LEADING OFF: Keuchel in ace form, M’s give Ichiro bobblehead
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
BIG D IS BACK
After struggling to defend his 2015 AL Cy Young Award last season, Dallas Keuchel is back in ace form for Houston. Keuchel (2-0, 0.86 ERA) has allowed just eight hits in 21 innings this season heading into a start against the Angels. The left-hander was 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA in 2016, a year after winning 20 games behind a 2.48 ERA. JC Ramirez (2-1, 7.20) will pitch for Los Angeles.
The Seattle Mariners will honor Ichiro Suzuki with a unique collectable during the series finale against the Miami Marlins. Dubbed the “Ichiro Dual Bobblehead,” the statue portrays Suzuki with the Mariners and Marlins. The Seattle representation honors the 2004 season when Suzuki set the record for most hits in one season with 262. The Miami half recognizes Suzuki’s 3,000th hit last season with the Marlins. It’s potentially the final time Suzuki will appear at Safeco Field, the stadium he called home for the first 11 1/2 seasons of his career.
Eric Thames can extend his record-setting start with Milwaukee when the Brewers wrap up a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The former Korean baseball star has a hit in a team-record 12 straight starts to begin the season, and he has an extra-base hit in eight consecutive games. He entered Tuesday with homers in five straight. Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 5.73 ERA) will try to shake a slow start to the season for the Cubs against Milwaukee’s Tommy Milone (1-0, 7.36).
The Giants will try to get Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 3.43 ERA) his first win of the season when they face Jason Vargas and the Royals. Bumgarner has hit as many homers (two) as he’s allowed this season, but he’s lost his last two outings after getting two combined runs of support. Vargas (2-0, 0.66) has dominated in starts against Houston and Oakland, striking out 14 and walking two over 13 2/3 innings.
The Yankees look to start another winning streak after their eight-game run ended Tuesday night. New York is 7-1 on its nine-game homestand, including a victory last Friday for Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 8.36 ERA) against St. Louis. The Japanese right-hander found his form while working into the seventh inning after struggling in his previous two starts. Dylan Covey (0-0, 1.69) makes his second major league start with the White Sox after holding Minnesota to a run over 5 1/3 innings in his debut.
ROOKIE ON A ROLL
Amir Garrett seeks his third win in three big league starts when the Reds host Baltimore. Garrett (2-0, 1.42), a former St. John’s basketball player, has beaten NL Central rivals St. Louis and Pittsburgh on the road in his first two outings, and this will be his first start in Cincinnati. Ubaldo Jimenez (0-0, 10.38) is up for the Orioles.