LEADING OFF: Stanton powers into NY, Red Sox host Yankees
A look at what's happening all around the majors Friday:
Giancarlo Stanton takes his home run show to the Big Apple when Miami visits the New York Mets. Stanton, who leads the majors with 44 homers, had gone deep in six straight games and 10 of 12 before San Francisco kept him in the ballpark Wednesday. "He's hurt us enough in the past to know that he can be so dangerous," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We've noticed a change in his approach at the plate. So we've got to make certainly some adjustments in how we're going to pitch him." Stanton said he would enjoy facing new Mets closer AJ Ramos, traded by the Marlins late last month. The big slugger said his former teammate told him he's going to cool off his bat. "It'll be funny facing him. We've been talking trash to each other," Stanton said.
The AL East-leading Red Sox host the rival Yankees in the latest installment of their rivalry as they open a three-game weekend series. Boston, winner of 12 of 14, leads the division by four games over New York, which is coming off a four straight wins against the crosstown-rival Mets. Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.39 ERA) looks to extend his career-best six-game winning streak when he faces the Yankees' Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 3.94).
The Los Angeles Angels have won seven of eight games to vault into the second AL wild-card spot heading into a weekend series at Baltimore. Five of the victories have been comebacks as the Angels have improved to 62-59 and jumped over Minnesota, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and the Orioles in a crowded AL wild-card race. Star center fielder Mike Trout has led the resurgence as he is batting .343 with seven home runs, 19 RBIs, 26 walks and 22 runs scored while helping Los Angeles go 17-12 since his return on July 14 after missing 39 games due to a thumb injury.
INDIANS SURGING, TOO
Cleveland looks to bounce back after a 4-2 loss at Minnesota in the second game of a doubleheader Thursday night snapped a six-game winning streak. The AL Central Division-leading Indians open a weekend series at Kansas City with Corey Kluber (11-3, 2.71) going against the Royals' Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80).
Philadelphia and San Francisco continue a four-game series between the two worst teams in the National League. The Giants, cellar-dwellers in the West, send Matt Moore (3-12, 5.71) against the major league-worst Phillies and Zach Eflin (1-4, 5.76).