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Acuna gets 1st hit, scores key run in Braves' win

Baseball's No. 2 prospect goes 1-for-5, scores game-tying tally in 8th
MLB.com @basebollie

The highly anticipated Major League debut of MLB Pipeline's No. 2 overall prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. is in the books.

Acuna was in the Braves' lineup Wednesday vs. the Reds and left-hander Brandon Finnegan. Batting sixth and playing left field in the Braves' 5-4 win, Acuna hit a long fly ball to the warning track in right-center to end the top of the first inning. He then flied out to right field with runners on second and third to end the third inning. In his third at-bat leading off the sixth, Acuna worked the count full against Reds reliever Austin Brice before striking out looking.

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The highly anticipated Major League debut of MLB Pipeline's No. 2 overall prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. is in the books.

Acuna was in the Braves' lineup Wednesday vs. the Reds and left-hander Brandon Finnegan. Batting sixth and playing left field in the Braves' 5-4 win, Acuna hit a long fly ball to the warning track in right-center to end the top of the first inning. He then flied out to right field with runners on second and third to end the third inning. In his third at-bat leading off the sixth, Acuna worked the count full against Reds reliever Austin Brice before striking out looking.

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Acuna broke through in the eighth against Kevin Shackelford, ripping a ground-ball single up the middle for his first Major League hit. He then went from first to third with a Sprint Speed of 30.3 feet per second on a single by Dansby Swanson, before scoring his first run on Kurt Suzuki's RBI single, which tied the game at 4. That Sprint Speed is quite impressive considering the Twins' Byron Buxton leads the Majors with an average Sprint Speed of 30.5 ft./sec. Acuna struck out in his final at-bat in the ninth to finish 1-for-5.

Tweet from @Braves: It���s happening! #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/wK9JQIqJNl

The 20-year-old phenom tore up Major League Spring Training, batting .432/.519/.727 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 16 games with Atlanta.

Widely regarded as the top hitting prospect in the game, Acuna has struggled out of the gate in the Minors in 2018. He is batting .232/.321/.304 with one home run and two RBIs in 17 games for Triple-A Gwinnett. However, he has 11 hits -- including a double and homer -- over his last 33 at-bats.

He is a career .305/.374/.475 hitter with 30 homers and 121 RBIs in 253 games at the Minor League level and was named MLB Pipeline's Hitter of the Year in 2017 after batting .325 with 21 homers and 44 stolen bases as he worked his way up the organizational ranks last season.

Acuna is the youngest player to appear in a big league game in 2018, surpassing teammate Ozzie Albies.

With a record of 12-10 entering Wednesday, the Braves were just 3 1/2 games out of first place upon Acuna's arrival. Atlanta had scored a National League-best 122 runs and should only get a boost from its top prospect.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.

Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna Jr.

8 is great: Crew's win streak continues in KC

Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Jhoulys Chacin delivered 5 2/3 efficient innings and the Brewers' bullpen continued to impress as Milwaukee won its eighth in a row with a 6-2 victory over Royals on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.

The Brewers have equaled their longest winning streak since June 28-July 5, 2015.

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KANSAS CITY -- Jhoulys Chacin delivered 5 2/3 efficient innings and the Brewers' bullpen continued to impress as Milwaukee won its eighth in a row with a 6-2 victory over Royals on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.

The Brewers have equaled their longest winning streak since June 28-July 5, 2015.

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Milwaukee got most of its offense in the form of a four-run fourth inning against Royals starter Jason Hammel to assume control. An RBI double by Travis Shaw got the inning going, and Domingo Santana and Jesus Aguilar, who later added an RBI single, each delivered a sacrifice fly.

The Royals chipped within 4-2 on a solo homer by Mike Moustakas and an RBI groundout by Salvador Perez. Chacin left with the tying run on base in the sixth, but Dan Jennings came on in a lefty-on-lefty matchup to retire Lucas Duda and end the threat.

