A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
IRATE WITH RIZZO
The Pirates are upset with Anthony Rizzo after the Cubs star slid hard into catcher Elias Diaz while being forced out at home Monday afternoon, and tensions could spill over as the teams resume their series. Rizzo claimed he “wasn’t trying to hurt anyone” when he went leg-first into Diaz, who had already touched home plate for the force out and was a full step in front of the base. Diaz remained in the game after being tended to by trainers, but Rizzo gave him a real scare. “When I saw the replay, I was like ‘Man, this guy could have ended my career right here,'” Diaz said. “I understand they called it a legal slide, but out of what I’ve been trained and what I’ve been told, that was not a legal slide.” Diaz said Rizzo apologized before his at-bat in the ninth inning.
GAME 7 REMATCH
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is hoping a day off Monday will get him going. Last year’s NL MVP struck out in all four at-bats Sunday at home against the Los Angeles Angels. CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.55 ERA) starts for New York against Charlie Morton (7-0, 2.04) and the Astros. Morton struck out 10 in a win over the Yankees on April 30. He also threw five shutout innings to beat Sabathia in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series last October.
Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy (3-6, 4.45 ERA) tries to follow up his 14-strikeout complete game against the White Sox last week when he pitches against Bryce Harper and the surging Nationals, who have won four straight and 13 of 18. Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 2.13), who pitched for the Orioles last summer, gets the ball for Washington in an interleague matchup between neighboring rivals.
Arizona has found just the thing to jolt its slumbering offense — Cincinnati pitching. The Diamondbacks broke out with three homers in a 12-5 win over the Reds on Monday, a promising sign following a 1-8 road trip. Arizona had scored two or fewer runs in six of its previous seven games before homers from Nick Ahmed, Chris Owings and John Ryan Murphy fueled a big return home. Arizona’s Zack Godley (4-4, 4.53) opposes Reds righty Luis Castillo (4-4, 5.34) in the series’ second game.
PUT ME DOWN, COACH
With Jesus Aguilar hitting so well, Ryan Braun asked manager Craig Counsell on Sunday to be dropped lower in Milwaukee’s batting order, a move that worked out just fine in an 8-3 win over St. Louis on Monday. Braun didn’t want Counsell to be concerned about offending him and figured a lineup shuffle might be the right move for the NL Central-leading Brewers. Milwaukee goes for a fifth straight victory when Zach Davies (2-4, 4.74) takes on St. Louis’ Michael Wacha (5-1, 2.88).
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