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LEADING OFF: Dodgers' Roberts back for Arizona's home opener

A look at what's happening around the majors today: ROBERTS RETURNS Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will be back from a one-game suspension when the defending NL West champions visit Arizona for the Diamondbacks’ home opener.

Major League Baseball suspended Roberts one game and Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly eight games on Wednesday, the day after benches cleared in the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 victory at Houston. During that sixth inning, Kelly threw a 3-0 fastball behind Alex Bregman’s head and tossed a breaking ball over Carlos Correa’s head. After striking out the Astros star, Kelly made a mocking face toward him and the players exchanged words.

Kelly is appealing his penalty and can play until the process is complete. Astros manager Dusty Baker drew an undisclosed fine. This marked the first time the Dodgers and Astros had faced each other since MLB penalized the Astros for stealing signs during the 2017 season, which ended with Houston beating the Dodgers in a seven-game World Series.

FAST START All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber tries to keep up Cleveland’s strong run through the rotation when he pitches at Minnesota. Bieber struck out 14 against Kansas City on opening day, the most Ks in an opener since Hall of Famer Randy Johnson’s 14 in 1996.

The Indians have opened the season with six consecutive starters pitching at least six innings while allowing two runs or fewer. The last team to do that was the 1993 Atlanta Braves, whose staff included Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. Cleveland last did it in 1905, when the team was known as the Naps.

Overall, Indians pitchers have struck out 72, the most by the club through six games since 1966. HURTING CLOSER Texas Rangers closer Jose Leclerc is undergoing evaluation after he felt shoulder tightness warming up Wednesday against Colorado. Nick Goody handled the save opportunity instead and retired the side in order in the ninth.

“We are going to evaluate him today and tomorrow to see what exactly is going on,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “At no point were we going to risk that, putting him in the game, if there is a little bit of tightness. Wanted to avoid a lengthy injury.”

The Rangers have a day off Thursday before playing back-to-back road series at San Francisco and Oakland. Leclerc got a save in the opener and has pitched in one other game. SHORTER DOUBLEHEADERS? MLB is debating whether to play shorter doubleheaders this season.

The players’ association is surveying its members and deciding whether to propose two seven-inning games, or one nine-inning game followed by one seven-inning contest. MLB is expected to decide by Saturday whether to go with shorter doubleheaders this season. Philadelphia and Toronto are scheduled to play a doubleheader that day.

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