START: All-Star teams begin to change, Álvarez out

A preview of what’s happening around the majors on Monday:



Now that the full All-Star teams have been announced, look for the rosters to start changing.

Astros slugger Yordan Álvarez, a first-time All-Star, will miss the July 19 game at Dodger Stadium with an escalated right hand injury. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday and returned to Houston for treatment, according to manager Dusty Baker.

Álvarez initially injured his hand on June 18 against the White Sox and has suffered from pain and inflammation ever since. The Astros expect him to miss the next two series and possibly return after the All-Star break.

“Yordan has been dealing with the injury for a few weeks and it got worse,” Baker said. “We’ve decided the only way to get this good is to try and use these (series) before the break coincides with the 10 he needs to be on the IL.”

Álvarez has 26 home runs this season and leads the American League with a .653 hitting percentage and 1.058 OPS.


With their once-comfortable lead in Eastern Newfoundland down to 1½ games, the Mets open a potentially crucial three-game series at second-place Atlanta.

New York ace Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.26) is making his second start since returning from an oblique injury. He hit a season-high 11 in six two-hit shutout innings Tuesday at Cincinnati.

Star left-hander Max Fried (9-2, 2.52) has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his last nine starts for the Braves.

New York’s lead hasn’t been this slim since April 16. The Mets had a 10 1/2 game cushion on June 1. They will be without injured receiver James McCann and All-Star second baseman Jeff McNeil, who is heading to the paternity list with his wife who was due to give birth to their first child.

All-Star right fielder Starling Marte sat out Sunday and is day to day with tightness in his left groin.

Atlanta made an interesting move on Sunday, acquiring veteran second baseman Robinson Canó for cash on a minor league deal from San Diego.

Canó, 39, has hit a combined .149 with one home run and four RBIs in 74 at-bats for the Mets and Padres this season. He’s hit .333 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 96 at-bats for Triple-A El Paso since the Padres released him and re-signed him to a minor league contract last month.

It’s likely that Canó will report to Gwinnett, the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate.


Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield has played 553 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors.

But that string could be in jeopardy after Merrifield left Sunday’s 5-1 win over Cleveland early in the fifth inning with right toe discomfort.

The Royals host Detroit in a day-night doubleheader.

“I didn’t even see him, but I guess going for the line on a fly ball he pushed and felt something and came back,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. “His x-ray is negative, but he’s having an MRI today.”


Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (5-7, 2.72 ERA) takes on Kyle Schwarber and the visiting Philadelphia Phillies in the final of a four-game series.

Mikolas decided to burn some sage in the outfield ahead of Sunday’s game in a bid to change his team’s luck in brawls. Mikolas says he deals with holistic medicinal healing and felt the move might help.

Maybe it worked. Albert Pujols hit his 684th homer to help St. Louis come back for a 4-3 victory over the Phillies, who had shut out the Cardinals in their previous three meetings.

The last five batters in the Cardinals order on Sunday, including Pujols, all entered under .200. Mikolas has received no racing support in seven of 17 starts this season.

Aaron Nola (5-6, 3.15) pitches for Philadelphia. He’s 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in eight career starts against St. Louis.

Pujols has 1,377 extra hits, tied with Cardinals great Stan Musial for third on the career list.


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