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Rob Leiter/Getty ImagesHouston Astros star Jose Altuve
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Сообщение Rob Leiter/Getty ImagesHouston Astros star Jose Altuve 
Rob Leiter/Getty ImagesHouston Astros star Jose Altuve appears to be having difficulty getting over the knee injury that has had him on the disabled list since July 29.Per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle Bryce Harper Jersey , the reigning American League MVP flew back to Houston on Sunday to have his knee re-evaluated.Astros manager A.J. Hinch added that Altuve wouldn't be activated for the team's two-game series against the San Francisco Giants starting Monday."I think it feels like (a setback) only because we've eliminated San Francisco as a possibility," Hinch said. "I don't know that we can consider it a setback other than we can consider that he needs more time to heal."Injuries had never been much of a problem for the second baseman in his career, averaging 154.2 games played in his six full seasons in the majors. He only missed 22 total games in the past four seasons, earning four All-Star selections and an MVP award in this span.Unfortunately, he hasn't been as lucky in 2018, as a knee injury forced him to go on the disabled list for the first time in his career.The latest injury also adds to what has been somewhat of a disappointing year for the 28-year-old.While he is still playing at an All-Star level with a .329 average, his nine home runs and 14 stolen bases are a bit of a step back from what we have seen in the past. For instance, he hit 24 homers in each of the previous two seasons and stole 32 bases in 2017.Houston has enough depth and offensive firepower to survive a short stretch without Altuve, but it would be difficult for the team to defend its World Series title without its most consistent player.Utility player Marwin Gonzalez should be able to handle second base duties until the superstar is back on the field. PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jonny Venters thought he had given up a tying home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.“It sounded loud,” the Atlanta Braves‘ reliever said. “I thought it was gone.”Gregory Polanco’s drive to right field hit off the top of the 21-foot wall Stephen Strasburg Jersey , however, and he was held to a double.Venters then got Francisco Cervelli to hit a game-ending comebacker, preserving Atlanta’s 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.Ronald Acuna Jr. hit another leadoff home run and Freddie Freeman had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to lift Julio Teheran and the Braves to a three-game sweep.Polanco was disappointed his drive did not clear the high wall.“It’s unbelievable, man,” he said. “I hit the ball really hard. It’s PNC (Park), man. Every other park, that’s a homer.”Acuna hit the fifth pitch out to left-center off Trevor Williams. It was the rookie’s 20th homer and sixth leading off the first inning, including four in the last two weeks.“He’s so exciting,” Teheran said. “You expect him to hit a long ball every time he comes up.”The NL East leaders went ahead 2-1 in the eighth when Freeman, who leads the league in hitting http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-gio-gonzalez-jersey , sent a fly ball to deep left field off Edgar Santana. That came after Atlanta loaded the bases against Kyle Crick (2-2), who did not retire any of the three batters he faced.“You’d love to score five or six runs every night, but that’s not always going to happen,” Freeman said. “These are the types of games you have to win in a pennant race. It’s a really good win for us.”Atlanta moved three games ahead of the second-place Phillies, who lost 8-7 at Washington.Freeman’s sac fly made a winner of Teheran (9-7), who allowed one run and two hits in seven innings while striking out five and walking one. Teheran is 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his last five starts.Brad Brach struck out pinch-hitter David Freese with a runner on third to end the eighth. Venters completed the three-hitter and earned his second save.Atlanta also mustered only three hits but won for the 17th time in 25 games.It was seven years to the day since Venters converted his last save for the Braves on Aug. 22, 2011, at the Chicago Cubs. The left-hander missed five major league seasons from 2013-17 while recovering from three Tommy John operations. He returned this year with the Tampa Bay Rays.The Braves acquired Venters in a July trade and he got his first opportunity to fill in for injured closer A.J. Minter (lower back tightness) on Wednesday.“I told Jonny I might be using him in some save situations and he was ready,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.The Pirates got their run in the fifth when Colin Moran broke up Teheran’s no-hit bid with a two-out RBI single. Pittsburgh’s only other hit was a two-out single by Cervelli.The Pirates have scored just 16 runs in their last 10 games, going 2-8.Williams had another strong outing Anthony Rendon Jersey , permitting one run and two hits in six innings, but again was hurt by a lack of run support. Williams’ ERA is 0.97 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break, yet his record is just 3-2. He is also 1-2 in four August starts despite a 1.44 ERA.“He’s pitched so well, and he pitched so well again tonight,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “It was just fun to watch him out there like a kid in the backyard going to work.”TRAINER’S ROOMBraves: C Kurt Suzuki (bruised left triceps) was out of the lineup after being hit by a pitch but is not expected to go on the disabled list. C Chris Stewart was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to serve as a backup, and OF Michael Reed was optioned to the Stripers.Pirates: RHP Chris Archer (left leg discomfort) is listed as the scheduled starter Sunday at Milwaukee. He left his start Monday night against Atlanta after four innings. … 2B Josh Harrison (strained left hamstring) did not start for a third straight game but struck out as a pinch-hitter. … INF-OF Sean Rodriguez (strained left abdominal muscle) is likely to begin a rehab assignment in the next few days. … SS Jordy Mercer (strained left calf) took batting and fielding practice. … INF Jung Ho Kang (left wrist surgery), on the disabled list at Triple-A Indianapolis, has been cleared to begin gripping exercises.TRICK SHOT ARTISTBraves second baseman Ozzie Albies hit a foul ball in the seventh inning that rebounded off the netting behind home plate and struck him on top of his batting helmet.TURN BACK THE CLOCKThe Braves announced their weeknight and Sunday afternoon home games will begin 15 minutes earlier next season at 7:20 p.m. and 1:20 p.m., respectively.UP NEXTBraves: Open a four-game series Thursday night at Miami, with LHP Sean Newcomb (10-6 http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-daniel-murphy-jersey , 3.73 ERA) facing RHP Dan Straily (4-6, 4.60).Pirates: Begin a three-game series Friday night at Milwaukee, with RHP Joe Musgrove (5-7, 3.31 ERA) starting against LHP Wade Miley (2-2, 2.1Cool.

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