Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated Thursday that he could drop Pablo Sandoval down in the batting order to "try to take some pressure off him."
Sandoval went 0-for-4 in Thursday's loss to the Dodgers, dropping his season line down to an ugly .175/.268/.302. Kung Fu Panda has batted third in all but one game this season, and he hit fourth in that one. Michael Morse and Brandon Belt are both off to nice starts and are candidates to move up in the order if Sandoval is moved down.
Tanner Scheppers was awful again but escaped with a no-decision Thursday, allowing six runs over just 2 1/3 frames in an 8-6 win over the Mariners.
The Rangers handed Scheppers a 4-0 lead, but the M's got to him in a big way in a six-run third inning. The righty allowed six hits and walked three on the day. He's issued eight free passes over his 18 1/3 innings this season and holds a 9.82 ERA. The Rangers probably would have booted him from the rotation already if they had more options. With Matt Harrison (back) due back soon, Scheppers better shape up in a hurry. He gets the A's next.
Joakim Soria tossed a perfect frame to convert his second save of the season in Thursday's win over the Mariners.
Soria got a pair of groundouts and a strikeout in a painless ninth inning. The veteran reliever took a loss in his last appearance but had a nice bounce-back showing in this one. He has a 6.00 ERA so far but has nailed down both save chances.
Erasmo Ramirez was touched up for five runs over just two innings of work in Thursday's loss to the Rangers.
Ramirez gave up six hits -- including a home run -- while walking two. He was relieved after allowing a leadoff double to Kevin Kouzmanoff in the third. The young right-hander had an excellent outing in his season debut but has since put up three clunkers and is sitting with a 7.50 ERA. We're still fans of Ramirez, but after last year's disappointment we can't blame fantasy owners for being impatient. He'll try to bounce back next week against the Astros.
Shin-Soo Choo ripped his first homer as a Ranger in Thursday's win over the Mariners.
Choo's solo blast off of Erasmo Ramirez in the second inning extended the Rangers' lead to 4-0 at the time, and the outfielder later added an infield single in his final at-bat of the day. Though he has just the one dinger and four RBI so far, Choo is sporting a nice .293/.417/.414 batting line.
Robinson Cano belted his first homer as a Mariner Thursday -- a three-run shot -- in a loss to the Rangers.
It was Cano's only hit in five trips to the plate, but it was a big one as it began a six-run rally in the third inning to give the M's a short-lived lead. Cano has driven in eight runs in his first 15 games with Seattle but has just three extra-base hits and is sporting a rather pedestrian .271/.333/.356 batting line.
Rangers released LHP Rafael Perez.
Perez, 31, posted a 7.36 ERA over his first four relief appearances at Triple-A Round Rock. He was once a pretty nice reliever for the Indians but has battled shoulder issues in recent years. Still, someone will give him a shot.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Doug Fister (lat) is on pace to make his debut for the Nationals on May 7.
It's possible the exact date will be altered a bit, but that's the day that looks to make the most sense right now. Fister threw two innings Thursday in an extended spring training game and had "no issues," according to manager Matt Williams. "He felt good about it," Williams added. "Reports are his first inning was better than his second inning, which is a good sign." Fister will begin a once-every-five-days schedule and is on pace to make his season debut in three weeks.