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LEADING OFF: Stanton tries to break slump, Freeman injured

LEADING OFF: Stanton tries to break slump, Freeman injured
The Associated Press

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

SLUMPING STANTON

Giancarlo Stanton looks to make an impact in pinstripes when New York opens a series against Toronto at Yankee Stadium. Stanton is 3 for 35 (.086) with 20 strikeouts in the Bronx this season, and he has been regularly booed by the home fans. Manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday he’d consider sliding Stanton slightly down in the batting order to get the 2017 NL MVP rolling.

NOT AGAIN

The Braves are hoping for good news on star slugger Freddie Freeman a day after a scary — and all-too-familiar looking — hit-by-pitch. Phillies lefty Holby Milner hit Freeman’s left wrist with a fastball in nearly the same spot where Freeman had a fracture from a plunking last season. Freeman was on an MVP pace in 2017 before the injury cost him nearly two months. Manager Brian Snitker did not have an update on Freeman’s status as of Wednesday night.

OHTANI IN ACTION?

Two days after exiting a start with a blister on his pitching hand, Shohei Ohtani will be available to DH for the Angels against the Red Sox, though Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia wouldn’t commit to batting the two-way Japanese sensation. Scioscia says Ohtani’s inclusion will depend on lineup considerations, and the lefty-hitting Ohtani may not be Scioscia’s preferred matchup against Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. Ohtani is batting .367 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in eight games.

TAKE IT ON THE ROAD

At 6-0, the Mets are the only big league club still unbeaten on the road this season, a mark they’ll try to maintain as they begin a 10-game road trip in Atlanta. Yoenis Cespedes powered New York past Washington on Wednesday night, hitting a grand slam during a nine-run eighth inning rally that helped the Mets improve to an NL East-leading 13-4. Matt Harvey will start the opener against the Braves still seeking his first win of the season.

TOUGH BUC

Emerging Pirates ace Jameson Taillon (2-0, 0.89 ERA) takes a 15-inning scoreless streak into a start against Philadelphia. The 26-year-old threw a one-hit shutout against Cincinnati on April 8, and then followed that with six sharp innings against Miami in a 1-0 win last time out. He’ll take on 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta (1-0, 3.38 ERA).

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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