had a no-decision against the A’s in Houston on July 17, allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The AL West-leading Astros have won five straight since the All-Star break. They swept a doubleheader at home from the Yankees, who had the best record in the majors, then took three in a row at Seattle — the Mariners had a 14-game winning streak before that.

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LEADING OFF: Dodgers fans covet Soto, Red Sox slumping