LEADING OFF: Discipline on deck for Harper-Strickland brawl
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and Giants reliever Hunter Strickland are certain to soon get penalized by Major League Baseball after their fight in San Francisco. Hit in the hip by a 98 mph heater, Harper charged the mound, flung his helmet and traded punches to the head with Strickland. They both were ejected, but no injuries were reported after the benches and bullpens emptied. They had not faced each other since Harper hit two home runs off Strickland in the 2014 NL playoffs. "You never want to get suspended or anything like, but sometimes you just got to go and get them and can't hesitate," Harper said. "You either go to first base or you go after him and I decided to go after him."
Angels star Mike Trout has opted to have surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb. The two-time AL MVP was hurt Sunday making a headfirst slide on a stolen base in Miami. Trout has been put on the disabled list for the first time in his career, and surgery Wednesday will sideline him for six to eight weeks. The 25-year-old outfielder is hitting .337 with 16 home runs.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
Dustin Pedroia is heading back to Boston to get tests after the second baseman injured his left wrist stopping a fall on a close play. He tumbled over White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, who lunged to tag the bag on Pedroia's grounder. The Red Sox are calling it a sprain, but manager John Farrell was uncertain about the severity. "It's hard to say right now, and I think until we get the information, we'll know more then," Farrell said. "But I think anytime you're dealing with a position player's wrist, a hitter's wrist, that's always cause for concern."
A day after receiving a warm welcome back in his old home, Red Sox ace Chris Sale will make his first start against the Chicago White Sox since being traded away over the offseason. The White Sox saluted Sale with a highlight video during the first inning Monday, and the pitcher waved to the cheering crowd, pointed to the home dugout and patted his heart. "I had a lot of good times here - a lot of friends still over there," Sale said. Sale (5-2, 2.34) will square off with Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.82), who has struggled atop Chicago's rotation in Sale's absence.
The Astros have baseball's best record, and that's no surprise to manager A.J. Hinch. "I didn't put any limitations on this team," Hinch said. "So I don't really have a baseline of how many games I expected to win." Houston won its fifth in a row and improved to 36-16 by overcoming a six-run deficit with an 11-run eighth inning Monday, beating Minnesota 16-8. This, star shortstop Carlos Correa says, is exactly what he envisioned entering the year. "We've got a lot of talent in this room," he said. "I feel like everywhere you look in the lineup there's talent, there's potential and we've got leadership now in this clubhouse. So we're heading somewhere."
A day after turning 27, right-hander Tyler Pill makes his first major league start for the Mets, at home against the surprising NL Central-leading Brewers. "It will definitely be exciting," he said. "I'm really looking forward to it." Pill was called up from the minors Friday and lost in relief during his big league debut the following night at Pittsburgh when he gave up the winning run in the 10th inning. He was a combined 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A and Double-A.