Rangers: Beltre still expected to miss only two weeks

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Jon Heyman of SI.com reported Saturday that Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is likely to miss “about a month” of spring training because of the Grade 1 muscle strain in his right calf, putting his status for Opening Day in serious doubt.

The Rangers are now refuting that, holding strong to their estimation that Beltre might be ready for spring games around March 10 and that he will be fine by the regular season opener.

Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas spoke Sunday morning with Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine in an attempt to clear up the confusion:

“[We] still feel it’s two weeks,” said Levine.

Adrian Beltre was signed to a five-year, $80 million contract this offseason after posting a .321/.365/.553 batting line, 28 home runs and 102 RBI over 154 games in 2010 for the Red Sox while also playing great defense at the hot corner. The Rangers open their season at home on April 1 against Boston.

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.