LEADING OFF: Scherzer back home in St. Louis, Houck out

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

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MAX FACTOR

Mets ace Max Scherzer is pitching back in his hometown, starting a three-game series at St. Louis.

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

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MAX FACTOR

Mets ace Max Scherzer is pitching back in his hometown, starting a three-game series at St. Louis.

Scherzer is trying to become the first four-game winner in the majors. In his first season since signing a $130 million, three-year contract, he is 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA, 12 strikeouts and one walk in 11 innings.

Scherzer is 3-2 with a 2.04 ERA in six career starts at Busch Stadium, striking out 59 in 39 2/3 innings.

In their first year under manager Buck Showalter, the Mets have opened the season by winning five straight series, matching a franchise record set in 2018.

Miles Mikolas (1-0, 1.76) starts for the Cardinals.

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NO GO

Red Sox right-hander Tanner Houck will miss his turn in the rotation when Boston plays at Toronto. Houck is unvaccinated and not allowed to travel into Canada.

Houck was used in relief Sunday, retiring five straight batters in a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay.

Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.86 ERA) will start the opener of the four-game set against Toronto’s José Berríos (1-0, 6.35).

CHECK HIM

The Cleveland Guardians will see how breakout rookie Steven Kwan is feeling, a day after he was pulled from a game because of tightness in his right hamstring.

Manager Terry Francona said Kwan’s removal from a 10-2 loss at Yankee Stadium was “kind of was preventative” and that the outfielder was day to day.

Kwan felt cramping in his hamstring after flying out in the third inning. The 24-year-old Kwan crashed into the outfield wall chasing a ball Saturday and was shaken up, but he remained in the game. Francona said before Sunday’s game that Kwan was “a little beat up” but well enough to play.

The 5-foot-9 sparkplug is batting .341 with a .456 on-base percentage in the first 14 games of his career.

Guardians ace Shane Bieber (1-0, 2.25) opens a four-game series at the Los Angeles Angels against Michael Lorenzen (1-1, 4.82).

SCUFFLING

Colorado’s Kyle Freeland looks for his first win since agreeing to a $64.5 million, five-year contract, taking the mound for a series opener at Philadelphia.

Freeland is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in three starts. Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.57) starts for the Phillies.

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