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WASHINGTON — Amid uncertainty about Bryce Harper’s neck stiffness, Max Scherzer takes the mound for the Washington Nationals in the opener of a two-game series against Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7:05 p.m.
ST. LOUIS — Mike Leake pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals, seeking traction in the NL Wild Card chase, against Brandon Finnegan and the Cincinnati Reds. By R.B. Fallstrom. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8:15 p.m.
CINCINNATI — Cancellation of the annual Hall of Fame Game because of field conditions is a reminder that although the league has come a long way in improving playing surfaces, there’s more progress to be made. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.
FBC–BIG TEN PREVIEW
The big change in the Big Ten is the move to the nine-game conference schedule. What doesn’t figure to change is the dominance of the East Division. By Eric Olson. SENT: 900 words, photos. Moving on national sports lines.
— FBC–OHIO STATE-DUNN: A former Ohio State University running back has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and assault. Also moving on some news lines.