Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer was not having a good afternoon at home against the Yankees on Saturday. He served up an upper-deck home run to right field in the first inning to Brian McCann, then surrendered a one-out, two-run blast to Chris Young in the second.
Frustrated, Oberholtzer’s next pitch was a fastball inside to Alex Rodriguez, nearly hitting the DH. Home plate umpire Rob Drake immediately ejected a remorseless Oberholtzer, who walked off the mound without an argument.
Roberto Hernandez entered the game in Oberholtzer’s place, eventually walking Rodriguez before escaping the inning unscathed.
Oberholtzer should end up with a fine and/or a suspension when the dust settles.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.