Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Resilient Crew shrugs off Twins' late rally

After seeing the Twins pull even with three-run eighth, the Brewers regrouped in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon at Target Field, jumping ahead for good on Scooter Gennett's RBI single en route to a 6-5 win.
Yadiel Rivera sparked the rally against closer Kevin Jepsen with a one-out double to right-center field. Center fielder Byron Buxton bobbled the ball off the wall, allowing Rivera to reach third. With the infield in, Gennett roped a grounder to left to score Rivera.
"That hit that 'Yadi' got was huge," Gennett said, referring to Rivera. "It's not easy coming off the bench and being able to drive a ball like that into the wind."
"We had a lot of good things happen today," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "A lot of guys helped out. That's a good win."
The Twins struggled offensively until breaking out for three runs in the eighth to tie the game.Byung Ho Park crushed a solo homer to left -- his second deep fly in as many days and his team-leading fourth of the year -- before Eddie Rosario connected on a pinch-hit two-run homer to tie it at 5.
"We try to look for positives, and we stayed with the game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We were able to bounce back and get it even heading into the ninth. So it was a nice rebound after the White Sox series to finish with a decent homestand [and win four of five.]"
Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta, who entered 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA, showed some improvement, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks over five-plus innings and retiring 10 batters in a row at one point. He loaded the bases with no outs in the first two innings but escaped relatively unscathed both times, allowing one run in each frame.
Twins right-hander Ervin Santana went five innings, surrendering five runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks. He gave up two runs in the first on a single by Ryan Braun and a sacrifice fly by Chris Carter. It unraveled for the Twins and Santana in the fifth, starting with an error by right fielder Miguel Sano with one out. The trouble snowballed from there, asJonathan Lucroy gave the Brewers a lead with an RBI double before Carter added another sac fly and a passed ball by John Ryan Murphy brought home another run.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trouble for Thornburg:
 Park and Rosario connected against a Brewers reliever who had been untouched so far this season. Tyler Thornburg had been unscored upon in his first five appearances, surrendering only two hits. He has also stranded three inherited runners, including a pair in the seventh inning on Tuesday.
"That's what you want to do as a team, pick each other up; that's what we did today," Gennett said. "Obviously, it's a rarity for [Thornburg] to have an outing like that."  More >
Sano misplays sinking liner: The Twins know Sano is facing a steep learning curve with his move to right field, but his inexperience cost them in the Brewers' go-ahead three-run fifth. With one out, Gennett hit a sinking liner to right, but it hit off Sano's glove for an error. The Brewers went on to score three unearned runs after Sano's missed catch.
"It was a mistake on a low line drive," Sano said. "I lost it in the fans. I tried to stop it, but it was too late. But I'm not trying to make an excuse. It was a mistake. But it won't be my first one or my last one."  More >
Good and bad: Brewers Rule 5 Draft pick Colin Walsh had an eventful afternoon, beginning with a double leading off the game that set up Milwaukee's first run and marked his first Major League hit after an 0-for-10 start. But Walsh was partly responsible when a run got away an inning later, as he misfired a throw home on a potential double-play bouncer, extending the inning before the Twins tied the game at 2. Still, Walsh savored celebrating with teammates after the game.
"It's nice that it's finally done," Walsh said. "It's a little harder when you're not playing every day, because 10 at-bats is three bad games [for a starter]. On the bench, it's 2 1/2 weeks. ... Hopefully, there are a lot more hits coming."
Twins can't capitalize early: The Twins scored their first run on a double-play grounder hit by Sano in the first, then scored in the second on an RBI groundout from Eduardo Nunez, but considering the bases were loaded each time, the unfinished rallies left a sense of disappointment. The Twins have yet to record a hit with the bases loaded this year, having gone 0-for-9.
QUOTABLE
"Each start, I've been feeling better and better. I think I'm getting closer and closer. ... It's not easy when you're struggling, but you have to keep making pitches." -- Peralta, who bounced back nicely after laboring over the first two innings
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rosario's pinch-hit homer was the first for the Twins since Sano hit one against the Royals on Sept. 9, 2015. It was the only pinch-hit homer of the year for Minnesota last season.
WHAT'S NEXT
Brewers: The teams shift their Border Battle to Miller Park for two more games beginning on Wednesday, when Jimmy Nelson will take the mound for Milwaukee beginning at 7:10 p.m. CT. Nelson is 3-for-3 this season in producing quality starts and has held opposing hitters to a .176 average.
Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone will get the starting nod for Minnesota, looking to shake off a slow start. He's 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA through two starts.

