Danny Valencia returned to action on Wednesday July 23.
Alex Rios returned to action on Wednesday July 23.
Yasiel Puig returned to action on Wednesday July 23.
Jose Abreu returned to action on Wednesday July 23.
Sean Doolittle stemmed the tide of a five-run Astros comeback attempt to earn his 15th save in Wednesday's win.
Bob Melvin sent in the maligned Jim Johnson with a 9-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning. Surely, a seven-run cushion made it safe to use the former closer. But no. Johnson surrendered four runs (three earned) on four hits without recording an out. By the time Oakland got out of the frame, the score was 9-7, a lead Doolittle was tasked with protecting. He fired a perfect ninth, striking out one. Doolittle is 15-for-18 in save conversions to go with a 2.70 ERA and 0.64 WHIP.
Jesse Chavez got back in the win column by allowing two earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings Wednesday in a 9-7 victory over the Astros.
He struck out seven and walked two. Chavez has issued at least two free passes in six straight starts. The excess base runners have been an issue, but Chavez has done a good job in recent starts minimizing damage. He entered this game with a 4.32 July ERA despite a 1.80 WHIP in those three outings. Now 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA, Chavez has a rematch with Brad Peacock scheduled for Monday.
Brad Peacock surrendered seven runs in 3 2/3 innings as the Astros lost in Oakland on Wednesday.
It was ugly, and this time, manager Bo Porter made Peacock work through the carnage, unlike his last start, when Peacock was yanked five batters in. Tonight, Peacock walked five and gave up seven hits, including three homers, on which six runs scored. Over his last two starts -- which lasted four innings total -- he's seen his ERA spike from 4.30 to 4.93. Peacock's spot in the rotation is in jeopardy. If he sticks around, a rematch against the A's on Monday would kick off a two-start week.
Yoenis Cespedes homered twice and drove in five runs before leaving Wednesday's game against the Astros with an apparent left thumb injury.
Cespedes went 2-for-4 before exiting in the seventh inning after jamming his hand while spinning to the ground on a violent swing. He's now riding a five-game hitting streak, and a three-game extra base hit streak. It's nice to see him break out of a funk, as he looked lost at the plate earlier this month. Cespedes came into this game batting .145 in July. Hopefully his hand bones are all intact after his nasty spill.