Update on the latest in sports:
Season strikeout record in sight
UNDATED (AP) – Major League Baseball’s season strikeout record likely will be broken today for the 12th straight year – with five days to spare. Batters enter play with 41,098 strikeouts. There were 41,207 strikeouts last season and 40,104 in 2017, when the 40,000 mark was broken for the first time.
Before the record run started in 2008, the mark had been 32,404 in 2001. Strikeouts totaled 29,937 in 1996 before breaking the 30,000 for the first time the following year.
– Houston ace Gerrit Cole could break the club record for strikeouts when the Astros play the first of two games against the Mariners in Seattle. The 29-year-old Cole fanned 10 in eight innings in a 3-2 victory over Texas on Wednesday, giving him 302 strikeouts on the year. The single-season Astros record is 313 Ks by J.R. Richard in 1979. Cole and teammate Justin Verlander are the front-runners for the AL Cy Young Award. Cole is 14-0 with a 1.87 ERA in his last 20 starts.
– The Kansas City Royals host the Atlanta Braves in their first game since manager Ned Yost announced he plans to retire at the end of the season. The 65-year-old Yost, who has been on a year-to-year contract, is the only manager to lead the Royals to back-to-back World Series, losing to the Giants in seven games in 2014 and beating the Mets in five the following year. Kansas City plays two games against Atlanta before finishing the season with a weekend series at home
– The Texas Rangers begin their final homestand at their 25-year-old stadium, first known as The Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers are moving across the street into a $1 billion-plus air-conditioned stadium with a retractable roof. After Boston comes to town for a three-game series, Texas finishes the season with three games against the AL East champion New York Yankees. Edinson Volquez will take the mound for the Rangers tonight as the opener in front of Ariel Jurado. Eduardo Rodriguez goes for his 19th win for the Red Sox.
– Noah Syndergaard makes his penultimate start of the season for the Mets, who are facing possible elimination with a home game against Miami. New York would be locked out of the postseason with a loss to the Marlins and wins by NL wild-card hopefuls Washington and Milwaukee.
– The Nationals’ magic number to clinch a playoff berth is three, but they could cut it to one today. They host the Phillies in a day-night double header.
– Milwaukee tries to maintain its hold on a wild card and extend its latest winning streak in Cincinnati tonight. The Brewers send Adrian Houser to the mound, while the Reds counter with Sonny Gray.
– Detroit baseball fans can get another glimpse of just how far their club has to climb with the Minnesota Twins in town tonight. The Tigers trail the AL Central Division leaders by 49 and a-half games, and drag a major league-worst winning percentage of .297 into the game.
In other Tuesday night action, the Cubs are in Pittsburgh, the Orioles and Blue Jays continue their series in Toronto, the Tampa Bay Rays host the New York Yankees and Cleveland visits Chicago to play the White Sox. Out west, the Cardinals and Diamondbacks meet again in Arizona, the Rockies are in San Francisco, the L.A. Angels get a visit from the Oakland Athletics, while the Dodgers are down in San Diego to take on the Padres.