Here are five interesting stories in Major League Baseball this week:
The Giants have the longest current winning streak in the majors at five, and open a three-game series with the Padres in San Diego starting Tuesday. Lined up to face the Padres are: Madison Bumgarner (4-2, 2.72 ERA), Johnny Cueto (5-1, 2.97) and Jeff Samardzija (5-2, 2.88).
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The task gets a little tougher for the Giants on Friday, when the Chicago Cubs come to A&T Park for the start of a three-game series. Jake Peavy (1-4, 7.43) will face Jake Arrieta (7-0, 1.29) in the opener. Matt Cain (0-5, 5.87) draws Jon Lester (4-2, 1.88) in Game 2, and Bumgarner takes on Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.03) in the finale.
Rematch of 2001 Series
The Yankees and Diamondbacks face each other in Arizona with a lot less on the line than in 2001. Arizona beat New York 4-3 in the Fall Classic that year, winning it all on a walkoff single by Luis Gonzalez.
The franchises are in much different positions now, as the Yankees (16-20) are in last place in the American League East while Arizona (17-23) is in last place in the National League West.
What will Valencia do next?
Danny Valencia of the A’s hit five home runs over the weekend against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. – two in a win on Friday and three in a win on Sunday. What will the A’s third baseman do for an encore?
The 16-22 A’s host a three-game series with the 22-16 Texas Rangers starting Monday. The A’s trail the first-place Rangers in the American League West by six games.
The Rangers are coming off a brawlgame with the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. Toronto’s Jose Bautista slid hard into second after being hit by a pitch, and was cold-cocked by Texas’ Rougned Odor. The benches cleared and plenty of pushing and shoving ensued.
After the Texas series, the A’s host the reeling Yankees for four.
What will Scherzer do next?
Washington right-hander Max Scherzer struck out 20 batters in his last outing, which tied the major-league record for K’s in a nine-inning effort.
Scherzer (4-2, 4.15) will face the Mets and Noah Syndergaard (3-2, 2.53) when the teams open a three-game series in New York on Tuesday.
The Red Sox (24-14) enter a three-game series against the Royals in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday having won seven of eight. During that stretch, Boston scored 78 runs – an average of 9.75 runs per game.
The defending champion Royals are scuffling a bit at 18-19, and are 5 1/2 games out of first place in the American League Central.
Compiled by Chris La Marr