A look at what's happening around the majors today:
The Yankees came up short trying to acquire pitching help at the trade deadline, and that's putting more pressure on James Paxton to shake off a rough stretch. The big left-hander is 0-3 with a 6.67 ERA in his past six starts, including a loss at Fenway Park last week when he allowed seven runs in four innings. Paxton (5-6, 4.72) faces the Red Sox again in the opener of a four-game home series. He'll oppose right-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (13-4, 4.13).
Top Dodgers pitching prospect Dustin May is expected to make his major league debut against San Diego. The 21-year-old right-hander is nicknamed Gingergaard because his flowing red hair and big-time fastball remind some of Mets ace Noah Syndergaard. May was 6-5 with a 3.38 ERA over 20 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays will have a rare Friday off before starting a two-game series against Miami on Saturday at Tropicana Field. It will mark the first time in franchise history Tampa Bay has a scheduled idle Friday past the opening week of April.
"That's odd. I don't think I've ever have had a Friday off," Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday night's game at Boston.
Under scheduling guidelines, MLB teams have some leeway regarding a day off before or after a two-game series.
Madison Bumgarner, who had been the subject of trade speculation, starts for the Giants when they open a series at Coors Field. San Francisco and Colorado are coming off completely opposite performances last month. The Giants began July at 36-47, but finished the month at 55-53. They became the first major league team to start July at least 10 games under .500 and end with a winning mark. The Rockies, meanwhile, were 44-40 heading into July before going 6-19 — that was the worst showing by any team that went into July with a winning record since the 1888 Boston Beaneaters were 5-17.
Jason Vargas (6-5, 4.01 ERA) makes his debut with the Phillies after being acquired this week from the Mets. The 36-year-old lefty has won three straight starts going into this outing in Philadelphia against the White Sox.
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