A look at what’s happening around baseball Monday:
After another slow start to the season, the reigning World Series champion Braves are surging like an October contender once again, riding an 11-game winning streak into a series at Washington.
It’s the club’s best stretch since winning 14 straight from July 26 to Aug. 9, 2013. Atlanta has outscored opponents 74-30 with 22 homers during the run, and the pitching staff has a 2.32 ERA over the same span.
Braves right-hander Ian Anderson (5-3, 4.53 ERA) has two victories in that time, although he also has a 5.25 ERA his past two starts — Atlanta scored 13 runs behind him in each game. He’ll face Nats righty Josiah Gray (6-4, 4.33) to start the series.
LYNN IS IN
Lance Lynn will return from the injured list and pitch for the White Sox a day earlier than planned after manager Tony La Russa shuffled his rotation in response to Michael Kopech’s injury Sunday.
Kopech left a start against Texas after 13 pitches with right knee discomfort, and La Russa ended up using Johnny Cueto – Monday’s projected starter – in relief. Kopech was optimistic he’ll return soon, and La Russa said the right-hander could be back by next Sunday.
Lynn was slated to return Tuesday but instead will take Cueto’s vacated spot for the opener of a series at Detroit. Lynn had right knee surgery during spring training and has yet to pitch this season. The 35-year-old was 11-6 with a 2.69 ERA over 28 starts last year.
Miami right-hander Sandy Alcantara tries to keep up his impressive run when he starts against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
The 26-year-old Alcantara (6-2, 1.61 ERA) has allowed just three earned runs in 48 innings over his last six starts.
Aaron Nola (4-4, 3.50) pitches for Philadelphia, which had its nine-game winning streak end Sunday with a loss to Arizona.
BACK TO WRIGLEY
The Cubs return home with a season-high six-game losing streak as lefty Justin Steele (1-5, 4.79 ERA) takes on Yu Darvish (5-3, 3.61) and the Padres.
Chicago got hammered 18-4 on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, and was outscored 28-5 while getting swept in a three-game series.
The Cubs fell to 4-23 overall against the Yankees, including a pair of World Series sweeps in the 1930s by New York teams starring Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. The Cubs are 0-12 in the Bronx.
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