LEADING OFF: Yankees seek new winning streak vs A’s

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Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton walks to the dugout after striking out against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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

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NEW STREAK?

A day after ending their longest winning streak in nearly 60 years, the Yankees try to get back in the win column against Oakland.

New York ended a 13-game string of victories with a 3-2 loss to the A’s on Saturday, with Frankie Montas pitching seven shutout innings. Oakland had lost six straight and 10 of 12, losing ground to New York and others in the AL wild-card chase.

Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery (5-5, 3.69 ERA) has allowed one run or fewer in four of his previous five starts. He’ll face right-hander Paul Blackburn (0-1, 4.09), who will make his third start since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

WINDY CITY WRAPUP

Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs take on Dylan Cease and the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in the final all-Chicago matchup of the season.

Hendricks (14-5, 4.09 ERA) is coming off a no-decision against Colorado, pitching seven innings of four-run ball in the Cubs’ 6-4 victory. Hendricks, who is tied with Dodgers lefty Julio Urías for the major league lead in wins, is just 1-1 with a 6.26 ERA in four August starts.

The 25-year-old Cease is looking to build on a strong stretch for the AL Central leaders.

Drafted by the Cubs and traded to the White Sox in July 2017 in a package with Eloy Jiménez for pitcher José Quintana, Cease is 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA over his last six starts, striking out 45 in 35 innings. Cease beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Aug. 8, fanning 10 in five innings.

KARINCHAK CLIPPED

The Indians sent reliever James Karnichak to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers after the struggling right-hander failed to retire a batter in Friday night’s loss to Boston.

Karinchak has gone from being one of the most dominant relievers in the AL to the minors in a span of six weeks. He was 6-2 and had a 2.52 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings over 41 games at the All-Star break. Karinchak is 1-2 and has an 8.40 ERA with nine strikeouts in 15 innings over 18 games since.

He entered Friday’s game in the eighth inning with a 3-1 lead, but gave up a walk, a single and a three-run homer to Jonathan Araúz. Karinchak was removed following the home run in the 4-3 defeat.

PACKED-UP POLANCO

The Pirates have cut outfielder Gregory Polanco, releasing their longtime right fielder as he continued to struggle.

The 29-year-old Polanco hit just .208 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs this season and had recently become a target for frustrated fans. He was booed relentlessly after a late error contributed to a loss to Arizona on Wednesday night.

Polanco’s age, declining production and onerous contract — his $11.6 million salary this season accounted for more than 20% of the team’s entire 2021 payroll — made him an ill fit for what the Pirates are trying to do in the future. The team placed him on waivers last week and when no one picked up his remaining salary, they opted to let him go instead.

Polanco was the last remaining player from the group that helped guide the franchise to three straight postseason berths from 2013-15.

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