LEADING OFF: Cubs’ Mills back on mound after no-hitter

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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BACK AT IT

Cubs journeyman Alec Mills (5-3, 3.93) is set to pitch for the first time since his unexpected no-hitter a week ago against Milwaukee. The 28-year-old will face the Twins in just the 16th start of his big league career. Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 is the only pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters.

Mills will face Minnesota right-hander Michael Pineda (1-0, 3.57).

MINUS MEADOWS

The playoff-bound Rays will be missing outfielder Austin Meadows into the postseason because of a strained oblique.

Meadows was hurt while taking a swing this week for the AL East leaders during a game in Baltimore

Meadows is batting just .205 with four homers and 13 RBIs. Last year, he hit .291 with 33 home runs and 89 RBIs.

“I don’t need to talk about how important Austin is,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

ACE CARD

Cardinals left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim starts at Milwaukee, trying to keep up his remarkable run.

The 32-year-old Kim, who starred in South Korea before coming to the major leagues this season, is 2-0 with an 0.63 ERA in six games. He hasn’t permitted an earned run in his last four starts, spanning 24 innings.

Kim pitched a season-high seven innings against the Brewers in his previous start, allowing three hits.

HAPPY RETURNS

Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy has rejoined the team just over six weeks after having a heart attack at Miller Park. He’s not working on the bench quite yet, but he plans to before the end of the season. The Brewers were practicing infield defense at Miller Park on Aug. 1 when Murphy sat down and said he wasn’t feeling well. Trainer Rafael Freitas was nearby and escorted Murphy to the clubhouse, where he met with team physician, Dr. Mark Niedfeldt.

“The part you take for granted sometimes until you don’t have it anymore is the connection, being together,” Murphy said. “That’s what it’s all about. That’s why I do it.”

WELCOME HOME

Braves rookie right-hander Ian Anderson (3-0, 1.64) faces the Mets in his fifth major league start. The 22-year-old Anderson, drafted third overall in 2016, went to high school in Clifton Park, about 170 miles north of Citi Field — less than a three-hour drive. But he was a Boston Red Sox fan, like his dad.

Anderson said he has two brothers living in New York City, though with no fans permitted at the ballpark because of the coronavirus, his family and friends won’t get the chance to see him pitch in person. “It definitely would be nice to have them down here,” he said. “They would all love to be here.”

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