5:53 p.m. EDT update: No no-no this afternoon. Moscoso got Jeff Francoeur to line out and struck out Mitch Maier to begin the eighth, but Royals catcher Salvador Perez battled back after an 0-2 count and singled with two outs to break up the bid.
Moscoso retired Mike Moustakas afterwards, and he may still get a chance to go for his first complete game and shutout. He’s at 106 pitches after eight.
6:25 p.m. EDT update: Unfortunately, Moscoso ended up getting removed after a Scott Sizemore error put a second runner on base with two outs in the ninth. Fautino De Los Santos came in and retired Eric Hosmer to end the game at 7-0. If not for the error, Moscoso would have had his first career complete game and shutout. He settled instead for the win, moving him to 8-8 with a 3.34 ERA.
A’s right-hander Guillermo Moscoso has pitched seven hitless innings and faced just one batter over the minimum in Wednesday’s game against the Royals.
Moscoso, 27, is making his 18th big-league start and is 7-8 with a 3.63 ERA for the A’s this season. He pitched briefly for the Rangers in 2009 and ’10 before being designated for assignment and getting acquired in a minor trade by Oakland last winter.
Aside from a walk to Alcides Escobar in the sixth, Moscoso has been perfect in this one. He’s struck out three. Oakland had a 7-0 lead and he’s thrown a modest 90 pitches, so there won’t be any reason for the A’s to pull him until he gives up a hit.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.
The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.
Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.
Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).
Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.
Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.
Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.