It came as a mild surprise when the Astros promoted prospect Lance McCullers from Triple-A Fresno on May 18 — only a couple of days after he had been promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi — but the 21-year-old now looks like he very much belongs.
McCullers tossed his first career complete game on Wednesday night against the Orioles, allowing just four hits and one run over nine innings as the Astros defeated the visiting Orioles 3-1. He struck out 11 Baltimore batters and didn’t issue a single walk.
McCullers now boasts a 1.88 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 29/6 K/BB ratio over his first 24 innings (four starts) at the major league level.
Houston is 34-20 with a six-game lead over the Angels in the American League West.
Craig is hopping trains like a hobo for the next few weeks, so And That Happened is on hiatus.
Here are Wednesday’s box scores and recaps …
Twins 3, Red Sox 6 (Game 1)
Brewers 4, Cardinals 7
Yankees 3, Mariners 1
Braves 8, Diamondbacks 9
Pirates 5, Giants 2
Blue Jays 8, Nationals 0
Reds 4, Phillies 5 (11 innings)
Athletics 6, Tigers 1
Cubs 3, Marlins 7
Twins 2, Red Sox 0 (Game 2)
White Sox 9, Rangers 2
Indians 2, Royals 4
Orioles 1, Astros 3
Mets 3, Padres 7
Rays 6, Angels 5 (10 innings)
Dodgers 6, Rockies 7
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.