Milwaukee tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth, while Jennings, Jacob Barnes, Josh Hader and Taylor Williams combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to preserve the win. Chacin earned his second straight win by allowing two runs on four hits and a walk.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Milwaukee Brewers, Jesus Aguilar, Jhoulys Chacin, Travis Shaw

Three homers back Bauer as Tribe tops Cubs

MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- The Indians keep waiting for their lineup to wake from its April slumber. On Wednesday night, there were signs of life in the form of three home runs, providing just enough support for another strong showing from Trevor Bauer.

In a 4-1 victory at Progressive Field, Francisco Lindor, Edwin Encarnacion and Brandon Guyer delivered solo shots off Cubs lefty Jon Lester. With the win, Cleveland and Chicago split the quick two-game series between the 2016 World Series combatants.

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CLEVELAND -- The Indians keep waiting for their lineup to wake from its April slumber. On Wednesday night, there were signs of life in the form of three home runs, providing just enough support for another strong showing from Trevor Bauer.

In a 4-1 victory at Progressive Field, Francisco Lindor, Edwin Encarnacion and Brandon Guyer delivered solo shots off Cubs lefty Jon Lester. With the win, Cleveland and Chicago split the quick two-game series between the 2016 World Series combatants.

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Bauer trimmed his season ERA to 2.41 with 6 2/3 innings, in which the right-hander struck out eight, walked three and scattered four hits. Bauer escaped damage at a handful of turns, but finally flinched in the fifth. Back-to-back walks with one out came back to bite the starter via an RBI single from Anthony Rizzo.

The Cubs' 1-0 lead was short-lived, however. Cleveland answered with three home runs in a span of six batters off Lester, who worked seven innings for Chicago. Guyer ignited the comeback with a two-out blast in the fifth, then Lindor and Encarnacion followed with their own solo shots in the sixth.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Trevor Bauer

Wacha fans 8, Cards rake in win over Mets

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

ST. LOUIS -- Michael Wacha has searched, clawed and felt his way through the season's first month, beginning with a four-start stretch that qualified as one of the strangest, statistically, of his career. Prior to Wednesday, the Cardinals right-hander was walking more batters and striking out fewer than ever before.

Wacha reversed those trends in his fifth start, a 9-1 win over the Mets, at least for a night. His mechanics in sync and his command sharp, Wacha breezed through six strong innings for his fourth win, which have all come in his past four starts. He struck out eight against just one walk, evening some alarming periphery numbers on a night the Cardinals' offense provided plenty of run support.

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ST. LOUIS -- Michael Wacha has searched, clawed and felt his way through the season's first month, beginning with a four-start stretch that qualified as one of the strangest, statistically, of his career. Prior to Wednesday, the Cardinals right-hander was walking more batters and striking out fewer than ever before.

Wacha reversed those trends in his fifth start, a 9-1 win over the Mets, at least for a night. His mechanics in sync and his command sharp, Wacha breezed through six strong innings for his fourth win, which have all come in his past four starts. He struck out eight against just one walk, evening some alarming periphery numbers on a night the Cardinals' offense provided plenty of run support.

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The bulk of St. Louis' runs came via two small-ball rallies in the third and fourth innings, when the Cardinals pieced together seven total runs against losing pitcher Steven Matz. Run-scoring hits from Jose Martinez and Marcell Ozuna gave the Cardinals a lead in the third, before a series of bunts, walks and Mets misplays led to four runs in the fourth. Jedd Gyorko's two-run homer off reliever Corey Oswalt put the game out of reach in the fifth.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Michael Wacha

Jose Altuve hit his first homer of 2018 and got the dugout silent treatment … and he loved it

Through his first 25 games this season, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was his usual self at the plate -- slashing .333/.396/.770 and generally being a pest for pitching staffs.

However, he hadn't connected on a home run prior to Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Angels at Minute Maid Park. Yes, that's right ... the man who's totaled 24 homers in each of the past two seasons had not yet picked one up through the first three-plus weeks of the new campaign.

