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Brandon Crawford homered, doubled and walked Friday against the Phillies.

The homer was just his second in 118 at-bats since the All-Star break. Crawford has spent nearly two months now with his average in the .220s and .230s, and his defensive numbers haven't been as good as usual, either. He was one of the NL's top 15 or so players in both 2015 and 2016, but this year, he's been well below average.
Aug 19 - 1:22 AM

Howie Kendrick went 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and a stolen base as the Nationals beat the Padres 7-1 on Friday.

Because it's not enough that Kendrick is hitting .345 with a .921 OPS, he's doing more running than ever before, going 10-for-14 stealing bases in just 56 games while healthy. His career high for steals is 14, which he's done four times (in seasons of 158, 140, 147 and 157 games).
Aug 19 - 1:18 AM

Nick Delmonico hit two home runs, including one of the inside-the-park variety, during a 4-3 victory over the Rangers.

He swatted a standard two-run shot off starter Andrew Cashner in the sixth inning. He produced the winning run in the eighth inning by lining a deep drive that led the right fielder to crash into the wall and drop to the ground while Delmonico circled the bases. The red-hot rookie has an amazing .382/.452/.691 slash line with five homers and 11 RBI in 15 games. He had a .262 batting average with 12 home runs in 99 games at Triple-A Charlotte before getting the call to the majors.
Aug 19 - 1:17 AM

Making his first career start in Max Scherzer's place, Matt Grace shut out the Padres for 4 1/3 innings on Friday.

Grace was last a starting pitcher in high-A ball in 2012, when he went 9-12 with a 4.84 ERA for Potomac. He left with a 2-0 lead tonight and should have gotten the win for his effort, but MLB's obsolete rule says no (a starter must throw five innings to get a win). Instead, the victory went to Joe Blanton, who got three outs with his club already on top. The Nationals will probably return Grace to the pen rather than have him make another start in pace of Scherzer, but that's not the lock it would have been had Grace given up three or four runs tonight.
Aug 19 - 1:15 AM

Carlos Asuaje went 2-for-3 with a walk against the Nationals in Friday's loss.

The second baseman had half of the Padres' hits on the night. Asuaje is batting .291/.356/.394 in 175 at-bats this year. He lacks big-time offensive upside and his defense at second base is average at best, but if he can keep his OBP up, he'll be a useful piece while he's cheap.
Aug 19 - 1:09 AM

Dusty Coleman homered for the Padres' only run Friday against the Nationals.

Coleman started out hot after getting the callup late last month, but he entered this one 1-for-14 with nine strikeouts in the previous 10 days. He'll be a part-time shortstop the rest of the way.
Aug 19 - 1:06 AM

Jose Abreu went 2-for-5 and scored a run in a win over the Rangers on Friday.

Both hits were singles and he rode home on a Nick Delmonico home run in the sixth inning. The veteran first baseman is batting .295/.346/.521 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI in 118 games.
Aug 19 - 1:06 AM

Juan Minaya earned the first post-firesale save for the White Sox by throwing a scoreless ninth inning versus the Rangers on Friday.

He walked lead-off batter Joey Gallo but retired the next three batters without any drama. The White Sox traded off ace relievers David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak and Tyler Clippard in recent weeks, leaving the bullpen bereft of any obvious closing candidates. Minaya looks to get the first crack at taking over the ninth inning and makes for a good pick-up in fantasy leagues. He has a 4.50 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 14 walks (and five homers) in 30 innings.
Aug 19 - 1:01 AM
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