LEADING OFF: Surging Moustakas on pace for career season
A look at what's happening all around the majors Saturday:
As Kansas City's once-anemic offense has surged, scoring seven or more runs in each of its last five games entering the weekend, so has Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. The left-handed hitter, who is a free agent after this season, entered a weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels hitting .400 (20 of 50) with five home runs and 16 RBIs in June. Moustakas already has 18 home runs for the season, four away from his career-high of 22 set during Kansas City's World Series championship season of 2015, and his 42 RBIs put him well on pace to top his career-best of 82.
Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello allowed four or more runs in a start eight times all of last season on his way to winning the AL Cy Young Award. He's already done it seven times in 14 starts this year, a troubling trend he hopes to end when Boston visits the Astros, who have the best record in the majors. After finishing 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA last season, Porcello enters this outing at Houston with a 3-8 record and a 4.67 ERA - including an ERA of 6.38 in three starts in June so far.
The Milwaukee Brewers lead the NL Central, thanks in part to the emergence of lefty Chase Anderson as nothing short of an ace. Anderson, fifth in the league with a 2.83 ERA, has been particularly effective in his three starts in June so far, allowing only one run in 20 2/3 innings. He'll next start at Miller Park vs. the Padres.
The next chapter in Masahiro Tanaka's mysterious season will take place when the struggling right-hander starts for the Yankees at Oakland. Tanaka, whose highest ERA for a season since joining the major leagues in 2014 was 3.51 two years ago, enters this game with a 6.07 ERA through 13 starts this season. The Japanese hurler has already faced the A's once this season, allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings in New York's 4-1 loss to the A's on May 26.
The Braves will see how star outfielder Matt Kemp is feeling as he deals with a sore left hamstring. He didn't start Friday night against Miami, and Atlanta manager Brian Snitker says the team will wait a couple of days before reassessing Kemp's condition. Kemp is hitting .327 and leads the Braves with 32 RBIs despite missing nine games in April with a sore right hamstring.