LEADING OFF: ChiSox seek 1st Windy City series win since ’14

Sports

Chicago White Sox’s Luis Robert hits a two-run home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Touchdown Friday

More Touchdown Friday

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

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TO THE SOUTH SIDE

The White Sox open a three-game home series against the crosstown rival Cubs three weeks after sweeping a set at Wrigley Field. The AL Central-leading White Sox haven’t won a season series against the Cubs since going 3-1 in 2014 and haven’t swept the Windy City showdown since interleague play was introduced in 1997.

Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (8-7, 4.71) is set to face Cubs righty Keegan Thompson (3-3, 2.42).

PLAYOFF PREVIEW?

Toting the best record in the majors, Brandon Crawford and the San Francisco Giants visit Atlanta for the opener of a three-game series between National League division leaders. Kevin Gausman (12-5, 2.47 ERA) is expected to come off the COVID-19 injured list to start for the Giants against Max Fried (11-7, 3.49) in a fine pitching matchup.

San Francisco is about to get tested with a challenging stretch. The team plays its next 10 games against the Braves, the NL Central-leading Brewers and the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the second-best record in the big leagues and aren’t far behind the Giants in the NL West.

HONOR WORTHY?

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has been turning up the heat on his quest for a first Cy Young Award and is set to make his latest pitch against the A’s.

Cole (12-6, 2.92) has allowed a run over 11 2/3 innings in two starts since returning from a bout with mild COVID-19 symptoms, striking out 15 and walking two.

DONE EARLY

Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins will miss the rest of the season with an abdominal tear that requires surgery.

The 28-year-old leads the Phillies with 27 homers and 71 RBIs, and the news is a major blow to the team’s playoff hopes. Philadelphia entered Thursday trailing first-place Atlanta by five games in the NL East.

Hoskins had been playing through an abdominal injury all season, but he aggravated it when he dove awkwardly for a ball at Washington on Aug. 5. His final at-bat this season was a game-tying homer in the eighth inning against the Rays on Wednesday night.

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