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Shohei Ohtani to return to mound on Sunday

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Angels P/DH Shohei Ohtani will return to the mound and start on Sunday against the Astros in Houston, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Ohtani, 24, hasn’t pitched since June 6. He was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. He returned as a hitter on July 3 and has batted .261/.333/.555 with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 133 plate appearances since then.

Overall, Ohtani is hitting .275/.352/.545 with 15 homers and 43 RBI in 262 PA in his first season in the majors. When he returns to the mound, he’ll look to improve on his 4-1 record, 3.10 ERA, and 61/20 K/BB ratio across 49 1/3 innings.

Jorge Soler hits Royals’ first home run in nearly two weeks

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The 16-31, last place Royals had a power outage lasting nearly two weeks. Entering Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals, Jorge Soler had hit the club’s most recent home run, a solo shot off of the Phillies’ Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning on May 10. That time frame spanned eight games.

Soler ended the home run drought, hitting a three-run round-tripper off of Michael Wacha to cap off a six-run third inning in the first game of the twin billing, staking the Royals to a 7-0 lead.

Soler, 27, is now batting .249/.303/.497 with 11 homers, 30 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 198 plate appearances on the season. He’s the only member of the Royals currently in double-digits in homers, though Hunter Dozier (nine) and Alex Gordon (eight) should soon join him.