LEADING OFF: Greinke debuts for Houston, Foltynewicz returns

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


Zack Greinke makes his Houston debut, joining an Astros rotation that is on quite a roll. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, newcomer Aaron Sanchez and the starters for the AL West leaders are 14-1 in their last 17 games — the Astros held Seattle to a total of seven hits in a three-game sweep over the weekend, including a combined no-hitter.

Greinke (10-4, 2.90 ERA) was acquired from Arizona on Wednesday. He’ll see a lot of familiar faces when he starts against Colorado at Minute Maid Park.

Trevor Story has hit five home runs off Greinke, tied with Carlos Gonzalez and Jason Giambi for the most against the right-hander. Rockies star Nolan Arenado, however, hasn’t homered in 75 at-bats vs. Greinke.


Mike Foltynewicz returns to the Atlanta rotation after getting demoted to the minors. He’ll start against the AL Central-leading Twins at Target Field.

A 13-game winner and an All-Star for the Braves in 2018, he struggled to regain that form after battling elbow trouble in spring training. He was sent to Triple-A on June 22 after going 2-5 with a 6.37 ERA in 11 starts.

The Braves have struggled to fill the last spot in their rotation behind Dallas Keuchel, Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Julio Teheran. Foltynewicz is one of six other pitchers who have started for Atlanta, a group that’s gone a combined 6-16 with a 6.73 ERA.

Foltynewicz will take the place of Kevin Gausman, who was claimed on waivers by Cincinnati. Gausman was 3-7 with a 6.19 ERA.


Jake Arrieta (8-8, 4.44 ERA) starts for the Phillies, seeing how the bone spurs in his right elbow are feeling. He was forced to leave his previous outing in the fifth inning because of the nagging problems. Arrieta has thrown a total of 19 2/3 innings in his last four starts.

Arrieta pitches at Arizona in a matchup of NL wild-card contenders. Mike Leake (9-8, 4.27) makes his first start since the Diamondbacks got him last week in a trade with Seattle.


The Cubs plan to take a closer-by-committee approach after putting Craig Kimbrel on the 10-day injured list because of inflammation in his right knee.

Kimbrel is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA and nine saves in 14 games. He got a late start this year after he finalized a $43 million, three-year deal with Chicago in June.

Manager Joe Maddon mentioned Steve Cishek, who has 132 career saves, Brandon Kintzler, rookie Rowan Wick and Kyle Ryan as possibilities to finish games. Pedro Strop also is progressing after going on the IL with neck tightness.

The NL Central leaders also will be without All-Star catcher Willson Contreras for four weeks because of a strained right hamstring. He is batting .275 with 19 homers and 57 RBIs in 87 games.

The Cubs are hosting Oakland this week.


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