Astros LHP Framber Valdez gets positive update on injury

The Houston Astros received a positive update on left-hander Framber Valdez on the same day Forrest Whitley had season-ending surgery on his right elbow.

Valdez met with Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and new images of the pitcher’s fractured left ring finger showed significant healing, according to the team. Valdez is expected to continue his rehab at the team’s facility in Florida, and there is no timetable yet for his return to the mound.

The 27-year-old Valdez went 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 11 games last year, including 10 starts. He got hurt when struck by a comebacker while pitching against the Mets on March 2.

Whitley’s Tommy John surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas. He got hurt while throwing batting practice this spring training.

The 23-year-old Whitley, one of Houston’s top prospects, is expected to miss at least a year. He was selected by the Astros in the first round of the 2016 amateur draft.

ACES APLENTY

Aces Walker Buehler of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox faced off in Arizona.

Buehler tossed four effective innings in Los Angeles’ 4-3 victory. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed an unearned run and five hits, struck out five and walked one.

Giolito was charged with two runs and three hits in 3 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-6 right-hander struck out six and walked two.

“I had a couple stressful innings today, and it’s good to get reps in pitching with runners in scoring position,” Giolito said, “getting the pitch count above 20 in an inning, I think that happened twice. Ideally, I’d love to go out there and just have 1-2-3 innings where I’m striking everyone out. But that’s not baseball, that’s not going to happen, so I welcome the challenge today.”

OPENING SALVO

Eduardo Rodríguez was selected by Red Sox manager Alex Cora to start on opening day. Cora made the announcement after the left-hander pitched five innings of one-run ball in a 9-1 win over Minnesota.

Rodríguez was in line to start on opening day in 2020 before testing positive for the coronavirus and being diagnosed with inflammation in his heart muscles.

“He had a great season in ’19. Last year he wasn’t able to pitch for obvious reasons,” Cora said. “What he’s shown now, he’s healthy and he’s ready to go. … It was just a matter of time.”

RAYS 10, PIRATES 9

Tyler Glasnow pitched four innings in his third start for Tampa Bay, allowing four runs and six hits. Austin Meadows connected for a two-run homer, and Joey Wendle collected three hits.

Pittsburgh right-hander Mitch Keller was hit hard again, allowing eight runs and 10 hits in two-plus innings. Keller’s ERA is 21.60.

Bryan Reynolds and Colin Moran each hit a two-run homer for the Pirates.

PHILLIES 2, TIGERS 0

Philadelphia right-hander Zack Wheeler tossed five innings of four-hit ball. Odúbel Herrera led off the fourth with his third homer and Ronald Torreyes added an RBI double.

Tarik Skubal made his first start in his third appearance for Detroit, allowing a hit and three walks in three scoreless innings.

YANKEES 1, BLUE JAYS 0

Jordan Montgomery made his third start for New York, pitching five no-hit innings and lowering his ERA to 0.90. Aaron Judge had two hits and scored a run.

Toronto pitcher Thomas Hatch was pulled after a leadoff walk to DJ LeMahieu in the third. The team said Hatch had discomfort in his right arm.

Bo Bichette singled with two outs in the sixth for the Blue Jays’ first hit.

MARLINS 3, METS 2

Miami right-hander Sandy Alcantara continued his impressive spring training with five innings of three-hit ball, striking out nine. Alcantara has thrown 12 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 19. Rookie Jazz Chisholm hit his second homer — a solo shot in the fifth.

Joey Lucchesi made his first start in his second appearance for New York, allowing two walks in three scoreless innings. Francisco Lindor had two hits, and Albert Almora Jr. drove in two runs.

ATHLETICS 10, ROYALS 5

Oakland left-hander A.J. Puk surrendered two runs and two hits in two innings. With Mike Fiers hampered by an injury, Puk, the No. 6 pick in the 2016 amateur draft, could begin the year in the rotation.

Jed Lowrie hit two doubles for Oakland, and Matt Olson hit his fourth homer in the fifth.

Kansas City lefty Mike Minor was charged with six runs, four earned, and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Ryan McBroom and Hunter Dozier homered for the Royals.

GIANTS 11, ROCKIES 8

Kevin Gausman pitched 2 1/3 innings for San Francisco, yielding an earned run and three hits. Alex Dickerson and Jason Krizan connected for the Giants.

Germán Márquez worked five innings for the Rockies, striking out six and allowing three runs and six hits. Jairo Díaz allowed three runs and two hits in his inning of relief.

CARDINALS 4, ASTROS 4

Jose Altuve hit his first homer this spring for Houston, spoiling a strong outing by St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright. The 39-year-old Wainwright allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings, striking out four and limiting Houston to five hits.

St. Louis slugger Paul Goldschmidt hit his first homer, and Tommy Edman had three hits. Jordan Hicks walked two and got two outs in a scoreless outing, his second appearance this spring for the Cardinals.

ORIOLES 5, BRAVES 2

Baltimore left-hander John Means pitched one-run ball over four innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. The only damage he allowed was a solo homer by Ozzie Albies. Austin Hays had three hits for the O’s, raising his spring average to .370.

Charlie Morton allowed just an unearned run over 4 1/3 innings for Atlanta, striking out four while giving up four hits and a walk.

CUBS 8, PADRES 2

Willson Contreras had three hits, including a homer, and drove in five for Chicago. Anthony Rizzo also homered, Ian Happ had two hits and Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs in 3 1/3 innings for the Cubs, striking out four and walking one.

Chris Paddack gave up four runs in 1 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out two for San Diego. Tommy Pham had three hits and Jake Cronenworth doubled.

RANGERS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 0

Kyle Gibson was perfect over four innings except for an error and a hit batsmen, striking out six for Texas in a one-hitter. Dane Dunning allowed that hit but was otherwise spotless over three innings, and Ian Kennedy and Josh Sborz combined to close out the gem. Nick Solak homered and had two hits, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa also had two hits.

Zac Gallen allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings for Arizona. He gave up six hits and struck out three.

ANGELS 7, MARINERS 4, (7)

Los Angeles left-hander José Quintana struck out six in 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and three walks. The 32-year-old Quintana is yet to allow a run in four outings this spring after signing an $8 million, one-year deal. Franklin Barreto homered and Taylor Ward had three hits for the Angels.

Evan White homered for Seattle. Rotation hopeful Chris Flexen gave up six runs, nine hits and a walk in three innings.

REDS 12, INDIANS 7

Nick Castellanos hit his second homer of the spring for Cincinnati, and Luis Castillo pitched three-hit ball over three scoreless innings. Mike Freeman also homered for the Reds.

Triston McKenzie gave up two runs in three innings for Cleveland before Anthony Gose let things get out of hand. Gose, a converted outfielder, surrendered six runs, three hits and three walks without getting an out in the fourth inning.

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