A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday:
The Nationals open a series against Miami hoping to end a five-game skid and get back to .500. Washington fell to 42-43 with a loss to Boston on Wednesday Taven Bryan Jersey , the first time the preseason NL East favorites have been under .500 this late in the year since being 60-61 on Aug. 21, 2015. The Nationals held a players’ only meeting after a 3-0 loss to the Red Sox highlighted by Adam Eaton’s throwing error and a wild pitch from Ryan Madson. Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 2.63) makes his second start since returning from the DL, while Marlins righty Pablo Lopez (1-0, 3.00) makes his second MLB start.
NOT VERY VERLANDER
Justin Verlander (9-4, 2.12) tries to stop a personal slide when the Astros open a series against the White Sox. Verlander has allowed nine runs in 11 2/3 innings over his past two starts, taking losses to Toronto (four runs) and Tampa Bay (five runs). Verlander hasn’t allowed four or more earned runs in three straight starts since June 2014 while with Detroit. Carlos Rodon (1-3, 4.55) is up for Chicago.
Johnny Cueto is expected to be reinstated from the disabled list and pitch when the Giants open a four-game series against the Cardinals. Cueto was placed on the disabled list May 1 with inflammation in his right elbow. A few days later, he visited Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed him with a strained elbow. Cueto is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in five starts this season. The Giants are 41-21 in his starts since he joined the team in 2016.
Angels rookie Jaime Barria will start against AL West-leading Seattle in place of Tyler Skaggs a day after the left-hander went on the DL with a thigh strain. Barria is making his 12th start of the season and has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. Lefty Marco Gonzales (8-5, 3.77) makes his first start since pitching the first complete game of his career in a 4-1 win over Kansas City.
Joe Mauer needs one double to give him 415 in his career, which would break a tie with Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett for the Twins’ franchise record. Minnesota has lost six straight and returns home from a 1-8 trip to play Baltimore Blake Bortles Jersey , which has the worst record in the majors at 24-61. More good news for the scuffling Twins: Two-time All-Star Ervin Santana (right middle finger surgery) is scheduled to make his next rehab appearance for Class A Fort Myers.
After two games filled flaring tempers and alleged beanballs, the Giants and Marlins finally learned to play nice together in their season series finale.
Just the way San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy expected – or at least hoped.
Brandon Belt had three hits, Gorkys Hernandez added a two-run single during a five-run sixth inning and the Giants beat the Marlins 6-5 on Wednesday.
”I didn’t think it would continue,” Bochy said. ”You’re going to have games like that and tempers are going to flare. Boys will be boys, as they say, but it’s back to baseball.”
In comparison to the games Monday and Tuesday when both teams were chippy, Wednesday’s game was tame.
There were more errors than hit batters and the only damage was self-inflicted when Giants leadoff hitter Alen Hanson fouled a ball off his left knee in the first inning.
What fireworks there were came primarily in the sixth when San Francisco chased Miami starter Jose Urena (2-9).
Kelby Tomlinson walked and took second on Joe Panik’s single. After Brandon Belt doubled in Tomlinson, Pablo Sandoval was intentionally walked and Nick Hundley struck out.
Panik scored the go-ahead run when Mac Williamson hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Miguel Rojas with one out. Rojas made a diving stop but second baseman Starlin Castro had to stretch for the throw and was unable to make the relay to first.
Hernandez capped the inning with a two-run single after a 14-pitch at-bat against Urena.
”He really grinded out that at-bat,” Bochy said. ”Just came through with a huge hit there and gave us a cushion.”
Derek Holland (5-7) had seven strikeouts and allowed three runs over six innings in his first start against the Marlins since 2011. He walked two and left after giving up back-to-back hits opening the seventh.
”(Catcher Nick Hundley) and I did a great job establishing what we needed to, getting ahead of hitters,” Holland said. ”I know the line says I gave up three runs but at the end of the day these guys did a good job of keeping the momentum on our side.”
The Giants’ left-hander said he changed his stance on the mound, shifting from one side of the rubber to other.
The Marlins scored twice in the ninth off Sam Dyson. Reyes Moronta struck out JB Shuck for his first career save.
Castro drove in a pair of runs and Brian Anderson had three hits for Miami, extending his on-base streak to a career-high 18 games.
The Marlins hit into three double plays, including when Urena was doubled up at first after mistakenly heading for third on Castro’s fly ball to center with no outs in the third.
”I’ve never seen a guy be the leadoff hitter and then lose count of the outs,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. ”He was hustling though. We had some other chances too.”
”That’s cute. I remember my first 14-pitch at-bat.” – Belt, who set a major league record with a 21-pitch at-bat against the Angels on April 22, talking about Hernandez’s long at-bat in the sixth.
Marlins: Outfielder Garrett Cooper (wrist) was sent to Triple-A New Orleans to begin a rehab assignment.
Giants: Hanson had to be helped off the field and was diagnosed with a knee contusion after undergoing X-rays. … Buster Posey was given the day off. … RHP Jeff Samardzija (shoulder tightness) makes his second rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday.
Marlins: Following a day off Thursday, Miami heads to Colorado to begin a three-game series. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-3, 5.91 ERA) pitches the opener seeking his second win against the Rockies this season.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 4.67) faces San Diego on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series. Bumgarner has lost four straight to the Padres.