A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:
The Nationals could use a spark before the July 4 fireworks go off in D.C. Washington is at risk of falling below .500 for the first time since May 2 as it continues a series against Boston at 11 a.m. EDT. The Red Sox thumped the Nationals 11-4 on Tuesday Customized Minnesota Vikings Jerseys , giving Washington its fourth straight loss and 16th in 21 games to fall to 42-42. That slide has the preseason NL East favorites chasing the Braves and Phillies in the division. Erick Fedde (1-3, 6.00) tries to stop Washington’s skid against Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3, 4.11).
THE SHO GOES ON
Shohei Ohtani is back from the disabled list, albeit without full use of his electric right arm. The Japanese two-way sensation has been cleared to hit and was in the Angels’ lineup as a designated hitter Tuesday night, but he won’t be pitching anytime soon due to a Grade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament suffered more than three weeks ago. Ohtani has received stem cell therapy and a platelet-rich plasma injection on his right elbow, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to return to the mound this year. For now, Los Angeles welcomes him as a hitter. He entered Tuesday batting .289 with a .907 OPS and six homers in 114 at-bats.
Gerrit Cole (9-2) will pitch on regular rest for the Astros after a slight tweak to their rotation. Lance McCullers Jr. was initially scheduled to start at Texas, but Cole will pitch instead. Justin Verlander (9-4) will follow Thursday at home against the White Sox and McCullers goes Friday. Manager A.J. Hinch said the switch keeps Cole and Verlander pitching every fifth day, and provides extra rest for McCullers (9-3) and Charlie Morton (10-2). The reset rotation means likely All-Star selection Verlander is scheduled for the final game before the break. ”This is always going to be the priority,” said Hinch, the All-Star manager who then won’t have Verlander available to pitch for the AL team on July 17 in Washington D.C.
Trevor Bauer tries to carry over an outstanding June when the Indians play at Kansas City. Bauer (7-6, 2.45) was 3-3 with a 2.18 ERA last month, striking out 62 batters in 41 1/3 innings. He gets probably his easiest test of the year against the Royals, who scored a major league-low 58 runs in June – the second-lowest output was Tampa Bay at 87.
A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.
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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region Customized New England Patriots Jerseys , at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
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NOTE: The stories slugged Black History-Game Changers are part of AP’s coverage during Black History Month of how African-American athletes have used their platforms during the last 100 years to influence social and political change. Please see the Black History Month advisory for more details on the series.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31
FREMONT, Neb. – Welina Tong tried wrestling for the first time when she was a junior in high school and fell in love with the sport so deeply that she was willing to move 4,000 miles from her home in Hawaii to the snowy plains of Nebraska to continue competing. She’s not alone. She and three other women from the women’s wrestling hotbed of Hawaii are on the team at Midland University. The 1,400-student school is among three dozen small colleges that have started women’s wresting programs. With more than 14,000 girls participating in high school wrestling, the sport is growing rapidly and on track to gain greater recognition by the NAIA and NCAA. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, video by 3 a.m. Wednesday.
SEATTLE – One of the most surprising stories in college basketball is what Mike Hopkins is doing in his first season at Washington. Hopkins provided The Associated Press an inside look at his first-year program to try and explain how the Huskies are in the conversation for an NCAA bid entering February, an idea that seemed unfathomable back in October. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos and video by 12 p.m. Wednesday.
THURSDAY, Feb. 1
BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS
Some of the top NFL players say they have been racially profiled, or had a family member or friend who has been. Yes, Colin Kaepernick is out of work and mostly out of the spotlight after starting the latest chapter of black athletes using their sports platforms to make America uncomfortable by raising awareness on racially charged issues in an effort to bring about social and political change. But the issues that spurred him to kneel silently are still very much a part of people of color’s daily lives. And like athletes that have taken a stand before them, many believe the struggle against injustice must continue. By Errin Haines Whack and Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos and video.
FRIDAY, Feb. 2
BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-KAEPERNICK
Colin Kaepernick knew he was sending a message when he first refused to stand during the national anthem, before a preseason game in 2016. He probably never would’ve guessed the price he would pay. Because of the efforts of the now-unemployed quarterback Customized New Orleans Saints Jerseys , the days of excluding politics and social issues from sports appear to be over, and those who have followed Kaepernick’s lead are feeling more and more empowered to use their platform for something other than mere fun and games. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos and video by 3 a.m. Friday.
BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-BLACK ATHLETES
Sports and race have been intertwined in America’s journey to become a more perfect union, and black athletes have often found themselves at the center of the struggle for racial progress. From Jack Johnson’s defiance outside of the boxing ring, thumbing his nose at segregation and challenging notions of black inferiority to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel silently during the national anthem ahead of NFL games that many point to as the reason he is now out of the league, black athletes have protested for generations in ways large and small in an effort to highlight injustice, expose hypocrisy and move the country forward. Often met with hate by fans uninterested in mixing sports and social issues, many have taken stances that risk their careers, choosing race over the games they love. Where does that leave us? By AP National Writer Errin Haines Whack. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos and video by 1 p.m. Friday.
Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.