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Sunday November 29th, 2020 11:12PM

LEADING OFF: Cardinals emerge from long layoff in Chicago

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

BACK TO WORK ... FINALLY

Remember the St. Louis Cardinals? Finally healthy enough to return to the field after COVID-19 raced through the organization, the Cardinals (2-3) will play for the first time since July 29 when they face the Chicago White Sox in a doubleheader.

The twinbill is one of at least seven St. Louis will play in the coming weeks to make up for lost time. Game 1 on Saturday will be just the sixth of the season for the Cardinals. Every other team in the NL Central has played at least 17 times.

St. Louis will have to find a way to race back into contention without longtime coach Willie McGee. The 61-year-old, a four-time All-Star and the 1985 NL MVP while playing for the Cardinals, has opted out of the remainder of the season. McGee told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he is dealing with high blood pressure and is concerned about how his body would react if he fell ill.

SLUGGER DOWN

The AL East-leading Yankees will have to continue their torrid start without Aaron Judge. The team put the star right fielder is on the injured list retroactive to Wednesday with a strained right calf. Manager Aaron Boone is confident Judge — who leads the majors with nine home runs — will only be out briefly, but it's certain that Judge will miss a three-game series with second-place Tampa Bay next week.

BIEBER BELIEVER

Cleveland's Shane Bieber looks to stay hot against the surprising Detroit Tigers. The 25-year-old is 3-0 with a major league-low 1.63 ERA through four starts, and he has excelled against Detroit during his young career. Bieber is 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA in four starts against the Tigers, including a 2-0 mark with a 1.23 ERA last season.

DEGROM HURTING

The Mets are hoping ace Jacob deGrom (2-0, 2.45) makes a quick return after he was scratched from his scheduled start Friday with neck tightness. The two-time defending Cy Young Award winner said he could have started if necessary, but the team wanted to be cautious. DeGrom is hopeful he can take his next expected turn in the rotation.

MOVING ON UP

Saturday's game between Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs was moved up to an afternoon (2:20 CDT) start due to the threat of inclement weather later in the day. A rainout in Minneapolis on Friday night pushed the Royals and the Twins into a doubleheader starting Saturday afternoon.

GARCIA’S TIME

Nationals fans are about to get their first big league look at middle infield prospect Luis García. The 20-year-old was promoted Friday after the reigning World Series champions sent second baseman Starlin Castro to the injured list with a broken right wrist. García was the youngest player in the Eastern League last season, when he was named the Nationals Minor League Defensive Player of the Year with Double-A Harrisburg.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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