LEADING OFF: Harper healing after fastball to face

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Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper, right, is helped off the field after getting hit by a pitch during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Joe Puetz)

A look at what's happening around the majors Thursday:



Phillies star Bryce Harper says he's feeling fine after being hit in the face by a 96.9 mph fastball Wednesday. Harper was drilled in the left cheek by Cardinals left-hander Génesis Cabrera’s first pitch in the sixth inning of a 5-3 victory. The All-Star slugger picked himself up and walked off the field, blood dripping from a cut on the side of his nose.

“Everything feels good,” Harper said in a video he posted to Instagram. He said he got a CT scan and other testing and “Everything came back good.”

He appeared to have only minor swelling and bruising in the video he sent to social media.

Philadelphia is slated to wrap up a four-game series in St. Louis.


The Dodgers and Brewers begin a four-game set between NL division leaders in Milwaukee. NL West-leading Los Angeles swept the Brewers in a first-round postseason series last year en route to a World Series title and also knocked out Milwaukee in the 2018 NL Championship Series. Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer (3-0, 2.53) will start the opener for the Dodgers against Eric Lauer, making his season debut for the NL Central leaders.


Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan is set for his first regular season appearance after making his big league debut during last year’s postseason. Among the top prospects in Tampa Bay’s loaded farm system, McClanahan will start against Oakland a day after his 24th birthday. He allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 relief innings in the 2020 playoffs for the AL champions. Prior to that, he’d made just four starts above Class A.


The Tigers and White Sox are slated for a straight doubleheader after their game Wednesday night was postponed by rain. Detroit right-hander Casey Mize and Chicago left-hander Carlos Rodón were pushed back to pitch in the first game Thursday while left-hander Matthew Boyd and right-hander Dylan Cease will start in the second game.


Martín Pérez tries to keep up an unexpected trend -- dominant starting pitching from the Red Sox. Garrett Richards pitched seven one-run innings against the Mets on Tuesday, and Nick Pivetta followed with five scoreless to start against New York on Wednesday. Boston’s starting pitchers have a 4.09 ERA this season, way down from their 5.34 mark in 2020, which was third worst in the AL.

Pérez (0-1, 5.71) is scheduled to face the Rangers -- his old club -- in the opener of a four-game series. Texas right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-0, 2.30) has allowed one earned run or fewer in his past four starts.


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