A's lose Gray for a while, Rangers shut down Cashner

Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray will begin the season on the disabled list with a lat strain and has been shut down from throwing for the next three weeks.

A's general manager David Forst said Thursday there's no timetable for the right-hander beyond the preliminary stretch.

This is a big blow to the A's and Gray, who was eager to start fresh following a forgettable 2016. He was scratched from his scheduled outing opening day last year because of food poisoning and never had the kind of season he envisioned as the leader of the rotation.

He spent two stints on the DL and went 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA on the heels of back-to-back 14-win campaigns. Gray, who received a $3,575,000, one-year contract to avoid arbitration, initially had plans to pitch for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.

CASHED OUT

New Texas starter Andrew Cashner is being held back from throwing for the second time this spring because of soreness in his right upper biceps.

Cashner had resumed throwing after an MRI and exam last week showed nothing significant in the biceps. The right-hander then had a couple of days of light throwing without issues, but the biceps started bothering him again when the intensity increased.

Cashner, a Texas native who was a first-round draft pick out of TCU in 2008, was 5-11 with a 5.25 ERA in 28 games last season combined with San Diego and Miami.

AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES

ASTROS 3, CARDINALS 0

Astros starter Lance McCullers, making his first start since an elbow strain ended his season last August, breezed through two perfect innings, striking out three.

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn struck out three over three innings, allowing one earned run on two hits.

MARLINS 2, NATIONALS 2, 9 INNINGS

Bryce Harper hit his third home run of the spring and Derek Norris added a solo shot for Washington. A.J. Cole pitched four hitless innings, allowing just one walk. Joe Nathan, trying to join the Nationals' bullpen mix at 42, allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning.

Miami starting prospect Dillon Peters pitched three no-hit innings.

TIGERS 5, METS 5, 9 INNINGS

Yoenis Cespedes homered and Mets starter Jacob deGrom threw four shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out four.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez continued to have a rough spring, allowing four earned on six hits over three innings. He has a 17.47 exhibition ERA after three appearances.

Detroit prospect JaCoby Jones homered in the top of the ninth, but the Mets came back to tie on an RBI triple by minor leaguer John Mora.

BLUE JAYS 6, PHILLIES 4

Phils starter Jerad Eickhoff was roughed up for four earned runs on seven hits and two walks in three innings. Tommy Joseph hit his second spring homer and Howie Kendrick drove in two.

Jays lefty Francisco Liriano tossed three scoreless innings without a hit, striking out five. Jerrod Saltalamacchia went 3 for 3 with a pair of runs and an RBI and Darwin Barney went 2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored.

RED SOX 7, USA 5

Team USA announced Toronto's Marcus Stroman will start on Saturday against the Dominican Republic, followed by the Nationals' Tanner Roark. Edinson Volquez of the Marlins will pitch for the Dominican Republic.

Josh Harrison homered and drove in four runs. Red Sox prospect Teddy Stankiewicz started for Team USA and allowed one hit, Jackie Bradley's solo home run, and two walks over two innings.

Boston closer Craig Kimbrel struck out two and gave up a double in an inning, Mitch Moreland drove in two with a single and Matt Dominguez hit a two-run homer.

TWINS 10, COLOMBIA 7

Twins starter Ervin Santana gave up two earned runs on four hits and a walk over four innings. Eduardo Escobar drove in a run with a triple.

Phillies prospect Jorge Alfaro homered for Columbia and Yankees middle infielder Donovan Solano had two hits. Charlie Mirabal, who was once in the Dodgers' organization, went 2 for 2 with a two-run homer and five RBIs.

YANKEES 8, BRAVES 7

Matt Tuiasosopo hit two homers and drove in five runs for Atlanta and Matt Kemp had an RBI double.

Jacoby Ellsbury got three hits for the Yankees and Brett Gardner homered. Starter Michael Pineda gave up two earned runs on three hits over three innings.

PIRATES 10, RAYS 8

Jose Osuna hit his fourth spring home run for Pittsburgh. Wade LeBlanc gave up four earned runs on five hits over 2 2/3 innings.

Brad Miller homered and drove in three runs for Tampa Bay.

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