As of last week Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley was making steady progress in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, but his minor-league rehab assignment has been shut down after he complained of elbow soreness.
Billingsley underwent surgery 14 months ago and had been talking about possibly rejoining the Dodgers in early July, with speculation about what his role would be given their rotation depth. Now that’s a moot point, at least for a while, and the Dodgers will wait to hear if the news is bad enough to derail his comeback.
Before the injury Billingsley was a very solid mid-rotation starter for the Dodgers, posting a 3.66 ERA in 1,163 innings from 2006-2012, but his rehab from Tommy John surgery has now been halted on two different occasions.
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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.