Tyler Wilson pitched well in a spot start against the White Sox on Thursday afternoon, surrendering two runs on five hits over six innings.
Wilson was called up to start the first game of Thursday's double-header. He had the unfortunate luck to go up against a lights-out Chris Sale, but pitched more than well enough to keep the Orioles in the game. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out one and walked one, with the only damage coming when he ran into trouble in the sixth inning and gave up RBI doubles to Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche. Wilson's currently holding a 3.29 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 32/7 K/BB ratio in 41 innings at Triple-A and he should see additional time with the big club when an extra starter or bullpen arm is needed, especially after Thursday's strong showing.
Chris Sale pitched a brilliant game against the Orioles in Thursday's 3-2 win, striking out 12 and pitching 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball.
Sale came into the game with a somewhat inflated 4.21 ERA, but he was in Ace Mode against the Orioles, allowing just four hits over 7 2/3 innings while striking out 12 without a walk. The Orioles barely touched Sale in the contest. After allowing 13 total runs over 8 1/3 innings in back-to-back starts on April 30 and May 6, the southpaw has now allowed just six runs in his last 31 2/3 innings. He'll take a 4-2 record, 3.66 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 66/14 K/BB ratio (over 59 innings) into his next start, a road match-up with the Rangers.
Reds prospect SS Alex Blandino went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI on Wednesday for High-A Daytona.
Blandino hasn’t stopped hitting since the Reds popped in the first round of the 2014 draft, while his strong game on Wednesday pushed his season batting line to .319/.405/.448 through 44 games. The 22-year-old also has 12 extra-base hits (four home runs), 21 RBI, five steals (in 12 attempts) and a 23/22 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Some doubt whether the Stanford product will be able to remain at shortstop long term, but his impressive bat should be a clean fit at either second or third base if he’s forced off the position.
Derek Holland (shoulder) is scheduled to resume throwing Thursday.
He'll start with games of catch before eventually stepping back atop a mound. Holland strained the subscapularis muscle in his left shoulder in his major league debut and remains out indefinitely. The 28-year-old southpaw can be dropped in most standard fantasy leagues.
Josh Hamilton has a cold but is starting anyway Thursday in his return to Arlington, Texas.
Hamilton will play left field and bat fifth against the visiting Red Sox. He joked that the cold might take his mind off the nerves of returning to the stadium where he's played 348 of his 980 career major league games.
Manny Machado was ejected from the first half of Thursday's doubleheader against the White Sox.
Machado slammed his equipment down after getting called out on a check swing to end the bottom of the eighth inning. He finished the game 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Ryan Flaherty entered to play third base in the ninth.
Delino DeShields Jr. is starting in center field and leading off Thursday night against the Red Sox.
Leonys Martin is on the bench with the Red Sox throwing left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. DeShields should continue to start over Martin against southpaws, with Martin handling center against most righties. Interesting note: DeShields made his major league debut at second base late in Wednesday's blowout loss to the Indians.
Cubs prospect OF Albert Almora went 2-for-5 with a solo home run on Wednesday for Double-A Tennessee.
The long ball was the second of the season for Almora, who’s batting .271/.312/.364 through 33 games for Tennessee. The 2012 first-round pick missed time early in the season with a concussion, and he was held out of action last week after a scary outfield collision. Beyond that, the 21-year-old outfielder has fared well as one of the younger everyday players in the Southern League, though it wouldn’t be surprising if he spent the entire 2015 season at the Double-A level.