LEADING OFF: Cobb to make Orioles debut at Fenway Park


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


Alex Cobb’s debut for the Baltimore Orioles is a tough assignment. The right-hander faces J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts and the fast-starting Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Cobb signed a $57 million, four-year contract with the Orioles as a free agent on March 21. He went 10-12 last year with a 3.66 ERA for Tampa Bay in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery. Boston is 11-2 for only the second time in team history, matching the 1918 World Series champions.


Playing before sparse crowds at home, the Miami Marlins host Jameson Taillon and the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates (9-4). In his previous start, Taillon (2-0, 1.26 ERA) threw a one-hitter in a 5-0 win over Cincinnati. Miami (4-9) has posted abysmal attendance numbers this week, averaging 6,556 fans for a three-game series with the New York Mets before drawing 6,852 for Friday night’s victory over Pittsburgh. Those were the team’s lowest reported totals since 2006 and the lowest since moving to Marlins Park in 2012. ”We’re going to be transparent and we’re going to be honest about it,” new CEO Derek Jeter said. ”We’re not happy with it. We have to grow those numbers.”


Just about everything is going right for the streaking New York Mets – except behind the plate. On the same day they announced Travis d’Arnaud will have season-ending Tommy John surgery, fellow catcher Kevin Plawecki was placed on the disabled list with a broken left hand that’s expected to sideline him for three to four weeks. So the Mets could be in the market for a new backstop to join veteran switch-hitter Jose Lobaton, who was called up from Triple-A and tripled in his first at-bat Friday against Milwaukee. Matt Harvey pitches against Chase Anderson and the Brewers when New York, with the top record in the majors (11-1) and best start in team history, goes for its 10th straight win.


Toronto is off to a 9-5 start after snapping Cleveland’s five-game winning streak Friday night, but the Blue Jays will be without slugging third baseman Josh Donaldson for a while. The 2015 AL MVP went on the 10-day DL with right shoulder inflammation and will work out in Florida. ”He’ll go down there and get on a throwing program,” manager John Gibbons said. ”Hopefully it’s not too long. I don’t think it will be.” Gibbons said Yangervis Solarte will see most of the playing time at third in Donaldson’s absence.


Wintry weather could make it difficult to play in Minnesota and Detroit this weekend. The Twins postponed their scheduled game against the Chicago White Sox because of rain Friday night, with no makeup date set and the rest of the series in jeopardy, too. Forecasts called for snow overnight, with potential for more than a foot of accumulation throughout Saturday and Sunday. It was the 12th postponement in the majors already this season – including three in Detroit, where the possibility of severe weather might impact the Yankees and Tigers over the weekend.


The Reds have the worst record in the majors at 2-11. Another loss against St. Louis would give Cincinnati its worst start to a season since 1931, when it opened 2-17. The Reds have been outscored 18-7 while dropping the first two games of their series against the Cardinals.

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