Jose Fernandez pitched seven innings of one-run ball and struck out 12 in defeating the Rays on Thursday.
Fernandez isn't going toe-to-toe with Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta in the ERA department, but when it comes to strikeouts, no one is matching him. He has fanned 43 batters in his last four starts and 90 batters in 60 2/3 innings for the year.
Drew Smyly yielded five runs in six innings Thursday in a loss to the Marlins.
Smyly had a 2.60 ERA and a 41/6 K/BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings during April. In May, he has a 5.59 ERA and a 26/9 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings. We still feel pretty good about him as a mixed-league option, though. He'll face the Royals in Kansas City next time out.
Royals recalled OF Brett Eibner from Triple-A Omaha.
Mike Moustakas (knee) was placed on the disabled list in the corresponding move. Eibner earned his promotion by hitting .309 with 10 homers in 41 games for Omaha. The 27-year-old is tied for the PCL lead in both runs (36) and walks (27). He'll make his major league debut as the DH Thursday against the White Sox.
Making his first start of the year in the leadoff spot, Adeiny Hechavarria went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer against the Rays on Thursday.
Ichiro Suzuki was out of the lineup today, and manager Don Mattingly thought Hechevarria was a better choice than Derek Dietrich to lead off against a lefty. It worked out nicely, but even after today, Hechavarria has just a .285 OBP for the season. He'll likely continue to bat eighth for the most part.
Royals placed 3B Mike Moustakas on the 15-day disabled list with an ACL tear in his right knee.
The move is retroactive to May 23. It's a tough break for Moustakas, who was activated from the disabled list Saturday after missing two weeks with a fractured thumb. Moustakas injured his knee in a collision with Alex Gordon in only his second game back and now faces another extended absence. This injury could be a season-ender. The 27-year-old has hit only .240 this year with seven homers in 27 games. The Royals called up Brett Eibner from Triple-A Omaha in the corresponding roster move.
Chris Johnson had a two-run homer and an RBI single against the Rays on Thursday.
The homer was his second of the year. Johnson is hitting .226 with six RBI in 61 at-bats while primarily starting against left-handers this year. He needs to pick it up to be of use in that role.
Steven Souza struck out all three times he was up before being removed for a pinch-hitter Thursday against the Marlins.
Souza is hitting a respectable .259 with four homers this month, but he's now struck out a whopping 32 times in 22 games. It going to be nearly impossible for him to maintain his current .268 average if he keeps whiffing at this rate.
Matt Holliday is getting the night off Thursday.
Brandon Moss will play left field and bat fifth as the Cardinals stack left-handed bats against Nationals right-hander Joe Ross. Holliday is available off the bench.