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LEADING OFF: Padres-Dodgers back at it, Astros struggling

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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler works against a San Diego Padres batter during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, April 16, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday:

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OPEN WITH ACES

Los Angeles right-hander Walker Buehler (1-0, 2.00 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Buehler will be followed by LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.19) and RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 2.42), with Dustin May (1-1, 2.93) scheduled for Sunday’s series finale. The Dodgers won two of three last weekend in San Diego during the first series of the season between the NL West rivals.

BACK AGAIN

Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán (0-2, 9.00 ERA) will rejoin the club from the alternate training site to make his third start after missing all of 2020 serving a ban for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. Germán struggled in outings against Toronto and Tampa Bay before being sent down, allowing seven runs and four homers over seven innings. He’ll face the Indians and righty Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.18) in the opener of a four-game series at Cleveland.

STRUGGLING 'STROS

Alex Cobb (1-0, 4.63 ERA) makes his third start for his new team when the Los Angeles Angels begin a four-game series at Houston. The slumping Astros have lost nine of 10. Houston also was 7-10 last year before winning eight in a row and eventually reaching Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.