White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu grabbed the MLB home run lead on Friday night, but Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz took it back tonight with this two-run shot off Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg in the first inning. He’s now up to 28 home runs on the year.
John Lackey couldn’t be reached for comment. By the way, Cruz has already passed his home run total from last season and is just five away from matching his career-high. The Orioles still have 73 games left to play this season after tonight.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.