Kendrys Morales now aiming for early May return

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There’s still no official timetable for his return from last year’s broken ankle, but Kendrys Morales took a big step in his recovery yesterday by running on the field wearing cleats for the first time since early spring training.

Mike Scioscia was quick to point out that Morales was running at less than 100 percent, calling it “baby steps.” However, given that being able to run at something resembling full speed is basically the only thing keep Morales from rejoining the Angels’ lineup even baby steps are a major development.

He’s been taking batting practice and participating in fielding drills for a while now, but when Morales tried to ramp up his running in early March he experienced a setback in the form of foot soreness.

According Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times “the Angels hope Morales can return by early May.”

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.