ST. LOUIS — New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom played catch in the outfield of Busch Stadium on Saturday and may not need an MRI on his elbow after all.

DeGrom said before Saturday’s game in St. Louis that his elbow soreness likely was from altering his routine during a recent bout of strep throat.

“After getting some treatment and getting things moving around, it started feeling a little better,” deGrom said. “So decided to throw and felt good with how it went.”

The Mets placed deGrom on the injured list Friday, retroactive to April 16, because of right elbow soreness. The club had announced that deGrom would be returning to New York for an MRI of his elbow.

Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said they reversed course because he responded well to treatment.

“Much improved,” Callaway said. “We’ll get him back to New York and get him checked out and go from there.”

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, who had been scheduled to pitch Saturday, was coming off two shaky starts. He is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA this season.

PIRATES: Pittsburgh placed center fielder Starling Marte on the 10-day injured list and shortstop Erik Gonzalez on the 60-day injured list, a day after the two collided in the outfield in the eighth inning of a 4-1 victory over San Francisco.

The team says Marte suffered an abdominal wall contusion and Gonzalez fractured his left clavicle when the two ran into each other while trying to chase down a fly ball by San Francisco’s Yangervis Solarte. Neither player appeared to see the other. The ball squirted free after the collision. Gonzalez was able to walk off the field, but Marte left in a cart as a precaution.

Marte is the third member of Pittsburgh’s starting outfield to go on the injured list. Right fielder Gregory Polanco is still recovering from shoulder surgery last fall, and left fielder Corey Dickerson is nursing a strained right shoulder.

The Pirates called up shortstop Cole Tucker and outfielder Bryan Reynolds from Triple-A Indianapolis.

CUBS: Ace Jon Lester could be close to rejoining Chicago’s rotation after pitching a simulated game.

Lester threw 45 pitches Saturday. Manager Joe Maddon says he looked very good, and the Cubs will see how he feels Sunday before determining the next step. Maddon did not rule out a return for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field that starts Tuesday.

Lester strained his left hamstring running the bases April 8 against Pittsburgh.

PHILLIES: Shortstops Jean Segura and Scott Kingery and reliever Victor Arano were placed on the 10-day injured list.

Segura injured his left hamstring on Tuesday, and the roster move was retroactive to Wednesday.

Kingery left Friday night’s game because of a right hamstring strain, and Arano has right elbow inflammation.

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