Hunter Pence likely out until Friday with sprained left elbow

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The Astros hoped to have Hunter Pence back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Rangers, but a setback has likely put him on the shelf until Friday.

Pence hasn’t played since last Friday due to a sprained left elbow. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that he showed up to the ballpark today unable to swing a bat after feeling continued discomfort.

“It’s just not ready to swing,” he said. “It’s close, very close, but I’m not ready. There’s really no way other to say I can’t really swing. Until I can, I don’t know how you can really play. I’m going to wait until it’s ready so I can play. I’m going to play hard and play good.”

Pence is hitting .321/.361/.497 with nine homers, 51 RBI and an .858 OPS over 310 plate appearances this season. Entering play Tuesday, the 28-year-old outfielder ranks fourth in the league in batting average and RBI.