Verlander scratched for Astros’ game against Tigers because of neck discomfort


HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was scratched from Saturday’s start against the Detroit Tigers because of neck discomfort.

“He’s been actually dealing with this for like the last two weeks, trying to pitch through it,” manager Joe Espada said. “And we just felt like it’s smart if we could just take a break here, skip a start and try to get to the bottom of it.”

The Astros are hopeful that the 41-year-old right-hander won’t need to go on the injured list. He is listed as day to day.

“Missing a start, it’s not something you want to have happen,” Verlander said. “But honestly, day to day is a good thing … and you’ve got to trust the trainers, trust everybody you’re talking to and I think the prognosis is pretty good. So, I can’t put a rating on it, but I feel OK about it.”

Verlander said he cut his bullpen session short on Wednesday because of the problem but had hoped that he’d feel good enough to start Saturday.

“It wasn’t worse, it just kind of like flared up a little bit on me,” he said. “And after a couple of my games, it’s been a little stiff and then I’ve been able to work through it and throw and get all the stuff I needed to get done. But during the bullpen, it flared up on me a little bit and I just kind of pulled the shoot and tried not to be stupid about it and push it like I normally would.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 3-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 10 starts this season.

Spencer Arrighetti, who was scheduled to start Sunday, will start Saturday in place of Verlander. Espada said the Astros haven’t decided who will start in the series finale in Arrighetti’s place.



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