D-backs, Giants continue showdown in San Francisco

After Monday's 11-inning showdown in the opener of the season series, a 9-7 Arizona win, the D-backs and Giants hope to get deep starts from Robbie Ray and Matt Cain, a pair of pitchers who saw their most recent starts head in the wrong direction in one inning.
Ray, the D-backs left-hander, tossed six shutout innings against the Dodgers on Thursday before L.A. managed to score five runs in the seventh, mostly due to some poor relief pitching. Ray has improved his pitch efficiency this year, but he has still walked five.
Cain, meanwhile, was dominant through four innings against the Rockies on Thursday at Coors Field before things went south in a hurry in the fifth. The Rockies scored nine runs in the inning, six of which were charged to Cain, who got a pair of outs.
Things to know about this game
• Slumping Giants third baseman Matt Duffy was out of the starting lineup for the series opener, but he's expected to be back in the lineup Tuesday. Duffy, the runner-up for National League Rookie of the Year last season, is hitting .170 after going 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter on Monday.
• Ray has faced the Giants just once in his career, allowing two earned runs in five innings last July 17.
• In his career against the D-backs, Cain is 14-7 with a 3.49 ERA in 34 starts.

Bucs to begin long trip with series in San Diego

The Pirates' rotation will be back at full strength Tuesday night at Petco Park. After skipping a start due to a tight right hamstring, left-hander Francisco Liriano will get back on the mound as the Bucs open a three-game series vs. Colin Rea and the Padres.
The Pirates hope having Liriano back in the fold will help stabilize their rotation and especially their bullpen, which had to work overtime over the last week and struggled as a result.
"Having Francisco back in play is definitely an opportunity for us to leverage a strength," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I'd like to believe the continuity of the starts will give us more continuity in the back end of the bullpen and through the other guys out there, so we can settle guys down and find some routine and roles that we want to build upon."
The Padres will counter with right-hander Rea, who will be making his first career start against the Pirates. Rea breezed through seven strong innings against the Phillies on 94 pitches in his last outing, a stark contrast to when he needed 90 pitches to battle through 3 1/3 innings in his season debut.
Things to know about this game
• This game starts a 16-day stretch in which the Pirates will play 16 games before their next scheduled off-day on May 5. Including Monday, Pittsburgh had three off-days built into the first two weeks of its regular-season schedule. This 10-game road trip will take the Bucs through San Diego, Arizona and Colorado.
• Padres shortstop Alexei Ramirez and outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. have hit well against Liriano. Ramirez is hitting .419 (13-for-31) and Upton is 8-for-24 against the veteran left-hander. Liriano has dominated Matt Kemp (1-for-14, five strikeouts) and Derek Norris (1-for-13, six strikeouts), however.
• Expect to see left fielder Starling Marte back in the Pirates' lineup Tuesday. Taking a cautious approach, the Bucs held Marte out of Sunday's starting lineup due to concerns about his right hand, which was hit by a pitch Saturday night.

