LEADING OFF: Cruz cruisin', Mets home, Nats begin tough trip

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



Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz has a 19-game hitting streak, tying the longest of his career. He's batting .422 with 11 home runs, six doubles and 15 RBIs during the string. Cruz has hit 33 homers overall, tied with Mike Trout for most in the majors. He's also gotten an extra-base hit in nine straight games, one shy of the team record set by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993. Cruz, who led the big leagues with 40 home runs last year with Baltimore, takes on the Orioles at Safeco Field.


The struggling Nationals visit Dodger Stadium to open a nine-game trip to LA, San Francisco and Colorado. Gio Gonzalez starts for Washington, which has lost seven of 10 and fallen out of the NL East lead.


Now holding the NL East lead, the Mets return to Citi Field, where they're a sparkling 38-18 this year. Back home after a 4-2 trip to Florida, New York starts Jonathon Niese vs. Colorado. Injured Mets captain David Wright, meanwhile, begins a rehab assignment at Class A St. Lucie.


Johnny Cueto is winless in his first two starts for Kansas City after the AL Central leaders got the star right-hander in a trade with Cincinnati. He'll pitch at home vs. Matt Boyd and the Tigers - last week, Boyd outdueled Cueto for his first big league win.


White Sox ace Chris Sale has been tagged for 14 earned runs and 18 hits in 10 1-3 innings in losing his past two starts. He'll try to reverse the trend when he faces the visiting Angels.