Giants visit Braves…Phillies’ Hoskins needs surgery

ATLANTA (AP) — The San Francisco Giants take the best record in the majors to Atlanta tonight for the opener of a three-game series between National League division leaders. Kevin Gausman is expected to come off the COVID-19 injured list to start for the Giants against Max Fried (freed). The Braves should be well-rested, coming off a rare set of consecutive days off built into their schedule. San Francisco is about to get tested with a challenging stretch. The team plays its next 10 games against the Braves, the NL Central-leading Brewers and the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the second-best record in the big leagues and aren’t far behind the Giants in the NL West.

UNDATED (AP) — Philadelphia’s fading playoff hopes have taken another blow. Rhys Hoskins says he will miss the rest of the season with an abdominal tear that requires surgery. Hoskins leads the Phillies with 27 homers and 71 RBIs despite playing through the injury all season. He spent two weeks on the injured list, returned to the lineup Sunday and hit two homers in a win at San Diego. The Phillies have dropped six of their last eight to fall five games behind the NL East-leading Braves.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox open a three-game home series against the crosstown rival Cubs three weeks after sweeping a set at Wrigley Field. The AL Central-leading White Sox haven’t won a season series against the Cubs since going 3-1 in 2014 and haven’t swept the Windy City showdown since interleague play was introduced in 1997. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul) is set to face Cubs righty Keegan Thompson.

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL says 93% of players are vaccinated for COVID-19 and the league wanted mandatory vaccination but the NFLPA wouldn’t agreed to it. The league also has asked the players’ union to adjust protocols so vaccinated players would be tested weekly instead of every 14 days. Unvaccinated players are tested daily. NFLPA president JC Tretter, a center for the Cleveland Browns, said earlier this week the decision not to make vaccination mandatory was done by the league. But league officials disputes that assertion.

LONDON (AP) — The twice-postponed finals of the Billie Jean King Cup will be played in Prague. The International Tennis Federation says the competition will take place Nov. 1-6. It was originally scheduled to take place in Hungary in April 2020 but was postponed for 12 months when the coronavirus pandemic was declared. It was postponed again in February. Organizers were then forced to find a new host when Budapest backed out in May because of lingering COVID-19 concerns. Canada will replace Hungary in the 12-team competition formerly called the Fed Cup.