LEADING OFF: 9/11 tributes, HR record nears, Yelich injury

LEADING OFF: 9/11 tributes, HR record nears, Yelich injuryBy The Associated Press

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

REMEMBERING

Major League Baseball pays tribute to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy with a moment of silence before all games. First responders will be among those honored in pregame ceremonies.

Players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear caps that have a side patch of a ”We Shall Not Forget” silhouette, which will also be displayed on bases and lineup cards.

The Toronto Blue Jays will wear caps that salute Canada and the United States.

MASH MARK

Big league hitters are poised to set the single-season home run record following another day with lots of long balls.

The mark of 6,105 homers was set in 2017. There have been 6,084 so far this season – there were 57 more Tuesday, with Kris Bryant, Matt Olson, George Springer, Didi Gregorius and Corey Seager among several hitters who homered twice during the day.

TOUGH BREAK

NL MVP Christian Yelich travels back to Milwaukee for further tests, a day after breaking his right kneecap when he fouled a ball off himself.

The Brewers said the star outfielder is done for the regular season. They didn’t say whether Yelich might be able to return for the playoffs that begin Oct. 1 if they make it that far.

Milwaukee has won five in a row going into its game at Miami and is chasing the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.

Yelich hit .329 with 44 home runs and 97 RBIs along with 30 stolen bases this season. The outfielder was leading the majors in slugging percentage and OPS.

Trent Grisham will get additional playing time in Yelich’s absence. The rookie got five hits Monday and delivered a key double Tuesday night in a 4-3 win over the Marlins.

COASTIN’

The Los Angeles Dodgers can get back to work once the visitors’ clubhouse at Camden Yards is cleaned from all the bubbly they sprayed.

The Dodgers clinched their seventh straight NL West title Tuesday night, becoming the first team to seal a playoff spot this year with a 7-3 win in Baltimore.

Los Angeles, coming off consecutive World Series losses to Houston and Boston and seeking its first title since 1988, will likely begin the postseason at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 3 against the NL wild-card team.

In the meantime, Ross Stripling (4-4, 3.42 ERA) makes a spot start for the Dodgers, facing Orioles lefty John Means (10-10, 3.50).

NOW WHAT?

No telling what’s in store at Minute Maid Park after a pair of crazy games between the Athletics and Astros.

Matt Olson and Sean Murphy both homered twice as Oakland piled up 25 hits to rout Houston 21-7 on Tuesday night. That came a day after the Astros hit seven home runs in pounding the A’s 15-0.

And on Sunday, the AL West-leading Astros wrecked the Mariners 21-1. Houston became the first team in the majors to score at least 20 runs in a game and allow at least 20 in a different game in a three-game span since the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 1894, according to STATS.

Next up, A’s lefty Brett Anderson (11-9, 4.19 ERA) pitches against Houston, which hasn’t announced a starter.

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