Garcia enters Cubs-Cards series coming off 1-hit gem

What will Jaime Garcia do for an encore? The Cardinals lefty is coming off a one-hit shutout of the Brewers in which he struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked one. Garcia will face the Cubs' Jason Hammel in Game 2 of this three-game series, the first between the two National League Central rivals.
Garcia has not faced the Cubs since 2012. Hammel, on the other hand, was 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in three starts last season against the Cardinals, and also faced them in Game 4 of the NL Division Series at Wrigley Field. In that postseason game, he lasted three innings, giving up two runs in the first, but the Cubs rallied to win that game, 6-4, and the series.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon -- whose club won the series opener, 5-0 -- doesn't get caught up in the Chicago vs. St. Louis rivalry.
"If we're playing Milwaukee tonight, if we're playing Arizona tonight, if we're playing St. Louis -- for me, it matters the same, and I really mean that," Maddon said. "Let's win a game in April. April's almost over, let's have a good April. I don't apply any more weight. I think it's exciting to be here, absolutely. I think there will be a great response from the crowd."
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny expected the crowd to be pumped for the first of six series between the teams.
"Whatever it is that keeps people coming and sitting in these seats, that's what drives and pushes this game," Matheny said. "We know that we're going to have some Cubs fans here, but there are going to be an awful lot of people wearing red. I know they have been looking forward to this. There has been a lot of hype. Our angle on that is that it'll be fun to get out and not talk about it but actually play the game."
After ousting the Cardinals in the NLDS, Maddon said the Cubs can expect to have a target on their back this season.
"It doesn't really matter," Matheny said. "We can't control it, whether it's a lot of attention for or against or for somebody else. That's really out of our hands. I think we have some young players who might be overlooked for what they've been able to do for a short period of time. I like what our guys are doing. I focus on our team and not so much on everybody else.
"They can have all the hype they want. It can be a distraction. And I think if they focus on what another team is potentially going to do, that can be a distraction to. So there are always challenges, whether it's positive or negative."
Things to know about this game
• Jason Heyward boasts a career .296 average at Busch Stadium in 91 games prior to this series. Heyward was greeted by a mix of boos and cheers from the Busch Stadium crowd on Monday in his first game back after signing an eight-year contract with the Cubs.
• Ruben Tejada, activated from the disabled list Monday, will be used in a utility role as the Cardinals stick with Aledmys Diaz at shortstop.
• Randal Grichuk will likely be back in the Cardinals' lineup in center. St. Louis is trying to mix and match with the outfielders to keep several guys involved. Grichuk was the odd man out on Monday.

Shoemaker faces unfamiliar ex-teammate in Latos

 Angels righty Matt Shoemaker opposes a former teammate, White Sox righty Mat Latos, in the second of a four-game series from U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday night -- but he may hardly recognize him.
The Angels signed Latos out of sheer desperation down the stretch last year. The veteran starter had struggled to a 4.95 ERA with the Marlins and Dodgers and was out of action for a couple of weeks when the Angels took a shot in late September, pitching him in only two relief appearances and watching him give up two runs in 3 2/3 innings.
The White Sox have seen a different guy.
Two starts in, Latos has allowed only one run in 12 innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out six. He is only the sixth White Sox pitcher since 1913 to win each of his first two starts with an ERA under 1.00.
Shoemaker was shelled in his first start against the Rangers, giving up six runs and recording only nine outs, but cruised through his second start against the A's, twirling six scoreless innings while allowing only one hit.
Things to know about this game
• The White Sox bullpen figures to be shorthanded Tuesday after absorbing 8 2/3 innings because of Carlos Rodon's short start. Jake Petricka (2 2/3 innings), Zach Putnam (three innings) and Dan Jennings (two innings) each pitched multiple innings, which will force the White Sox to call an extra reliever up from the Minor Leagues before Tuesday's game.
• Andrelton Simmons is 5-for-9 with two doubles in his career against Latos, but Yunel Escobar has only three singles in 12 at-bats. In two starts against the White Sox, Shoemaker has given up 11 runs (10 earned) on 18 hits in 10 2/3 innings.
• Albert Pujols enters Tuesday with 562 home runs, one away from tying Reggie Jackson for 13th on the all-time list. Angels closer Huston Street has 318 saves, one away from tying Todd Jones for 18th on the all-time list.

