LEADING OFF: Dodgers hitting HRs, Red Sox skid, Reds drought





A look at what's a happening around the majors today:

LA LONGBALLS

Cody Bellinger and the Los Angeles Dodgers are on a home run rampage, hitting a whopping 21 in their first eight games - that's the second-most in major league history in that span, only behind the St. Louis Cardinals' 23 in 2000. After launching a franchise-record 235 homers last year, the NL champion Dodgers have connected in every game so far this season.

Rockies righty Jon Gray tries to keep the Dodgers in the park when he starts against them at Coors Field. Bellinger leads the majors with six home runs.

SKIDS

The defending World Series champion Red Sox are 2-7 on their season-opening 11-game road trip. They got pounded 15-8 Friday night in Arizona - starting pitcher Rick Porcello flung a water cooler against the back wall of the Boston dugout after getting hit hard, and infielder Eduardo Nunez came in to pitch in the eighth inning and gave up a home run to Alex Avila. ... Joey Votto and the Reds have been shut out in three straight games. Their scoreless string of 28 innings is the longest for Cincinnati since a 30-game drought in 2015. ... The Cubs have lost six straight. ... The Marlins have dropped nine games in a row at Atlanta.

NICE START

Padres rookie Chris Paddack tries to duplicate his early success when he starts at St. Louis. In his major league debut last weekend, the 23-year-old righty gave up two hits and one run in five innings against San Francisco.

Paddack will aim to slow down Cardinals newcomer Paul Goldschmidt, who has homered five times in seven games.

CHECK HIM

The Seattle Mariners will see how second baseman Dee Gordon is feeling, a day after he left a game because of a tight groin. Manager Scott Servais isn't sure whether Gordon will be back in the lineup in Chicago against the White Sox.

WELCOME

Hoping to boost a thin starting rotation, the Orioles have signed Dan Straily to a $575,000, one-year contact.

The 30-year-old right-hander was released March 25 by the Marlins. He was 15-15 in two seasons with the Marlins.

Straily was limited to 23 starts last year, when he went on the disabled list twice because of forearm and oblique strains. He had a 5.94 ERA over 16 2/3 innings in five spring training appearances.

Baltimore's rotation includes Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Dylan Bundy and David Hess, and Nate Karns has been used twice as an opener. Cobb strained a groin late in spring training and was activated from the injured list on Thursday.

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

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