The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Houston Astros on Thursday by the score of 6-5. The win improved the Blue Jays record to 60-50, second in the American League East. The offense which is third in the Major Leagues in runs scored, overcame a shaky outing by starter Drew Hutchison, who allowed four runs on six hits in three innings. The Blue Jays were without Dan Johnson due to a left hamstring strain.
The Colorado Rockies fell to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday by the score of 3-1. The loss dropped the Rockies to 20 games below .500 at 44-64, last in the National League Central. The pitching staff which is near the bottom of the league in ERA, allowed only three earned runs. The offense, though, managed just five hits. On the injury front, there is good news regarding Jordan Lyles, who made a scoreless rehab start for the Colorado Springs Sky Box.
The Atlanta Braves fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday by the score of 2-1. The loss dropped the Braves to 58-51, a game and a half behind the Nationals in the National League East. An offense which has struggled all season, managed nine hits off Clayton Kershaw, but only a run and struck out nine times. The Braves were without Jason Heyward for the third straight game due to back soreness. The good news is taht he is looking to return on Saturday.
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer left Thursday night's game with the Twins after checking his swing and injuring his right hand, the same hand that took a Jon Lester fastball two weeks ago. Hosmer has a stress fracture and could miss three to six weeks. The Kansas City Star's Andy McCoullough made the announcement late Thursday night.
Tyler Skaggs was cruising through Thursday's start against the Baltimore Orioles, no-hitting the O's through the first four innings, when he felt something tighten up in his left arm. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Los Angeles Angels starter tweaked his flexor tendon while throwing a changeup to Delmon Young and, although he was able to strike out J.J. Hardy too, he told Gonzalez his arm was 'killing him'.
The Baltimore Orioles entered Thursday night's game with a record of 60-46, two and a half games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. The Orioles are in good position in the division and American League despite being in the middle of the pack in ERA and 10th in runs scored. But two important pieces, Chris Davis and Ubaldo Jimenez, are needed for the Orioles to sustain this run through the rest of the season. There is good news on Jimenez and Davis, as well as with prospect Hunter Harvey.
The Detroit Tigers lost to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday by the score of 7-4. Even with the loss, the Tigers to 58-47 on the season, four and a half games ahead of the Kansas City Royals in the American League Central. At 22nd in team ERA, the Tigers are remaining on top largely due to an offense that is fifth in the Major Leagues in runs scored. One player who may further strengthen the offense is outfielder Andy Dirks, who has missed the entire season following back surgery. He is expected to restart his rehab today.
The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals on Thursday by the score of 10-4. The win improved the Phillies to 48-61 on the season. The Phillies pounded out 17 hits off Nationals' pitching and used seven pitchers in the win. Cliff Lee started the game, but left after just 2 2/3 innings with an injury to his left elbow. It's entirely possible that Lee has thrown his last pitch of the 2014 season, with the Phillies immediately placing him on the DL on Thursday night, as MLB.com's Todd Zolecki tweeted:
The Toronto Blue Jays improved to 59-50 on the season following a 6-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday. At just two and a half games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East, the Blue Jays are good position over the final two months to make a push at the division title. One thing that will help is the return of Brett Lawrie and Cole Gillespie, who are both progressing from injuries and should be back with the Blue Jays soon.
The New York Mets hammered the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday by the score of 11-2. The win improved the Mets to 52-56 on the season, fourth in the National League East. They are staying close to .500 despite injuries to the staff and an offense that is a mediocre 18th in the league in runs scored. One key loss has been Matt Harvey, who is out for the season following Tommy John surgery last fall. But Harvey is improving and is set to throw off the mound on Friday.
The St. Louis Cardinals lost on Wednesday in a blowout to the San Diego Padres by the score of 12-1. The loss dropped the Cardinals to 56-50, third in the National League Central. The outcome was uncharacteristic of a pitching staff which is ninth in the Major Leagues in ERA. But the Cardinals offense continues to struggle and is 29th in runs scored. On the injury front, pitcher Michael Wacha is improving and could begin throwing next week, pending the result of an MRI.
Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino left Wednesday night's game in the fifth inning as a precaution against aggravating the hamstring that has limited him to just 30 games this season. Daniel Nava pinch hit for him in the fifth after manager John Farrell noticed him moving more slowly after his last at bat.
Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons is playing through shoulder soreness, and he will continue to play. In addition, outfielder Jason Heyward has not played since leaving Monday night's game with back soreness, and he will likely miss at least Thursday's series finale at the Dodgers. Pitcher Jonny Venters has begun a throwing program, but it is unclear if he will pitch for the Braves this season.
The New York Yankees entered Wednesday's game against the Texas Rangers with a 55-51 record, just four and a half games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Yankees are in the thick of the division race despite being in the middle of the pack in runs scored and ERA. The good news is that two key components to the team, pitcher Michael Pineda and third baseman Kelly Johnson, should be ready to return in the next couple of weeks.
The Minnesota Twins entered Wednesday night's game against the Kansas City Royals in last place in the American League Central with a record of 48-57. The Twins pitching staff, which is 27th in the league in ERA, has improved the past two games, allowing a combined four runs on Monday and Tuesday. On the injury front, there is good news regarding Ricky Nolasco and Joe Mauer.