LEADING OFF: Cabrera coming off DL, string of aces on mound
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Miguel Cabrera is expected to come off the disabled list and play for the Tigers against Cleveland. The star slugger has been out since April 21 because of a groin injury, but looked good in batting practice Monday. He is hitting .268 with three homers and nine RBIs in 16 games. ''My own personal opinion, I think they should be careful with him,'' Indians manager Terry Francona joked. Detroit ace Justin Verlander faces Cleveland righty Corey Kluber in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners.
The Rangers and Astros are back at it in Houston after tempers flared in the series opener between AL West rivals Monday night. Texas starter Andrew Cashner had already plunked Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel when Houston pitcher Lance McCullers threw behind Mike Napoli in the sixth inning. Napoli took a couple of steps toward McCullers while yelling at him. Astros catcher Brian McCann quickly got in Napoli's face, and players from both benches began spilling onto the field. There was pushing and shoving from both sides, but nobody was ejected. Order was restored after a couple of minutes and both teams received warnings before play resumed and McCullers struck out Napoli.
Boston newcomer Chris Sale, Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and Texas lefty Cole Hamels are among the No. 1 starters on the mound - along with several pitchers who have been surprising stars this season. Ervin Santana (4-0, 0.77 ERA) gets the ball for Minnesota against Oakland; James Paxton (3-0, 1.39) pitches for Seattle vs. the Angels; and Jeremy Hellickson (4-0, 1.80) of the Phillies faces Jon Lester (0-1) and the World Series champion Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is set to begin a Triple-A rehab assignment as he works his way back from a biceps injury that put him on the disabled list. If all goes well, New York hopes Sanchez can rejoin the team this weekend at Wrigley Field to face the Cubs. The 24-year-old slugger was batting .150 with one home run in five games this season before getting hurt on a swing in Baltimore. Sanchez hit 20 homers in 53 games as a rookie last season.
Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray comes off the disabled list to make his season debut in the opener of a three-game series at Minnesota. He has been sidelined all year with a lat strain. Gray was an All-Star in 2015 and has a pair of 14-win seasons. He was 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA last year.