LEADING OFF: Kershaw goes for 11th win; Bailey's back
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
KERSHAW GOES FOR 11TH WIN
Clayton Kershaw seeks to become the major leagues' first 11-game winner when the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Colorado Rockies. Kershaw (10-2) is 6-0 in his last nine starts, winning three in a row. He has struck out 115 and walked 17 in 103 1/3 innings and is 20-6 against Colorado, including 2-1 this year.
Homer Bailey returns from elbow surgery to make his season debut when the Cincinnati Reds face the Washington Nationals. Bailey will be activated from the 60-day disabled list, where he's languished since the first day of spring training after having bone chips removed from his elbow in February. The right-hander last pitched on Aug. 28, an abbreviated one-inning stint at Arizona. Joe Ross (3-3, 5.98 ERA) will start for the NL East-leading Nationals.
Rays right-hander Jake Faria (3-0, 1.37 ERA) makes his fourth big league start, seeking to join Jeremy Hellickson as the only pitchers in Tampa Bay history to launch their careers with four consecutive outings of at least six innings. According to Baseball Reference, Faria is the fifth pitcher since 1913 to go at least six innings, allow one or no runs and get the win in his first three major league starts. The rookie won his debut at Tropicana Field against the Chicago White Sox on June 7, then beat Toronto and Detroit on the road in his next two starts. On Saturday he faces the Baltimore Orioles, whose pitching staff has allowed at least five runs in 20 straight games, tying a major league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.
Houston's depleted rotation is about to get one of its big arms back with the return of Lance McCullers after missing two weeks with discomfort in his lower back. McCullers is scheduled to start on Saturday night against Seattle. He last pitched on June 8 against Kansas City, allowing one run and two hits in seven innings. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list a day later and has missed two turns in the rotation. Houston manager A.J. Hinch said there won't be a pitch count for McCullers but the team will be conservative. McCullers is 6-1 with a 2.58 ERA and was the AL pitcher of the month in May, going 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA in six starts.
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