Red-hot Didi homers in 4th straight as Yanks win

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Could Didi Gregorius be any hotter? The Yankees' shortstop homered for the fourth consecutive game on Wednesday, mashing a third-inning solo drive into the right-field seats off Twins right-hander Lance Lynn. New York won its fifth straight, 7-4.

The blast, Gregorius' team-leading ninth of the season, tied the game at 2 and established the 28-year-old as the first Yankees shortstop to ever homer in four straight games.

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NEW YORK -- Could Didi Gregorius be any hotter? The Yankees' shortstop homered for the fourth consecutive game on Wednesday, mashing a third-inning solo drive into the right-field seats off Twins right-hander Lance Lynn. New York won its fifth straight, 7-4.

The blast, Gregorius' team-leading ninth of the season, tied the game at 2 and established the 28-year-old as the first Yankees shortstop to ever homer in four straight games.

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Video: MIN@NYY: Gregorius homers in his fourth straight game

Including last year's American League Wild Card Game, Gregorius has homered in each of his past five contests against the Twins.

"I'm not a home run hitter," Gregorius said after Tuesday's 8-3 win. "I'm trying to hit line drives all over the place. If they go out, they go out. I'm not trying to change anything, I'm staying consistent to what I can do, and that's hit line drives all over the place, line to line."

Gregorius entered play on Wednesday leading the Majors with 27 RBIs, then he added another in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to nine games with a run-scoring single to right field off Lynn. Gregorius is the first Major League shortstop since at least 1908 to collect nine homers and 29 RBIs through his first 23 games of a season.

Video: MIN@NYY: Gregorius lines an RBI single to right field

The confines of Yankee Stadium have played to Gregorius' approach. He has hit all nine of his homers in the Bronx, collecting all but four of his RBIs in pinstripes.

"This game is not easy," Gregorius said. "You've still got to work on trying to stay consistent, and that's all I'm trying to do."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

Mookie mashes 2 homers, ends Boston's skid

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

TORONTO -- It was Mookie Betts who got the Red Sox off to a roaring start on this road trip with his big bat. So it's only fitting that as the three-city journey starts to wind down, it was Betts who lifted his team off the mat from a three-game losing streak.

The star right fielder drilled two homers -- including one that led off the game -- to propel the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

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TORONTO -- It was Mookie Betts who got the Red Sox off to a roaring start on this road trip with his big bat. So it's only fitting that as the three-city journey starts to wind down, it was Betts who lifted his team off the mat from a three-game losing streak.

The star right fielder drilled two homers -- including one that led off the game -- to propel the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

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The second long ball was a two-run drive to the opposite field in right with one out in the seventh that put Boston back in front by a run.

In the seven games Betts has played on the trip, he has six homers. Three of them have led off the game, extending his team record for career leadoff home runs to 14.

Eduardo Rodriguez worked 6 2/3 innings and scattered six hits and three runs to earn the win, that pushed the Red Sox to 18-5 and set up a rubber match of this three-game series on Thursday, which will conclude a trip that started on the West Coast.

Video: BOS@TOR: Kimbrel retires Gurriel Jr. to earn the save

Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth to pick up his sixth save, one night after he gave up a walk-off homer to Curtis Granderson.

The offense was led by Betts and supported by Brock Holt, who had three more hits and six in the last two nights to raise his average from .244 to .327.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts, Eduardo Rodriguez

Venters, after 3 TJ surgeries, pitches for Rays

Lefty, who last appeared in bigs in October 2012, faces one Orioles batter
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE-- Jonny Venters knew he would have a game on Wednesday. He was just expecting to be pitching with Triple-A Durham and not the Tampa Bay Rays.

Venters had a 10:30 a.m. ET game with Durham and during a rain delay, he got the word that the Rays selected his contract, and he quickly flew to Baltimore.

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BALTIMORE-- Jonny Venters knew he would have a game on Wednesday. He was just expecting to be pitching with Triple-A Durham and not the Tampa Bay Rays.

Venters had a 10:30 a.m. ET game with Durham and during a rain delay, he got the word that the Rays selected his contract, and he quickly flew to Baltimore.

