LEADING OFF: Heston starts Giants-Cubs series, McCann ailing

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



San Francisco rookie Chris Heston pitches at Wrigley Field to begin a four-game series between teams that are neck-and-neck in the race for the second NL wild card. Heston, who threw a no-hitter earlier this season, is 5-0 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts since his last loss June 14 to Arizona. Jason Hammel (6-5, 3.13 ERA) starts for the Cubs.


With the last-place Red Sox already looking beyond this season, manager John Farrell said rookie outfielder Rusney Castillo will get regular playing time. Castillo will be back in the lineup against lefty CC Sabathia in the series finale at Yankee Stadium, Farrell said. AL East-leading New York expects to be without slugging catcher Brian McCann (left knee) for the second night in a row, but he hopes to be return after that.


Zack Greinke closes out the Dodgers' visit to Philadelphia, trying to improve his major league-leading 1.41 ERA. The LA ace has won five of his last six starts - he got a no-decision during the game in which the Mets ended his shutout streak at 45 2-3 innings.


Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha attempts to beat the Reds for the third time this season as the teams wrap up their set at Great American Ball Park. He's won both his starts against Cincinnati, allowing only two runs in 13 1-3 innings.


Newly acquired A's righty Aaron Brooks starts at home vs. AL West-leading Houston. Brooks earned his first major league win in his previous outing, his first since being traded from Kansas City to Oakland last week in a deal for Ben Zobrist.