LEADING OFF: Dodgers-Giants, Yankees-Rays, Rangers reeling

Sports
Julio Urias

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws to a San Francisco Giants batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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HERE WE GO AGAIN

The Dodgers and Giants are back at it, renewing their long-standing rivalry in San Francisco with left-hander Julio Urias (12-3, 3.63 ERA) on the mound for Los Angeles against Logan Webb (4-3, 3.54) in the opener of a three-game series.

San Francisco took three of four at Dodger Stadium last week and leads the NL West by two games over the defending World Series champions.

TAMPA HEAT

After losing three of four in Boston last weekend, the New York Yankees play another AL East rival on the road when they begin a critical three-game series at Tampa Bay.

New York (51-47) is facing some important decisions with Friday’s trade deadline looming, and owner Hal Steinbrenner, who lives in the area, likely will be in attendance at Tropicana Field.

Yankees All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Kyle Higashioka took another step toward returning from the COVID-19 injured list by taking batting practice Monday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. First baseman Luke Voit, on the IL with left knee inflammation, also took part in the workout at the Yankees’ spring training complex. With manager Aaron Boone present, Judge went through defensive drills in right field as well.

Judge and Higashioka, placed on the injured list July 16, are expected back during the series against the Rays.

New York is 9 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston and eight back of the second-place Rays, but much closer in the hunt for the second AL wild card.

NEW ADDITION

All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier could make his San Diego debut when the Padres host Oakland. Frazier was traded from the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates to playoff-contending San Diego for three minor leaguers on Monday.

Frazier was the National League starter in the All-Star Game this month. He leads the majors with 125 hits and is batting .324. He’ll join a potent Padres infield that includes fellow 2021 All-Stars Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth, plus 2016 All-Star and four-time Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer.

The Padres plan to play Frazier both at second base and in the outfield, at least initially.

Pittsburgh is receiving infielder Tucupita Marcano, outfielder Jack Suwinski and right-hander Michell Miliano in the swap. Pittsburgh is sending $1,403,575 to the Padres in the deal, accounting for most of the remaining $1,572,043 in Frazier’s $4.3 million salary.

PLAYING CATCH-UP

The Texas Rangers try to snap a 12-game losing streak when they return home to start a two-game interleague series against Arizona.

During their skid, the Rangers have completed 105 consecutive innings without even holding a lead.

“It’s the toughest situation I’ve ever been a part of, and I know a lot of these guys can honestly say the same thing,” manager Chris Woodward said.

The 105-inning stretch is the longest in franchise history and the longest such streak in the majors in more than a half-century.

While losing all 10 games on their three-city trip coming out of the All-Star break, the Rangers trailed at the end of 76 of 86 innings played and they were tied the other 10. Texas had also lost at home in its last two games before the break.

Texas (35-65) is 30 games below .500 in the first 100 games of a season for only the third time in franchise history.

The Diamondbacks, with an MLB-worst 31-70 record, and Baltimore are the only teams with fewer wins than the Rangers.

Texas is on pace for its first 100-loss season since 1973.

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