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Johnny Cueto hit in the head by a line drive, but appears to be unharmed

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The Giants-Athletics Cactus League exhibition game had just started and things immediately went downhill for starter Johnny Cueto. Billy Burns ripped his first pitch back up the middle, striking Cueto in the head. It appeared to be a glancing blow, and the right-hander stayed in after being attended to by team trainer Dave Groeschner. Burns stood on second base with a double.

The next batter, Mark Canha, hit a slow chopper between first base and the pitcher’s mound. Cueto couldn’t decide whether to commit to fielding the ball or to cover first base, so Canha ended up reaching safely. Josh Reddick promptly deposited a three-run home run over the fence in right field for a quick 3-0 lead.

Cueto was able to settle down from there, striking out Danny Valencia, then inducing consecutive ground outs from Stephen Vogt and Khris Davis.

It appears that Cueto will be fine, but not all head trauma presents immediately. The Giants will certainly have him go through concussion protocol after the game. Still, one wonders why they risked keeping him in what is really a meaningless game.

Yankees, Astros lineups for ALCS Game 6

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Things haven’t gone quite according to plan for the Astros, who missed the opportunity to clinch the American League Championship Series after losing 4-1 to the Yankees in Game 5 on Friday. Still just one win away from a World Series invitation, they’ll try their luck again on Saturday night.

Neither lineup has been significantly altered for Game 6. The Yankees will try to push the series to a final Game 7 with right-hander Chad Green, backed by this configuration:

1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
4. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
5. Edwin Encarnación (R) DH
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
7. Gary Sánchez (R) C
8. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
9. Brett Gardner (L) LF

The Astros, meanwhile, will send Brad Peacock to the mound in what figures to be a bullpen game for both sides, marking the righty’s first official postseason start since the 2017 ALDS. Martín Maldonado is back in the lineup, as is Josh Reddick, while both Robinson Chirinos and Jack Marisnick will be available off the bench.

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. José Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
6. Carlos Correa (R) SS
7. Yordan Álvarez (L) DH
8. Martín Maldonado (R) C
9. Josh Reddick (L) RF

Starting tonight, the ALCS returns to Houston for Game 6 and a potential Game 7. Game time is set for 8:08 PM EDT.