Rangers, Astros renew Texas-sized rivalry

The Rangers and the Astros meet for the first time on Tuesday as the two teams renew a rivalry that increased significantly in intensity last season.
The Rangers edged the Astros by two games to win the American League West title in 2015. They did so in part by winning 13 of 19 games against the Astros, including eight in a row at one point in the second half.
"Last year, everything being so competitive, that was a fun one," Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland said. "That added to the rivalry and it has definitely amped up over the years. It seems like before the stands were half full. Now wherever you go, you see either orange or red. It's fun going against a team like that and having an intrastate rivalry."
"Last year those games were amazing," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "It was good baseball and great for Texas. We haven't been through something like that in awhile. It's going to be a tough rivalry."
The Rangers and the Astros didn't start playing each other in Interleague Play until 2001 and their rivalry was lukewarm at best. That changed in 2013 when the Astros joined the AL, and last season was the first real hint at what this rivalry could become.
"What it means for baseball is you have two really good teams who have built their teams in somewhat different ways but arrive on the scene prepared to win," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "The same can be said for some of the northeast rivalries, the West Coast has its own set of rivalries now. That's neat for our sport. I'm glad that we were a part of it. We want to sustain that moving forward."
Things to know about this game
• The Rangers were rained out on Sunday so they have altered their rotation for the Astros series. Derek Holland will pitch on Tuesday, followed by Cole Hamels and A.J. Griffin. Holland is 3-2 with a 4.37 ERA in 10 career starts against the Astros.
• Former Ranger Scott Feldman will open the series for the Astros. He is 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA in nine career starts against his former team.
• Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena hit .313 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 15 games against the Rangers last season. Shortstop Carlos Correa hit .308 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 13 games.

Tigers, Royals set to renew division rivalry in KC

Two American League Central foes renew their rivalry on Tuesday night, as the Tigers travel to Kansas City to face the defending World Series champions for the first time this season.
The Tigers are coming off their first series defeat of the season in Houston, while the Royals have won four of their last six games. Both teams are already near the top of the division, and 12 of Detroit's next 16 games are against AL Central opponents.
The Royals will feature hard-throwing right Yordano Ventura on the mound, and he's still looking for his first win in 2016. His swing-and-miss pitches have been there, with six strikeouts in each of his two starts, but nine combined walks indicate Ventura will be looking to corral his blazing fastball against Detroit.
Shane Greene gets the honors for Detroit, and he was solid in a 7-3 win at Pittsburgh last week. The right-hander allowed just two runs -- none after the first inning -- and struck out seven while allowing only three hits in six effective frames. Greene is 0-1 in two career starts against Kansas City, but he's given up just one run in 13 innings of work during those outings.
Despite finishing 21 games ahead of the Tigers in the standings last season, Kansas City squeaked out the victory in the season series, 10 games to nine.
Things to know about this game
• The Tigers have already been road warriors this season, compiling a 5-2 record away from home.
• Both teams could get some key players back during the series. Kansas City outfielder Jarrod Dyson (right oblique strain) is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha and could join the team this week. The Tigers have outfielder Cameron Maybin (left wrist fracture) and reliever Blaine Hardy (left shoulder impingement) on rehab stints of their own, with both expected to return in the near future.
• Ventura is 4-0 in six career appearances (five starts) against Detroit, including a career-high-tying 11 strikeouts in his last outing vs. the Tigers, a 12-1 home win on Sept. 2, 2015.

Done with Braves, Strasburg faces familiar foe in Fish

When he takes the mound Tuesday night at Marlins Park, Stephen Strasburg will look to continue his dominance in 2016 against a team other than the Braves. In his two previous starts, both vs. Atlanta, the 27-year-old went 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA. In 13 2/3 innings this season, Strasburg has struck out 11 and walked five while yielding 10 hits.
As a team, the Marlins had surprising success against Strasburg last season, hitting a combined .309. Miami captured two of three decisions against Strasburg in 2015. Lifetime, Strasburg has more decisions vs. Miami (17) than any other team. Over his career, Strasburg is 10-7 with a 3.69 ERA against the Marlins, with 122 strikeouts in 122 innings.
Miami will counter with Adam Conley. The lefty won his only decision over the Nationals, but has pitched in just two games (six innings) lifetime against them. He started the April 7 game at Washington, but went just one inning before a lengthy rain delay. He allowed two hits and three runs in his inning of work, but then went six scoreless on Wednesday against the Mets.
Things to know about this game
• Giancarlo Stanton has had particular success against Strasburg during his career. In 28 official at-bats, the Marlins slugger is hitting .429 with three homers and 10 RBIs. He's one of five current Marlins players hitting .290 or better, with at least 10 career at-bats, against Strasburg.
• Conley is a relative unknown with the Nationals. As a team, Washington has just 14 at-bats against the lefty. The Nationals have collected five hits off Conley, including one homer by Wilson Ramos.
• Strasburg is approaching a milestone in his stellar career. He needs just 88 strikeouts to reach 1,000. Last season, Strasburg struck out 155 batters. He led the league in 2014 with 242 K's.

