LEADING OFF: Fielder to quit baseball, Happ goes for No. 16
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
END OF THE LINE
Prince Fielder is expected to announce that he will have to quit baseball following his second neck surgery. A person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that Fielder isn't formally retiring, but doctors won't give the six-time All-Star medical clearance to play again. Fielder has 319 home runs in 12 seasons, the same number his father, Cecil, had in 13 seasons.
HAPP GOES FOR 16
J.A. Happ (15-3, 3.09 ERA) tries to become the first 16-game winner in the majors when Toronto faces Tampa Bay. Happ signed a $36 million, three-year deal as a free agent in the offseason and is 9-0 in his past 10 starts with a 2.49 ERA. Rookie left-hander Blake Snell (3-4, 2.95) has 56 strikeouts in 55 innings for the Rays this season.
THE LAST ONE
Bartolo Colon has beaten every team in the majors during his long career except Arizona. The 43-year-old Mets righty will try again to defeat the Diamondbacks when they visit Citi Field. Colon is 0-1 in two starts against them.
AL Cy Young Award winners Felix Hernandez (6-4, 3.55 ERA) and Justin Verlander (12-6, 3.52) square off when the Mariners host the Tigers. Hernandez won his prize in 2010 and has finished in the top 10 in Cy Young Award voting in four of five seasons since. Verlander won in 2011 and was runner-up in 2012 but hasn't been in the top 10 since, though his 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings this season represent his best rate since 2008.
PLAY IT SAFE
With a comfortable lead in the NL East, Washington is being cautious with slugger Bryce Harper. The reigning NL MVP missed his second consecutive game Tuesday night with a stiff neck, and there's no definitive timeframe for his return. ''We suggested he shut it down because he could be making it worse,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ''Just have to wait to see.''
Chasing an NL wild card, the Marlins have a new closer with plenty of experience. Fernando Rodney moved into the ninth-inning role when Miami placed fellow All-Star A.J. Ramos (broken finger) on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to Aug. 6. Rodney promptly earned his 255th career save in a 2-0 win over the Giants and has 19 in 21 chances this season, primarily with San Diego. Ramos, who has 32 saves in 34 opportunities, is eligible to return on Aug. 21.
Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz (8-9, 3.09 ERA overall) tries to find his stride in the AL East against the Yankees. Since coming over in a trade with San Diego, Pomeranz is 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA, and he walked six while throwing six innings of two-run ball in a no-decision last time out against Seattle. Nathan Eovaldi (9-8, 4.80) has allowed two homers in each of his past two starts, both losses.