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MLB Notebook

Twins place Byron Buxton on injured list with hip strain

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton will be out for multiple weeks with a hip strain.
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton will be out for multiple weeks with a hip strain.Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Twins placed Byron Buxton on the 10-day injured list with a hip strain on Friday, with manager Rocco Baldelli expecting his red-hot outfielder to miss “weeks” rather than just 10 days. Along with his typically excellent defense and baserunning, Buxton was off to a scorching start at the plate, hitting .370 with nine homers and a league-leading .772 slugging percentage.

Often an injury concern, Buxton exited Minnesota’s extra-inning loss to the Rangers on Thursday after pulling up while running out a ninth-inning grounder.

Reds 1B Joey Votto goes on injured list with broken thumb

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken left thumb that could sideline him for a month.

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Votto was struck on the thumb with a pitch by Chicago’s Dallas Keuchel on Wednesday. Votto is not expected to need surgery, but the team expects him to be out at least three weeks and maybe more.

The 37-year-old is batting .226 with five homers and 17 RBIs. He hit his 300th career home run during the Reds’ recently completed homestand.

The Reds also reinstated outfielder Shogo Akiyama from the 10-day injured list. He had been out with a hamstring injury he sustained while running out a ground ball March 13, his last spring training appearance.

Indians catcher Roberto Pérez has finger surgery, out months

Roberto Pérez (left) will be out for an extended period after surgery to fix a fractured ring finger.
Roberto Pérez (left) will be out for an extended period after surgery to fix a fractured ring finger.Quinn Harris/Getty

Indians catcher Roberto Pérez will be sidelined for months following surgery on a fractured right ring finger.

Pérez played in pain for several weeks with the fracture, which happened when he got crossed up by reliever James Karinchak on April 14 in Chicago. Pérez broke the finger on his throwing hand when he caught the pitch barehanded.

Pérez left the Indians’ series in Kansas City to visit hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, who performed the operation. Graham did surgery on Pérez’s broken right thumb almost exactly five years ago. He missed two months after that procedure.

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Manager Terry Francona couldn’t provide a definitive timeline on how long Pérez will be out this time, but said it “it’s not weeks, but months.”

Pérez’s loss is a big blow to the Indians, who lead the AL Central after winning nine of 11. He’s a two-time Gold Glove winner and handles one of the league’s best pitching staffs.

Justin Verlander making progress after Tommy John surgery

Justin Verlander, the 2019 AL Cy Young winner, is continuing to recover from October Tommy John surgery.
Justin Verlander, the 2019 AL Cy Young winner, is continuing to recover from October Tommy John surgery.Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is doing well in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and says he still has unbridled passion for the game at 38.

However, the two-time Cy Young Award winner can’t deny that he’s loved the extra time at home with his supermodel wife Kate Upton and 2-year-old daughter Genevieve over the past few months.

Verlander is throwing from 90 feet and feeling great, but said it’s far too early to have a timeline for his return.

Verlander made just one start in 2020, pitching six innings on July 24 in a win over Seattle on opening day before being placed on the injured list with strained right forearm. He attempted a comeback after he was injured, but announced on Sept. 19, 2020 that he needed Tommy John surgery and underwent the procedure on Oct. 1.

Verlander is making $33 million this year, then is eligible for free agency. He said he hasn’t had any conversations with the Astros about his future with the team and said he wouldn’t expect there to be any until much farther down the road.

“I don’t know why there would be at this point,” he said. “I think anybody would like to see how my rehab continues to go further down the line. I think I would have to prove that I’m that I’m healthy before that was even a topic of conversation.”

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Verlander went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019, striking out a career-high 300 and throwing the third no-hitter of his career to win his second Cy Young Award. He pitched 223 innings, most in the majors, and made six more starts in the postseason as the Astros reached the World Series.

Zach Davies, Joc Pederson lead Cubs over Pirates 3-2, 4th win in row

Zach Davies allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings, Rex Brothers got his first save in eight years, and the Chicago Cubs held on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2, extending their winning streak to four... Francisco Lindor hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh inning after an apparently heated exchange with teammate Jeff McNeil in the dugout tunnel, and the New York Mets rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4... Jack Flaherty hit his first career home run and became the major leagues’ first six-game winner, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over Colorado 5-0 in Nolan Arenado’s first game against the Rockies... Yuli Gurriel homered and tied a career high with four hits while driving in four runs to lead the Houston Astros to a 10-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays... Carlos Rodón struck out eight in six innings, Zack Collins homered and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 3-0.

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