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And the Rays wasted no time getting him into a game. Venters pitched to one batter Wednesday, getting Chris Davis to ground out after four pitches in the Rays' 8-4 win.

It was the first time the 33-year-old left-hander had appeared in the Major Leagues since pitching with the Braves in the 2012 National League Wild Card Game. He went through Tommy John surgeries in 2013 and 2014, plus what he likes to call a "half" procedure in 2016. The 2011 All-Star also had the surgery in 2005.

Venters received a warm reception from teammates before Wednesday's game when he arrived in the clubhouse, getting a number of big hugs and pats on the back.

"It's hard to put in words how I'm feeling," Venters said. "It's been an emotional day. I'm excited to be here, grateful for the opportunity."

Rays manager Kevin Cash said he was thrilled to see Venters get another shot to pitch at this level.

"It feels good because most of our conversations in that office are not fun conversations," Cash said. "To see him walk in, give him a big hug, you can tell just the genuine excitement. I cannot imagine what he's been through."

Venters was 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA in five games with Durham this season after pitching well in Spring Training. The Rays optioned right-hander Hunter Wood to Durham to make room on the roster.

Video: TB@MIN: Venters escapes 6th inning with a double play

Cash said Venters will be used primarily against left-handed hitters but there should not be any limits on him. This move gives the Rays some extra flexibility in the bullpen.

During his three years with the Braves from 2010-2012, Venters threw in the upper 90s. Now, Cash said Venters uses sinkers, sliders and a changeup and was clocking 92-94 in Durham.

Now that he's made it back to the Major Leagues, Venters said he wants to just take a deep breath and enjoy every moment.

"I'll try to soak it all in," Venters said. "Getting here is a special thing. It makes all the work and the time worth it. I'm excited to be here."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Tampa Bay Rays, Jonny Venters

Javy Baez narrowly beat out an infield single and playfully taunted Francisco Lindor afterward

The Cubs faced the Indians on Wednesday night in a rematch of the 2016 World Series. It was also, maybe more importantly, a mini-reunion for good friends Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor. The two infielders were teammates for Team Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Altherr's HR helps Arrieta win battle of Cy winners

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Jake Arrieta promised in March that the Phillies would put up a fight.

He fought through seven innings on Wednesday night in a battle between Cy Young Award winners in a 5-3 victory over the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park. Arrieta overcame three errors and his own command issues, navigating through a tough lineup and coming out of it with a two-run lead. He threw 107 pitches, the most a Phillies starter has thrown this season.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Jake Arrieta promised in March that the Phillies would put up a fight.

He fought through seven innings on Wednesday night in a battle between Cy Young Award winners in a 5-3 victory over the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park. Arrieta overcame three errors and his own command issues, navigating through a tough lineup and coming out of it with a two-run lead. He threw 107 pitches, the most a Phillies starter has thrown this season.

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Phillies right fielder Aaron Altherr crushed a three-run home run against Zack Greinke in the sixth inning. He started the season mired in a terrible slump, but is heating up after having six hits and a walk in his last 11 plate appearances.

Carlos Santana went 2-for-4 with an RBI. He now has six hits in his last 20 at-bats (good for a .300 batting average). His fielder's choice in the first inning scored Cesar Hernandez from third base to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. He singled to advance Hernandez to third base in the third, and Hernandez later scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. Santana's double to start the sixth began the rally that led to Altherr's homer.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies

A fan caught a foul ball but lost all of his popcorn in the process

When a ball comes your way at a Major League game and you've come prepared to catch it, it's hard to turn down the opportunity to go home with a souvenir -- even if you have food in your glove.

Yes, you read that correctly. A young fan was in this situation on Wednesday night for the Yankees-Twins game.

Day after return, Pham exits with head laceration

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

ST. LOUIS -- A day after returning to the lineup following a minor groin injury, Tommy Pham exited after one at-bat with a head laceration.

Pham was removed from Wednesday's game against the Mets in the third inning, when Harrison Bader pinch-hit against Steven Matz. He flied out in his only at-bat in the first. The center fielder had been dealing with tightness in his right groin for a week prior to playing in Tuesday's opener.

