START: Bassitt Back, Chisox tries to pick up, Max starts | Sports News

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A look at what’s going on around the majors on Thursday:

Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt has vowed to return to the mound by the end of the season following a frightening 100mph run to the face on August 17.

He will have his chance in the series final against Seattle at the Coliseum. Bassitt (12-4, 3.22) underwent facial surgery Aug. 24 to repair three fractured cheekbones after being hit by a liner on Brian Goodwin of the White Sox.

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“It was a bit of a torture chamber,” Bassitt said. “I’m happy to finally be back and hopefully help the team win.”

Immediately after getting injured, Bassitt let manager Bob Melvin and medical staff know that he absolutely intends to pitch again this year. Bassitt was leading the American League in wins, innings (151) and starts (25) at the time of his injury.

“Knowing Chris obviously sells us a bit, to have that understanding,” said athletic coach Nick Paparesta of the pitcher’s quick comeback. “What did Chris do this year?” Chris has had a phenomenal season. He was an All-Star. What else does he have to prove? But I think he has something to prove to himself that he can go out there and that he can do what he needs to do to help this team win and compete.

Bassitt, 32, returns to start a match between the wild-card contenders.

“I was ready,” he said. “It’s just that there were a lot of boxes to tick. We finally checked them all.

Almost untouchable at times, Max Scherzer has done everything the Dodgers hoped for – and more – since bringing him in from Washington in late July on the trade deadline.

Scherzer is 7-0 with a 0.78 ERA in nine starts for Los Angeles as he tries to pass San Francisco in the NL West. In 58 innings, he allowed just 31 hits and struck out 79.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 15-4 with a 2.08 ERA at the top of the major leagues. The 37-year-old right-hander is trying to go undefeated with the Dodgers when he starts against Colorado at Coors Field. The Rockies will pitch lefty Kyle Freeland, 3-3 with a 5.36 ERA at home this season.

Scherzer is 11-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 17 starts since a May 30 loss for the Nationals to Milwaukee. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 36 2/3 innings.

Scherzer hopes to end another streak of his own. A good batting pitcher for most of his career, he’s 0 of 55 overall at the plate this season – not reaching base safely once.

José Abreu, Yasmani Grandal and the White Sox are looking to clinch their first AL Central title since 2008, needing to win just once in a daytime doubles program in Cleveland.

The White Sox are close to making the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in team history.

Reynaldo López (3-3, 3.00 ERA) starts the opener for Chicago and Aaron Civale (11-4, 3.40) for second place Cleveland.

The White Sox have lost five of seven. Their magic number to win the division is two.

Adam Wainwright has won nine of his last 10 decisions, a big reason the Cardinals built their lead for the second place wild card in the NL.

Wainwright, 40, (16-7, 2.89 ERA) starts against Adrian Houser (9-6, 3.43) and Milwaukee, division leader. Wainwright is second in majors for wins behind Julio Urías of the Dodgers and is 5-0 with a 1.51 ERA since an Aug. 17 loss to the Brewers.

St. Louis had won 10 in a row heading into Wednesday night’s game in Milwaukee.

Southpaw Steven Matz is a career-high 13-8 with a 3.84 ERA as Toronto, who fights for an AL wild card spot, opens a series against the Minnesota Twins and Michael Pineda (7-8 , 3.74).

More AP Baseball: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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