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Sunday September 25th, 2022 3:21AM

LEADING OFF: Yankees arms dominate early, Scherzer nipped

By The Associated Press
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A look at what's happening around the majors on Sunday:

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EARLY RISER

Yankees pitching has been overwhelming early in games recently, and Jordan Montgomery will try to extend their dominance in an early tilt against the Tigers.

New York will host Detroit for an unusual 11:30 a.m. start, part of an experiment to stream games beginning before noon on Peacock.

Yankees starters have covered at least six innings in nine straight games, their best stretch since a nine-game run in 2016, and the last three games have been among the best. Jameson Taillon retired the first 21 hitters Thursday night against the Angels, Gerrit Cole set down his first 20 batters Friday night against Detroit and Luis Severino combined with two relievers on a one-hitter Saturday.

Montgomery (1-1, 3.04) will face right-hander Rony Garcia (0-1, 4.70) in the series finale.

SCHERZER NIPPED

Max Scherzer says, yes, one of his dogs bit his pitching hand this week. But the Mets ace is assuring everyone the wound won’t slow his recovery from an oblique strain.

Scherzer has been out since May 18 and isn’t expected back until at least late June. On Twitter, he confirmed that Rafi — a mixed breed rescue — nicked him.

“Just clearing up a few things,” Scherzer wrote. “My dog Rafi hurt her leg on a run. She was howling in pain and I went to calm her down by putting my hands on her. When I did that she bit my right hand. Fortunately it wasn’t a bad bite. I took one day off from throwing and was able to long toss the next day. This will have no effect on my rehab and this is literally a non story.”

Scherzer is 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his first season with New York after signing a $130 million, three-year deal in December.

It was the second bizarre injury for the NL East leaders in a week. Shortstop Francisco Lindor got his right hand caught in a hotel door and fractured the tip of his middle finger.

HOOPLA

Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox will try to sweep at the A's at the Coliseum, adding to what's already been a successful trip by Boston teams to the Bay Area this week.

The Bosox have won the first two games of the series, boosted by strong efforts from their starting pitchers.

Hours after the Red Sox-Athletics game begins, the Boston Celtics will try to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals when they play the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco.

GOOD AS GOLD

Cardinals star Paul Goldschmidt is back to square one after ending a 25-game hitting streak Saturday.

The six-time All-Star went 0 for 2 with two walks in a 6-1 loss to the Cubs to open a doubleheader, falling one game short of matching the longest hitting streak of his career. He didn’t stay off the board long, singling and scoring in his second at-bat in the nightcap.

Veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright (5-4, 2.75) is set to start the Sunday night game for St. Louis against Chicago lefty Justin Steele (1-5, 5.40).

STINGY STARTERS

Rangers left-hander Martin Perez faces Seattle in a series finale, his first start in June. He was chosen the American League pitcher of the month for May, when he was 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA (three earned runs in 42 1/3 innings) in six starts.

Perez (4-2, MLB-best 1.42 ERA) has eight consecutive starts of at least six innings while allowing no more than one earned run — a club record. He hasn’t allowed a homer in 66 1/3 consecutive innings going back to last season, the longest active streak in the majors.

According to STATS, Hall of Famer pitchers Walter Johnson (1913-14) and Bob Gibson (1968) are the only other players since 1913, when ERA became an official stat, to make eight consecutive starts of at least six innings while giving up no more than one earned run and no homers.

Rookie right-hander George Kirby (1-1, 3.46) pitches for the Mariners, five days after getting his first MLB victory with six scoreless innings against Baltimore. His big league debut was at Tampa Bay on May 8, when he became the first pitcher in Mariners history with six scoreless innings in his MLB debut.

BACK AGAIN

Padres righty Mike Clevinger will come off the injured list to pitch at Milwaukee, hoping to come out of this start unscathed.

Clevinger began the season on the injured list while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. He was activated in May, then went back on the IL on May 22 with a strained right triceps.

Clevinger is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in three starts this season. He was a top pitcher in the American League when Cleveland traded him to the Padres in August 2020.

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

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