LEADING OFF: Cole leads Yanks against ex-Astros teamamtes

A look at what’s happening around baseball Saturday:

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REMEMBER WHEN

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (6-1, 3.14 ERA) faces his former team when New York hosts the Houston Astros in the third game of a four-game series between the American League’s top two teams.

Cole went 35-10 with a 2.68 ERA in 65 starts for Houston from 2018-19 before signing a $324 million, nine-year contract with New York. He made two All-Star teams with the Astros and helped them reach the World Series in 2019, when he led the majors with 326 strikeouts and finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting. He’s faced Houston twice since leaving, including a three-hit shutout on the road last season.

The right-hander took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning Monday night at Tampa Bay before Isaac Paredes’ leadoff single. He struck out 12 and walked three.

Cristian Javier (4-3, 3.07) pitches for Houston.

SIDELINED SALVY

Royals catcher Salvador Perez had surgery on his left thumb Friday and is expected to need eight weeks to recover.

The 32-year-old Perez missed nine games with a left thumb sprain earlier this season, then left a victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday with a similar issue. The operation repaired the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb.

A seven-time All-Star, Perez is hitting a career-worst .211 with 11 home runs a year after leading the majors with 48 homers and 121 RBIs.

OCTOBER REMATCH

Max Fried (7-2, 2.77 ERA) starts for the World Series champion Atlanta Braves against Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman and the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in another rematch of the past two NL Championship Series.

Fried, who went to high school in Los Angeles, is 0-2 in four playoff starts plus four 2018 postseason relief appearances against the Dodgers.

Mitch White (1-1, 3.86) is on the mound for Los Angeles.

TAKING A HIT

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays will be without hitting coach Guillermo Martínez for the second consecutive day in Milwaukee.

Martínez was suspended for five games Friday and fined by Major League Baseball for a confrontation with umpire Doug Eddings. The coach was disciplined by MLB senior vice president Michael Hill for making contact with Eddings and what MLB termed unsportsmanlike conduct during the exchange of lineup cards before Wednesday’s game at the Chicago White Sox.

The 37-year-old Martínez began serving the suspension when the Blue Jays played the Brewers on Friday night.

MINOR LEAGUE MAX

Mets right-hander Max Scherzer won’t pitch for New York this weekend despite some hope earlier this week he might come off the injured list Sunday.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner has been sidelined since May 19 because of an oblique strain. The 37-year-old Scherzer, who signed a three-year $130 million free agent deal with the Mets in the offseason, was 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts before going on the IL.

Scherzer made a rehab start at Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday, throwing 65 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs, three hits, walked one and struck out six.

There was speculation his next start Sunday might come with the big league team, but he’s likely headed for another minor league outing.

“He still might pitch Sunday for somebody, but it won’t be us,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ll see how feels the next day or two to decide what happens next.”

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