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ST. LOUIS -- A day after returning to the lineup following a minor groin injury, Tommy Pham exited after one at-bat with a head laceration.

Pham was removed from Wednesday's game against the Mets in the third inning, when Harrison Bader pinch-hit against Steven Matz. He flied out in his only at-bat in the first. The center fielder had been dealing with tightness in his right groin for a week prior to playing in Tuesday's opener.

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Pham missed three of four games before he went 3-for-3 with a two-run home run and reached base five times in his return to the lineup on Tuesday. He initially felt tightness in his groin late in a cold-weather win last Wednesday in Chicago.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Tommy Pham

Verlander (9 K's) electric as Astros best Angels

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Entering a series in which they were slated to face the top three starters in the American League in terms of ERA, the Angels pulled out wins in games started by Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton. Besting Justin Verlander proved to be a more difficult challenge.

Verlander allowed two runs and four hits while striking out nine batters over seven innings to remain unbeaten with the Astros in the regular season in a 5-2 win over the Angels on Wednesday afternoon at MInute Maid Park.

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HOUSTON -- Entering a series in which they were slated to face the top three starters in the American League in terms of ERA, the Angels pulled out wins in games started by Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton. Besting Justin Verlander proved to be a more difficult challenge.

Verlander allowed two runs and four hits while striking out nine batters over seven innings to remain unbeaten with the Astros in the regular season in a 5-2 win over the Angels on Wednesday afternoon at MInute Maid Park.

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Video: LAA@HOU: Verlander freezes Trout for ninth strikeout

"You don't ever want to be the guy starting on the last day of the series and your team is facing a sweep, but my job's to end it," Verlander said. "We are tough to sweep because of our pitching matchups, our 1-5, and our rotation. The old adage, 'You're only as good as the next day's starting pitcher,' and I think we like our chances every day."

Verlander (4-0) retired 20 of the first 21 batters he faced before Albert Pujols hit a line-drive homer into the left-field seats with two outs in the seventh to spoil the shutout bid. It was Pujols' 64th career homer against the Astros -- the most by an opponent against Houston, including the postseason. Verlander gave up another run -- a run-scoring double by Zack Cozart -- but finished the inning at 97 pitches.

Video: LAA@HOU: Pujols lines a homer for 2,994th career hit

"I feel like I say this every time he pitches, but what a great job of dominating and controlling the game," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "Even in the inning he wobbled a little bit, it never gets away from him."

Verlander improved to 9-0 with a 1.33 ERA in 11 regular-season starts with the Astros and has won 11 consecutive regular-season decisions, which is the longest active streak in the Major Leagues. He was locked into his mechanics early in the game and had terrific fastball command, executing pitches at what Hinch called an elite level.

Video: LAA@HOU: Hinch on Verlander's dominant outing in win

"I felt fantastic," Verlander said. "I ran into a little bit of trouble there in the last inning. Pujols gave me a great at-bat, [Andrelton] Simmons hit a good pitch up the middle. I was letting it fly a little bit and got a little erratic there, but other than that, pretty much the rest of the game I was right where I wanted to be. I'm just trying to stay consistent at this point."

Angels starter Nick Tropeano, facing his former team, sent down the first 11 batters he faced before loading the bases on a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch in the fourth. Alex Bregman followed with a three-run double to put the Astros ahead, 3-0. Jose Altuve's first homer of the season, to lead off the sixth, gave Verlander a 4-0 lead.

Video: LAA@HOU: Altuve gets silent treatment after first HR

"I got a fastball over the middle of the plate and was fortunate enough to put a good swing on it," Bregman said. "The guys did a great job getting on base in front of me. … When we get people on base we've got to lock it in and come through for the team."

Video: LAA@HOU: Bregman clears bases with three-run double

SOUND SMART
Verlander's 1.36 ERA is his lowest through the first six starts of a season in his career.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Verlander got his two highest-spin four-seam fastball strikeouts Wednesday since Statcast™ began tracking the statistic in 2015 -- Kole Calhoun in the sixth (95.7-mph/2,806 rpm) and Mike Trout in the seventh (96.4-mph/2,771 rpm).

