LEADING OFF: Burnes returns, Mariners bring up big prospects

Sports

San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler, left, and a trainer check on right fielder Wil Myers after he ran into the wall catching a fly ball hit by Colorado Rockies’ Garrett Hampson during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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BURNES RETURNS

Brewers ace Corbin Burnes is set to face St. Louis in his first start since testing positive for the coronavirus last month. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 1.53 ERA, 49 strikeouts and no walks in 29 1/3 innings, but he hasn’t pitched since April 26.

Burnes confirmed Wednesday that he had COVID-19 but said he was asymptomatic. Milwaukee has achieved the 85% vaccination rate required by MLB to ease certain safety protocols, but Burnes said he opted against inoculation for personal reasons. He added he had “no clue” how he might have gotten the virus.

Burnes is scheduled to square off against Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty (6-0, 2.83).

HERE COME THE KIDS

The future arrives for the Seattle Mariners. Two major parts of it, anyway.

The team will call up touted outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic and promising right-hander Logan Gilbert before its series opener at home against Cleveland. Gilbert will be on the mound to make his major league debut.

“It’ll be an exciting day for those young players,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Looking forward to having them on our roster and see what they can do. They’ve both got bright futures.”

Servais said the Mariners are optioning outfielder Taylor Trammell back to the minors, and the club is likely to add a third player as well.

ROYALS REELING

After a surprisingly strong start to the season, the Kansas City Royals have plummeted fast. They’ll try to stop a 10-game losing streak when they wrap up a series in Detroit, which owns the worst record in the majors at 12-24 even after winning its past three.

Daniel Lynch (0-1, 18.56 ERA) pitches for Kansas City against Spencer Turnbull (1-2, 4.74). The last time the Royals dropped 11 in a row was a 12-game skid in 2012.

Kansas City was 16-9 on May 1 to lead the majors but is now three games under .500.

“It’s really hard to deal with something like this, especially with the confidence we have in ourselves,” pitcher Danny Duffy said. “We know we’re better than this, but we’ve lost 10 straight games. There’s no escaping that, and the only way to end it is to win.”

PANDEMIC PROBLEMS

The San Diego Padres and New York Yankees are both short-staffed due to COVID-19 outbreaks, but neither has had to interrupt their schedule.

San Diego stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers have tested positive, and Eric Hosmer, Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo were held out of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Colorado due to contact tracing. The Padres are off on Thursday before starting a home series against NL Central-leading St. Louis on Friday night.

Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres was kept out of Wednesday night’s starting lineup at Tampa Bay as a precaution as the number of confirmed positive tests among the team’s coaching and support staff reached seven.

Manager Aaron Boone said MLB’s Joint COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee is waiting and reviewing a number of test results. The members of New York’s traveling party have been tested at least three times each since Tuesday.

The Yankees have been relaxing virus protocols since April 30 after passing MLB’s 85% vaccination threshold among tier 1 staff, including players, coaches and trainers. Boone said the vaccinations were blunting the virus’ effects, with only one person showing symptoms.

New York is slated to wrap its series at Tampa Bay.

COMEBACK COMPLICATION

Braves right-hander Mike Soroka has experienced a setback in his recovery from surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon and will have a follow-up procedure next week. Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020 tore the tendon Aug. 3 and hasn’t pitched since having season-ending surgery.

Manager Brian Snitker said Wednesday that Soroka will have exploratory surgery early next week in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“I hate it for the kid,” Snitker said. “He’s worked so hard to come back. I hate it for him personally to have this setback.”

Soroka emerged as one of the foundations of the Braves’ rotation in 2019, when he went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA. The Canadian earned a spot in the All-Star Game, finished second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

EXTRA SPECIAL

The Reds have won five straight extra-inning games and are 6-2 in extras this season — no other team has more than four such victories.

Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh 5-1 on Wednesday when Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez combined to drive in four runs in the 10th inning.

“The key in most cases is not being satisfied with scoring the one run,” Reds manager David Bell said.

The Reds will see if they get any extra work when Luis Castillo (1-4, 6.42 ERA) pitches the opener of a four-game series at Colorado. Castillo had been scheduled to start Friday, but had his day flipped to give Wade Miley an extra day of rest after throwing 114 pitches in his no-hitter against Cleveland last Friday.

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