Cubs lefty Justin Steele exits 1st opening day start after getting hurt vs. champion Rangers

Thu, Mar 28, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Cubs lefty Justin Steele exits 1st opening day start after getting hurt vs. champion Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Chicago Cubs starter Justin Steele exited his first career opening day start after going down awkwardly when fielding a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning against World Series champion Texas on Thursday night.

Steele came off the mound and lunged while reaching to pick up a ball. After tossing the ball to first base to get out Leody Taveras, Steele went down to the ground in foul territory, grabbing the back of his left leg above his knee.

After being visited by an athletic trainer, Steele got up on his own and walked toward the Cubs dugout. Julian Merryweather replaced Steele and got out of the inning to keep the game tied 1-1.

Steele struck out six and allowed one run and three hits over 4 2/3 innings. He was 16-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 30 starts last season, when he was an All-Star finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

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