Ivan Nova was removed from Monday’s game in the sixth inning with a sprained right ankle.
Nova was hurt fielding a tapper near the mound and limped off the field afterwards. He was previously hit in the right foot by a Nick Markakis comebacker in the third, but the incident in the sixth was a new injury.
Nova was charged with five runs in 5 1/3 innings before departing. The Orioles snapped his 15-game winning streak by beating him 5-0 on May 2, but he won’t be involved in the decision tonight after leaving a 5-5 tie.
If Nova needs to miss his next start, Freddy Garcia, who has been relegated to mop-up duties since losing his rotation spot at the beginning of the month, could get the call in his place.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.