LEADING OFF: Cubs aim for Lucky 7, Stanton looks long
A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
Jake Arrieta starts for the streaking Cubs as they try for their seventh straight win. A victory would match their best string since a seven-game burst in 2011, and complete a sweep of the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Stephen Strasburg tries again to get straightened out for the Nationals when he pitches in his hometown of San Diego. He gave up a career-high eight runs in only 3 1-3 innings the last time out vs. Arizona and said he was ''embarrassed.'' In his start before that, he left early because of a tight back and later visited a chiropractor.
Giancarlo Stanton is crushing the ball lately, hitting tape-measure home runs in three straight games for Miami. The slugger sent a shot out of Dodger Stadium, then launched a pair of long drives at Marlins Park. His next chance comes in the series finale against Atlanta.
Jeff Samardzija is back on the mound at the Coliseum, this time to start vs. Oakland. The Athletics got him in a trade last July from the Cubs, then dealt him to the White Sox during the offseason. Samardzija has never pitched against the A's.
''I don't know if anybody could have fit into our clubhouse like he did,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ''I'm glad I got to spend some time with him.''
Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard makes his Citi Field debut, facing Milwaukee. The prized 22-year-old prospect is coming off his first game in the majors, a loss to the Cubs in Chicago.
Marlins opening day starter Henderson Alvarez rejoins the rotation to start against Atlanta. The right-hander has been out since April 12 with right shoulder and elbow inflammation.
Phillies right-hander Sean O'Sullivan will be vying for his first victory in more than four years when he starts at home against Arizona. Since his last win while with Kansas City on May 12, 2011, he is 0-9 with a 7.19 ERA in 18 games, including 13 starts.
TRY FOR TWO
Giants starter Chris Heston is coming off his first career complete game, an 8-1 win over Houston. Starting in Cincinnati, he faces the Reds for the first time in his career. Heston is filling in for Matt Cain, sidelined by a strained tendon in his pitching forearm.