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Aug 31, 2016 10:19 PM

LEADING OFF: Light schedule includes Samardzija, deGrom

The Associated Press

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

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SLIM PICKINGS

Only four games are on the schedule, with the Padres and Braves playing in the afternoon, and then Marlins-Mets, Giants-Cubs and White Sox-Twins set for the evening.

NEW FACES

A handful of smaller trades happened Wednesday, which means a few teams will greet new players heading into the weekend — just in time to be eligible for postseason rosters. Cleveland finalized its deal to acquire outfielder Coco Crisp from Oakland, the Orioles got Michael Bourn from the Diamondbacks, the Pirates swapped lefty Kyle Lobstein to Baltimore for lefty Zach Phillips and the Mariners got outfielder Ben Gamel from the Yankees, who also acquired outfielder Eric Young Jr. from the Brewers.

THE SHARK COMES HOME

The Giants and Cubs begin a highly anticipated series in Chicago. Jeff Samardzija (11-9, 4.00) — from nearby Merrillville, Indiana — makes his first appearance at Wrigley Field since a 2014 trade to Oakland ended his seven-year stint with Chicago. The right-hander threw seven solid innings in a 7-0 win over Atlanta last time out. Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.60) is up for the Cubs.

JAKE'S BREAK

Mets righty Jacob deGrom (7-7, 2.96) returns to the mound after having his last start skipped following consecutive lackluster outings. New York suspected deGrom was suffering from fatigue and pointed out that he has responded well to time off in the past. Jose Urena (2-5, 5.83) will pitch for Miami.

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