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21.09.2018 06:30
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HOUSTON — Houston Astros veteran catcher Brian McCann pledged on Friday that he will return before the regular season concludes despite undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee earlier in the week.

McCann was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday. There is no timetable for his return.

McCann had dealt with recurring knee pain since last year. After posting a 108 OPS in his first campaign with the Astros in 2017 Derrius Guice Jersey , McCann was down to a 73 OPS this season, slashing .206/.283/.323 with five home runs and 17 RBIs over 50 games. McCann has played in 1,657 games since making his debut on June 10, 2005, catching 12,733 innings with the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, and Astros during the regular season.

“He’s got a little bit of mileage on him when it comes to catching games,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/kendall-wright-jersey , a former catcher. “His knees have held up fine and he can play through a lot of pain. I think that’s what I appreciate the most in learning and knowing how much pain he played through. He tried, and he did a lot of things to post for our pitching staff. I think that’s one of the reasons he’s one of the most respected guys in there is what he’s willing to do to contribute.

“As his play declined, his comfort declined and what it took for him to play every day, we needed to get it taken care of.”

Right-hander Charlie Morton (10-2, 2.55 ERA) will get the start for the Astros on Saturday. Morton has faced the White Sox once previously, working seven shutout innings while allowing four hits and one walk with three strikeouts in a 3-0 victory with the Pirates on June 16, 2015.

Morton is 24-9 with a 3.18 ERA and 296 strikeouts over 249 innings with the Astros.

In his past two starts, Morton has dominated in a win against Toronto and a loss to Tampa. In a 7-0 win against the Blue Jays he struck out 13 in seven innings. The Rays touched him up for two runs, but that was enough for a 3-2 Tampa Bay win. Morton struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings.

Right-hander James Shields (3-9 Aaron Lynch Jersey , 4.12 ERA) will start for the White Sox (30-58) on Saturday. He is 1-4 with a 5.17 ERA on the road this season and 2-3 with a 3.19 ERA over seven career starts against the Astros. In his only start against Houston this season, Shields gave up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings and took the loss in a 10-0 defeat on April 20.

In 76 games (75 starts) against the American League West, Shields is 26-26 with a 3.83 ERA.

With right-hander Reynaldo Lopez working just 4 2/3 innings, the Chicago bullpen was forced to shoulder a heavy load again on Friday. Right-hander Chris Volstad, and lefties Luis Avilan and Hector Santiago combined to allow eight runs on seven hits and one walk over 3 1/3 innings in Chicago’s 11-4 loss, marking the 10th consecutive game the White Sox bullpen has surrendered a run.

Chicago relievers have pitched 303 2/3 innings this season, eighth-most in the American League.

“Obviously, (Lopez) didn’t give us the outing we were looking for,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Worked through quite a bit of traffic http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/demarcus-ware-jersey , some deep counts, pitch count ran up there a bit. Had to give it to the relief corps again, which is strained.”

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals put quarterback Matt Barkley on injured reserve, leaving Jeff Driskel as the backup to Andy Dalton heading into the season.

Barkley hurt his left knee during the Bengals’ preseason finale Thursday night against Indianapolis. Kemoko Turay hit Barkley in the legs after he threw a pass, drawing a roughing-the-passer penalty. Barkley left to get the knee examined and didn’t return.

Driskel is a third-year player who broke the thumb on his passing had in the final preseason game last year and sat out the season. He has never appeared in an NFL game. The Bengals also waived seventh-round pick Logan Woodside, who is eligible to be signed to the practice squad if he clears waivers on Sunday.

The backup quarterback spot opened when AJ McCarron won his grievance and became a free agent after last season.

The Bengals also released 10th-year defensive end Michael Johnson as part of their moves to get down to the 53-man limit, although it could be a temporary separation. Johnson becomes a free agent and could re-sign with Cincinnati for lesser money.

Johnson has played all but one of his nine seasons with Cincinnati. He led the defensive line with 49 tackles and five sacks last season. The Bengals have infused young pass rushers into their rotation, including Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis.

Coach Marvin Lewis described Johnson as “one of those pillars who has been here and given everything he can.” Lewis indicated the Bengals are open to his return as they shape the roster over the next few days.

The move with Johnson came four days after the Bengals gave multiyear extensions to defensive end Carlos Dunlap and tackle Geno Atkins. The deals would pay more than $100 million combined if all terms are met.

The Bengals allowed cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones to leave as a free agent in the offseason and released safety George Iloka, making the defense younger while saving money. Jones signed with Denver Skai Moore Jersey , and Iloka signed with Minnesota.

H-back Ryan Hewitt and center T.J. Johnson also were released on Saturday. Hewitt was primarily a blocker — no carries and two catches last season — while Johnson became expendable when the Bengals drafted center Billy Price in the first round.

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict went on the suspended list. He’ll miss the first four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, the third year in a row that he’s suspended for the start of a season.

Cincinnati opens the season on Sunday, Sept. 9 at Indianapolis, which expects to have Andrew Luck back at quarterback for the first time in more than 20 months. Luck has recovered from a shoulder injury that required surgery.

The teams played in the regular season last year as well, with the Bengals winning 24-23 at Paul Brown Stadium on Dunlap’s interception return for a touchdown.

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