LEADING OFF: Severino makes season debut for YankeesCincinnati Reds starting pitcher Sonny Gray reacts in the dugout after he was pulled from a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A look at what's happening around the majors Tuesday:
Severino was scratched from what was to be his first spring training start on March 5 when he the 25-year-old right-hander felt discomfort while warming up. He was diagnosed with right shoulder inflammation, didn't feel good after playing catch a month later and had an MRI on April 9 that revealed a strained latissimus dorsi muscle. He didn't throw off a mound again until a bullpen session on Aug. 9 and made minor league injury rehabilitation appearances on Sept. 1, 6 and 11, allowing seven runs - four earned - and 13 hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out 11 and walked none. A two-time All-Star, Severino was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts last season and signed a $40 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a 2023 team option and could be worth $52.25 million for five seasons. He has a 41-25 career record with a 3.51 ERA. New York's magic number is two over Cleveland to clinch a playoff berth and three over Tampa Bay for the Yankees' first AL East title since 2012.
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Reds right-hander Sonny Gray faces Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish at Wrigley Field in a matchup of two of baseball's best pitchers since the All-Star break. Gray is 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA in his last eight starts, returning to form in his first year with Cincinnati after he was acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees. Darvish struck out 14 while pitching six scoreless innings in a 4-1 victory at San Diego on Thursday. He has a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts since the break, striking out 93 and walking six during that stretch.
Houston's Justin Verlander has 275 strikeouts going into Tuesday's start against Texas, 17 behind the Astros' Gerrit Cole. They can become the second teammates to strike out 300 in a season after Arizona's Randy Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) in 2002.
The Diamondbacks have tumbled to the rear of the NL wild card race because their bats have gone cold. Arizona scored just 14 runs over nine games from Sept. 7-15, which led to a 2-7 record during that span. They'll try to keep their longshot playoff hopes alive on Tuesday when left-hander Alex Young takes the mound. He's had a good rookie season, with a 7-4 record and 3.38 ERA. The 26-year-old set a club rookie record with 12 strikeouts against the Reds on Sept. 7
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