St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter celebrates his second home run of the game off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

LEADING OFF: Cards' Carpenter on tear; will Mets make moves?

July 21, 2018 - 2:07 am

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


A day after hitting three homers and two doubles in just six innings, Cardinals slugger Matt Carpenter tries to torment the Cubs over a doubleheader. Carpenter drove in seven before getting pulled early in St. Louis' 18-5 thrashing at Wrigley Field on Friday. He tied the major league record for extra-base hits in a game, and became the first player to do it in just six innings. He'll look to inflict more damage against starters Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 5.04) and Mike Montgomery (3-3, 3.91).


The Mets could have a busy Saturday beyond their scheduled Subway Series game against the Yankees. Closer Jeurys Familia was held out of a tight game Friday night, and manager Mickey Callaway said it was because New York was nearing a trade to send Familia to a contender. Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes is contemplating season-ending surgery on his balky heels, and he said recovery from the operation would take 8-to-10 months. He's playing through the injury for now and homered in his return from the DL on Friday.

Then there's ace Jacob deGrom, who said Friday that his preference is to remain with the Mets amid speculation that he could be traded. "I want to win here," he said, adding that he hopes "the feeling is mutual."


Big Sexy might look more like Big Sweaty in Texas.

Bartolo Colon, the Rangers' portly 45-year-old right-hander, pitches on a weekend featuring record heat in Arlington. The Rangers opened a series against Cleveland on Friday night with a first-pitch temperature of 107 degrees, the highest ever at the start of a game at Texas' 25-year-old ballpark. The expected high Saturday is 109 degrees, with the teams set to play at night. The forecast during Sunday afternoon's finale calls for a high of 108. The hottest temperature for a game this season is 108 degrees, set when the Angels hosted the Dodgers on July 7.

Colon is making his third attempt to break a tie with Dennis Martinez for the most wins in the majors by a native of Latin America. Colon and Martinez each have 245 victories.


The Braves are being cautious with All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies after he was pulled Friday with right hamstring tightness, likely holding him out for a couple of days to recover. The 21-year-old returned from the All-Star break leading the NL in at-bats (405) and runs (74), and he was tied for the league lead in doubles (29) with teammate and fellow All-Star Nick Markakis. Albies is batting .283 with 20 home runs and 55 RBIs. Atlanta will continue a series against the Nationals.


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