Zack Britton pitches in minors in return from Tommy John surgery

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

CLEARWATER, Fla. — New York Yankees reliever Zack Britton returned to the mound after an 11-month absence, facing two batters for the Class A Tampa Tarpons in his first appearance since Tommy John surgery.

The 34-year-old left-hander started the game against the Clearwater Threshers. He retired Cade Fergus on a grounder to the pitcher and threw a called third strike past Matt Alifano.

An All-Star with Baltimore in 2015 and 2016, Britton hopes to return to the Yankees for the stretch run.

He made his last big league appearance on Aug. 19 last year at Minnesota. Los Angeles Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache operated on Sept. 8 to reconstruct the UCL in his left elbow and remove a bone chip.

Britton was 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA in 22 games last season before the injury. He has 154 saves in 11 major league seasons with Baltimore (2011-18) and the Yankees (2018-21).

Britton has a $14 million salary this season and can become a free agent after the World Series.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

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.