BEGINNING: Subway Series Rolls, Honor Ortiz, Missing Cards

A glimpse of what’s happening around the majors today:

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ALL ABOARD

Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso pull away as the Subway Series kicks off at Citi Field with both New York teams in first place.

Jordan Montgomery (3-2, 3.24 ERA) pitches for the Yankees, who own the best record in the majors at 66-31 and a whopping 12 1/2 game lead over Toronto in the AL East.

Taijuan Walker (7-2, 2.55) starts for the Mets, whose formidable NL East advantage over Atlanta is down to two games. Walker is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last seven outings.

Judge leads the majors with 37 homers and has 81 RBIs for the Yankees. Alonso leads the major leagues with 82 RBIs and hit 25 homers.

The teams play twice this week at the Mets’ home, then meet for two more games in late August at Yankee Stadium.

PAPI POWER

The Boston Red Sox will honor David Ortiz in a pregame tribute at Fenway Park, two days after his Hall of Fame induction.

Ortiz pins will be given to fans as they enter the stadium for the game against Cleveland.

Big Papi helped the Red Sox win three World Series championships. In 14 years with the Red Sox, Ortiz hit 500 home runs, including 17 in the playoffs.

Ortiz was cheered on by fans chanting his name and wearing his No. 34 jersey during ceremonies on Sunday in Cooperstown, New York, about a four-hour drive from Fenway.

AIR EXCLUSION ZONE

The Cardinals will be missing two of their best players — first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and third baseman Nolan Arenado — when they open a two-game series in Toronto. They have not received the COVID-19 vaccine and are not allowed to enter Canada.

Receiver Austin Romine won’t make the trip either. The trio will be shortlisted and will forfeit salary and major league service time under the terms of the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

Goldschmidt is hitting .335 with 24 home runs and 77 RBIs. Arenado is batting .296 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs.

Right-hander José Berríos (7-4, 5.22 ERA) starts for Toronto against rookie right-hander Andre Pallante (3-4, 3.34).

ON THE BLOCK

A right-hander Frankie Montas makes what could be his last start in an Oakland uniform before the August 2 trade deadline.

Montas should work with a normal pitch count against Houston after being limited to three innings last time out. Prior to that, he had missed two consecutive outings due to shoulder inflammation. A quality performance against the Astros could help the rebuilding A’s get a bigger return in a trade.

The A’s have scored a run or less in 10 of Montas’ 18 starts and have been shut out three times.

THE RAYS CONCERN

The Rays will be without veteran hitters Kevin Kiermaier and Mike Zunino for the remainder of the season due to injuries, a blow to the defending AL East champions.

Manager Kevin Cash said ahead of Monday night’s game in Baltimore that Kiermaier will be undergoing surgery in the coming weeks. The 32-year-old outfielder hasn’t played since July 9 due to a left hip injury.

Zunino, a 31-year-old receiver, hasn’t played since June 9 due to left shoulder issues. He is out for the season due to surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, according to a team spokesperson.

Tampa Bay entered Monday’s game with the second of three American League wild cards.

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More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

About Chris C. Hairston

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