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Saturday December 16th, 2017 11:58AM

LEADING OFF: Rangers roll into road trip, Wood good for LA

By The Associated Press
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A look at what's happening all around the majors today:

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ROLLING RANGERS

The Rangers take the longest winning streak in the majors into a series at Detroit. Texas has won nine straight, including eight games during a homestand that ended Wednesday, powering their way to a 22-20 record following an abysmal start. Nick Martinez (0-2, 5.04) will pitch the opener against Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.34).

STRIKEOUT KING

Chris Sale goes for his eighth straight double-digit strikeout game when the Boston Red Sox take on the Oakland Athletics. Sale already has one streak of eight straight double-digit strikeout games in 2015 for the White Sox. The only other player with at least 10 strikeouts in eight straight starts was Pedro Martinez for Boston in 1999.

DODGERS BLUES

Justin Turner and the Dodgers are hoping for good news after tests Friday on the third baseman's right hamstring. Turner was injured running the bases Thursday night, and manager Dave Roberts said he was "optimistic" the injury won't be too serious because Turner still had some strength. In better news, left-hander Alex Wood (4-0, 2.27) has been overpowering of late, striking out 21 over 11 scoreless innings. He'll pitch against Miami's Justin Nicolino (0-0, 1.50).

HOME REMEDY?

The Mets return to Citi Field for six games after going 0-6 at Milwaukee and Arizona, their longest winless road trip since 1999. New York has lost seven consecutive games overall, a streak it will try to end when right-hander Jacob deGrom (2-1, 4.07) opposes Angels righty Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 4.34). Los Angeles has won four straight, and reigning AL MVP Mike Trout has homered five times in six games.

BUILDING UP

Toronto's Aaron Sanchez and Baltimore's Chris Tillman square off in a battle of pitchers not far removed from injuries. Sanchez (0-1, 2.95) pitched five solid innings against Seattle in his return from the disabled list Sunday after missing time with a blister. He threw just 78 pitches in the 3-2 win, allowing five hits and an unearned run. Tillman (1-0, 2.89) has made two starts since recovering from right shoulder bursitis, but hasn't thrown more than five innings in a game yet.

NERD IS THE WORD

Nerd Power is alive and well with Milwaukee. Eric Sogard has been a driving force behind the Brewers' ascent atop of the NL Central this week. Recalled from Triple-A last Friday, Sogard has two homers and is hitting .476, including four-hit games Wednesday and Thursday in wins over San Diego. Standing 5-foot-9 with black-framed glasses, Sogard was a fan favorite in Oakland for his hardly-intimidating look, and Milwaukee has quickly adopted the #NerdPower battle cry.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
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