LEADING OFF: Mikolas back with Cards, Cole vs Abreu, Chisox

Sports
Shane Bieber

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber throws against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

By The Associated Press (AP) — A look at what’s happening around the majors on Saturday:

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DELAYED DEBUT

Miles Mikolas returns to the majors for the first time since starting the opener of the 2019 NL Championship Series for St. Louis. He’ll start for the NL Central leaders when they play the Cubs at Busch Stadium.

The 32-year-old Cardinals right-hander missed last season after surgery to repair a flexor tendon in his pitching arm. He has been on the injured list this year with a sore right shoulder.

Mikolas went 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 11 strikeouts and two walks in 12 1/3 innings during three injury rehabilitation outings with Triple-A Memphis.

Mikolas was an All-Star in 2018 when he tied for the NL lead with 18 victories. In 2019, he tied for the NL lead with 14 losses.

AFTERNOON DELIGHT

Gerrit Cole (5-2, 2.03 ERA) is on the mound for a Yankee Stadium matinee against AL MVP José Abreu and the Chicago White Sox, who arrived in town with the best record in the American League.

“Obviously, this is a tremendous offensive club,” Cole said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us. We’ll get a good measuring stick of I guess where we’re at.”

The $324 million right-hander is coming off a 5-2 loss Monday at Texas, where he allowed a season-high five earned runs in five innings. His 85 strikeouts are the most by a Yankees pitcher through the first nine starts of a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Abreu returned to the lineup Friday night after missing three straight games in Minnesota with left ankle inflammation. Dylan Cease (2-0, 2.41) makes his first career appearance against New York.

BIEBER BOUNCE-BACK?

Indians ace Shane Bieber (4-3, 3.17) starts at home against Minnesota after lasting a season-low 4 2/3 innings in a 3-2 loss at Seattle in his previous start.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner fanned seven against the Mariners. That ended his major league record streak of 20 straight games with at least eight strikeouts.

Kenta Maeda (2-2) starts for the Twins.

CALIFORNIA CRUISIN’

Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler (2-0, 2.98) is unbeaten in 17 consecutive regular-season starts since a loss to Colorado on Sept. 21, 2019.

Buehler pitched seven innings of one-hit ball in his last start to beat Arizona.

Buehler now faces the Giants on the road. He is 4-0 in seven games against San Francisco.

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