Clay Buchholz allowed six runs, including three home runs, over five innings in a loss to the Rockies on Thursday.
Buchholz gave up seven hits without walking a batter in the game, but three, two-run bombs -- to Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Dustin Garneau -- did him in. Buchholz has now yielded 12 homers in 10 starts, owning a 6.35 ERA and 1.46 WHIP on the year. Assuming he's still in the rotation -- Eduardo Rodriguez could be back as early as next week, and Buchholz has been mentioned as the odd man out -- life doesn't get any easier for the 31-year-old Tuesday when he visits the Orioles.
Jon Gray limited the Red Sox to two runs over 7 1/3 innings in a win Thursday.
Gray allowed five hits and walked three on the evening, with David Ortiz' two-run homer in the first inning accounting for all the Red Sox' offense. Gray settled in after that, allowing just three hits and three walks while striking out six the rest of the way. The righty is 2-2 with a 5.95 ERA that doesn't tell the whole story, as he's pitched much better in the month of May save for one clunker against the Cardinals. Gray will face off against the Reds on Tuesday.
Danny Espinosa hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to lead the Nationals to a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Thursday.
Espinosa's homer off Mike Leake broke a 1-1 tie and ended up being the difference. He finished 1-for-3 in the game. Despite Thursday's contribution, the 29-year-old is hitting just .201/.301/.302 in 47 games and appears to be keeping the seat warm for Trea Turner, who could be called up in a matter of weeks.
Aledmys Diaz hit his seventh home run of the season in a loss to the Nationals on Thursday.
The home run was Diaz' only hit on the night. The 25-year-old has started to come back down to earth after a torrid start to the year, but he still ranks sixth in the National League in hitting, fifth in runs and seventh in slugging. Diaz owns a .329/.359/.570 line with 25 RBI and 32 runs scored overall.
Bryce Harper hit his 12th home run of the season in Thursday's win over the Cardinals.
The homer, a solo blast off Cardinals starter Mike Leake, was his first home run since May 13. After a strong month of April, the 23-year-old has just one double and three home runs this month with a few games left to play. The slump has dropped his line to .245/.426/.545, but he's too talented not to be back on the upswing sooner than later.
Jonathan Papelbon worked a scoreless ninth inning Thursday against the Cardinals to earn his 13th save.
Papelbon needed just eight pitches to dispatch the middle of the Cardinals order, retiring Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty and Brandon Moss to finish the deal. The right-hander now has 13 saves in 15 chances, not having blown a save opportunity since May 3. Papelbon has posted a 2.89 ERA in 19 appearances to date.
Mike Leake allowed two solo home runs over seven innings Thursday, taking the loss against the Nationals.
Leake gave up seven hits and a walk in the outing, with solo home runs by Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa doing the only damage. Unfortunately for Leake, it was enough, sending him to his first loss in the month of May. It was still another quality start for the right-hander, who has now rattled off four in a row after a poor start to the year. Leake owns a 3.90 ERA and 1.16 WHIP heading into Tuesday's start at the Brewers.
Joe Ross allowed one run over seven innings in a win over the Cardinals on Thursday.
Ross gave up a solo home run to Aledmys Diaz among his six hits allowed, but he otherwise kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard. Ross walked just one while striking out four. The win snapped a four-start losing streak, bringing him to an even 4-4 in nine starts. Ross will carry a 2.52 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 41/16 K/BB ratio into Tuesday's start at the Phillies.