LEADING OFF: Royals get Holland back, Scherzer seeking help
A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
The Royals plan to activate All-Star closer Greg Holland (strained pectoral muscle) before their game against Cleveland. It might be just in time, too. Fellow reliever Kelvin Herrera had his appeal heard Monday by Major League Baseball in an attempt to reduce the length of two separate suspensions - two games for throwing at Oakland's Brett Lawrie and five for his role in a fight with the White Sox. A ruling is expected any day, and Kansas City manager Ned Yost said the ''best-case scenario'' is the suspensions would be reduced by two games.
Nationals newcomer Max Scherzer brings a 1.26 ERA into his start against Miami. Problem is, the 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner is 1-3 in five appearances because Washington scored a total of two runs in his three defeats. No guarantee it will get any better this time around, either. Marlins starter Tom Koehler blanked the Nats over 7 1-3 innings on April 25.
Looking to pitch their fourth straight shutout, the San Francisco Giants send right-hander Chris Heston (2-2, 2.51 ERA) to the mound against San Diego. Ian Kennedy makes his first road start of the season for the Padres in the series finale. Kennedy is 9-4 with a 2.48 ERA in 22 starts against the Giants.
Chase Utley is expected to get a second straight day off as Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg tries to give the veteran second baseman a break ''from the mental side.'' Utley was held out of Tuesday night's lineup against Atlanta. He is hitting .103 with three homers and 14 RBIs, and was 2 for 29 (.069) on the team's current road trip. Sandberg said Utley has ''hit the ball very hard, right on the nose'' but hasn't had any luck.
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY
Following consecutive rainouts at Coors Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are scheduled to play a traditional doubleheader - weather permitting, of course. Rain is in the forecast for Denver all week. Dating to their previous homestand last month, three Rockies home games in a row have been washed away by soggy conditions.
Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale returns to the mound for the first time since he gave up a career-high nine runs - eight earned - and nine hits in three innings of a 12-2 loss at Minnesota last Thursday. The left-hander is 6-5 with a 2.85 ERA in 22 appearances against Detroit heading into his start versus the Tigers.
READY OR NOT
Colorado Rockies closer Adam Ottavino will visit Dr. James Andrews for an evaluation and could have Tommy John surgery ''right then and there,'' the pitcher said. A recent MRI revealed a partial ulnar collateral ligament tear in Ottavino's right elbow.
''I don't think there's anyone in this clubhouse that doesn't think we're going to win every night.'' - Mark Reynolds of the St. Louis Cardinals (20-6) after his team's eighth straight victory Tuesday. Reynolds has been a good-luck charm of late, bringing out the lineup card throughout the winning streak.