LEADING OFF: Mattingly on ejection streak, K-Rod loses job
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Miami's Don Mattingly has managed in just three innings over the first two games of a series against St. Louis because of a pair of ejections. Mattingly was thrown out by Hunter Wendelstedt in the second inning Monday, then got tossed arguing balls and strikes with Andy Fletcher on Tuesday. Of course, Mattingly is likely frustrated with more than just crew chief Joe West's umpiring unit - his Marlins entered Tuesday on a 5-12 slide.
The Angels are still hopeful of avoiding a disabled list stint for injured star Mike Trout. The reigning AL MVP sat out a fourth straight game Tuesday with a tight left hamstring, but planned to hit in the cage and play catch. He also plans to test the leg running and doing work in the outfield Wednesday. Trout is trying to dodge what would be the first trip to the DL in his career.
Stephen Strasburg and the NL East-leading Nationals face the Orioles in the third leg of a four-game series. Strasburg (3-1, 2.66 ERA) will be making his first start outside of the division this season. He labored through 5 2/3 scoreless innings against Philadelphia in his last start, walking four and throwing 119 pitches in a 4-2 win. Wade Miley (1-1, 2.27) was pulled from his previous start after two outs when he was struck by successive line drives. Before that, he had walked 11 batters over 12 innings in his last two starts.
Francisco Rodriguez is out as Tigers closer, replaced at the back of the bullpen by Justin Wilson. Rodriguez ranks fourth all-time with 437 career saves, but he's blown four leads in 11 opportunities this season, including two over the weekend in Oakland. The 35-year-old Rodriguez trails Lee Smith by 41 saves for third on the career list, but he's struggled this year behind a fastball that's dropped to an average of 88 mph.
Hanley Ramirez is set to make his first defensive appearance this season with the Red Sox playing an interleague series in Milwaukee. Ramirez wasn't in the lineup for Tuesday's opener, but Boston manager John Farrell says he plans to start Ramirez at first base in Game 2. Ramirez was Boston's everyday first baseman last season but has been limited to serving as designated hitter this year because of a lingering right shoulder injury.
Tommy Milone will start for the Mets against San Francisco following a whirlwind few days. The left-hander was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee on Sunday and traveled from his California home back to Milwaukee following the claim, then arrived at Citi Field about 90 minutes before Monday's game. Milone hasn't pitched since a relief appearance April 29. New York will be Milone's fifth major league team in seven years.
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