Dan Haren blames shortest start since 2005 on stiff back

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Dan Haren didn’t make it out of the fourth inning Tuesday night against the punchless Twins lineup, coughing up five runs on eight hits in his shortest start since 2005.

Afterward he revealed the lower back stiffness that came on during his pregame bullpen session made it tough to finish pitches, which helps explain how Haren failed to record a strikeout in a start for the first time since 2004.

Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com notes that Haren has pitched 10 seasons in the majors without going on the disabled list and he’s trying to avoid doing so now, downplaying the severity of the injury. His next start will be worth watching and he gets another extremely favorable matchup at home versus the A’s.

George Springer sets record with homer in fifth consecutive World Series game

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Astros outfielder George Springer has set another postseason home run record. He swatted a solo home run off of Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, reducing the Nationals’ lead to 5-3. It marked his fifth consecutive World Series game with a home run, breaking a tie with Reggie Jackson and Lou Gehrig to set a new record, per MLB.com’s Sarah Langs.

Springer homered in Games 4 through 7 in the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers. The Astros, of course, ultimately won the series to earn the franchise’s first championship.

Springer hadn’t had the best showing in the 2019 playoffs, as he entered Tuesday’s action batting .152/.235/.283 across 51 plate appearances.