LEADING OFF: Ohtani vs Javier, Gonsolin undefeated
A look at what’s happening around the majors on Wednesday:
Shohei Ohtani makes his final start before heading to the All-Star Game and hopes to lead Los Angeles to a better result against Houston’s Cristian Javier, who struck out 14 Angels on July 1.
One start after striking out 13 in seven innings to begin a combined no-hitter against the Yankees, Javier upped his career high again with the 14 punchouts during seven innings of one-run ball in the Astros’ 8-1 win at Houston. The one run was a homer by Ohtani.
Ohtani was named to his second straight All-Star Game as a hitter and a pitcher. It’s uncertain if he’ll start on the mound again, like he did last year. He’s been even better as a pitcher this season, entering Wednesday 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA.
Tony Gonsolin of the Los Angeles Dodgers is 11-0 with a major league-leading 1.62 ERA going into his start at St. Louis.
The 28-year-old right-hander, a first-time All-Star, has allowed two runs or fewer in all 16 starts. He is seeking to become the first big league pitcher to win his first 12 decisions in a season since Detroit’s Max Scherzer started 13-0 in 2013. Before Scherzer, the feat had not been accomplished since Boston’s Roger Clemens began 14-0 in 1986.
Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez, San Francisco left-hander Carlos Rodón and Miami first baseman Garrett Cooper are the latest players added to the rosters for the All-Star Game next week.
They replaced Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper and Houston’s Yordan Álvarez, who are hurt, and Milwaukee closer Josh Hader, who is skipping the July 19 game at Dodger Stadium because of family responsibilities.
Rodón made the All-Star team for the second straight season. Martinez is a five-time All-Star. Cooper becomes the 31st first-time All-Star this year.
Bypassed for the All-Star Game, Philadelphia right-hander Zack Wheeler takes an 8-4 record and 2.46 ERA into the finale of a two-game series at Toronto.
Wheeler is 8-1 with a 1.53 ERA since April 28 after losing his first three starts this season.
Rob Thomson guides the Phillies — he’s the first Canadian to manage a major league game in his home country.
Thomson is from Sarnia, Ontario, a city on the Michigan border about 200 miles west of Toronto. He was promoted from his role as bench coach to interim manager after Joe Girardi was fired on June 3.
That made Thomson the first Canadian-born manager in the big leagues since Pittsburgh’s George Gibson was fired in June 1934.
“It’s great to be home,” Thomson said before Tuesday night’s game. “I love coming back here. I love the ballpark, especially when the roof is open. I have a lot of family and friends here. It means a lot.”
Among those friends were eight former teammates from the 1984 Canadian Olympic baseball team, for whom the 58-year-old Thomson was catcher.
“I guess they rented out a suite,” Thomson said. “I don’t know how they got the money. It’ll be nice to see them, too.”
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