A look at what’s happening around the majors Friday:
BACK ON THE HILL
Astros rookie Luis Garcia will start against the Red Sox in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series with a trip to the World Series on the line.
Garcia started Game 2 and gave up a grand slam in the first inning before leaving with no outs in the second because of discomfort in his right knee. Manager Dusty Baker announced Thursday that Garcia would get the ball for Game 6, saying the Astros are confident the problem is behind Garcia and he’ll be 100% healthy for Friday’s start.
Nathan Eovaldi will start for Boston. He came through on Saturday in Game 2, pitching 5 1/3 innings for the win, but he faltered out of the bullpen in Game 4 on Tuesday and allowed four runs while retiring just two batters.
”I don’t think there’s any limitations,” he said. ”My arm feels good, and mentally I’m going to be ready and prepared for this game.”
Boston’s bats have gone ice cold after a blistering couple of games in the ALCS. The Red Sox tallied 21 runs on 22 hits over Games 2 and 3, including seven homers.
They added two more runs in the first inning of Game 4, then seemingly hit a wall, scoring one run on seven hits in 17 innings since.
Kike Hernandez, who had 18 hits in his first eight games this postseason, has dropped into a 1-for-10 slide, and Kyle Schwarber is 1 for 12 over the past three games.
Jorge Soler is back in the fold trying to help the Braves chase a World Series title after missing time following a positive COVID-19 test.
Soler, who is vaccinated, was pulled from the lineup for Game 4 of the NL Division Series against Milwaukee last week. The Braves beat the Brewers 5-4 to clinch the best-of-five playoff and advanced to the NL Championship Series against the Dodgers.
Soler hit a combined .223 with 27 homers and 70 RBIs with Kansas City and the Braves during the regular season.
”That’s a great weapon off the bench,” manager Brian Snitker said. ”He’s been working out on his own, so I think he’s good to go.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone lost a fourth member of his staff when New York announced Thursday that first base coach and outfield instructor Reggie Willits will leave at the end of the year to become a volunteer assistant for Oklahoma’s college baseball program.
A native of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Willits played for Oklahoma in 2002-03 and coached Binger-Oney High School to Oklahoma state championships in 2013-14.
A former major leaguer, Willits had been with the Yankees for seven years, the last four as first base coach and outfield instructor.
Following the Yankees’ loss to Boston in the AL wild-card game, the team fired third base coach Phil Nevin, hitting coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere.
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