MLB

Astros ace Greinke placed on injured list with neck soreness

By Sports Desk September 24, 2021

Houston Astros star Zack Greinke has been placed on the 10-day injured list with neck soreness.

Greinke landed on the IL ahead of Friday's MLB clash with the Oakland Athletics – the 2009 American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner replaced by Brandon Bielak for the start on the mound.

Astros rookie Peter Solomon has replaced Greinke on the roster ahead of the opening game of their three-game series against the A's.

A six-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove Award winner, Greinke has not started since last Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he allowed five runs in four innings.

The 37-year-old pitcher – whose IL stint is backdated to Tuesday – was placed on the COVID-19 injured list earlier this month and is 0-2 since returning, with a 12.45 ERA in his last starts.

Greinke is 11-6 across the 2021 season, with a 4.11 ERA and 117 strikeouts across 168.2 innings pitched.

The Astros are currently 91-62 and clear in top spot in the AL West. Houston need three more victories to clinch the division for a fourth time.

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    Atlanta Braves star Jorge Soler conceded Charlie Morton's injury had taken the shine off his team's 6-2 triumph over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series.

    Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense.

    X-rays revealed the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula, ruling him out of the remainder of the series.

    Soler, who hit the third pitch of the game for a home run, said of Morton's setback: "It was extremely challenging for us.

    "We saw him getting treatment and getting worked on. He went back out there to pitch on that broken leg.

    "It was really challenging and emotional for us to have to see him in the game being hurt, our World Series opener, starter."

    In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

    "The energy was amazing and electric, especially after we took a 1-0 lead after that home run," said Soler.

    "I feel extremely grateful to be here and be a member of this organisation. I feel like Atlanta opened its arms for me. They traded for me, and they gave me opportunity to play every day.

    "So as far as I'm concerned, I'm extremely grateful to the organisation, to the fans who have definitely supported us, and like I said, I'm very happy to be here."

    Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

    Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game.  

    Game 2 is on Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

  • World Series 2021: Braves start hot, beat Astros in Game 1 World Series 2021: Braves start hot, beat Astros in Game 1

    The Atlanta Braves had the best possible start and held on from there to take Game 1 of the World Series from the Houston Astros 6-2 on Tuesday. 

    Jorge Soler hit the third pitch of the game for a home run and the Braves scored in each of the first three innings to build what proved to be an insurmountable lead out of the gate at Minute Maid Park. 

    In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

    Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

    Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game. 

    His opposite number, Charlie Morton, also failed to make it out of the third, but his departure came through injury rather than ineffectiveness. 

    Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense. X-rays would reveal the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula. 

    Losing Morton for the remainder of the series will be a blow to Atlanta, but they cannot complain about the all-around effort that allowed them to break a string of eight consecutive World Series game losses dating to their last Fall Classic appearances in 1999 and 1996. 

    Every batter in the Braves' starting lineup had at least one hit by the sixth inning and four relievers managed to keep Houston under control after Morton's injury. 

    Atlanta also scratched out a late run thanks to some aggressive baserunning by Dansby Swanson in the eighth and got out of the bottom of that inning when NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario threw out Yuli Gurriel at second base as he tried to stretch a drive off the outfield wall into a double. 

    Game 2 is Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

  • World Series 2021: Braves pitcher Morton faces three batters after breaking leg World Series 2021: Braves pitcher Morton faces three batters after breaking leg

    Atlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Morton suffered a broken leg in the second inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros – but did not leave the game until the following inning. 

    The Braves said X-rays showed Morton fractured his right fibula and he will miss the rest of the World Series. 

    Yuli Gurriel led off the bottom of the second inning for the Astros with a hard one-hopper up the middle that deflected off Morton's lower right leg to Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman for an out. 

    Morton struck out the next batter, Chas McCormick, then got Martin Maldonado to line out to end the inning. 

    Morton came back out for the third inning, but grimaced as he struck out Houston leadoff man Jose Altuve and bent over to rub his lower right leg before leaving the game. 

    The 37-year-old right-hander threw 16 pitches after breaking his push leg, two of them 96 mph fastballs. 

    Morton, who helped lead the Astros to a World Series title in 2017, was the Braves' most reliable starter this season, going 14-6 with a 3.34 ERA as he led MLB with 33 regular-season starts. 

    Entering the World Series, Morton had allowed six earned runs across three postseason starts this year. 

     

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