LEADING OFF: Cabrera’s 500 watch, Laureano suspended

National Sports

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Saturday:

500 WATCH

Miguel Cabrera’s 500th career homer could be just a few swings away.

The two-time MVP and 11-time All-Star has 498 home runs and has hit the ball well since a slow start during the spring. He’s batting .300 with seven homers since June 1, helping the rebuilding Detroit Tigers be a little more competitive in the AL Central.

Cabrera is vying to become the 28th player in major league history with 500 homers. He’s also fairly close to 3,000 career hits with 2,945 through Thursday’s games.

The Tigers are playing the Cleveland Indians in a three-game series this weekend.

LAUREANO SUSPENDED

The A’s will be without center fielder Ramon Laureano for the rest of the season after he was suspended for 80 games without pay by the commissioner’s office Friday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The commissioner’s office said Laureano tested positive for Nandrolone in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately.

”I would never knowingly ingest any banned substance and put the game that I’ve loved all my life at risk. When I found out that I tested positive for Nandrolone, I was shocked,” Laureano said in a statement released by the players’ union.

The 27-year-old Laureano, from the Dominican Republic, is hitting .246 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs in 88 games this season.

VIRUS HITS BREWERS AGAIN

Milwaukee pitcher Adrian Houser is the latest Milwaukee player to test positive for the coronavirus.

But the Brewers also finally have a bit of good news as they continue dealing with issues related to the virus. Star outfielder Christian Yelich is eligible to come off the COVID-19 injured list and says he’s feeling fine.

”It’s not like I was super sick or anything,” Yelich said. ”It was just, I’m not allowed to do anything. I felt fine very quickly.”

Other Brewers on the COVID-19 list include All-Star closer Josh Hader, starting pitcher Eric Lauer, relievers Jake Cousins, Jandel Gustave and Hunter Strickland, and first baseman Keston Hiura.

The Brewers still entered Friday with a seven-game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central.

CALIFORNIA COAST

Julio Urias (13-3, 3.40 ERA) tries to become the first 14-game winner in the majors when the Los Angeles Dodgers host Shohei Ohtani and the Angels in the Freeway Series. Urias is tied with Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks for most wins in the big leagues. Jaime Barria (2-0, 4.12) pitches for the Angels.

HURTING HEYWARD

Five-time Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward was placed on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his left index finger.

Cubs manager David Ross said the finger has been bothering Heyward for ”a pretty good bit” and he aggravated it taking batting practice in Colorado this week.

It’s another piece of bad news for the Cubs, who recently traded away stars Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo in a deadline selloff. Heyward is batting .198 with six homers and 22 RBIs.

The Cubs called up outfielder Greg Deichmann from Triple-A Iowa to take Heyward’s place. The 26-year-old prospect made his big league debut Friday in an 8-6 loss to the White Sox. He had one hit in five at-bats.

Deichmann was acquired from Oakland in the deal that sent reliever Andrew Chafin to the A’s.

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