It came as a mild surprise when the Astros promoted prospect Lance McCullers from Triple-A Fresno on May 18 — only a couple of days after he had been promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi — but the 21-year-old now looks like he very much belongs.
McCullers tossed his first career complete game on Wednesday night against the Orioles, allowing just four hits and one run over nine innings as the Astros defeated the visiting Orioles 3-1. He struck out 11 Baltimore batters and didn’t issue a single walk.
McCullers now boasts a 1.88 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 29/6 K/BB ratio over his first 24 innings (four starts) at the major league level.
Houston is 34-20 with a six-game lead over the Angels in the American League West.
Craig is hopping trains like a hobo for the next few weeks, so And That Happened is on hiatus.
Here are Wednesday’s box scores and recaps …
Twins 3, Red Sox 6 (Game 1)
Brewers 4, Cardinals 7
Yankees 3, Mariners 1
Braves 8, Diamondbacks 9
Pirates 5, Giants 2
Blue Jays 8, Nationals 0
Reds 4, Phillies 5 (11 innings)
Athletics 6, Tigers 1
Cubs 3, Marlins 7
Twins 2, Red Sox 0 (Game 2)
White Sox 9, Rangers 2
Indians 2, Royals 4
Orioles 1, Astros 3
Mets 3, Padres 7
Rays 6, Angels 5 (10 innings)
Dodgers 6, Rockies 7
Josh Hamilton missed a second straight game Wednesday after injuring his left hamstring while legging out a walkoff two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday against the Red Sox. There was little to suggest that it was a major concern for the Rangers, but now comes this update …
Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports that an MRI taken Wednesday on Hamilton’s injured left hamstring showed a Grade 2 strain and the veteran outfielder is expected to be sidelined for the next four weeks. Hamilton had played in just seven games — tallying two homers, two doubles, five runs scored, and five RBI — since officially rejoining Texas on May 25.
It may be worth noting here that third base prospect Joey Gallo played six games in left field this season at Double-A Frisco prior to his June 2 promotion. He could be tried there when Adrian Beltre (thumb) returns.
A two-run homer by Junior Lake and some subsequent taunting set off a minor benches-clearing fracas between the host Marlins and visiting Cubs on Wednesday night in Miami …
HardballTalk’s official stance on bat flips and home run trots is well known — do them, have fun, baseball is supposed to be fun — but shushing the opposing dugout when you’re still down four runs deserves a little comeuppance. That was Lake’s first home run of the year. Maybe he was making a “No. 1” symbol.
Miami went on to defeat Chicago by a score of 7-3. Here’s a better look at Lake’s shush …
From J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News …
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is going out on a second minor-league rehabilitation stint Thursday with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The Quakes are scheduled to begin a seven-game road trip through Lancaster (Thursday-Sunday) and Modesto (Monday-Wednesday).
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Puig should be able to return to the active major league roster sometime next week if he’s able to avoid further setbacks. Puig first began a rehab assignment on May 7, but he reaggravated his left hamstring a day later and got shut down for over three weeks. He hasn’t played in a game for Los Angeles since April 24.
Puig’s return creates some issues with Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, and Alex Guerrero all playing well. But that is a good problem to have, and injuries and production levels usually sort these things out.
Puig, 24, was batting .279/.380/.465 through his first 50 plate appearances this season.
It sure sounds like the Yankees are going to be without Brian McCann for an extended period …
MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that McCann had to be removed from Wednesday afternoon’s 3-1 victory in Seattle after experiencing renewed soreness in his right foot. The foot has been giving him trouble for a couple of weeks, and McCann acknowledged after the game Wednesday that it especially gives him fits when he squats to catch. Which is, you know, a big problem for a guy who plays catcher.
McCann will undergo an MRI on Thursday back in New York City to determine if there’s structural damage in his right foot. John Ryan Murphy took over behind the plate on Wednesday. Gary Sanchez or Austin Romine could be on the way up from the minors ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Angels.
McCann, 31, is batting .248/.315/.452 with eight homers and 33 RBI in 45 games this season.
He is in the second year of a five-year, $85 million free agent agreement with the Yankees.