Tigers setup man Bruce Rondon made his first appearance since September 2 on Tuesday night against the Twins and struck out all three batters he faced. But he might have to be shut down again.
According to beat writer Chris Iott of MLive.com, the hard-throwing right-hander woke up Wednesday morning with renewed soreness in his troublesome pitching elbow. Tigers manager Jim Leyland would only describe the situation as “not good” and head trainer Kevin Rand chose not to speculate about the severity of the setback when probed by reporters.
Rondon, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, has a promising 3.45 ERA and 30/11 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings this season. Detroit is already missing left-hander Phil Coke, who is battling elbow problems of his own, and veteran right-hander Octavio Dotel, who was ruled out for the rest of the year in late August.
The Tigers will need some excellent performances from their starting pitchers this October.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.