Braves right-hander David Hale allowed a single to Brandon Phillips and an RBI double to Ryan Ludwick in the top of the first inning Saturday evening at Turner Field, but the Reds were held hitless the rest of the way in Atlanta’s eventual 4-1 victory. Watch a recap of the dominant outing:
Hale is expected to lose his rotation spot when Mike Minor (shoulder) returns from the disabled list this week, but Minor was lit up for five runs and 10 hits — including four homers — in what was supposed to be his final rehab start Friday at Double-A Mississippi. So maybe Hale and his 2.31 ERA will get one more turn.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.