LEADING OFF: Posey banged up, Matz off DL, Davis surging
A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
San Francisco's All-Star catcher Buster Posey took Saturday off to rest but should return for Sunday's game. Manager Bruce Bochy said Posey was tired and ''a little beaten up'' and needed a day. Posey's health is key if the Giants are going to climb back into the postseason chase.
Steven Matz comes off the DL and makes his first start in two months after dealing with a partially torn muscle near his armpit. The touted Mets prospect won his first two big league starts behind a 1.32 ERA before the injury. The left-hander's September performance will influence what role he fills if New York makes the playoffs.
Chris Davis looks to get back on the homer horse for the Orioles as they wrap a three-game set at Toronto. Davis hit five homers in a three-game span from Tuesday to Friday, but went without a long ball against David Price on Saturday. The first baseman has 40 home runs on the season, the second-highest output of his career.
MATT MUSCLES UP
The first-place Cardinals will try to earn a series win over second-place Pittsburgh, and more surprising thump from second baseman Matt Carpenter would help. The 29-year-old entered his season with 25 homers in 436 career games, but has nearly doubled that total with 21 long balls in 129 contests this season. Carpenter hit a two-run shot in Saturday's 4-1 win as St. Louis stretched its NL Central lead to 6 1/2 games.
RETURN TO FORM
Justin Verlander goes for his third straight victory as the Tigers host the Indians. The 2011 Cy Young and MVP award winner has once again been one of baseball's best pitchers of late, posting a 0.76 ERA in his last five starts and reaching as high as 97 mph in the seventh inning of his last outing, a 6-5 win over Kansas City. The performance has marked a huge turnaround for Verlander, who had a 5.05 ERA through his first nine starts this season.