Michael Brantley returns to Astros after missing 14 months with shoulder injury

Houston Astros designated hitter Michael Brantley (23) reacts after striking out during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Saturday, June 25, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray) (Noah K. Murray, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

BOSTON – Michael Brantley returned from the injured list Tuesday by the Houston Astros and played his first major league game in 14 months,

The 36-year-old outfielder started in left field and batted sixth against the Boston Red Sox.

A five-time All-Star, Brantley grounded out leading off the second inning and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the fourth.

Brantley last played on June 26 last year and had surgery on Aug. 10. He hit .288 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 64 games in the final season of a $32 million, two-year contract, then signed a $12 million, one-year deal.

Brantley started a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment on April 23 and played nine games through May 3 but then had an MRI that revealed inflammation. He resumed a rehab assignment on Aug. 15 and hit .348 (8 for 23) for Triple-A Sugar Land with one homer and seven RBIs.

Houston designated 29-year-old right-hander Jake Cousins for assignment. Cousins was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee on July 31 and had a 9.00 ERA in eight games for Sugar Land.


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