Delmon Young went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in Thursday's 4-0 triumph over the Mariners.
The obituary of Young's career has been written more than once, but as Twain once wrote, the reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. Signed to a minor league deal over the winter, Young needed a Nolan Reimold injury to even make the Opening Day roster. Baltimore hasn't overexposed him, but don't think Young's damage is being done only against left-handers. In reality, he has a shocking .830 OPS against righties (tonight's homer came off right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma) and a terrible .265 OBP and .673 OPS against southpaws. He'll remain a riddle until his retirement is official. Overall, Young is slashing a healthy .317/.344/.455 over 123 at-bats.
Caleb Joseph went 2-for-3 with a run scored in Thursday's 4-0 victory over the Mariners.
Joseph is now batting .272 (9-for-33) in July, which is a great improvement over the zero he provided offensively in May and June. Of course, the Orioles weren't expecting Matt Wieters' offensive production out of him. AL-only owners should only break Joseph's glass in case of emergency. He's slashing .195/.274/.305.
Wei-Yin Chen blanked the Mariners for eight innings Thursday, combining with Darren O'Day on a five-hitter.
Chen fired seven shutout innings against the Red Sox back on June 11. Since then, he'd allowed three earned runs or more in five of six starts, and didn't surrender less than two in any. That stretch saw his ERA spike from 3.76 to 4.21. It's back down to 3.96, a number he'll defend against the Angels next week.
Hisashi Iwakuma gave up four runs on seven hits over seven innings in a loss to the Orioles on Thursday.
Iwakuma struck out five and walked none. The Japanese left-hander was lit up for 10 runs over nine innings (10.00 ERA) over his last two starts of June, but he'd given up only five runs total over his four subsequent starts entering tonight's mediocre showing. In truth, he was great for six shutout innings and awful in a four-run third inning capped by a three-run Delmon Young homer. Iwakuma will take an 8-5 record and 3.09 ERA into a date in Cleveland next week.
Norichika Aoki helped the Royals walk off with an RBI single in Thursday's 14-inning, 2-1 win over the Indians.
Aoki had been hitless in his four previous trips to the plate, but ended up becoming the hero. Lorenzo Cain singled and stole second base to lead off the 14th. After Danny Valencia struck out, Aoki singled to left field to plate Cain. Aoki has been hitting better as of late, but still has a mediocre .262/.331/.320 slash line with no home runs, 15 RBI, and eight stolen bases.
Carlos Santana singled twice and walked twice in six plate appearances as the Indians lost in 14 innings to the Royals on Thursday.
Santana was the Indians' only consistent source of offense on Thursday, but they were only able to bring him around once -- to score the tying run in the ninth inning. The first baseman has had a nice turnaround after a sluggish start to the season, now slashing .218/.357/.400 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI.
Danny Duffy tossed seven shutout innings, but took a no-decision as the Royals needed 14 innings to earn victory from the Indians on Thursday.
Duffy had the misfortune of going up against Corey Kluber, who was on point all night long. Nevertheless, Duffy nearly outmatched the Indians' right-hander, relenting only two hits and two walks while striking out seven. Duffy has been great since moving into the rotation in May, sporting a 2.50 ERA as a starter. On the season overall, including his six relief appearances, he has a 2.47 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and a 76/34 K/BB ratio. Duffy will take the hill against the Twins at home in his next start.
Corey Kluber brought a perfect game into the seventh inning, ultimately pitching nine innings of one-run (unearned) ball, but the Indians lost in 14 innings to the Royals on Thursday.
Kluber's dance with a perfect game ended with one out in the seventh inning when Omar Infante singled on a line drive to center field. Kluber lost his shutout in the eighth when a poor defensive play by Ryan Raburn allowed Mike Moustakas to round the bases on a Little League home run (scored a double and a two-base error). Kluber went nine innings but the Indians needed 14 before they were dispatched. On the night, Kluber allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out 10. The right-hander now has a 2.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and a 162/33 K/BB ratio. Kluber will face the Mariners at home next week.