Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi was forced to make an early departure from his start Friday night against the Mariners with pain in his right side, and manager Kevin Cash acknowledged Saturday that it likely had something to do with his oblique muscle.
Cash told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune that Odorizzi is scheduled to see a doctor as soon as the Rays return from their current 10-game road trip on Monday and called it a “fair” assumption that the hard-throwing 25-year-old is looking at an extended absence. Grade 1 oblique strains typically take two to three weeks to heal. Grade 2 strains can sideline players for more than a month.
Odorizzi is sporting a fantastic 2.47 ERA and 1.017 WHIP in 12 starts this season.
He also has an impressive 63/15 K/BB ratio through 76 2/3 innings.
Yasiel Puig struck out in his first two plate appearances Saturday night against Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, but the just-activated 24-year-old got it very right the third time around …
Puig hadn’t appeared in a game for the Dodgers since April 24 because of a lingering left hamstring strain. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw made that go-ahead run stick with eight innings of shutout ball and Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen returned from a bout with dehydration to pick up a seamless three-out save. Los Angeles will try to split this big four-game series with St. Louis on Sunday night behind Zack Greinke.
Puig said this winter that he views the Cardinals — not the Giants — as the Dodgers’ principal rival.
Don’t look now, but the Indians are streaking.
Danny Salazar fanned 10 batters, scattered six hits, and allowed just one run over seven innings Saturday as Cleveland took down the visiting Orioles 2-1. It was the seventh victory in 10 games for the Indians, and they’re now 13-5 over their last 18.
Much of the credit for the turnaround is rightfully going to the rotation. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian notes that Cleveland’s top four starters — Salazar, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer — have combined for a 2.49 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 160 strikeouts in 133 2/3 innings since May 13. Salazar himself has a 3.50 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 81/17 K/BB ratio in 61 2/3 innings. He’s only 25 years old.
This is a team that should keep getting better. Despite a dreadful month of April, they’re only five games back in the American League Central standings heading into play Sunday.
Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …
Cubs 4, Nationals 2
Astros 2, Blue Jays 7
Rangers 4, Royals 2
Brewers 4, Twins 2
Giants 7, Phillies 5
Athletics 2, Red Sox 4
Orioles 1, Indians 2
Padres 9, Reds 7
Marlins 5, Rockies 10
Pirates 4, Braves 5
Tigers 7, White Sox 1
Angels 2, Yankees 8
Rays 1, Mariners 2
Cardinals 0, Dodgers 2
Mets 1, Diamondbacks 2
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.