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Diamond digest: Baseball’s top story lines this week

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner faces another tall task Monday when he takes on Drew Pomeranz (2-1, 2.04 ERA) of the Padres.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner faces another tall task Monday when he takes on Drew Pomeranz (2-1, 2.04 ERA) of the Padres. The Associated Press

Here are five interesting stories in Major League Baseball this week:

Another tough opponent

In his last three starts, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 3.91 ERA) has faced Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw twice and Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke. His next assignment – Padres left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-1, 2.04) – may not be much easier to beat. The 27-year-old Pomeranz struck out 10 his last time out and has 25 strikeouts over 17  2/3 innings this season.

The Associated Press

Dusty working his magic

The Dusty Baker-managed Washington Nationals enter Tuesday’s series with the Philadelphia Phillies with baseball’s best record (14-4). The Nats should be flying high after Sunday’s 16-inning win over the Twins at Nationals Park. Max Scherzer (2-1, 4.21) gets the ball against the Phillies’ Vince Velasquez (2-1, 0.93) on Tuesday. The Nationals have won five of six.

Bashing Bucs off to Colorado

The Pittsburgh Pirates have scored 52 runs on 92 hits in their past eight games. Pittsburgh starts a four-game series at Coors Field, notorious for high-scoring games, Monday.

Dodgers on a roll

The Dodgers are rolling. Los Angeles has won 8 of 11, and returns home after a 4-2 trip to face the Miami Marlins (6-11) for four and San Diego (7-12) for three. Right-hander Kenta Maeda (3-0, 0.36) will start Thursday against the Marlins, and he is off to an historic start to his major-league career. He is the first pitcher to allow just one total run in his first four MLB starts.

Thor at home

The Mets begin a nine-game homestand Monday with right-hander Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 0.90) slated to start against Cincinnati right-hander Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 3.09). Syndergaard struck out eight and pitched one-run ball through seven innings last time out against Philadelphia.

The Associated Press

Compiled by Chris La Marr

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