LEADING OFF: O's, Red Sox finish heated series; Kinsler hurt
A look at what's happening all around the majors Thursday:
The Orioles and Red Sox wrap up their heated four-game series at Fenway Park. After ace Chris Sale became the latest Boston pitcher to throw near Manny Machado, MLB executive Joe Torre talked to both teams Wednesday on a conference call and sent the message that ''enough is enough.'' Hours later, Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman was ejected in the second inning for plunking Xander Bogaerts with a breaking pitch. Once this four-game set is over, the O's and Red Sox take a break and don't meet again until June 1 at Camden Yards.
The NL East-leading Washington Nationals send ace Max Scherzer to the mound for the finale of their three-game set against the surprising Diamondbacks. He was selected by Arizona in the first round of the 2006 draft and made his debut with the Diamondbacks in 2008. He is 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA in five career starts against his first major league team. Braden Shipley makes his first start of the season for the Diamondbacks, who are searching for a replacement for Shelby Miller after the right-hander was lost for the season with an elbow injury.
The weather is wreaking havoc on the Brewers-Cards series in St. Louis. Wednesday's game was postponed and the Cardinals said Thursday's game, originally scheduled for 12:45 p.m., had been pushed back to 6:15 p.m. because of the forecast. Heavy rains have swollen many rivers to record levels in parts of Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Hundreds of people have been displaced and thousands more are potentially in harm's way.
Detroit's pursuit of an AL Central title could take a hit if Ian Kinsler misses time after leaving a game Wednesday night with left hamstring tightness. The second baseman is batting just .206 this season but has a .330 on-base percentage and popped 28 home runs last year. Kinsler was lifted in the top of the seventh in a game against the Cleveland Indians after going 0 for 3.
Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova makes his first May start after being the NL's pitcher of the month for April. Nova completed the opening month by throwing a three-hitter for a 4-0 win in Miami on Saturday. He has thrown two complete games and walked only one batter in five starts.
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