MLB All-Star break ends with full slate of games Friday night

Posted at 2:23 PM, Jul 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-19 14:23:00-04

(AP) - Baseball's four-day break for the All-Star Game ends tonight with a full slate of games.


The AL East-leading Red Sox are hosting the Yankees, who start the second half of the season six games behind Boston.


The L.A. Dodgers visit Washington to play the Nationals in a matchup of two second-place teams hoping for a second-half run. Manager Davey Johnson, who's retiring after this season, says the Nationals are lucky to be only six games behind the Braves.


Pittsburgh, which is a game behind NL Central-leading St. Louis, opens its second half on the road against Cincinnati, which is five games back of the Cardinals.


And the interleague matchup this weekend has the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves in Chicago to play the White Sox, last in the AL Central.


Off the field, much of the focus as baseball heads into the second half of the season is on the possible suspensions of Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and a handful of All-Stars implicated in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. Officials from the players union said during the All-Star break that they did not expect any suspensions to be served until the 2014 campaign.