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Spring Training Roundup: Mets’ Steven Matz doubtful for opener

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz pitches in a Spring Training game on March 17. Matz’s status for the regular-season opener is in doubt due to tenderness in his elbow. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)
New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz pitches in a Spring Training game on March 17. Matz’s status for the regular-season opener is in doubt due to tenderness in his elbow. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)
Associated Press

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz has been scratched from his next start because of tenderness in his left elbow, putting his status for opening day in doubt.

Matz had been scheduled to throw Monday in a minor league game.

“There’s a little irritation, and he’s got to work that out,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday. “We don’t think it’s anything significant, but it bothers him on extension. He won’t pitch tomorrow, and we’ll see where that takes him over the next four or five days.”

Alderson said the problem has bothered Matz for “a period of time.”

While Matz hasn’t been sent for an MRI, Alderson said the ailment is troubling because the 25-year-old has often been slowed during his two seasons with the Mets.

“It’s worrisome that he continues to be injured off and on. That’s the difficulty,” Alderson said.

Matz was 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts last year, but was shut down in September and had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

The Mets open the season April 3 at home against Atlanta.

Matz gave up five runs and eight hits in four innings against Miami on Wednesday. He is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in four starts this spring.

Matz said the discomfort flared up before that last start and continued during the game. He said he notified the trainers afterward when more soreness than usual lingered.

“It’s just a little tenderness and a little setback,” said Matz, who will have a lighter workout Monday and long toss.

“I think I’ll be fine. I think I’ll be good to go. I’ll resume throwing and try to jump back in it,” he said.

Manager Terry Collins said he was “extremely disappointed” to hear the news, saying he couldn’t imagine Matz would be ready for the start of the season if he misses this week.

“We had a backup plan, and we’re going to turn to that backup plan right now. We’re just lucky we have some pretty good pitching,” Collins said.

A prolonged injury to Matz, the lone left-handed starter in the rotation, would create at least one spot for either Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo. Those righties were already in the mix as potential replacements for Zack Wheeler, also an option in his return from Tommy John surgery in 2015.


Yankees 7, Rays 4

Aaron Hicks hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single, and Greg Bird also had an RBI single for New York. Bird, who will start at first base on opening day after being injured all last season, is hitting .447 this spring.

Brad Miller had a two-run single for Tampa Bay.

Blue Jays (ss) 4, Tigers 3

Alex McBroom and Alex Monsalve each homered, and Kendrys Morales added a hit and scored for Toronto.

Nick Castellanos hit his fourth homer and eighth double for Detroit. He is batting .367 with an OPS of 1.202 this spring. Jordan Zimmermann threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run.

Orioles 2, Blue Jays (ss) 1

Francisco Liriano struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings and has a 1.88 ERA in five spring starts for Toronto.

Chris Johnson had an RBI single for Baltimore.

Mets 8, Braves 2

Matt Harvey threw six solid innings, allowing two runs, and Jose Reyes tripled, doubled and singled for New York.

Ender Inciarte had an RBI single and a sacrifice fly for Atlanta. Emilio Bonifacio, who played in just 24 games last year, had two hits and scored twice.

Astros 5, Nationals 1

Joe Musgrove allowed one run and four hits over five innings for Houston. Yuli Gurriel had two hits, and his RBI double highlighted a four-run fourth. Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and Jake Marisnick had a solo shot. Jose Altuve had a hit and stole two bases.

Gio Gonzalez, who had allowed just two earned runs this spring, gave up five runs and six hits over five innings. Jayson Werth had two hits for Washington.

Cardinals 3, Marlins 0

Mike Leake scattered seven hits and one walk over six scoreless innings for St. Louis. Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina each had two hits, including a home run. Molina’s shot came in his first at-bat since returning from the World Baseball Classic. Jedd Gyorko continued his slump, going 0 for 3. He is hitless in his last 13 at-bats.

Wei-Yin Chen gave up two earned runs and seven hits over five innings. Ichiro Suzuki had two hits for Miami.

Red Sox 7, Twins 2

Chris Sale threw six scoreless innings, giving up six hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Andrew Benintendi, Christian Vasquez and Steve Selsky each homered for Boston, and Pablo Sandoval doubled and singled.

Kyle Gibson gave up four hits and walked none with four strikeouts in six shutout innings for Minnesota. Brian Dozier had two hits and Eddie Rosario added three.

Philles 6, Pirates 3

Philadelphia’s Clay Buchholz gave up three runs on five hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings. Maikel Franco and Andrew Knapp each hit a two-run shot in a five-run first inning. Obudel Herrera went 3 for 4 with an RBI and Howie Kendrick was 2 for 4 with a run scored.

Josh Lindblom allowed five runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh. Pirates prospect Austin Meadows, hitting .326 this spring, went 2 for 4 with a double and scored.

White Sox 4, Giants 3

James Shields scattered eight hits over five innings and allowed three runs for Chicago.

Ty Blach threw six innings for San Francisco, allowing two runs and seven hits. Blach is vying for the final slot in the rotation. Jimmy Rollins doubled twice for the Giants. Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, is trying to win a roster spot.

Indians 6, Diamondbacks 5

Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer, his first long ball this spring as he returns from a right shoulder injury that limited him to 11 games last year. Chris Colabello added a three-run shot as part of a five-run first inning for Cleveland.

Yasmany Tomas had a hit, an RBI and scored a run for Arizona.

Rockies 4, Padres (ss) 1

Nolan Arenado, fresh off a World Baseball Classic championship with Team USA, launched a two-run homer for Colorado. Carlos Gonzalez had two hits, including a double, and scored.

Yangervis Solarte doubled and drove in a run for San Diego.

Royals 8, Angels 7

Mike Trout had two hits, a run and an RBI, while Albert Pujols added a hit and two RBIs for the Angels.

Brandon Moss and Paulo Orlando each homered for Kansas City. Jason Hammel, signed to a $16 million, two-year contract in the offseason, was rocked for seven runs in six innings.

Cubs (ss) 22, Reds (ss) 4

Anthony Rizzo led off Chicago’s six-run first inning with a home run and Albert Almora Jr. opened an eight-run sixth with another homer. Almora finished 3 for 4 with two homers and five RBIs. Cubs prospect Victor Caratini was 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Eddie Butler went 4 2/3 innings, yielding two runs and seven hits.

Tim Adleman gave up two homers while allowing six runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings for Cincinnati. Joey Votto had two hits and is 5 for 11 in his last five games.

Rangers 3, Dodgers 2

Cole Hamels gave up a run on two hits and two walks over five innings for Texas. Mike Napoli hit a solo homer and Nomar Mazara went 2 for 4. Elvis Andrus and Delino DeShields had two stolen bases apiece.

Scott Kazmir went three innings, giving up three runs on three hits and five walks for Los Angeles.

Athletics 11, Brewers 1

Prized prospect Jharel Cotton struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings while giving up one run and four hits for Oakland. Bruce Maxwell went 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBIs.

Milwaukee starter Matt Garza was roughed up again, allowing five runs and five hits over 2 1/3 innings. He has an 8.59 ERA in 14 2/3 innings this spring. Ryan Braun hit his first homer.

Padres (ss) 9, Cubs (ss) 4

San Diego right-hander Trevor Cahill gave up two unearned runs and two hits while striking out eight over five innings. He walked four.

Non-roster invitees Collin Cowgill, Jabari Blash and Brett Wallace each homered while combining for eight RBIs and seven of San Diego’s 10 hits.

Cubs prospect Alec Mills allowed four runs and six hits over three innings.

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