In the fourth inning of Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, Matt Moore took a comebacker to the face off of the bat of Xander Bogaerts. Moore appeared to at least partially deflect the ball and had the presence of mind to chase after the ball and throw out Bogaerts at first base to end the inning.
Video of the incident:
Moore left the game under his own power with a team trainer. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times said there didn’t appear to be any urgency. After the game, Topkin reported that Moore got a couple stitches for a laceration on his lip, and that the lefty wasn’t showing any symptoms of a concussion.
Moore says he should be ready to start the regular season. Maddon is as optimistic, but will defer to the team’s medical staff.
The incident had more gravity as a result of the gruesome injury suffered by Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman last week.
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.