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Ohtani's next start pushed back

TORONTO -- The Los Angeles Angels are pushing back Shohei Ohtani's next outing as a starting pitcher to manage the workload of the two-way rookie, meaning he'll miss a much-anticipated showdown at Yankee Stadium against Masahiro Tanaka.

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia made the announcement before Thursday's 8-1 victory over the Blue Jays.

Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts. The 23-year-old had been scheduled to pitch against his Japanese countryman on Sunday -- Scioscia said Ohtani will be available to hit against Tanaka.

Ohtani said he didn't mind missing out on the chance to pitch against Tanaka.

"Not so disappointed because I have a pretty good chance of facing him as a hitter," Ohtani said through a translator after Thursday's game. "Either way, I'll get to face him."

The Angels haven't set a date for Ohtani's next outing.

Ohtani last pitched May 20 against Tampa Bay, winning his second consecutive decision and giving up 2 runs and 6 hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander threw a season-high 110 pitches.

Ohtani played catch on the field before starting at designated hitter on Thursday. He hit two doubles, walked twice and scored two runs.

"The body feels fine," Ohtani said through a translator after the game. "I'm guessing it's probably because I threw 110 pitches and they're trying to take it easy on me. I'm just going to do what I always do, do my bullpens and get ready for my next start."

Ohtani is batting .319 with 6 home runs, 7 doubles and 19 RBI in 94 at-bats during his first season in the majors.


Pedroia returns from surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be activated by the Red Sox today after missing Boston's first 50 games while recovering from knee surgery.

Manager Alex Cora said Thursday that Pedroia will come off the disabled list for a weekend series at Fenway Park against Atlanta.

Pedroia's return to the AL East leaders will come exactly seven months after cartilage-restoration surgery on his left knee. He played his final game for Class AAA Pawtucket on Thursday, finishing 1 for 14 in his five-game rehab assignment.

Pedroia, 34, is in his 13th season with the Red Sox. He was the American League MVP in 2008 and ranks sixth among all Red Sox hitters in doubles (394) and stolen bases (138), and eighth in hits (1,802) and total bases (2,646).

Pedroia will start either today or Saturday, and will bat somewhere in the lineup after first or second. Cora plans to stay with Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi (Arkansas Razorbacks) in those spots.

Eduardo Nunez, who has started most of Boston's game at second base so far this season, will go back to a utility role.


Relievers to start three days

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen day is now a three-day affair.

Rays Manager Kevin Cash announced Thursday that reliever Sergio Romo is scheduled to start Friday night and Sunday against Baltimore, and Ryne Stanek is set to face the Orioles on Saturday.

Tampa Bay planned to begin the regular season with four starting pitchers and have one bullpen day, but Nathan Eovaldi hurt his surgically repaired right elbow in his last spring training start. Another starter, Jake Faria, could miss six to eight weeks after straining his left oblique Tuesday.

"We're not trying to do anything that's cute," Cash said. "We're trying to do something that's right for us to win games."

Romo, who had only pitched in relief in 588 games, started games last Saturday and Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels. He pitched one inning the first time, then 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Rays split the two previous games Romo started.


Sano back from disabled list

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have reinstated third baseman Miguel Sano from the disabled list after he missed the last 24 games with a strained left hamstring.

The Twins sent outfielder Jake Cave on Thursday to Class AAA Rochester.

Sano went 6 for 16 with 2 home runs and 3 walks on a five-game rehab assignment at Rochester. Before he was hurt, Sano batted just .213 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI with 36 strikeouts in 20 games. Sano, an All-Star in 2017, has never played in more than 116 games in the majors due to injuries.

The Twins start a three-game series in Seattle against the Mariners today. They are still missing three regulars from their lineup: shortstop Jorge Polanco (suspension), first baseman Joe Mauer (neck strain) and catcher Jason Castro (knee surgery).

Sports on 05/25/2018

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