Smyly, Kelly face off to open Rays-Red Sox series

After starting the year playing 10 of their first 13 games inside Tropicana Field, the Rays are heading out this week for their longest road trip of the young season, beginning in Boston on Tuesday. The Red Sox, meanwhile, will be capping a 10-game homestand that began with them dropping two of three to the Orioles before splitting with the Blue Jays.
Rays starter Drew Smyly will be a big part of the road trip, as he will likely make two starts on the jaunt. Smyly's last winning start on the road was at Fenway Park on Sept. 23, 2015, when he shut out the Red Sox for 6 1/3 innings.
Boston will counter with right-hander Joe Kelly, who has had a roller-coaster ride in two starts this year. He is 1-0 after allowing two runs in five innings to get the victory against Baltimore on April 13, but he sports an unsightly 10.13 ERA, in large part due to the seven runs he allowed in three innings on April 8 against Toronto.
Things to know about this game
• Smyly appreciates the challenge of matching up against David Ortiz for one more season.
"He is one of the best hitters of all time, best DHs of all time," Smyly said. "It's been an honor to get to face him. It's always a very competitive at-bat. He doesn't take it off, he doesn't get cheated. So it's pretty cool when I'm done to tell people that I got to face Papi."
• The Rays and Red Sox have fared well at the other's ballpark in recent years. Tampa Bay won the 2015 season series, 10-9, but the Rays were 6-4 at Fenway Park while the Red Sox were 5-4 at Tropicana Field.
• Evan Longoria hopes to pick up where he left off against Boston. The Rays' third baseman had more hits versus the Red Sox than any other opponent last season (27). He hit .360 against Boston with four home runs and 10 doubles.

Wood makes Atlanta return to open series

Prior to leaving Miami and heading back to Atlanta on Sunday, a reporter joked to Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez that now comes the easy part of the schedule when they host the Dodgers on Tuesday, in the first of a three-game series against the reigning National League West champions.
"Yeah, right," Gonzalez answered with a laugh. "What's that kid's name? And the other guy?"
Gonzalez was referring to rookie Ross Stripling (the 'kid' who flirted with a no-hitter his first start) and of course Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. But the Dodgers will not have to face either one right away, as Alex Wood (1-1, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start for the Dodgers in the series opener. It will be the former Braves lefty's first start at Turner Field against his former team since being traded to the Dodgers last July.
As for the Braves' starting pitcher on Tuesday, it was scheduled to be Matt Wisler, but he was needed to pitch in relief in the 10th inning on Sunday in the Braves' 6-5 win at Miami. Williams Perez will make the start and Wisler now will be pushed to a Thursday start. Julio Teheran is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday.
Three things to know
• Tuesday's game kicks off an eight-game, three-series homestand for the Braves, who will be looking for their first win at Turner Field this season.
• Braves right fielder Nick Markakis has reached base safely in all 12 games this season.
• Adrian Gonzalez has been crushing fastballs this season. Entering the Dodgers' Sunday night game against the Giants, Gonzalez has had 10 of his 16 hits and four of his five extra-base hits off heaters.

