Roy Halladay was all set to make his third minor league rehab start at Double-A Reading, but the Phillies’ scheduled starter for Sunday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks had to pitch in relief in Saturday night’s 18-inning marathon loss so “Doc” is back in the bigs in a sudden change of course.
CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports that Halladay has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and will take the mound on Sunday afternoon versus Arizona in the place of Tyler Cloyd. Halladay went six innings in each of his two minor league rehab starts, so the Phillies don’t have to put him on a limited pitch count. But expectations should probably be low.
Halladay — who underwent shoulder surgery on May 16 and hasn’t pitched in the majors since — allowed 13 hits, six walks and five runs over 12 minor league innings while averaging around 87 mph on his fastball.
The 36-year-old righty had an 8.65 ERA in seven starts this season for Philly before hitting the shelf.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.