LEADING OFF: Harper hammering away, Reds try for help up top

A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:



Bryce Harper is back in action after Washington had a day off. The star outfielder is on an incredible 11-game roll - he's 22 for 39 (.564) with nine home runs and 22 RBIs in that span, along with 10 walks. The Yankees will try to stop Harper when they play at Nationals Park.


Rookie slugger Kris Bryant returns to San Diego, where he played his college ball, when the Chicago Cubs open a series against James Shields (5-0) and the Padres.


Two teams that started slowly this season have turned it around lately: Both the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have won six in a row. Chicago tries to keep it up at home against AL Central rival Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Phillies are in Colorado attempting to extend their longest winning streak since a seven-game run in September 2012.


The Reds go into their five-game interleague road trip through Kansas City and Cleveland looking for help in the leadoff slot. Billy Hamilton was hitting .212 in the top spot before being dropped in the order. His fill-ins are a combined 0 for 18 with four strikeouts and three walks this season.


Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson gets to see the Angels again, a day after getting into a verbal exchange with Los Angeles pitching coach Mike Butcher. There was dugout-to-dugout hollering, with Donaldson apparently upset the Angels argued about the strike zone during his at-bat.


Michael Wacha is 5-0 for the Cardinals going into his start at Citi Field against the New York Mets. The St. Louis righty has a 2.06 ERA in seven games this year.

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