LEADING OFF: Padres check Clevinger, Burnes’ ERA title bid

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San Diego Padres starting pitcher Mike Clevinger works against a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Thursday:

PADRES PREDICAMENT

Fresh off clinching their first playoff berth in 14 seasons, San Diego is hoping for good news concerning Mike Clevinger.

Clevinger was suddenly pulled after only one inning of his start Wednesday and sent for an MRI on his right biceps. The Padres got him a big trade with Cleveland on Aug. 31 and he had been the presumed Game 1 starter in the wild-card round next Wednesday. If Clevinger can’t go, that role could go to Dinelson Lamet.

Clevinger’s start had been pushed back from Saturday night because of tightness in his right biceps. He had thrown a bullpen session this week and seemed fine to go, but his biceps tightened up after he threw a curveball to the second batter of the game against the Angels.

“We’re comfortable with our options, yeah, but like I said, we’re not going to flip out and freak out,” manager Jayce Tingler said.

A NEW ERA

No Brewers pitcher has won an ERA title — Corbin Burnes could become the first. The 25-year-old righty starts at St. Louis with a 1.77 ERA, barely behind Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer (1.73).

Milwaukee and the Cardinals are both competing for an NL playoff spot. Kwang Hyun Kim pitches for St. Louis, coming off the first shaky start of his rookie season.

LEADER METER

In a matchup of teams already in the playoffs and trying to win the AL Central crown, Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 2.03 ERA) and the White Sox visit Zach Plesac (4-2, 1.85) and the Indians at Progressive Field.

Both pitchers are among the AL ERA leaders. Cleveland’s Shane Bieber tops the majors at 1.63 after a strong performance Wednesday night.

The game also pairs two players at the top of the AL MVP race: Chicago slugger José Abreu and Indians third baseman José Ramírez.

FEELING BUFF

Hyun Jin Ryu tries to pitch Toronto closer to a playoff spot when he starts against the Yankees in Buffalo. Ryu (4-2, 3.00) has permitted more than two earned runs in just one of his past nine starts.

Jordan Mongtomery (2-2, 5.12) is completing his first full season — shortened to 60 games because of the pandemic — following Tommy John surgery.

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