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LEADING OFF: Cubs-Pirates in Williamsport, CC faces Indians

Sun Aug 18 3:00am ET
By The Associated Press

Players: CC Sabathia, Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Kris Bryant, Josh Bell, Mike Clevinger, Mitch Keller, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell, right, is congratulated by Jose Osuna after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Fans sit on the hillside overlooking left field of Lamade Stadium to watch a baseball game between Barrington, R.I., and Bowling Green, Ky., at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Rhode Island won 6-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant swings in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Bowling Green, Ky., pitcher Jameson Napper, left, gets a visit from manager Rick Kelley during the fifth inning of a game against Barrington, R.I., at the Little League World Series baseball tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Rhode Island won 6-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. makes a play during second-inning baseball game action against the Seattle Mariners in Toronto, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

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


Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs take on Josh Bell and the Pittsburgh Pirates in prime time at the MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (10-7, 4.11 ERA) is 6-0 in eight starts since his last loss on June 22. Mitch Keller (1-1, 7.94) will make his second start for Pittsburgh since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. The 23-year-old rookie picked up his first major league win in four starts Monday against the Angels.


CC Sabathia (5-6, 4.78 ERA) comes off the injured list for the Yankees to face Cleveland in the finale of a four-game series between American League pennant contenders. The 39-year-old lefty, who spent his first 7+ seasons with the Indians and won the 2007 AL Cy Young Award with them, has been out since July 28 with right knee inflammation. Mike Clevinger (7-2, 3.34) goes for Cleveland. He is 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA in his past eight starts and struck out 10 last year in his only previous start at Yankee Stadium.


Injuries to the starting rotation have been one reason the defending World Series champion Red Sox are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2015. Chris Sale went on the injured list Saturday with left elbow inflammation, raising questions about whether he will pitch again this season. But on Sunday, World Series hero Nathan Eovaldi will make his first start since April when Boston hosts last-place Baltimore. Eovaldi missed three months after undergoing elbow surgery in April and has worked out of the bullpen since his return. He did not allow a run in three relief appearances over the past week. The Red Sox are 6+ games out of a wild-card spot.


The Toronto Blue Jays await word on rookie third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who left Saturday's game against Seattle because of a sore left knee and went for an MRI.

In the second inning, Guerrero cut in front of shortstop Bo Bichette to field a grounder and made an awkward throw across his body. Guerrero finished the inning but did not return in the third. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Guerrero ''felt a little tweak in his knee.''

The son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and a finalist in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Cleveland, Guerrero leads AL rookies in hits (95) and doubles (22). He homered in Friday's win over the Mariners, his 14th. He's batting .274 with 54 RBIs in 93 games.

Guerrero missed more than a month at Double-A New Hampshire last season because of a strained ligament in his left knee.


The NL-leading Dodgers will be without pitcher Julio Urias until September after he accepted a 20-game suspension by Major League Baseball for a domestic violence incident. MLB gave Urias credit for serving five games while he was on administrative leave in May, leaving 15 remaining to serve without pay.

The commissioner's office said Saturday that Urias has agreed not to appeal the discipline and will participate in an evaluation and treatment program. He can return to the majors on Sept. 2 and is eligible for the postseason. The two-time defending NL champion Dodgers lead the NL West by 19+ games.

The 23-year-old lefty from Mexico was arrested in May and accused of shoving a woman. The charges were ultimately dropped, but MLB pursued its own punishment under the league's domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.

Urias is 4-3 with a 2.64 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 26 games, including six starts and his fourth save in a three-inning appearance Friday.

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