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Alex Bregman’s fourth inning homer breaks up dueling no-hitters in Houston

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This morning I said that you were not going to see a better starting pitching matchup in the postseason than Justin Verlander vs. Corey Kluber. It dawned on me after saying that that I could’ve jinxed things and that, as a result, we may wind up with a 10-9 game in which both managers go to their pen by the third inning.

Nah. The starters came out throwing bullets, matching each other with no-hit innings in the first three frames and with Justin Verlander continuing to no-hit Cleveland into the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, however, a batter broke through. That batter was Alex Bregman and he broke through on a 2-1 sinker with nobody out:

That’s where we are, still in the bottom of the fourth in Game 1 of the ALDS.

UPDATE: Kluber then walked Yuli Gurriel, a couple of outs were recorded, Tyler White singled to center moving Gurriel to third and then Josh Reddick singled to right, scoring Gurriel. It’s 2-0 Houston in the fourth.

Carlos MartĂ­nez to pitch out of bullpen upon return from injured list

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Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said pitcher Carlos MartĂ­nez will work out of the bullpen when he returns from the injured list, The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports. Shildt noted that the decision is based on MartĂ­nez’s needs rather than the team’s needs, which suggests he may not yet have the strength to pitch as a starter.

MartĂ­nez, 27, opened the season on the injured list due to a right rotator cuff strain. The right-hander was also injured last year, battling lat and oblique injuries. He will go to extended spring training and likely begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Based on that time frame, MartĂ­nez should be activated around mid-May.

Last year, MartĂ­nez made 18 starts and 15 relief appearances, posting a 3.11 ERA with five saves and a 117/60 K/BB ratio across 118 2/3 innings. It is unclear what role(s) MartĂ­nez will have in the bullpen, but he could eventually help set up for closer Jordan Hicks.