LEADING OFF: Ohtani, Schwarber staging own home run derby

Sports

Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches his home run during the third inning of the team’s baseball game against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Wednesday:

ATTA BABE

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani (3-1, 2.58 ERA) is expected to become the second player and first since Babe Ruth to start on the mound and hit in the top half of the batting order in the Bronx.

Ohtani has looked plenty comfortable at the plate in New York this week, hitting a home run Monday night and then connecting for two more homers Tuesday night, giving him a major league-leading 28.

This will be Ohtani’s first pitching appearance at Yankee Stadium and his career-high 12th pitching start this season. He’ll oppose Yankees righty Domingo Germán (4-5, 4.32 ERA).

Ruth batted third in his final game on the mound on Oct. 1, 1933. The Bambino homered and threw a 12-hit complete game with three walks and no strikeouts, leading the Yankees over the Boston Red Sox 6-5.

SLUGGING SCHWARBER

Kyle Schwarber tries to extend his amazing string of longballs after launching another leadoff shot in Washington.

Schwarber hit his 12th home run in 10 games Tuesday night, connecting on the first pitch of the game from Tampa Bay’s Rich Hill. Schwarber tied Albert Belle in 1995 for the most over that span since at least 1901.

Schwarber hit his major league-leading seventh leadoff home run, all in June. His 16 home runs this month are the second most in any June behind Sammy Sosa’s 20 in 1998.

He has 16 home runs in 18 games since being moved into the leadoff spot in the Nationals’ batting order on June 8.

Schwarber has 25 home runs overall in his first season with the Nationals.

SHORT STAFFED?

Mariners pitcher Héctor Santiago is appealing his 10-game suspension after becoming the first player penalized under Major League Baseball’s crackdown on grip-enhancing foreign substances.

MLB announced the ban on Tuesday, two days after Santiago was ejected from a game at the Chicago White Sox. He also was fined an undisclosed amount.

Seattle manager Scott Servais insists there was no foreign substance on Santiago’s glove, claiming it was just rosin.

Santiago, a 33-year-old left-hander, is in his 10th major league season, his first with the Mariners. He is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA in nine games.

If the suspension is upheld, Seattle will not be allowed to fill Santiago’s spot on its 26-man roster roster and must play a man short while the penalty is served.

DEAL ’EM UP

The Toronto Blue Jays got busy a month before the trade deadline, acquiring injured outfielder Corey Dickerson and reliever Adam Cimber from Miami. The Marlins got infielder Joe Panik and minor league reliever Andrew McInvale.

Toronto is third in the AL East, Miami is last in the NL East. The trade deadline is July 30.

Dickerson is sidelined with a bruised left foot and is expected to be in a walking boot for at least two more weeks. He is batting .260 with two homers and 14 RBIs.

“He’s going to be a good addition,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We have a right-handed lineup, and to add him to the lineup, a left-handed bat like that, it’s going to help us a lot.”

Montoyo is familiar with Dickerson from their time together in Tampa Bay. Dickerson was an All-Star for the Rays in 2017, when Montoyo was a bench coach.

Cimber, a side-arming right-hander, has a 2.88 ERA in 33 games.

SINKING

Orioles right-hander Matt Harvey is 0-8 with a 10.46 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Harvey (3-9, 7.54) is pitching for his fifth team in four seasons. The 32-year-old former Mets star next starts at Houston, with Luis García (6-4, 2.83) pitching for the Astros.

ON THE MEND

White Sox center fielder Luis Robert is ramping up his level of baseball activities at the team’s complex in Arizona after moving into a new phase in his recovery from a torn right hip flexor.

The possible return of Robert and Eloy Jiménez, another outfielder who ruptured his left pectoral tendon during spring training, likely will affect how the AL Central leaders handle the July 30 trade deadline.

Robert, who finished second in the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year race, hasn’t played since May 2. He could be cleared for a minor league rehab assignment in approximately four weeks, but there is no timetable for his return to the majors.

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