What we're watching – June 26

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– Boston’s Josh Beckett will make his second straight start against the
Braves after hurling his first shutout as a member of the Red Sox on
Sunday. He’s gone four of his last six starts without allowing an
earned run, lowering his ERA from 5.85 to 3.74 in the process. The
Braves will turn to Jair Jurrjens, who is 0-3 despite a solid 3.80 ERA
this month. Jurrjens ranks sixth in the NL in ERA, but he has just a
5-5 record to show for it.

– Matt Cain will attempt to become the NL’s first 10-game winner in
the lone intraleague contest of the night when he takes on the Brewers.
Starting for Milwaukee will be Yovani Gallardo, who has given up more
than three earned runs just twice this season. The Giants have won each
of Cain’s last nine starts, and if they prevail again tonight, they’ll
be just the third NL team to reach 40 wins. They’re 39-32, while the
Brewers are 38-34.

– Will a series against the Rockies pull Matt Holliday out of his
latest slump? Holliday, who has no homers and just one RBI in his last
17 games, will be facing his former team for the first time tonight.
Unfortunately, the series will take place in Oakland, rather than at
Coors Field. Holliday has hit .248/.355/.421 with four homers in 34
games at the Coliseum this year.

Game of the Night

N.Y. Yankees vs. N.Y. Mets – Sure, it’s Yankees-Mets, but the best
reason to watch tonight’s game is to see how CC Sabathia performs after
leaving his start Sunday in the second inning with biceps tightness.
Sabathia didn’t pitch during the first series between the two teams,
when the Yankees took two out of three. Neither did Mike Pelfrey, who
will start for the Mets tonight. Pelfrey has struggled some after a
strong May, though his 7.08 ERA during June is largely the result of
one awful outing against the Pirates. He’s 5-2 with a 4.74 ERA for the
season. Sabathia is 6-4 with a 3.71 ERA.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.