LEADING OFF: Yanks go for 12 straight, Scherzer faces Padres

Sports from the AP
Rougned Odor, Aaron Judge

New York Yankees second baseman Rougned Odor (12) celebrates with Aaron Judge (99) after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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MAKE IT A DOZEN

Following an off day, the New York Yankees try for their longest winning streak in 60 years when they open a four-game series in Oakland.

New York has won 11 in a row for the first time since 1985. The storied Yankees haven’t won 12 straight since Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris powered a 13-game run in September 1961.

Jameson Taillon (8-4, 3.94 ERA) pitches for the Yankees against James Kaprielian (7-4, 3.25), who was drafted in the first round by New York in 2015 out of UCLA before getting traded to the Athletics in the July 2017 deal that sent pitcher Sonny Gray to the Yankees.

Kaprielian is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA in three starts since coming off the injured list, but the A’s have lost four straight and eight of 10 to fall out of playoff position in an AL wild-card race now led by the Yankees.

Taillon is 7-0 since his last loss on May 31.

SWEET 16

One night after outlasting San Diego in 16 innings, the Dodgers go for a three-game sweep of their NL West rivals with Max Scherzer on the mound and Mookie Betts expected back in the lineup.

Yu Darvish (7-7, 3.70 ERA) is scheduled to come off the injured list for the Padres.

Scherzer (11-4, 2.65) makes his fifth start since Los Angeles acquired him from Washington at the July 30 trade deadline. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings for the Dodgers.

Scherzer hasn’t lost since May 30 and will attempt to go 8-0 over 13 starts. But he’s allowed 11 runs over 10 2/3 innings in two starts against San Diego this season, both no-decisions.

Betts has been sidelined by a hip injury, but the defending World Series champions have barely missed a beat, winning 11 of their past 12 games. The skidding Padres have lost three straight and 11 of 13.

AJ Pollock’s two-run homer in the 16th sent Los Angeles to a 5-3 victory early Thursday in by far the longest major league game since pandemic rules were implemented last year. No game had lasted longer than 13 innings since MLB began putting an automatic runner on second base to start extra innings during the shortened 2020 season.

WINNERS AT LAST

One day after ending their 19-game losing streak, the Baltimore Orioles try to make it two in a row against the Los Angeles Angels.

Baltimore finally stopped its slide Wednesday night, rallying to beat Los Angeles 10-6 after a shaky start by Shohei Ohtani left the Angels’ bullpen with too much to do.

The Orioles were two losses shy of the American League record for the longest skid — which they set themselves in 1988 when they started 0-21.

Keegan Akin (0-8) starts the series finale for Baltimore against Jaime Barria (2-2). Akin allowed four runs in three innings versus the Angels on July 2.

BOTTOM FEEDERS

The slumping Philadelphia Phillies can’t blame their schedule if they fail to catch Atlanta in the NL East race.

Philadelphia hosts NL-worst Arizona to begin a four-game series. Of the Phillies’ 11 remaining series, nine are against teams that currently have losing records.

Philly has 36 games left and just six are against winning teams: three-game sets at NL Central-leading Milwaukee and NL East-leading Atlanta.

In addition to the woeful Diamondbacks, the Phillies will host the even worse Baltimore Orioles next month. Philly also welcomes the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs and last-place Pittsburgh Pirates, and has two road series at Miami, one at Washington and one at the New York Mets.

THOR WATCH

Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard is slated to pitch an inning for High-A Brooklyn as he begins his second minor league rehab assignment following Tommy John surgery in March 2020. His first rehab stint was shut down in May due to elbow discomfort.

Acting general manager Zack Scott said Tuesday that New York plans to use Syndergaard in relief when he returns, hoping it will shorten the length of his rehab assignment. The 28-year-old Syndergaard can become a free agent after the season.

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