Just when Mat Latos’ rehab had progressed to the point that he was on the verge of making his season debut with the Reds now he might be sidetracked by a new injury.
Latos, who’s coming back from a flexor mass strain that followed a spring training knee injury, had to leave Wednesday’s rehab start at Triple-A early due to a calf strain. According to his wife’s Twitter post it’s a minor injury, but considering how many setbacks Latos has experienced already this season there’s always room to worry.
It was Latos’ third rehab start and he was supposed to throw 90-100 pitches, so if the calf problem indeed proves to be a non-issue he should be very close to coming off the disabled list.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.