Nationals right-handed pitching prospect A.J. Cole struck out six over seven shutout innings for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday.
Cole held Triple-A Buffalo to three singles and threw 67 of his 94 pitches for strikes (71.3 percent). Cole has been hit pretty hard in Triple-A, with opposing batters hitting .281/.296/.471 against him, though he does have a 2.64 ERA to go with his 1.207 WHIP and 7.0. The high isolated power (.190) is troubling, but Cole is unlikely to reach the major leagues until 2015, though a September call-up is a distinct possibility.
Alex Rios (ankle) went 1-for-2 in the Rangers' rain-shortened loss to the Yankees on Wednesday.
Rios had missed a couple of games due to soreness in his right ankle. The 33-year-old outfielder is batting .303/.331/.435 with four home runs and 16 stolen bases in 97 games this season and is likely to be shopped by the Rangers at the July 31 trade deadline. The Blue Jays and Royals are among the teams with reported interest.
Yasiel Puig (hand) drew a walk as a pinch-hitter Wednesday in the Dodgers' loss to the Pirates.
Puig was held out of the Los Angeles starting lineup for a fourth straight game due to a bruise on his left hand. He took pregame batting practice and obviously felt good enough to pinch-hit, so his return should be imminent. The Dodgers are off on Thursday.
Jose Abreu (back) went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored Wednesday in his return to the lineup.
Abreu was held out of Tuesday's game with stiffness in his back. It was never a major concern. The sensational rookie first baseman has a .959 OPS, 29 homers, and 74 RBI through his first 87 games as a major leaguer.
Danny Valencia (hand) finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his return to the Royals' lineup Wednesday.
Valencia was hit on the left hand by a Chris Sale pitch on Monday and suffered a minor bruise. The backup infielder is hitting .287/.333/.389 in 34 games this year.
Sean Doolittle stemmed the tide of a five-run Astros comeback attempt to earn his 15th save in Wednesday's win.
Bob Melvin sent in the maligned Jim Johnson with a 9-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning. Surely, a seven-run cushion made it safe to use the former closer. But no. Johnson surrendered four runs (three earned) on four hits without recording an out. By the time Oakland got out of the frame, the score was 9-7, a lead Doolittle was tasked with protecting. He fired a perfect ninth, striking out one. Doolittle is 15-for-18 in save conversions to go with a 2.70 ERA and 0.64 WHIP.
Jesse Chavez got back in the win column by allowing two earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings Wednesday in a 9-7 victory over the Astros.
He struck out seven and walked two. Chavez has issued at least two free passes in six straight starts. The excess base runners have been an issue, but Chavez has done a good job in recent starts minimizing damage. He entered this game with a 4.32 July ERA despite a 1.80 WHIP in those three outings. Now 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA, Chavez has a rematch with Brad Peacock scheduled for Monday.
Brad Peacock surrendered seven runs in 3 2/3 innings as the Astros lost in Oakland on Wednesday.
It was ugly, and this time, manager Bo Porter made Peacock work through the carnage, unlike his last start, when Peacock was yanked five batters in. Tonight, Peacock walked five and gave up seven hits, including three homers, on which six runs scored. Over his last two starts -- which lasted four innings total -- he's seen his ERA spike from 4.30 to 4.93. Peacock's spot in the rotation is in jeopardy. If he sticks around, a rematch against the A's on Monday would kick off a two-start week.