LEADING OFF: Cubs face Bumgarner; Greinke looks for rebound
A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
The streaking Chicago Cubs face Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (15-6) in San Francisco. Bumgarner has two complete games and a 1.42 ERA during his four-start winning streak, with 41 strikeouts and two walks in that span. He is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in his last four starts against the Cubs. The 25-year-old lefty also has been among the Giants' most dangerous hitters lately, going 4 for 12 with two homers in his last five games - including two pinch-hit appearances. The Cubs can add more space between themselves and the Giants, their closest competitors for the second NL wild card.
BACK ON THE HORSE
Zack Greinke (13-3, 1.67 ERA) tries to rebound after allowing a season-high two homers in a loss to Houston his last time out. The Dodgers' ace had won eight consecutive decisions prior to that defeat, which came amid a five-game losing streak that Los Angeles snapped against Cincinnati on Tuesday. Rookie right-hander Anthony DeSclafani goes for the Reds.
Nelson Cruz looks to reach the 40-homer mark for the second consecutive year, one day after slugging his major league-leading 39th long ball. The Mariners' slugger set a career high with 40 homers last year with Baltimore. The 35-year-old Cruz has been on a tear since mid-July, slugging 17 homers while batting .358 in his last 32 games.
BACK IN THE ROUTINE
Fresh off his first professional save, Minnesota lefty Tommy Milone (6-3, 3.69 ERA) returns to the rotation for the series finale at Tampa Bay. Milone was pressed into relief duty due to a depleted bullpen last Sunday and worked a perfect inning in the Twins' 4-3, 12-inning win at Baltimore. Drew Smyly goes for the Rays in his third start since returning from a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He shut out Oakland over 5 2/3 innings in his most recent outing.
Nationals rookie Joe Ross (4-5) takes the mound in the series finale against San Diego one night after older brother Tyson Ross started for the Padres in Washington. The Nationals allowed Tyson to travel to Washington to see Joe make his major league debut in early June.
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan is scheduled to come off the disabled list before the series finale against the Cubs. He has been out with tendinitis in his right knee.