Lowell's spring debut pushed back to next week

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Mike Lowell was initially hoping to make his spring training debut tomorrow, but now it sounds like he won’t play until Monday at the earliest. Here’s manager Terry Francona:

We’re probably shooting more for Monday with Mikey Lowell. That’s probably a realistic target. I don’t know if it will happen.

Normally teams have every reason to be very cautious with injured players early in camp, but in the Red Sox’s case they probably want Lowell in the lineup as soon as possible to showcase him for a potential trade.
Boston had a deal worked out to send Lowell and $9 million to Texas for Max Ramirez, but the trade was nixed because of thumb surgery. If his thumb and hip look healthy and Lowell shows decent mobility at third base they should be able to find a taker for him again, although the Rangers are seemingly out of the mix after signing Vladimir Guerrero.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.