AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

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Almost a full slate of games on this Monday night. The only teams off are the Phillies and Nationals, who start a three-game series in the nation’s capital on Tuesday, and the Brewers and Cubs, who also open a three-game set in Chicago on Tuesday.

The Diamondbacks played a crazy 13-inning game with the Pirates on Sunday night. They lost 12-10 in 13 innings, but fought valiantly with two runs in the eighth and ninth innings to send the game to extras. Then, when the Pirates scored twice in the top of the 12th, the D-Backs responded with two runs of their own. They ended up using 10 pitchers: eight to pitch, one to pinch-hit (Zack Greinke), and one to pinch-run and play left field (Shelby Miller). Starter Robbie Ray lasted only three innings, forcing the bullpen to cover 10 innings. One wonders if the D-Backs’ bullpen will be running on empty during Monday night’s series opener at home against the Cardinals, starting at 9:40 PM EST.

A strong seven-plus-inning outing from Greinke would go a long way. He has turned things around in his last two starts after allowing 11 runs in 10 innings in his first two starts as a Diamondback after signing a six-year, $206.5 million contract in December. He pitched into the eighth inning against the Padres on April 15, then limited the Giants to a lone run in 6 2/3 innings last Wednesday.

The Cardinals will send Jaime Garcia, who is having a great season, out to the mound. He’s 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA and a 26/8 K/BB ratio over 20 innings. One of those starts included a complete game one-hit shutout, with 13 strikeouts, against the Brewers on April 14. When Garcia is healthy — which isn’t often — he’s one of the best starters in the game. Unfortunately, the 29-year-old lefty hasn’t been able to accrue more than 20 starts in a season since 2011.

The rest of Monday’s action…

Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman), 7:07 PM EST

Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Chris Archer), 7:10 PM EST

Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello) @ Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran), 7:10 PM EST

Cincinnati Reds (Raisel Iglesias) @ New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard), 7:10 PM EST

Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman) @ Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann), 7:10 PM EST

New York Yankees (Nathan Eovaldi) @ Texas Rangers (Cesar Ramos), 8:05 PM EST

Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar) @ Minnesota Twins (Tommy Milone), 8:10 PM EST

Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke) @ Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis), 8:40 PM EST

Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy) @ Los Angeles Angels (Garrett Richards), 10:05 PM EST

Houston Astros (Doug Fister) @ Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker), 10:10 PM EST

Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Ross Stripling), 10:10 PM EST

San Diego Padres (Drew Pomeranz) @ San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner), 10:15 PM EST

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.