McCullers (1-1) picked up his first win of the year with five innings of one-run ball against Baltimore on Thursday, striking out 10 while working around six walks and one hit.
The one hit was a Mark Trumbo solo homer; McCullers was able to strand the six men who reached via the free pass, but all those walks and strikeouts drove up his pitch count to 108 in just five frames. We've seen McCullers show his typically impressive bat-missing ability since his return from a shoulder injury, but his control has also been on the fritz -- he owns a 21:12 K:BB in 15.2 innings. The 22-year-old righty should put it all together eventually, but don't count on that to happen in his next start, Tuesday on the road against Arizona.
The young right-hander paid dearly for his only mistake of the night, as the two-run double he gave up to Prince Fielder ended up being the difference in the game. Still, the effort was a marked improvement over McCullers' first start of the season, when he was blasted for five earned runs over 4.2 innings against the Red Sox. The 22-year-old was still shaky with his control -- as evidenced by him giving up a trio of walks for the second time in two starts -- but he was also able to induce 14 swinging strikes. He'll try his luck again at home next Thursday versus a dangerous Orioles lineup.
The 22-year-old didn't give up any homers, but was otherwise touched up consistently by one of the hottest offenses in the majors at the already-tough venue of Fenway. He threw 55 of his 89 pitches for strikes, but only induced six missed swings overall. McCullers will try for a better encore performance against the Rangers next Friday.
McCullers (shoulder) was activated from the disabled list Friday.
McCullers is ready for action after recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered during spring training. He will jump right into the rotation but faces a tough test in his first start of 2016, squaring off against the red-hot Red Sox in Boston. Regardless of Friday's outcome, however, McCullers posted a 3.22 ERA and struck out 129 batters over 125.2 innings in 22 starts with the Astros last season, so he figures to be part of the team's rotation moving forward.
Lance McCullers (shoulder) will rejoin the rotation Friday against the Red Sox, Angel Verdejo of the Houston Chronicle reports.
After starting the season on the disabled list due to a sore throwing shoulder, McCullers is set to make his 2016 debut on Friday. He was sharp in his final rehab outing at Triple-A Fresno and he also noted that he felt ready for game action following his bullpen session Tuesday. Friday's start will be a bit of a baptism by fire for McCullers, however, as he'll be facing a Red Sox lineup that is averaging 6.3 runs per game in May.
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|2013||AFX-Quad Cities River Ba||6||5||3.18||25||19||0||0||0||104.2||92||49||37||3||6||49||117|
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