Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hasn’t played since Friday due to a strained right hamstring, but Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that he’s available for tonight’s game against the Rockies and could return to the starting lineup tomorrow afternoon.
Altuve exited Friday’s game against the Mariners after he tweaked his hamstring trying to run out a ground ball in his second at-bat of the first inning against Felix Hernandez. He downplayed the severity of the issue, so a stint on the disabled list wasn’t deemed necessary, but the Astros are trying to play things safe in order to avoid a setback.
After his monster 2014, the 25-year-old Altuve is batting .290/.330/.395 with five home runs, 27 RBI, and 17 steals through 61 games this season.
Rickie Weeks signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Mariners over the winter, but he was designated for assignment this afternoon after struggling in part-time duty.
Weeks, 32, batted just .167/.263/.250 with two home runs and nine RBI over 95 plate appearances while seeing most of his playing time against left-handed pitching. He exclusively played second base in the majors coming into this season, but the Mariners used him as a left fielder and designated hitter. His role has been diminished since the Mark Trumbo deal, so Seattle decided to turn the page.
The Mariners have called up right-hander Danny Farquhar from Triple-A Tacoma to replace Weeks and will go with an eight-man bullpen for the time being.
Felix Hernandez had the worst start of his career last night and the Mariners couldn’t get anything going against Brett Oberholtzer, so manager Lloyd McClendon decided to let catcher Jesus Sucre pitch the eighth inning of a lopsided game. He allowed one hit, but only needed seven pitches to get out of the inning and topped out at 90.5 mph according to Brooks Baseball. Not bad at all:
One of my favorite things about position players pitching is that they regularly attempt to act like this is business as usual while fighting off a grin. Sucre was no different.
Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak hit an RBI triple in the second inning of Friday night’s game against the Red Sox, chipping into what was a five-run deficit. The 28-year-old, a veteran of six seasons in the majors, hadn’t hit a triple in his career spanning 2,316 plate appearances entering the game. That was a record until it was snapped.
As our own Matthew Pouliot noted on Twitter, Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo now has the most plate appearances without a triple.
On the triple, Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts slammed face-first into the center field wall at Fenway Park. He stayed in the game initially but exited after two innings with a sprained lower back, per ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes.
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez didn’t last very long in Friday night’s start against the Astros. The right-hander gave up eight runs on five hits and two walks with one strikeout before he was taken out of the game with only one out in the first inning. Joe Beimel relieved him and was able to finish the inning without any further damage.
Hernandez had only once before allowed eight runs in a start. That occurred on August 28, 2013 against the Rangers. He started but could not finish — could not even record an out in — the fourth inning. King Felix had failed to complete the first inning in a start once, on April 18, 2007 against the Twins, but that was due to an injury: a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow.