Brandon Belt's sixth home run of the season helped the Giants beat the Braves 7-0 on Thursday.
He finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, adding a double. The seventh inning round-tripper, on a 1-2 count against Shelby Miller, gave the Giants a 1-0 lead. San Francisco broke open the game in the next frame. Belt is now slashing .305/.375/.536.
Chris Heston fired 7 1/3 shutout innings, striking out six, in Thursday's 7-0 triumph over the Braves.
He scattered four hits and walked one. After giving up five runs or more in three of his last four starts (and four of his past six), tonight's performance was an encouraging sign indeed. Still, it's difficult to get overly excited here: In 10 starts, Heston has been bombed four times and allowed one earned run or fewer in the other six. It adds up to a decent 3.82 ERA, but NL-only owners are playing roulette when they roll him out.
Shelby Miller was slapped with the tough-luck loss on Thursday, yielding just one run over seven innings in a 7-0 loss to the Giants.
Miller was scarcely in danger. Oh, except for that seventh inning Brandon Belt homer. Chris Heston was dealing across the bump, ensuring that Miller's record would drop to 5-2. The youngster, who struck out one and walked none tonight, has proven to be everything the Braves could have asked for and more, posting a 1.48 ERA and 0.88 WHIP across 10 starts.
Tyler Clippard gave up one run but evaded further damage to earn his fifth save of the season in Thursday's 5-4 victory against the Yankees.
Clippard had himself to blame for the run after inexplicably walking Garrett Jones -- who has been hitting like your grandfather has been cooking -- with two outs. Brett Gardner next doubled Jones in, doing right by the karma gods. Clippard has been effective and owns a nice 2.57 ERA, but his days as closer are numbered with Sean Doolittle healthy and shaking off the rust in middle relief.
Billy Burns finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored in Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Yankees.
Billy Burns is apparently the new Rickey Henderson. He's hit two homers in the past five games (and also smacked a double). How surprising is that? Well, Mr. Burns hit a grand total of two homers in 1,796 minor league at-bats. He slugged .357 on the farm, but has found this major league stuff pretty easy with a .417 mark (and a .302 average). It won't continue, but who are we to rain on Billy Burns' parade?
Kendall Graveman allowed three runs on seven hits across 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Yankees on Thursday.
He struck out four and walked two. Same old story, here: The 24-year-old is effective when he keeps his mediocre stuff down, but it gets hit hard when left up in the zone (Brian McCann provided a nice example in the second inning). The A's probably wouldn't tolerate him in the rotation if they were contending, but they can afford to let him take his lumps. In fairness, Graveman has looked much better in his two starts since returning from demotion. Overall, he has a 5.79 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.
C.C. Sabathia struggled again on Thursday, coughing up five runs on eight hits across six innings in a loss to the A's.
Sabathia actually started out quite well. He'd been spotted a 3-0 lead by the bottom of the fifth when the wheels began to fall off, which perhaps could have been predicted when Billy Burns hit a homer. Sabathia has a solid 51/12 K/BB rate, but it comes with a 2-7 record, 5.67 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Steer clear outside of AL-only formats.
Cody Allen struck out two and tossed a scoreless ninth to convert his 10th save of the season in Thursday's 5-3 win over the Mariners.
Allen did not look long for the late innings in going 0-2 with a 11.57 ERA in April, but he's converted all six of his save chances in May and given up an acceptable four runs in 13 innings. The overall numbers will still make your eyes bleed (5.85 ERA and 1.65 WHIP), but Allen will continue to drag those down to baseline.