LEADING OFF: Acuña, Braves return to Texas; Arenado appeals
A look at what’s happening around baseball Friday:
Ronald Acuña Jr. has never played the Rangers in Texas, and the Atlanta Braves haven’t visited for a series since September of 2014.
Still, the Braves recently returned star outfielder and his teammates will be on familiar ground for a series in Arlington, Texas, this weekend. They know Globe Life Field well after the park hosted the neutral site NL Championship Series during the pandemic-altered 2020 season.
Atlanta lost that series in seven games to the Dodgers but came back the next year and won a World Series without Acuña, who tore his ACL during the regular season. Acuña rejoined Atlanta on Thursday ahead of schedule.
Braves third-base coach Ron Washington was the Texas manager from 2007-14 and is sure to get a friendly welcome back.
STILL IN THERE
Cardinals star Nolan Arenado remains with St. Louis after appealing his two-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in a brawl against the Mets this week.
Arenado was punished Thursday but opted to appeal, keeping him in the lineup against Arizona until the appeal is heard. Arenado is off to one of the best starts of his career and leads the NL in slugging percentage at .703.
Cardinals pitcher Génesis Cabrera was banned one game by MLB and served his suspension Thursday — a day after the reliever pitched two innings.
Nestor Cortes and the streaking Yankees travel to Kansas City to open a three-game series. The left-handed Cortes is following up a breakout 2021 with an even more stellar season, posting a 1.15 ERA through three starts with 25 strikeouts and three walks in 15 2/3 innings.
New York has won six straight and eight of nine as its hitters have shaken off early season rust with a string of slugfests. The Yankees have reached double-digit runs three times in four games after failing to top six runs through their first 15 contests.
The Marlins have surged into second place in the NL East with five straight wins heading into a home series against Seattle. At 10-8, the franchise is above .500 during April for the first time since 2017. Other than the 60-game, pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Miami last finished with a winning record in 2009.
Reds fans will have a close eye on rookie starter Hunter Greene against Colorado after the fireballer wasn’t so hot in his previous start. Five days after throwing an unprecedented 39 pitches over 100 mph against the Dodgers, Greene topped out at just 97.2 mph last week against St. Louis.
Cincinnati says there isn’t a health concern with the 22-year-old, but the team did give him an extra day of rest between starts. Greene is 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA through three starts with the Reds, who are an MLB-worst 3-16 and could use some good news.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports