Here are five interesting stories in Major League Baseball this week:
Maybin’s back in a big way
Detroit Tigers outfielder Cameron Maybin couldn’t start his season until last week due to a wrist injury.
He’s making up for lost time in a big way. Since starting his season Monday, Maybin has hit safely in all six games, going 12 for 20 (.600) with a home run, five RBIs, five runs and four stolen bases as the Tigers have gone 5-1.
“He’s a very positive guy and uplifting,” Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez told The Associated Press. “... Just having that kind of guy in this clubhouse and back on the team I think definitely gave us a little extra – just knowing how to have fun again.”
Bradley is still streaking
With a single to right field on Sunday, Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 27 games, the longest in the majors this season.
Bradley, who hasn’t gone hitless since April 23, has raised his average from .271 to .342 during the streak. He has nine multihit games, including a six-game stretch that ran May 8-13.
According to The Associated Press, Dom DiMaggio owns the longest Red Sox hitting streak of 34 games in 1949.
Who’s the king of the hill?
There’s a lot of good pitching in the major leagues. But who’s the best? These guys made solid arguments for themselves this week:
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs: Arrieta improved to a National League-best 8-0 with an 8-1 victory over the host Giants on Friday. In winning his 19th consecutive decision (and the 22nd in a row for the Cubs when Arrieta starts), he dropped his ERA to 1.29, best in the majors.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: Kershaw struck out at least 10 batters for a franchise-record sixth consecutive outing and improved to 4-0 in May in a 5-1 win over the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday. Kershaw (6-1) has a 1.67 ERA this season.
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox: Sale threw a four-hitter Thursday, becoming the first major leaguer since 2008 (Brandon Webb, Arizona) to win his first nine starts in a 2-1 win over the visiting Houston Astros. The Associated Press reports that Sale joined the New York Giants’ Sal Maglie (1952) as the only pitchers to win their first nine starts with sub-2.00 ERAs in major league history.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: The right-hander picked up victories over the Washington Nationals and ace Max Scherzer on Tuesday and the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. Syndergaard (5-2) threw seven innings in each outing, allowed no earned runs, struck out 21 and lowered his ERA from 2.53 to 1.94.
‘The Freak’ is heading south
The Los Angeles Angels are taking a chance on Tim Lincecum, the two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner who is coming off major hip surgery and looking to restart his career.
He signed a $2.5 million, one-year deal Friday, eight months after his surgery. He didn’t pitch after June 27 last year with the Giants because of injuries.
“I’m anxious, excited and a little nervous,” Lincecum told The Associated Press. “I’m pumped to see what I can do out there on the field. I know what I’m fighting for and that’s to get back to a starting role.”
Darvish to return on Saturday
According to the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, Yu Darvish will make his first start with the Texas Rangers on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Globe Life Park, manager Jeff Banister confirmed Sunday morning.
It will be the first time the right-hander has pitched in a regular-season game for the Rangers since Aug. 9, 2014. That season was cut short because of arm soreness and the following spring he had Tommy John surgery.
Darvish made his fifth and final minor league rehab start Sunday with the Double-A Frisco (Texas) RoughRiders. He threw six innings at Dr Pepper Ballpark against the San Antonio Missions and left the game with a 7-0 lead.
Compiled by Noel Harris