LEADING OFF: Virus, Gulf Coast storm force sked shuffling

Sports

The Washington Nationals play the New York Mets during the third inning of a baseball game at Citi Field Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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

SCHEDULE SHIFTS

Pete Alonso and the Mets will be back in action for the first time since two members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19. The infections caused postponements of a game Thursday in Miami and the entire three-game weekend series against the Yankees at Citi Field.

Michael Conforto and the Mets will start making up the misses this week. They’ll host the Marlins in a doubleheader on Tuesday, then play twinbills at Yankee Stadium on Friday and Sunday.

The Astros, meanwhile, have reshuffled their series against Mike Trout and the Angels because of Tropical Storm Laura. The game that was supposed to be played Thursday will now be part of a doubleheader Tuesday. And Wednesday’s game was changed from night to a daytime start.

Major League Baseball said more schedule changes are possible depending on the storm’s path.

BIG NUMBERS

Yankees ace Gerrit Coles tries to set an AL record with his 21st straight win in the regular season. He’ll go for the mark when he starts at Atlanta. Cole’s 20-game string matches Roger Clemens for the longest in AL history. Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell holds the major league mark of 24. … Cleveland ace Shane Bieber is off to a blazing start going into this start at home against Minnesota. He’s 5-0 with a 1.11 ERA and has struck out 65 in only 40 2/3 innings.

SMALL NUMBERS

The addition of the designated hitter in the National League has skewed a lot of stats across the majors this season. With no pitchers batting, sacrifice bunts and intentional walks are down — several clubs have a zero in one of those columns this year.

But only one team hasn’t issued a single intentional walk or put down even one sac bunt so far in 2020.

So what’s it going to be, manager Rick Renteria of the Chicago White Sox? Which do your call for first this season?

The White Sox, incidentally, had 36 sacrifices and 13 intentional walks last year.

CUBS RETURN

The Cubs’ pitching staff gets a boost with Tyler Chatwood and José Quintana set to come off the injured list. Chatwood is lined up to start the game at Detroit and Quintana will begin his return in the bullpen.

Chatwood was 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts before the NL Central leaders before being sidelined by a back problem. Quintana has not pitched this season because of a thumb injury — the left-hander has won 13 games in each of his last two years with Chicago.

HERE COMES THE JUDGE

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was expected to be back in the lineup when New York opens a series at Atlanta. The All-Star outfielder has had his share of health setbacks over the years and was on the injured list this month with a strained calf.

Judge was off to a hammering start, leading the majors with nine home runs and tied at the top with 20 RBIs when he was hurt.

The Yankees haven’t played since Thursday. Their weekend series at Citi Field was wiped out when two members of the Mets organization tested positive for the virus.

FRANCONA OUT

Cleveland manager Terry Francona will miss the three-game series against Minnesota this week while he continues to deal with health issues.

The 61-year-old skipper had another procedure Friday at the Cleveland Clinic to address a gastrointestinal condition that has bothered him for nearly a year. He had already missed 17 games going into this AL Central matchup at Progressive Field.

First base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. has been filling in for Francona.

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