Video: LAA@HOU: Statcast™ tracks Verlander's elite spin rate

HE SAID IT
"That was spectacular. He came in and shut the door. He looked fantastic -- good life on his fastball, slider was disgusting, the one he threw [Justin Upton]. If that guy's on, it's trouble." -- Verlander, on closer Ken Giles, who retired Trout, Upton and Pujols in order in the ninth inning

Video: LAA@HOU: Giles retires Pujols to nail down the save

UP NEXT
Lefty Dallas Keuchel, coming off his first win of the season, gets the ball in Friday's 7:10 p.m. CT series opener against the A's at Minute Maid Park. He's 13-6 with a 2.42 ERA in his career in 29 games (25 starts) in April -- his best ERA of any month. Keuchel will face Sean Manaea, who threw a no-hitter in his last start.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Justin Verlander

Miller exits with hamstring tightness, to get MRI

MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller grabbed at the back of his left leg on Wednesday night and Indians fans held their collective breath. They can exhale a little for the time being.

In the seventh inning of Cleveland's 4-1 victory over the Cubs, Miller exited his outing after only two pitches due to tightness in his left hamstring. Manager Terry Francona noted that the relief ace would undergo an MRI exam on Thursday morning, and the initial hope is that the injury is not serious.

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CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller grabbed at the back of his left leg on Wednesday night and Indians fans held their collective breath. They can exhale a little for the time being.

In the seventh inning of Cleveland's 4-1 victory over the Cubs, Miller exited his outing after only two pitches due to tightness in his left hamstring. Manager Terry Francona noted that the relief ace would undergo an MRI exam on Thursday morning, and the initial hope is that the injury is not serious.

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"We'll know a lot more tomorrow," Francona said on Wednesday night. "I think him not throwing another pitch was really smart on his part."

Miller entered the game with two outs, a runner on first and the Indians holding a 3-1 lead. Immediately following his second pitch to Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo, Miller grimaced and motioned toward the Cleveland bench. Francona and a member of the team's medical staff met the reliever on the mound, then Miller headed for the training room after a brief conversation.

Miller indicated to the Indians that he had a similar issue flare up on him in 2014, when he pitched for the Orioles. In that instance, the hamstring problem surfaced on Sept. 1 and Miller did not appear in a game again for Baltimore until Sept. 6. Francona is hoping a short rest period -- rather than a stint on the disabled list -- is all that is required this time around, too.

"That would really be the hope," Francona said. "Hopefully, that's all it is."

Miller, who had two stints on the disabled list last season due to a right knee injury, has allowed zero runs in 11 appearances, with 17 strikeouts in 10 innings, this season.

Following his departure Wednesday night, left-hander Tyler Olson came out of the bullpen, warmed up on the field and inherited a 2-0 count against Rizzo. Three pitches later, Olson induced an inning-ending flyout to center off Rizzo's bat. The lefty then returned for the eighth and teamed with reliever Nick Goody to turn in another scoreless frame. That bridged the gap to closer Cody Allen, who converted his fifth save.

Video: CHC@CLE: Olson sends Schwarber down swinging

"That's a really underrated job by Olson tonight," Indians starter Trevor Bauer said. "I don't think the casual fans understand how difficult that is, to go from sitting down. Mentally, too. You put Andrew in and then you put Cody in -- that's how it goes. So everyone down there is like, 'OK, they're going to slam the door, and we get to watch.' And all of a sudden, two pitches later, you go from sitting there thinking the night is over to, 'Oh shoot, I've got to go get ready.'

"And you don't get to do your normal routine, you've got to throw in front of people. The adrenaline spike is different. How your body responds and gets loose is different. I think he said that was his first time doing that. Great job by him, and Goody comes in and Cody comes in and does the job. All of us have tremendous confidence in everyone down there in the 'pen."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Andrew Miller