LEADING OFF: Gennett follows 4-HR game; Kershaw vs Strasburg
A look at what's happening all around the majors Wednesday:
BIG SWINGS FOR SCOOTER
One night after hitting four home runs to match the major league record, Scooter Gennett tries to extend his stunning power surge when the Reds host the Cardinals again. Gennett became the 17th player to go deep four times in one game - and perhaps the least likely. Claimed off waivers from Milwaukee in late March, he began the night with 38 career home runs in five seasons, including three this year. Josh Hamilton was the previous player to hit four home runs in one game, for Texas against Baltimore in 2012. The 27-year-old Gennett singled his first time up and then homered in four straight at-bats, including a grand slam. His 10 RBIs tied Cincinnati's club record. He went 5 for 5 and raised his batting average 32 points to .302.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw and Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg square off in a matinee matchup of NL Cy Young Award contenders. Kershaw (7-2, 2.28 ERA) struck out 14 in his last start against Milwaukee to reach 2,000 strikeouts for his career, although he's the ace has allowed four homers over his past two starts. Strasburg (7-1, 2.91) is two starts removed from striking out a career-high 15 against San Diego. Los Angeles has won six straight games with Kershaw starting, and Washington has also won six consecutive when Strasburg has pitched.
Dallas Keuchel attempts to go 10-0 when the major league-best Astros (42-17) play at Kansas City. Keuchel leads the majors with a 1.67 ERA and will face fellow left-hander Jason Vargas (7-3), who ranks second with a 2.08 ERA. The Royals rallied from a six-run deficit and stopped Houston's 11-game winning streak Tuesday night when Mike Moustakas hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning off closer Ken Giles.
In a matchup of Cy Young Award winners, Rick Porcello (3-7) starts for the Red Sox against CC Sabathia (6-2) at Yankee Stadium. Porcello has thrown at least six innings in each of his last 18 road starts, the longest active streak in the majors. The next-longest string is seven, by Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner. Sabathia has won four straight starts for the first time since 2012. He is 13-13 in 35 career starts vs. Boston.
NOT SO KUHL
Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl attempts to end a five-game losing streak in a matchup against Baltimore at Camden Yards. After winning his first outing of the season on April 8 against Atlanta, Kuhl (1-5, 6.02 ERA) has gone 10 straight starts without a win. This will be the first time in his career he faces the Orioles, who send Wade Miley to the mound in this interleague contest.
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