Josh Beckett cleared to start Thursday versus Indians

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Josh Beckett skipped his scheduled Saturday start because of a sore lat muscle and Aaron Cook had a disastrous outing in his place, but Beckett avoided the disabled list and has been cleared to rejoin the rotation Thursday versus the Indians.

Beckett told Ian Browne of MLB.com that he won’t have any pitch count restrictions after missing just one turn in the rotation and he’d thrown 126, 100, and 110 pitches in his previous three outings.

Since an ugly season debut versus the Tigers on April 7 in which he served up five homers Beckett has started four games with a 2.93 ERA and 21/8 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.