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Brad Peacock favored to be Astros’ No. 5 starter

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Brad Peacock is the “leading candidate” to open the regular season as the club’s No. 5 starter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

Peacock has registered a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings of work this spring. His competition, pitching prospect Josh James, has logged just one inning this spring due to a quad injury.

Last season, Peacock pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen, compiling a 3.46 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 20 walks across 65 innings. He was a fixture in the Astros’ rotation in the last four months of the 2017 season, so this is certainly not a new role.

James, 26, impressed in a cup of coffee last September, yielding six runs on 15 hits and seven walks with 29 strikeouts in 23 innings. MLB Pipeline rates James as the No. 4 prospect in Houston’s system. James could open the season in the bullpen and then transition into the rotation if needed.

Nolan Arenado swats go-ahead homer for 1,000th career hit

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Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado entered Monday night’s game against the Nationals sitting on 997 hits for his career spanning seven seasons. Arenado hit an RBI double in the first inning, grounded out in the third, doubled again to lead off the fifth, then hit a solo homer to lead off the seventh, breaking a 5-5 tie. The homer, off of Wander Suero, represented the 1,000th career hit for Arenado.

Arenado now has four homers on the season along with 14 RBI, 15 runs scored, and a .281/.337/.483 batting line. He has recovered nicely after a slow start to the season — he had a .610 OPS following an 0-for-4 game against the Giants on April 13.