LEADING OFF: La Russa faces Cards, Turnbull next after no-no
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
LA RUSSA REUNION
White Sox manager Tony La Russa will see plenty of familiar faces when his AL Central leaders host his longtime team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 76-year-old Hall of Fame skipper guided the Cardinals from 1996-2011, reaching the playoffs nine times and winning two World Series championships. Out of the majors for nearly a decade, he returned to the dugout this season with Chicago.
La Russa sounded eager to see Cards catcher Yadier Molina and the rest of the Redbirds and their classic uniforms.
“I think it’s the common-sense stuff, it’s you recognize the birds with the bat,” La Russa said Sunday. “There are guys there, several guys that were teammates, but they’re guys in the coaching staff that I know really well.”
La Russa praised St. Louis manager Mike Shildt, whose club leads the NL Central.
“Mike was a teammate starting in 2000 through 2004. Mike Shildt came in the organization in player development and over the years watched him grow, minor league manager of the year. And really, really impressed. No surprise that he’s successful as a manager because you watched him go from rookie to A ball and so forth, Double-A won the championship. He has a knack of guys responding to his leadership,” La Russa said.
Lance Lynn (4-1, 1.55 ERA) is scheduled to start for the White Sox. The 34-year-old righty was a rookie when he pitched in relief in the final game that La Russa managed for the Cardinals -- a Game 7 victory over Texas for the 2011 crown.
Spencer Turnbull (3-2, 2.88 ERA) pitches at home for the Detroit Tigers against Cleveland in his first start since throwing a no-hitter last Tuesday in Seattle.
The next night, Corey Kluber twirled a gem of his own for the Yankees at Texas -- making it six no-hitters in the majors already this year. The most in any season since 1900 is seven.
Kluber (4-2, 2.86) goes Tuesday at home against Toronto.
Can those two combine for something special on back-to-back nights again? The only pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters was Johnny Vander Meer for the Cincinnati Reds in 1938.
FERNANDO CLEANS UP
Fernando Tatis Jr. has been on a tear since Padres manager Jayce Tingler moved the dynamic shortstop into the cleanup spot.
Batting fourth in four games since coming back from a case of COVID-19, Tatis has gone 11 for 14 with four homers, 12 RBIs, four doubles, three walks and three stolen bases.
Tatis hit a grand slam and solo homer, finishing with six RBIs as San Diego routed Seattle 9-2 Sunday to sweep a nine-game homestand. The Padres took three-game sets from St. Louis, Colorado and the Mariners. Overall, they have won 12 of 13 games.
Blake Snell (1-0, 3.79) is scheduled to start the opener of a four-game series at Milwaukee.
Austin Meadows and the Tampa Bay Rays try for their 11th straight win when they close out Toronto’s stay in Dunedin, Florida.
Meadows, Manuel Margot and Mike Brosseau drew consecutive bases-loaded walks with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday to rally the Rays past the Blue Jays 6-4.
The comeback win lifted Tampa Bay into a first-place tie with Boston in the AL East.
The Blue Jays have been playing home games this season at TD Ballpark, going 10-10 at their spring training stadium. After this game, they will relocate to their Triple-A facility in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are not allowed to play in Toronto due to COVID-19 restrictions in Canada.
LHP Ryan Yarbrough (2-3) gets the start for the Rays. Tampa Bay’s longest streak is 12, set in 2004 when the team was called the Devil Rays.
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