LEADING OFF: Padres-Dodgers back at it, Astros struggling

Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler works against a San Diego Padres batter during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, April 16, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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

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OPEN WITH ACES

Los Angeles right-hander Walker Buehler (1-0, 2.00 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Buehler will be followed by LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.19) and RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 2.42), with Dustin May (1-1, 2.93) scheduled for Sunday’s series finale. The Dodgers won two of three last weekend in San Diego during the first series of the season between the NL West rivals.

BACK AGAIN

Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán (0-2, 9.00 ERA) will rejoin the club from the alternate training site to make his third start after missing all of 2020 serving a ban for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. Germán struggled in outings against Toronto and Tampa Bay before being sent down, allowing seven runs and four homers over seven innings. He’ll face the Indians and righty Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.18) in the opener of a four-game series at Cleveland.

STRUGGLING ‘STROS

Alex Cobb (1-0, 4.63 ERA) makes his third start for his new team when the Los Angeles Angels begin a four-game series at Houston. The slumping Astros have lost nine of 10. Houston also was 7-10 last year before winning eight in a row and eventually reaching Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

“We’re 3 1/2 games back, 17 games into a season that’s 162 games long. Just get to work, get back into rhythm,” third baseman Alex Bregman said.

Cristian Javier (1-0, 2.08) gets the ball for the Astros in a matchup of AL West teams.

BACK IN THE SWING

Javier Báez and the Chicago Cubs go for a three-game sweep of the visiting Mets, who committed a season-high four errors during an ugly 16-4 defeat Wednesday night at chilly Wrigley Field. Báez became the first player to go 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in one game and then hit a grand slam in the next since Gorman Thomas did it for Milwaukee in the first two games of the 1978 season, according to STATS.

David Bote drove in four runs as the Cubs won their second straight after losing six of eight. Chicago scored its most runs since putting up 16 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 15, 2019.

Trevor Williams (2‐1, 5.02 ERA) looks to win his second consecutive start for the Cubs. Williams is 3‐1 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts against New York.

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