Billy Hamilton went 2-for-5 with two steals and three runs scored Thursday against the Pirates.
A great game for Hamilton, but he didn't exactly help his case for returning to the leadoff spot, not with Brandon Phillips homered twice, knocking in seven runs and even swiping two bases tonight. Better luck next time.
Gregory Polanco started Thursday and went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk against the Reds.
Polanco left Wednesday's game because of knee discomfort. He's quietly hit .274 with a .361 OBP and 10 doubles in 95 at-bats this month, which should lessen the Pirates' desire for any outfield help. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, he's stopped running, going 0-for-1 in July after swiping 17 bases over the first three months. Perhaps the knee has played a role there.
Mariners optioned SS Chris Taylor to Triple-A Tacoma.
Taylor went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored on Thursday, but is hitting just .170/.220/.223 on the season. Perhaps he'll benefit from playing everyday at Triple-A, giving him a chance to get back on track.
Josh Donaldson collected his 25th homer and his 26th double as the Jays beat the Royals 5-2 on Thursday.
Donaldson has four homers in 12 games since the All-Star break. Mike Trout might end up running away from the crowd in the AL MVP race, but it'll be a surprise if Donaldson isn't in the top three or five when all is said and done.
Aaron Sanchez struck out two in a perfect eighth inning for his first hold Thursday against the Royals.
Barring a late acquisition, it looks like this is the new blueprint for the Jays: LaTroy Hawkins in the seventh, Sanchez in the eighth and Roberto Osuna in the ninth. Sanchez has little fantasy value at the moment, but he'd become interesting in a hurry if Osuna begins to struggle.
Danny Duffy gave up five runs and three homers in six innings Thursday against the Blue Jays.
It's just not fair to ask a lefty to face this Blue Jays lineup in Toronto. Seriously, giving up five runs over six innings isn't bad under those circumstances. Duffy's season has left a lot to be desired, but he's still a threat for some mixed-league value.
In probably his final game with the Tigers, Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI as Detroit prevailed 9-8 against Baltimore on Thursday.
The Tigers moved David Price and Joakim Soria, so there's no reason to stop now. Since Cespedes won't even bring back a pick this winter, he's almost certainly a goner. And he'll probably have less fantasy value wherever he ends up. Cespedes is batting .293 with 18 homers, 62 runs scored and 61 RBI this season.
Alex Wilson got five outs for his first save Thursday in the Tigers' 9-8 win over the Orioles.
Wilson had just two holds all year, so he was never seen as a setup man in front of Joakim Soria. Nevertheless, he was Brad Ausmus's choice to close tonight. He likely would have started the ninth had everything gone as planned, but after Al Alburquerque allowed two of the first three batters to reach in the eighth, Ausmus decided to go to Wilson right then. Wilson allowed one of the inherited runners to score, but finished the Orioles off from there. He might be the favorite for saves in the Tigers pen, at least until he blows one.