LEADING OFF: Padres’ Lamet set for return, Nats without Soto

Sports
Juan Soto

Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto reacts after a pitch during the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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

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WELCOME BACK

Dinelson Lamet is set for his season debut with the Padres after working back from elbow discomfort that caused him to miss the end of the 2020 season, including the playoffs. The right-hander was a breakout ace for San Diego last season, finishing fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting. He’s returning to a revamped rotation that includes offseason pickups Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove.

He’s slated to start an afternoon game against Brewers right-hander Adrian Houser (1-2, 3.14).

DC BLUES

The 2019 World Series champion Nationals were dealt yet another setback Tuesday when outfielder Juan Soto went on the 10-day injured list with a strained left shoulder. Soto, the reigning NL batting champion, originally was listed in Washington’s starting lineup facing the St. Louis Cardinals, but less than an hour before the game’s scheduled first pitch, the Nationals tweeted the move.

Last-place Washington also has Stephen Strasburg on the IL with right shoulder inflammation, and Jon Lester began the season on the COVID-19 injured list and has yet to make his Nats debut. Max Scherzer (0-1, 2.37) is set to face the Cardinals.

APRIL FLURRIES

The Tigers and Pirates will try to play a doubleheader a day after snow prompted a postponement in Detroit. The first seven-inning game will begin at 2:10 p.m. EDT, and the second at 6:40 p.m.

Michael Fulmer (1-0) is set to pitch the opener for Detroit, with Spencer Turnbull making his season debut in the second game. Turnbull has been recovering from COVID-19. Tyler Anderson (1-2) is scheduled to start the opener for Pittsburgh, with the Game 2 starter to be determined.

WALKING AWAY

Infielder Neil Walker announced his retirement at age 35 after 12 major league seasons. Walker hit .231 with no homers and three RBIs in 18 games with Philadelphia this year.

“Officially retired,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to everyone that helped me in my journey to live out my childhood dream of being a major leaguer. I loved & cherished every day.”

A Pittsburgh-area native drafted in the first round of the 2004 draft by the Pirates, Walker hit .267 with 149 homers and 609 RBIs for Pittsburgh, the New York Mets, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Miami and the New York Yankees.

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