LEADING OFF: Stroman returns, Fernandez great at home
A look at what's happening around the major leagues today:
The Blue Jays and Yankees continue a pivotal AL East series with a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. In Game 2, Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman will make his season debut after having surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee in March. New York will be without first baseman Mark Teixeira, who will miss the rest of the season because of a broken right leg.
HOME, SWEET HOME
Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez, returning from a right biceps strain that has sidelined him since Aug. 7, will try to become only the third pitcher since 1914 to win his first 16 career home decisions. Fernandez (4-0, 2.30 ERA) is 15-0 at Marlins Park with a 1.14 ERA. He has made just seven starts this year since returning from Tommy John surgery. RHP Tanner Roark (4-4, 4.41) starts for the Nationals.
.500 DAYS IN SUMMER?
The Indians are a win shy of .500 (69-70) for the first time since they were 2-2 in early April. They will try to even up their record against the Tigers after the teams were rained out on Friday. Cody Anderson (3-3, 3.72) goes against Justin Verlander (3-7, 3.34), who is 2-3 with a 1.27 ERA in his last six starts.
The disappointing Red Sox still have a realistic shot to finish third in the AL East and could help their cause during a three-game set at Tampa Bay this weekend. Boston's Rick Porcello (7-12, 5.12) has been dominant since coming off the disabled list following a bout with right triceps inflammation, a big turnaround for the offseason trade acquisition who signed a four-year extension in April.
The struggling Angels, trying to stay alive in the AL West, play the middle game in a key three-game series against the first-place Astros. Hector Santiago (8-9, 3.24) goes for Los Angeles. The All-Star had lost five straight decisions before going six innings in a 7-0 win over Texas his last time out. Rookie Lance McCullers (5-5, 3.07) will pitch for Houston.