LEADING OFF: Archer-Sabathia, Scherzer-Garza key matchups
A look at what's happening all around the majors Thursday:
ALL BUNCHED UP
The AL East is bunched up as Tampa Bay opens a four-game series at the Yankees on Thursday, when Chris Archer (7-6) starts for the Rays and CC Sabathia (9-3) for New York. Boston, which ended a four-game skid by winning at Seattle on Wednesday, leads by one game over New York, with Tampa Bay another 1+ games back. The Rays are starting an eight-game trip that finishes with four games at Houston, which has the AL's best record.
''We're going to display what type team we really are,'' Archer said. ''I think with how we've been playing this year we're ready.''
MAX VS. MATT
Washington's Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.26) enters Thursday's home start against Milwaukee with a 2.57 ERA in three starts against the Brewers since joining the Nationals. Brewers starter Matt Garza (4-5, 3.83) has a 19.85 ERA in four starts at Nationals Park.
Miami rookie left-hander Chris O'Grady (1-1, 5.40) is scheduled to make his fourth big league start on Thursday at home against Cincinnati, his second straight outing against the Reds. The 27-year-old lefty did not get a decision last Sunday, when he gave up three runs, four hits and six walks over 4 2/3 innings in Miami's 5-4 win.
Rookie Rafael Devers made quite an impression in his first two days with the Boston Red Sox.
Was it good enough to stick around?
That's one of the big questions as the Red Sox return home for a 10-game homestand that begins Friday against Kansas City. Boston acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez from San Francisco this week but still need to make a move to get him on the roster before Friday's game.
It may be hard to send down Devers after his first two games, which included an impressive home run against Seattle on Wednesday. Devers became the youngest Red Sox's player to home in more than 50 years.
''He hasn't hurt his cause by any means with what he has done in a very short look,'' Boston manager John Farrell said.
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