LEADING OFF: Yankees, Cards slumping, all eyes on Philly net

Sports
Luis Cessa

New York Yankees relief pitcher Luis Cessa (85) reacts coming off the mound after allowing a go-ahead, two-run single to Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts in the 10th inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 6, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 6-5 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Tuesday:

BRONX BUMMERS

Slumping DJ LeMahieu and the skidding Yankees hope to get back on target when they start a set at Target Field against the Twins.

New York has lost four in a row, coming off a weekend sweep by Boston at Yankee Stadium, and is fourth in the AL East, a division that many predicted it would win.

LeMahieu (batting .253), Gary Sanchez (.210), Brett Gardner (.190), Rougned Odor (.180) and the Yankees rank near the bottom of the majors in scoring, and have averaged barely 2 1/2 runs per game over the past two weeks.

Often dependent on power, they’re below the AL average in home runs and have hurt themselves on the bases all season, often running into outs.

Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 3.92 ERA) pitches the opener at Minnesota against former Yankees righty Michael Pineda (3-3, 3.40).

ST. LOUIS BLUES

Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and the Cardinals have lost five in row and ending the streak won’t be easy — they next face Cleveland ace Shane Bieber.

St. Louis will try to avoid its worst skid since going on an 0-7 road trip to Wrigley Field and Cincinnati in June 2017.

Bieber (6-3, 3.08 ERA) has struck out 117 in 79 innings after winning the AL Cy Young Award last season.

Carlos Martinez (3-5, 5.83) starts for the Cardinals. He allowed 10 runs while getting just two outs against the Dodgers in his last outing, the shortest start of his big league career. St. Louis has lost seven of eight overall.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was held out of the lineup Sunday, a day after taking a foul ball off his left knee.

ROOKIE RESET

The Mariners have sent highly touted outfielder Jarred Kelenic back to Triple-A Tacoma after his rugged start in the majors.

The 21-year-old Kelenic made a quick splash, hitting a home run and two doubles on May 14 in his second big league game.

Kelenic has looked more like a rookie recently — he’s in an 0-for-39 slump and struck out 12 times in his last 18 at-bats.

Overall, he’s 8 for 83 (.096) with 26 strikeouts.

NET GAIN

No doubt, fans at Citizens Bank Park will be watching the protective screen behind the plate as well as the Phillies and Braves when they open a three-game series.

In a strange scene, the netting that also covers both dugouts suddenly sagged during Sunday’s game between Philadelphia and Washington. No one was hurt in the mishap, which caused a 20-minute delay while the grounds crew used tractors to fix the wires.

Fans cheered and chanted as the workers hoisted the net.

“They did a nice little pully system when they did that and walked it up the stairs,” Phils catcher J.T. Realmuto said.

TRY AGAIN

Arizona aims to end its 17-game road losing streak when Jon Duplantier (0-1, 9.35 ERA) starts at Oakland.

Manager Torey Lovullo and the Diamondbacks haven’t posted a road win since Madison Bumgarner pitched seven no-hit innings at Atlanta on April 25 to sweep a doubleheader.

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