LEADING OFF: Trout out, Kluber vs Rangers, Sox-Twins trouble

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Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout looks toward the dugout after striking out during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Friday, May 14, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

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

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TROUT TROUBLE

Angels star Mike Trout could be out past the All-Star break after straining his right calf on the bases.

Trout is expected to miss six to eight weeks. The three-time AL MVP made an early exit Monday night in a 7-4 win over Cleveland. He came up limping when he ran toward third on a popup that ended the first inning.

“I felt a pop,” Trout said. “I knew it was bad when it happened. I’ve never felt anything like this before.”

Trout leads the majors with a 1.090 OPS. The outfielder is hitting .333 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs.

TICKED-OFF TWINS

A riled-up Twins team hosts the White Sox again in a series between AL Central rivals that’s turned a little testy.

Minnesota reliever Tyler Duffey was ejected Tuesday night after throwing behind the legs of Chicago rookie Yermín Mercedes. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli also was tossed by plate umpire Jim Reynolds.

Mercedes got Minnesota’s attention when he homered on a 3-0 pitch from infielder Willians Astudillo in the ninth inning of Chicago’s 16-4 victory Monday night, sparking the latest debate about baseball’s unwritten etiquette rules. White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Mercedes made a mistake, and the Hall of Fame skipper apologized to the Twins.

“There’s one thing acknowledging it, and that’s appreciated, but it doesn’t quell all of the emotions from all the guys in the clubhouse, in and of itself,” Baldelli said before Tuesday’s game.

BEEN HERE BEFORE

Corey Kluber takes the mound at the Texas Rangers’ retractable roof stadium for the second time, this time starting against them for the New York Yankees.

The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner threw just one inning in his only season with the Rangers, tearing a muscle in his shoulder during a start last July in the third game played in the $1.2 billion stadium. The injury didn’t require surgery, but ended his season.

That scoreless inning cost the Rangers $18.5 million — his $17.5 million salary after they got him in a December 2019 trade from Cleveland, and the $1 million buyout of an $18.5 million club option for this season. Kluber then signed an $11 million free-agent deal with the Yankees, and is 3-2 with a 3.48 ERA in eight starts.

PRIZE WINNERS

With four Cy Young Awards between them, Max Scherzer (3-2, 2.10 ERA) starts for the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field against Jake Arrieta (4-3, 4.10) and the Chicago Cubs. First baseman Anthony Rizzo exited Tuesday night’s game for the Cubs because of tightness in his lower back.

MVP RETURNS

Christian Yelich is back with the Milwaukee Brewers after the star outfielder was activated from the injured list Tuesday and played just his second major league game in five weeks. The 2018 NL MVP was the designated hitter when Milwaukee opened a two-game interleague series in Kansas City.

Yelich played nine games to start the season before leaving with stiffness in his lower back on April 11 in St. Louis. He tried to return May 3 in Philadelphia but played just one game before returning to the injured list.

“I’m just excited to be back in there and contribute at some level,” Yelich said.

QUIET GIANTS

Kevin Gausman (3-0, 1.84 ERA) pitches for the NL West-leading Giants in Cincinnati against left-hander Wade Miley (4-3, 3.69), who threw a no-hitter on May 7 but lasted only three innings in his most recent start Friday. San Francisco has won the first two of the four-game set.

ON HIS WAY BACK

Gleyber Torres could be back in the New York Yankees’ lineup against Texas, a week after the fully vaccinated shortstop tested positive for COVID-19.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday that Torres had been cleared by Major League Baseball’s joint committee and was already en route to Texas to rejoin the team. He could potentially be activated Wednesday.

Asymptomatic vaccinated people can be cleared to return if they test negative twice.

Torres was the only player among nine total positives within the Yankees traveling party since last week, which included three coaches and five staffers. Boone said Torres is the only one in that group cleared to return.

New York second baseman Rougned Odor was activated from the injured list Tuesday and started against the Rangers, his former team. Odor missed 12 games with a left knee sprain.

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