LEADING OFF: Rizzo up 1st, Bellinger on 1st, Santana starts

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LEADING OFF: Rizzo up 1st, Bellinger on 1st, Santana starts
LEADING OFF: Rizzo up 1st, Bellinger on 1st, Santana starts

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

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THINKING BIG

In their first season since Dexter Fowler’s departure, the Cubs entered Tuesday ranked 24th in the majors with a .306 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot. So on Tuesday night, 240-pound slugger Anthony Rizzo became the seventh Chicago player to start atop the batting order this year – and responded with a leadoff homer against Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler. It was Rizzo’s first career start batting leadoff. But with several teammates struggling at the plate, manager Joe Maddon could give his first baseman more at-bats in that spot this week.

WHO’S ON FIRST?

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says rookie slugger Cody Bellinger will see the majority of time at first base with five-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez out indefinitely due to a degenerative disk in his back. “When he comes back, I don’t know,” Roberts said Tuesday, when Gonzalez was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Joc Pederson, just reinstated from the seven-day concussion DL, will play center field with Chris Taylor in left. The 35-year-old Gonzalez was also on the DL last month for the first time in his 14-year career after he tried to play through back and elbow injuries. Bellinger has lived up to advanced billing – he began Tuesday with 15 homers and 35 RBIs in 161 at-bats.

ENCORE

Minnesota right-hander Ervin Santana (8-3, 2.20 ERA) tries to improve his All-Star credentials when he faces Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and the visiting Mariners. Santana needed only 91 pitches to throw a four-hitter last Friday at San Francisco, his third shutout of the season. He also hit a three-run double in the 4-0 victory.

TOUGH ASSIGNMENT

Daniel Gossett is scheduled to make his major league debut for the Oakland Athletics against Miami Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez (3-7, 3.41 ERA), who pitched a no-hitter in his most recent home start June 3. Volquez followed that up by tossing seven scoreless innings last Thursday in a 7-1 victory at Pittsburgh.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo (44) follows through on an hits an RBI double as New York Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud watches during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger follows through on a solo home run off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, left, tosses the ball to starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, right, to get Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto out during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo (44) runs past New York Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger watches his three-run home run off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Boone Logan during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) reacts as Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, right, is congratulated by Justin Turner, left, as Corey Seager, back, watches during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Cleveland. Bellinger hit a three-run home run off Indians relief pitcher Boone Logan. Turner and Seager scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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