De La Rosa, Stephenson square off in Cincinnati

Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will try to keep his roll going in a place that hasn't been kind to him, and Reds righty Robert Stephenson will make his second Major League start when the teams meet at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday in the second game of three.
De La Rosa has an 8.80 ERA in three starts, but he improved to 1-1 by striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings in his last start, a victory over the Giants in a high-scoring game at home. He gave up four runs, three earned. De La Rosa has a 7.42 career ERA in 11 games (five starts) against the Reds.
Stephenson, the Reds' No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to start in place of Alfredo Simon, who has right biceps tendinitis. Stephenson allowed four runs (three earned) in five innings on April 7 against the Phillies in his big league debut. He's made one start for Louisville this season, allowing two runs (one earned) in six innings.
Three things to know
• Catcher Devin Mesoraco, who missed time last week because of a sore quad and sat out Monday, is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday night.
• Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra celebrated his 1,000th Major League game Monday night by making a throw from left field to rob the Reds' Jay Bruce of a possible triple.
• Why not test the best? Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and a deserved reputation. But give Reds fleet center fielder Billy Hamilton props for challenging him with a bunt with one out in the sixth. Arenado made a barehand pickup and threw within the nick of time.

Stroman faces Wright, powerful Orioles offense

Mike Wright's scheduled start Sunday was rained out, so he is set to take the mound against the Blue Jays on Tuesday as the O's pushed back their rotation. In his second outing of the season, Wright is likely to get some run support from a powerful offense, at least if the first 11 games of 2016 are any indication.
Baltimore has hit 23 homers, good for 2.1 blasts per game. An 11-game sample is too small to make any accurate projections, of course, but if the O's could continue that clip all season, they'd easily shatter the all-time team record of 264 set by the Mariners in 1997. Baltimore is on track for 339 homers, and the club hit 16 in just the past week.
"A lot of guys in the lineup can hit the ball a long way," said Nolan Reimold, who went deep Friday night against the Rangers. "We feel like we're never out of the game. The later innings, we can score a lot of runs still. It's a long year, it's still really early, but we know we can put up some runs."
Fresh off a comeback win on Monday in Boston, the Blue Jays will send Marcus Stroman to the mound to try to contain the Baltimore lineup. He's done it before -- he has held Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones to a combined 0-for-9.
Three things to know about this game
• Sunday was the second time that Wright's start was postponed due to bad weather, but the O's elected to send a rested Chris Tillman to the mound for the next game. Wright made his first start of the season against the Red Sox last Tuesday, picking up a win despite allowing four runs over five innings.
• Toronto won 11 of 19 games against Baltimore last season, scoring 118 runs (6.2 per game), the Blue Jays' highest run total against any opponent in 2015. They scored 15 runs to support Stroman the last time he faced the Orioles.
• Camden Yards has not been kind to Jose Bautista, even though he's played there more than any ballpark other than Toronto's Rogers Centre and Pittsburgh's PNC Park, both places he called home. In 74 games at Camden Yards, the Blue Jays slugger has the lowest batting average there (.202) of any park in which he's had more than 100 at-bats.

Yanks, A's seeking better production at plate

When the Yankees and A's start their three-game series in New York on Tuesday, don't be surprised if it isn't the most efficient brand of offensive baseball.
Both clubs have struggled mightily with runners on base. Entering Sunday, the A's had stranded an American League-leading 84 runners and were batting just .217 with runners in scoring position. At first glance, the Yanks' numbers are considerably better, but that's only because of the first series of the season. Over the past six games, however, the Yankees are just 4-for-57 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-12 days Friday and Saturday and a 1-for-11 showing Sunday.
If there were pitchers to break out of these slumps against, Michael Pineda of the Yankees and Eric Surkamp of the A's might be the ones. In their careers, opponents are batting .275 and .329 with RISP, respectively, compared to their .221 and .289 career batting averages against with the bases empty.
Three things to know about this game
• After no off-days for 10 days to start the season, the A's will be well-rested, as the team will have played only three of the previous five days entering the opener. The Yankees will be coming in from the opposite side of the spectrum, with Monday the team's first day off in a week. However, that is after three off-days or games postponed in the first eight days of the season.
• Pineda has made three starts against the A's, but never as a Yankee. The tall right-hander faced Oakland three times in 2011 when he was with the Mariners and was impressive, allowing just four runs in 18 innings -- good for an ERA of 2.00 -- and striking out 19. Surkamp has never faced the Yankees.
• The A's have had a lot of success against the Yankees in the past three years. Oakland has won 13 of the 19 contests against the Yankees since 2013 and are 21-17 against the Bronx Bombers since 2011.

