LEADING OFF: Scherzer vs. Giants, Kuechel vs. Rangers
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A look at what's happening all around the majors Sunday:
Max Scherzer will start the second game of the Washington Nationals' day-night doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, well, because he feels like it. Manager Dusty Baker said Scherzer preferred to pitch at night, so the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner will get the ball for the 7:05 p.m. start after A.J. Cole starts at 1:05 p.m. "You have to kind of acquiesce to what the aces want to do," Baker said. "And until the other guys are aces, they have to adjust to your aces."
Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel faces Texas while trying to bounce back from his first two losses of the season, making his fourth start since returning from his second stint on the DL caused by a neck injury. He pitched six shutout innings in his only start against the Rangers this season, a 7-1 win on June 2. That was his last start before spending nearly two months on the DL. Keuchel allowed eight runs and 10 hits in four innings in his last start, an 8-5 defeat to the Chicago White Sox that started the Astros' season-high four-game losing streak.
Two pitchers who have been on a roll face off when the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks close a three-game series. Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta is 4-2 with a 2.18 ERA in seven starts since July 2, while Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts.
UNDER THE LIGHTS
Left-hander Chris Sale leads the majors with 229 strikeouts going into Sunday night's start at Yankee Stadium. He is 3-0 in his last five starts — he hasn't given up a run in four of them. Left-hander Jordan Montgomery is scheduled to start for New York, a day after he was hit on the head by a fly ball while he signed autographs as the Red Sox took batting practice. He bled from a cut on his ear.
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