Pirates to promote pitching prospect Nick Kingham

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Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates will call up pitching prospect Nick Kingham from Triple-A Indianapolis to start on Sunday at home against the Cardinals. MLB Pipeline rates Kingham as the No. 13 prospect in the Pirates’ system.

Kingham, 26, was selected by the Pirates in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. He was expected to have reached the major leagues a few years ago, but he tore his UCL and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. As a result, he pitched a total of 77 1/3 innings in the 2015-16 seasons.

In four starts this season at Triple-A, Kingham owns a 1.59 ERA with a 27/7 K/BB ratio across 22 2/3 innings.

The Pirates played a doubleheader against the Tigers on Wednesday, so they need an extra starter. As a result, Kingham isn’t likely to stick in the rotation beyond Sunday, at least for now.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.