Velasquez looks to build on dominant start vs. Mets

After the Mets threw one of their top young arms, Noah Syndergaard, in the opening game of a three-game set against the Phillies, Philadelphia will counter with one of its own Tuesday night.
Vince Velasquez is coming off a historically good start against the Padres on Thursday. The 23-year-old righty joined Max Scherzer, Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden and Luis Tiant as the only pitchers to strike out at least 16 and walk none in a shutout.
Logan Verrett will be making his second -- and likely final -- start in place of Jacob deGrom, who remains in Florida with his wife and newborn son. Verrett departed after six shutout innings last week against the Marlins, his 85 pitches rubbing up against a predetermined limit. If he remains that efficient in Tuesday's game, he should be able to go deeper against the Phillies.
"Every team looks for a guy like that who can, when you need a start due to an injury or due to a sickness or anything else, they can step up and you have enough confidence that they'll get you deep into the game," manager Terry Collins said. "It seems like every time we need him to step up, he does."
Three things to know:
• Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud should return to the lineup Tuesday after sitting out two games with a bruised left elbow -- the byproduct of a hit-by-pitch Saturday in Cleveland.
"He feels much, much better today," Collins said Monday. "I just wanted to give him one more day."
• Including his two solo shots on Monday night, David Wright's 22 home runs at Citizens Bank Park are the most of any visiting player since the park opened in 2003. He'll be looking to extend a 20-game regular-season on-base streak that dates back to Sept. 20, 2015.
• Velasquez is one of three Phillies starters to strike out nine while walking zero in a start this season. Philadelphia is one of five teams since 1900 to have three starters 25-or-under to accomplish such a feat and the last since the 2007 Rays.

Miley makes first start in Cleveland, opposes Carrasco

Wade Miley came into the season having pitched in 27 of the 30 Major League parks, but he's added Safeco Field to that list and now the 30-year-old Mariners southpaw will make his Progressive Field debut in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Miley faces Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco in the opener of a three-game series, with neither veteran having much experience against their opponent.
Carrasco, 29, has started against the Mariners just once, back in 2011 in his first full season. Carrasco threw six innings and allowed just one run on four hits in a 12-3 victory at Safeco. He also threw one-third of an inning of relief in a game against Seattle in '14.
The 6-foot-4 Venezuelan is 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts this year and is coming off a strong eight-inning outing at Tampa Bay when he allowed four hits with one run and eight strikeouts in a 4-1 win.
Miley has also made just one start against the Indians in his six years in the Majors, taking a no-decision in 2014 while with the D-backs when he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in a four-inning outing. The lefty from Louisiana is still looking for his first win with Seattle after going 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA in two starts against the Rangers.
The only park remaining on Miley's bucket list following Tuesday will be Target Field in Minnesota, which the Mariners visit in their final road trip this year in late September.
Miley will be the seventh left-handed starter the Indians have faced in their first 11 games this season. Heading into Sunday, Cleveland was batting .214 against southpaws with a .586 OPS. Outfielders Marlon Byrd and Collin Cowgill, who were added to help against lefty pitching, were a combined 1-for-19 against southpaws through the Tribe's first 10 games.
Three things to know about this game
• Manny Acta, who managed the Indians from 2010-12, returns as the Mariners' third-base coach under new skipper Scott Servais. Acta drew high praise for sending shortstop Ketel Marte home for a key run in a 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium on Saturday when Marte scored from first on a single to center by Robinson Cano.
• Cano, who has five homers in Seattle's first 12 games, is one of the few Mariners with any history against Carrasco. The six-time All-Star second baseman has fared well in three games against the right-hander, hitting .556 (5-for-9) with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs.
• Indians reliever Bryan Shaw allowed nine runs through his first 3 1/3 innings, but manager Terry Francona has no plans of removing him from the setup role. Shaw's velocity is up from a year ago, but his command has been an issue. For now, he will continue to be the main bridge to closer Cody Allen.