LEADING OFF: Scherzer back from neck trouble, Mizzou matchup

Baltimore Orioles' Tim Beckham (1) celebrates his home run in the dugout during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Jose Martinez (58), celebrates the team's 13-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds with teammates Paul DeJong, left, Greg Garcia (35), and Luke Voit (40) in a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Cincinnati. The Cardinals won 13-4. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

A look at what's happening all around the majors Monday:

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MAX EFFORT

Nationals ace Max Scherzer pitches for the first time since leaving his previous start because of neck spasms. Scherzer (12-5, 2.21 ERA) was pushed back to give him extra time to get ready going into this game at Miami. The right-hander leads the NL with 201 strikeouts.

SHOW ME SHOWDOWN

Ian Kennedy (4-7) and the Kansas City Royals host Carlos Martinez (7-9) and the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a four-game matchup — the Missouri postseason contenders play twice at Kauffman Stadium, then two more at Busch Stadium.

BIRD BAT

A lot of fans wondered why Baltimore even bothered to acquire infielder Tim Beckham from Tampa Bay right before the trade deadline. Since the swap, Beckman is hitting .583 (14 for 24) with six RBIs in six games. The Orioles have perked up lately, winning seven of nine and getting back into contention for a playoff spot going into this series in Anaheim vs. the Angels.

LOOKING GOOD

Cubs righty Jake Arrieta (10-8, 3.88 ERA) is 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA over his last six starts, showing flashes of the form that helped him win the NL Cy Young Award in 2015. He'll pitch when Chicago opens a series at San Francisco.

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