Astros’ McCullers pitches for 1st time since ’18, fans Goldy

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Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel takes up his position during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Lance McCullers was back on the mound for the Houston Astros for the first time since having Tommy John surgery after the 2018 season.

McCullers started Sunday’s spring training game against St. Louis and threw 16 pitches. He finished up by striking out Cardinals star Paul Goldschmidt with a curveball.

The Astros want to be cautious with McCullers as he comes back from his elbow injury.

If he’s OK, McCullers could take the third spot in Houston’s rotation behind Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke.

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