Steve Pearce went 2-for-4 and hit a three-run homer off Alex Wood to help the Rays beat the Dodgers 8-5 on Wednesday.
The Rays have been facing a lot of lefties lately, and Pearce has taken advantage; he's now hitting .300/.375/.520 in 50 at-bats. He'll continue to get extra playing time against righties at Logan Morrison's expense, but he's probably not going to do a whole lot with it; he's best utilized as a platoon player.
Jacoby Ellsbury was perfect on Wednesday night, going 3-for-3 with two walks and two stolen bases against the Orioles.
Ellsbury turned back the clocks and reminded us how dynamic he can be on the baseball diamond. He's now hitting .271/.327/.396 with seven stolen bases. Fantasy owners desperately want the power to return, but the 32-year-old is showing that he can still be an effective fantasy player with a good batting average and the potential for 30-plus steals.
Erasmo Ramirez recorded his fourth win in relief and fifth overall with two scoreless innings Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Ramirez allowed an inherited runner to score after replacing Drew Smyly in the sixth, which tied the game and earned him a blown save. He got the win when the Rays went on to score six times in the following two frames. It's ridiculous that the Rays are now talking about leaving Ramirez in the pen, and patently unfair to a guy who is arbitration eligible this winter, but it might happen, at least for a little while.
Manny Machado doubled twice in Wednesday's shutout loss to the Yankees.
Machado was the only ray of sunshine for the Orioles. He doubled twice, collecting doubles 12 and 13 on the year, and is now hitting .355/.410/.673 in 117 plate appearances. That's a slash line that even makes Daniel Murphy blush these days. Machado is one of the best five players in all of baseball and will only see his fantasy value increase with more starts at shortstop.
Alex Wood lost to the Rays after allowing five runs -- four earned -- in five-plus innings Wednesday.
Wood struck out seven and walked none, but he gave up three homers, dooming him to another defeat on the road. He's allowed 21 runs -- 17 earned -- over 19 innings in his four road starts and two runs in 14 innings in his two home starts. The good news is that both of his starts next week will come at Dodger Stadium. The bad is that they're against the Mets and Cardinals.
Tyler Wilson only allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings against the Yankees on Wednesday, but still suffered his first loss of the season.
Wilson contributed to his own downfall in the sixth inning. His throwing error allowed the third run to cross, but he got the ever-struggling Aaron Hicks to ground out to limit the damage. It was nice to see him throw 96 pitches in his third start since transitioning from the bullpen. However, the right-hander has a 4.94 K/9 and isn't fantasy relevant in any league, as his margin for error is just too small to work over an extended period of time. If he gets another start, he'll face the Twins on the road on Monday.
After sitting against a left-hander Tuesday, Corey Seager started against one Wednesday and contributed a double and two walks against the Rays.
Seager is hitting .252/.322/.398 in 103 at-bats, which, while not up to expectations, is hardly a disaster. He still has some work to do before earning an everyday spot near the top of the Dodgers' lineup, but he'll get there before the year is out.
CC Sabathia tossed seven scoreless innings in Wednesday's win over the Orioles, striking out six, in what was his best outing of the year.
Sabathia needed only 99 pitches to span seven innings. Things got dicey in the bottom of the fifth, as he had runners on the corners with only one out, but he got Joey Rickard swinging and Manny Machado to line out sharply to center field to escape unscathed. After that scare, he retired the minimum in the next two innings. Sabathia's ERA has come down to 3.81, but his 21-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio indicates that his palatable ERA belies the issues underneath. He'll next get the Royals at home.