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Kipnis 1-for-3 in return; Lindor set for rehab stint

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Indians All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis made his season debut on Monday, going 1-for-3 with an RBI in Cleveland’s 6-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Kipnis hadn’t played this season after suffering a low-grade right calf strain late in spring training. He played just 10 games in spring training because of hip, quad and calf injuries and appeared in six games at Triple-A during his recently completed rehab assignment.

The Indians activated Kipnis off the 10-day injured list earlier Monday and in a separate move designated infielder Brad Miller for assignment. Miller hit .250 in 13 games for the Indians.

Entering his ninth MLB season, Kipnis has played his entire career with the Indians. He was an All-Star in 2013 and 2015, but he batted a career-worst .230 in 147 games last season.

In more good news for Cleveland on the injury front, shortstop Francisco Lindor was sent to Triple-A to begin a rehab assignment as the All-Star moves closer to rejoining the big league club after being slowed by a left ankle injury.

The switch-hitting Lindor was making steady progress from a right calf injury when he rolled his ankle while caught in a rundown during a minor league scrimmage in Arizona. Lindor batted .277 last season with 38 home runs, 92 RBIs and 25 steals.

Lindor hoped to play Monday with Columbus, but travel delays pushed his first game back to Tuesday. Cleveland manager Terry Francona didn’t have a set number of games for Lindor to play before rejoining the Indians.

“It’s going to depend on how he feels, and the last thing we want to do is slow him down,” Francona said. “But we want to set him up for success. We want to make sure he’s OK.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Strasburg gets 2 hits in one inning, including HR

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Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg singled and hit a 420-foot, three-run homer in the third inning of Thursday’s game against the Braves in Atlanta.

Strasburg led off the third inning with a single to center and scored the Nationals’ first run, tying the game.

The Nationals batted around, and when Strasburg came up the second time with two outs and two on, he drove a 92-mph fastball from Touki Toussaint deep to left for his fourth career homer. The blast was the longest by a pitcher this season and the longest by a Nationals pitcher since the Statcast era began in 2015.

Strasburg became the first pitcher to hit a home run and an additional base hit in the same inning since Edwin Jackson did it with the Diamondbacks against the Pirates on April 11, 2010.

Strasburg (11-4, 3.46 ERA) also struck out five Braves in the first three innings.

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Eovaldi strikes out side, set to join Boston bullpen

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Nathan Eovaldi struck out three in a scoreless inning of relief in his first rehab appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday and is poised to join the Boston Red Sox bullpen this weekend.

The hard-throwing right-hander has been on the injured list since late April because of a sore elbow.

Eovaldi threw 11 of his 19 pitches for strikes and walked one during a 4-2 loss to visiting Louisville. He is set to travel with the Red Sox to Baltimore ahead of their series opener Friday and is expected to come off the IL on either Saturday or Sunday.

Eovaldi will pitch in relief when he rejoins the Red Sox, as the team previously announced.

“I feel really good. Fastball felt good, cutter felt good. I didn’t throw any splits today, but I threw two curveballs and they felt really good coming out of the hand,” Eovaldi told reporters Thursday. “I feel like I’ve gone through all the tests that I possibly can, so I feel like I’m ready to go. Mainly just use tomorrow as a recovery day and be ready to go either Saturday or Sunday.”

Eovaldi has no record and a 6.00 ERA in four starts this season after signing a four-year, $68 million contract to remain with the Red Sox last December.

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Trout returns to Angels lineup after 3 games out

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Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout is back in the lineup after missing three games because of a calf injury.

Trout is batting second as the designated hitter for the final game of the series with the Houston Astros.

Trout left Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners after the second inning. An MRI performed Monday had revealed a small strain in Trout’s right calf.

Manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday that Trout would be evaluated again before playing.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to go [Thursday] full bore,” Ausmus said.

The 27-year-old is batting .305/.455/.666, on a pace to compete for his third MVP trophy. He’s 12-for-32 with eight home runs in nine games this month.

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