LEADING OFF: Angels star Trout set to draw a crowd in Philly

·4-min read

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

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TROUT'S TOWN

Angels star Mike Trout is likely to have a big rooting section at Citizens Bank Park all weekend for a series against the Phillies.

Trout is from the South Jersey city of Millville, about an hour's drive from Philadelphia. Now 30 years old and in his 12th big league season, the three-time MVP has played just two games in Philly — the last time was 2014 after Los Angeles' scheduled set there in 2020 was canceled because of the pandemic.

Trout spoke this week at Yankee Stadium about how much he enjoys returning to the area where he grew up, be it talking to fans about his favorite Eagles or running into old pals at the Wawa convenience store.

“It's pretty special going back,” he said.

Trout was hit on the left arm by a pitch in the ninth inning Thursday night and appeared to be in significant pain but remained in the game. Los Angeles didn't manage a baserunner until the eighth against Jameson Taillon and lost 2-1 as the Yankees completed a doubleheader sweep that left the Angels with an eight-game losing streak — their longest since 2019.

Bryce Harper and the Phillies, meanwhile, are eager to extend that skid and snap one of their own.

The Angels have won 12 in a row against Philadelphia — the longest active winning streak by any big league team against a single opponent and the longest such win streak in the history of interleague play, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

FLYING JAYS

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays have won eight in a row going into this weekend's series against Minnesota.

Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.48 ERA) is set to start the opener for Toronto. Chi Chi Gonzalez is expected to make his season debut for the Twins.

The Blue Jays will see if outfielder George Springer can return to the lineup. He's missed two games because of a non-COVID-19 illness. Toronto, however, put lefty Hyun Jin Ryu on the 15-day injured list because of a sore forearm.

DOOR PRIZE

Francisco Lindor is expected back in the New York Mets' lineup at Dodger Stadium. The star shortstop sat out Thursday night with a swollen right middle finger after he injured it closing a double door in his hotel room.

Minus their No. 3 batter, the Mets managed only three hits and were shut out for the first time this season — snapping their six-game winning streak. They lost 2-0 to Tony Gonsolin (6-0) and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a four-game series between the National League's top two teams.

Lindor has at least one RBI in 10 straight games, tied with Hall of Famer Mike Piazza for the second-longest stretch in team history.

Chris Bassitt (4-2, 3.66 ERA) pitches for the Mets against Tyler Anderson (6-0, 2.90), who has tossed 20 consecutive scoreless innings.

IN THE SWING?

Marcus Semien has hit two home runs in his last six games after going homerless in his first 43 this season for Texas.

The 31-year-old Semien signed a $175 million, seven-year contract with the Rangers after hitting 45 homers last year for Toronto, the most ever for a major leaguer primarily playing second base.

Semien is batting just .194 with 18 RBIs. He hit .265 with 102 RBIs for the Blue Jays last season.

Semien, who homered in a loss Thursday to Tampa Bay, and the Rangers host Seattle this weekend.

BÁEZ BENCHED

Slumping Tigers shortstop Javier Báez has been benched the last two games, with manager A.J. Hinch giving the Detroit newcomer time to reset physically and mentally.

Baez, who signed a six-year deal for $140 million in the offseason, has his lowest batting average (.197) since he was a Chicago Cubs rookie in 2014. He also has just three home runs and 13 RBIs in 40 games.

The Tigers have won seven of nine after a slow start. They begin a three-game series at Yankee Stadium with rookie right-hander Elvin Rodriguez facing New York ace Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.12 ERA).

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