Verlander was set to pitch four innings against the New York Mets. But with his velocity down from his previous start, Verlander was pulled after two scoreless innings.
“It’s some tricep soreness, so we took him out as a precaution,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
“We’re going to send him to go get some tests run and make sure it’s nothing. We’ve got to take care of the big horse,” he said.
The 37-year-old Verlander was slowed by a groin injury earlier in spring training.
The right-hander threw over 50 pitches in 2 2/3 innings against St. Louis on Tuesday. He didn’t reach 30 pitches against the Mets, allowing three hits without a run while striking out one and walking none.
Verlander was dominant last year, going 21-6 for the Astros and leading the majors in wins, opponents’ batting average (.172), WHIP (0.80) and innings pitched (223). He also tossed his third career no-hitter while striking out a career-high 300 and posting a 2.58 ERA.
Verlander then started six times in the postseason, going 1-4 and pitching 35 1/3 innings. The Astros lost the World Series in seven games to Washington.
Elsewhere around the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues:
Texas outfielder Willie Calhoun suffered a broken jaw when he was hit in the face by a 95 mph fastball from Los Angeles lefty Julio Urias. Calhoun was down on the ground for several minutes, carted off the field and taken to a hospital.
Jake Lamb hit a two-run homer and an RBI single for Arizona. David Peralta had an RBI single and Stephen Vogt had two doubles and a single, scoring twice. Top pitching prospect Jon Duplantier made his second start, yielding a run on two hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings.
REDS (SS) 11, CUBS (SS) 9
Kris Bryant had an RBI double and a sacrifice fly for Chicago’s split squad. Anthony Rizzo hit two doubles and Josh Phegley had a solo home run and an RBI double.
REDS (SS) 8, ANGELS (SS) 8
Joey Votto singled and scored on Matt Davidson’s second home run for Cincinnati’s split squad. Trevor Bauer pitched four innings in his second start, yielding one run on a hit and a walk, striking out four.
Arismendy Alcantara and Michael Hermosillo homered for Los Angeles’ split squad.
BREWERS (SS) 7, ANGELS (SS) 3
ATHLETICS 11, BREWERS (SS) 3
Cheslor Cuthbert hit two home runs for Chicago’s split squad. Newcomer Yasmani Grandal drove in a run with his first spring double. Yermin Mercedes hit his third home run. Reynaldo Lopez made his second start, pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings on five hits while striking out five.
WHITE SOX (SS) 5, ROYALS 4
Darin Ruf hit three doubles for San Francisco and is batting .455 in exhibition play. He also has three home runs this spring in his first big league camp since playing three seasons in South Korea. Hunter Pence homered and Buster Posey had two hits, including an RBI double. Jeff Samardzija made his third start, surrendering a run on two hits and two walks, striking out four in 3 2/3 innings.
J.P. Crawford drove in newcomer Carlos Gonzalez with a second-inning triple for Seattle. Justus Sheffield made his second start, pitching three innings and allowing a run on three hits while striking out five.
Raimel Tapia homered for Colorado. Kyle Freeland made his second start, pitching three innings and giving up a run on two hits and two walks, striking out four.
METS 3, ASTROS 1
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was held out of batting practice this weekend because of back soreness after being behind the plate on back-to-back days. He was left off the travel roster for Monday’s exhibition game against Philadelphia.
YANKEES (SS) 1, BRAVES 0
Masahiro Tanaka made his third start, pitching 3 2/3 shutout innings and giving up one hit while striking out four. Chris Iannetta had an RBI single.
Kenta Maeda excelled in his third start for Minnesota, pitching four scoreless innings and giving up two hits with six strikeouts. Josh Donaldson doubled and singled.
Paul Goldschmidt had a two-run double and Yadier Molina added an RBI single and a sacrifice fly for St. Louis. Harrison Bader had a two-run single. Dakota Hudson allowed a run on two hits and three walks, pitching 3 2/3 innings in his second start and striking out five.
Colin Moran had two singles, driving in a run for Pittsburgh. Mitch Keller pitched three innings in his fourth start, allowing one run on three hits and a walk.
Washington prospect Carter Kieboom doubled and drove in a run.
Vince Velasquez struggled in his second start for Philadelphia, surrendering three runs on two hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings. The Phillies didn’t get their first hit until Jay Bruce’s single with two outs in the sixth.
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