Giants right fielder Hunter Pence left tonight’s game after re-aggravating a hamstring injury that plagued him for much of the past two weeks, and he’s headed for an MRI in the morning, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. The extent of the injury won’t be known until tomorrow morning, but Pence was unable to even finish running to first base on a grounder to third base in the fourth inning. Pence is hitting .298/.375/.486 with seven homers in 208 trips to the plate this season, and any prolonged absence for him would be a tough pill for San Francisco to swallow. Were he to require a stint on the disabled list, he’d end up alongside fellow outfielder Angel Pagan, who is on the DL with the same injury. Jarrett Parker is already on the roster due to Pagan’s injury, and Mac Williamson is an obvious candidate to come up and fill Pence’s 25-man roster spot if necessary.
A few more notes from around the game…
- The Red Sox optioned right-hander Joe Kelly to Triple-A following a brutal start against the Orioles on Wednesday. Kelly last just 2 2/3 innings and was tagged for seven earned runs on seven hits and three walks with just one strikeout. That difficult outing and an 8.46 ERA notwithstanding, Kelly was caught off-guard by the move, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “Obviously I didn’t see it coming,” the right-hander said. “I’m just going to go down there and try to continue to get better at commanding the baseball…. I’ve got to try to get my mechanics right and get that fastball command where it was a couple starts ago and to where it needs to be.” Manager John Farrell said that Kelly is “blessed with a golden arm and tremendous stuff” but lacks execution on his pitches. As Britton points out, Clay Buchholz struggled in relief on Wednesday, while Henry Owens, Sean O’Sullivan and Roenis Elias all have their own red flags about them. For the time being, Noe Ramirez is taking Kelly’s roster spot. Boston can skip the fifth spot in its rotation entirely the next time it comes up due to an off day on the schedule.
- Jurickson Profar has been impressive while filling in for the suspended Rougned Odor, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister cast some doubt on whether he’ll remain with the club following Odor’s activation on June 4, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. “In Jurickson’s case, I think the concern and need with him is the everyday process,” said Banister. “When you haven’t played every day for two years, getting the body back up to speed to play every day and continue to play every day, we need to make sure we monitor that.” Banister said that four games a week would be enough to keep Profar on the big league roster, but as Wilson writes, Texas isn’t keen on putting him in the outfield or at third base, and getting him four starts per week between the two middle infield positions and at DH could be tough. Profar went 2-for-5 with a double tonight and is hitting .357 since his recall from Triple-A.
- Sonny Gray’s target date for a return to the Athletics’ rotation is June 10, writes Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com. Gray is slated for a bullpen session Thursday and a rehab start on Saturday at Class-A Stockton, and assuming all goes well, his stay on the disabled list will be a fairly abbreviated one. Gray hit the DL back on May 22 with a strained trapezius muscle, and the A’s are undoubtedly hoping that some time off will help him return to form; Gray has logged a dismal 6.19 ERA this season while displaying the worst control of his career, averaging 4.5 walks per nine innings and unloading a league-high nine wild pitches through his first 48 innings of work.