Jose Fernandez provided a quality start in Thursday's 5-4 win over the Giants, hurling six innings of three-run ball.
Fernandez was making his first start in 13 months, having been sidelined by Tommy John surgery in May of 2014. It went very well. He struck out six without walking a batter and added a home run to boot. Facing off with Matt Cain to lead off the frame, he launched a solo bomb to help his own cause. It was his second career homer. For his career (pitching division), he holds a 2.25 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 257 strikeouts in 224 1/3 innings. Perhaps the best sign for Fernandez here is that he did not walk a Giant in the contest. Control tends to be an issue for pitchers coming off of long lay-offs, as they work to refine their location. Up next for the 22-year-old right-hander, a trip to Fenway to face off with the Red Sox.
Matt Cain struggled in his first start of the 2015 season, allowing five runs on seven hits over five innings in Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Marlins.
Cain sat out the first three months of the season with a flexor tendon strain in his right arm. The rust showed. The fourth inning was particularly rough for the 30-year-old right-hander, who served up two homers in the frame, including a solo shot to opposing pitcher Jose Fernandez. Cain also walked four against just two strikeouts in the contest. None of this is good, but Cain should be rostered in most mixed league formats. In his career, he has posted ERA marks higher than 4.00 just three times in ten seasons (2006, 2013, 2014). He'll face the Mets in a home start next time he toes the rubber.
Orioles recalled RHP Kevin Gausman from Triple-A Norfolk.
Tyler Wilson was sent down in the corresponding roster move. Thursday's start against Texas will be Gausman's second of the season. He scattered two runs over five innings in a no-decision June 20 against Toronto. The Orioles played a doubleheader on Sunday and want to keep their starters on normal rest. Gausman will probably return to Norfolk after Thursday's outing.
Astros optioned RHP Michael Feliz to Double-A Corpus Christi.
The Astros needed to clear a spot for right-hander Dan Straily. Feliz was only on the roster three days and didn't appear in any games. He made his big league debut earlier this season, pitching a scoreless inning May 31 against the White Sox. The 22-year-old has gone 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA in five outings for Corpus Christi.
Mariners designated 2B Willie Bloomquist for assignment.
The 37-year-old has hit just .159 this season with two runs and one extra-base hit. Chris Taylor was called up from Triple-A Tacoma to take his place on the active roster. If Bloomquist decides to hang up his cleats, he'll finish his career with 778 hits in 1,055 big league appearances.
Astros transferred RHP Brad Peacock (intercostal) to the 60-day disabled list.
Peacock suffered an intercostal strain in his first start and hasn't pitched in the big leagues since. He was close to coming back but suffered a setback during a rehab appearance on June 11. Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija should be available if the Astros choose to upgrade their starting rotation at the trade deadline.
Astros placed OF George Springer on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right wrist.
Edinson Volquez drilled Springer with a 96 mph fastball on Wednesday night and now he'll miss six weeks. Alex Presley was called up from Triple-A Fresno to take his place in right field. Springer has been a different player since moving into the leadoff spot, batting .325 with 12 RBI since June 1. The 25-year-old had been on pace for 26 homers and 28 stolen bases before his injury. It's a big loss for fantasy owners.
Phillies activated RHP Chad Billingsley (lat) from the 15-day disabled list.
He'll take Aaron Harang's spot in the starting rotation. If Billingsley wins Thursday against Milwaukee, it will be his first victory in the majors since April 10, 2013. He went 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA during a three-game rehab stint with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.