Update on the latest in sports:
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
UNDATED (AP) – Houston goes into a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox with two of the pitchers the Astros hope will carry them deep into October. In the opener, Zack Greinke (GREHN’-kee) will make his second start for AL West-leading Houston since he was acquired from Arizona in a blockbuster trade at the deadline. Gerrit Cole has been an ace for the Astros all season and is among the favorites for the AL Cy Young Award. The last team to beat him was the White Sox – way back on May 22. The doubleheader was scheduled after Monday’s matchup was postponed by rain.
In other major league action:
– The Oakland Athletics head across San Francisco Bay for a quick two-game series with their area rival, the Giants, as both teams chase wild card berths. Oakland is 1 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card spot, while San Francisco held onto ace Madison Bumgarner at the trade deadline as it makes a long-shot playoff push in manager Bruce Bochy’s final season. Bumgarner starts tonight against Oakland’s Brett Anderson. Bumgarner is unbeaten in his last nine starts.
-The Minnesota Twins’ lead in the AL Central over the Cleveland Indians is gone, and the struggles of lefthander Martin Perez have been part of the problem. Perez starts the opener of a two-game set at Milwaukee.
– New York Yankees righthander Domingo German tries to become the first 16-game winner in the major leagues when he starts against Baltimore and lefty John Means.
– Reds’ lefthander Alex Wood makes his fourth start of 2019, hoping to rebound from a rough outing against the Cubs his last time out with five earned runs in three innings. Joe Ross pitches for Washington.
– Jason Vargas of the Phillies faces the Chicago Cubs for the second time this season tonight in Philadelphia. Vargas is 3-0 in seven career starts against the Cubs. The Cubs will throw lefthander Jose Quintana (kwin-TAH’-nuh), who is 6-0 with a 3.67 ERA in his last seven starts.
– The Rangers’ Lance Lynn has stuck out 70 batters over his past eight starts. He’ll throw against Blue Jays lefthander Thomas Pannone.
– Red Sox lefty Chris Sale needs five strikeouts to reach 2,000 in his career. Tonight, he’ll throw against Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger, who has won six consecutive decisions.
– The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw looks for a win in his fourth consecutive start in a series opener against the Marlins in Miami.
– Mariners’ left-hander Yusei Kikuchi will try to snap a three-game losing streak when Seattle visits Detroit. Matthew Boyd will throw for the Tigers.
– Zack Wheeler pitches for New York as the Mets open an important three-game series with the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. Righthander Max Fried pitches for Atlanta. He’s won his last four starts.
– Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals will take on Royals righthander Glenn Sparkman in the first of a two-game series tonight in Kansas City.
– Arizona righty Zac Gallen makes his first career start against Colorado tonight. The Rockies will throw Jon Gray.
– Angels rookie Griffin Canning will return from a brief stint on the injured list with elbow inflammation to face Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams.
– Rays rookie lefthander Brendan McKay is scheduled face an NL team for the first time. He did serve as the DH in his second game, going 0 for 4 against Baltimore. The Padres will throw their lefty Eric Lauer.
A look at the news in MLB
WASHINGTON (AP) – Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer (SHUR’-zur) is expected to throw a simulated game today as he tries to get closer to returning from a back muscle injury. Manager Dave Martinez said the team will see how the three-time Cy Young Award winner feels after that test before determining what comes next in Scherzer’s recovery.
Martinez says that Scherzer felt really good after his bullpen session Saturday.
He says the goal is to make sure Scherzer is 100 percent this time. Scherzer returned from a stint on the injured list in July but made just one start before being shelved again.
5 Russian weightlifters face new wave of doping charges
MOSCOW (AP) – Five Russian weightlifters, all of them world or European championship medalists, face doping charges which could herald a new wave of cases across a range of sports. The International Weightlifting Federation says evidence against the five lifters, including Olympic bronze medalist Ruslan Albegov, comes from new investigations by the World Anti-Doping Agency into widespread drug use in Russian sports.
Albegov is a two-time world champion who won bronze in July in a test event for next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.