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Matt Harvey of New York Mets pitches two scoreless innings in second spring appearance

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Matt Harvey thinks he is on the right track as he tries to regain the form that made him an All-Star in 2013.

The oft-injured New York Mets pitcher allowed two hits over three scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers on Monday in his second spring training appearance.

“I was pleased with putting up zeroes but also to be able to throw my pitches and keep guys guessing,” the 28-year-old right-hander said. “I didn’t go late into the game because we’re only going three innings, but I finished the outing strong and came out with zeroes.”

An All-Star who started the 2013 game at the Mets’ Citi Field, Harvey has struggled since tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow that August. He was 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA over 29 starts when he returned in 2015 following Tommy John surgery. He then slumped to 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA in 2016, when he didn’t start after July 4 because of thoracic outlet syndrome, which required another operation.

He wound up 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA last year, when he was sidelined from mid-June until September because of a stress fracture in his scapula, which connects the arm with the collarbone.

Harvey, who is eligible for free agency after this season, threw in the mid-90 mph range against the Tigers. Not quite the level he reached in his youth, but enough to be effective.

“I think the third inning I felt better than the first two innings,” he said. “Usually it’s the other way around. That’s a good sign. I was able to get in trouble and get out of it.”

Harvey had one strikeout and one walk in a 46-pitch outing.

“He pitched with not his best stuff today,” new Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “Throughout the season you’re going to have a handful of those. If you can get through those, that’s huge. He did a good job of throwing strike one and maybe fell behind after that, but he knew he had good stuff, made a pitch and got out of it. He can be very good for us.”

Harvey faced a batting order that included Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez

“Being able to go three against that lineup was a good test,” Harvey said. “There were a couple of pitches that were here or there that weren’t mechanically as I wanted, but I was able to bounce back pretty quickly and get it under control.”

Game notes
Brandon Nimmo hit his second homer of spring training leading off the first inning against RHP Mike Fiers, a drive just right of the batter’s eye. … Jose Reyes drove in a pair of runs with a double in the seventh, while Travis d’Arnaud doubled in a run in the first. … LHP Jason Vargas is to start Tuesday against the Houston Astros and RHP Collin McHugh, and RHP Zack Wheeler is to pitch Wednesday against the New York Yankees.

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Brewers won’t have top reliever Devin Williams vs. Dodgers

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Milwaukee Brewers rookie right-hander Devin Williams, one of the best relievers in baseball this season, has been left off the team’s roster for its wild-card series against the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers.

He is dealing with an arm issue, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Williams, 26, was 4-1 with a 0.33 ERA in 27 innings this season, striking out 53 batters with just nine walks. He struck out 53% of batters faced this season, the highest percentage in MLB history by a pitcher with at least 20 innings pitched, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

His changeup — known as the “Airbender” — has made him a fan favorite on social media. Opponents are 2-for-62 (.032) against it, the lowest opponent average on a single pitch this season (minimum 50 plate appearances), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

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Byron Buxton not 100% so not in Twins’ starting lineup

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Center fielder Byron Buxton is not in the Minnesota Twins‘ lineup Wednesday because “he’s not at 100%,” manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters before Game 2.

Baldelli said Buxton could be available off the bench if his condition improves. He would not elaborate more on Buxton’s condition. Buxton was hit in the helmet by a pitch on Friday and had “mild” concussion symptoms. He was cleared for Game 1 on Tuesday and played the entire game.

Max Kepler is starting in center in Game 2. Rookie Alex Kirilloff, who has yet to make his MLB debut, is starting in right field.

The Twins trail the best-of-3 wild-card series against the Houston Astros 1-0 after losing 4-1 Tuesday, their 17th straight postseason defeat.

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Former World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval on Atlanta Braves roster

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ATLANTA — Pablo Sandoval is on the Atlanta Braves‘ roster for the NL wild-card series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The 2012 World Series MVP joined the Braves after being released by the San Francisco Giants a couple of weeks ago.

He started at third base in the final game of the regular season, going 0 for 2 with two walks in a 9-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Sandoval played 33 games for the Giants, hitting .220 with one homer and six RBI.

The Braves also brought back infielder Charlie Culberson to the big league roster and released left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone, who was acquired at the trade deadline but posted a 14.90 ERA in three starts.

The 28-player rosters for the best-of-three series between the Reds and the Braves:

CINCINNATI

Pitchers (12): RH Tejay Antone, RH Trevor Bauer, RH Archie Bradley, RH Luis Castillo, LH Amir Garrett, RH Sonny Gray, RH Raisel Iglesias, RH Michael Lorenzen, RH Tyler Mahle, LH Wade Miley, RH Lucas Sims, RH Robert Stephenson

Catchers (2): Tucker Barnhart, Curt Casali

Infielders (7): Matt Davidson, Kyle Farmer, Freddy Galvis, Jose Garcia, Mike Moustakas, Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto

Outfielders (7): Shogo Akiyama, Aristides Aquino, Nick Castellanos, Brian Goodwin, Travis Jankowski, Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker

ATLANTA

Pitchers (13): RH Ian Anderson, LH Grant Dayton, LH Max Fried, RH Shane Greene, RH Chris Martin, LH Tyler Matzek, RH Mark Melancon, LH A.J. Minter, RH Darren O’Day, LH Will Smith, RH Josh Tomlin, RH Jacob Webb, RH Kyle Wright

Catchers (3): William Contreras, Travis d’Arnaud, Tyler Flowers

Infielders (7): Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Charlie Culberson, Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, Pablo Sandoval, Dansby Swanson

Outfielders (5): Ronald Acuna Jr., Adam Duvall, Nick Markakis, Marcell Ozuna, Cristian Pache.

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