Dayan Viciedo went 0-for-5 at the plate in his return to action Thursday.
Viciedo missed Wednesday's game with tightness in his left lower hamstring, but it turned out to only be a one-day thing. Now hitless in his last 15 at-bats, Viciedo's batting line is down to .233/.283/.395.
Eric Hosmer entered Thursday's game as a defensive replacement.
Hosmer's bruised right hand leaves him unable to swing a bat at the moment, as he was pinch-hit for by Raul Ibanez. He could be limited to defensive work for a few more days.
Joe Nathan struck out the side to emphatically shut out the lights on the Angels in a 6-4 Thursday victory.
He did so as new Dave Dombrowski toy Joakim Soria looked on from the bullpen area. This was the second time this season that Nathan has struck out the side. Nathan toted an embarrassing 6.23 ERA from the ballpark after July 19's blown save against the Indians, but he's struck out five and given up just one hit and no walks in three consecutive shutout appearances. As long as he keeps stringing together scoreless appearances, Brad Ausmus will keep trotting Nathan out in the ninth. If Nathan returns to his June form (9.00 ERA), however, it will be Soria time in Detroit.
Nick Castellanos finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in Thursday's 6-4 win versus the Angels.
This was the fourth consecutive game in which Castellanos has doubled. The well-built third baseman has only six homers, but you can expect some of those doubles (he now has 24) to go over the fence in the future. That utopia may not occur in 2014, as he's slashing an acceptable-but-not-superlative .268/.313/.407.
Max Scherzer struck out 11 and allowed three runs over seven innings in Thursday's 6-4 victory over the Angels.
He walked one and gave up six hits. Los Angeles nickel-and-dimed three runs out of Scherzer in the fifth inning, but was otherwise baffled by his arsenal. They aren't alone, of course. The right-hander has been flat dealing since his 10-run meltdown against the Royals last month, allowing only 10 earned runs over six starts (he also won the All-Star Game with a scoreless inning during that stretch). Scherzer (12-3, 3.37 ERA) toes the rubber against the White Sox next week.
Garrett Richards surrendered four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five in Thursday's setback against the Tigers.
This was the first time Richards has allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 30, the first time he's surrendered as many as seven hits since May 19, and the first time he hasn't completed seven innings of work since June 20. The right-hander has dazzled in his breakout campaign to the tune of an 11-3 record and 2.62 ERA. Don't be surprised if his production drops off, however -- Richards has never thrown more than 157 innings in a season, and he now sits at 137 1/3. The good news is that Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said earlier this week that the club has no plans to limit his workload.
Delmon Young went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in Thursday's 4-0 triumph over the Mariners.
The obituary of Young's career has been written more than once, but as Twain once wrote, the reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. Signed to a minor league deal over the winter, Young needed a Nolan Reimold injury to even make the Opening Day roster. Baltimore hasn't overexposed him, but don't think Young's damage is being done only against left-handers. In reality, he has a shocking .830 OPS against righties (tonight's homer came off right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma) and a terrible .265 OBP and .673 OPS against southpaws. He'll remain a riddle until his retirement is official. Overall, Young is slashing a healthy .317/.344/.455 over 123 at-bats.
Caleb Joseph went 2-for-3 with a run scored in Thursday's 4-0 victory over the Mariners.
Joseph is now batting .272 (9-for-33) in July, which is a great improvement over the zero he provided offensively in May and June. Of course, the Orioles weren't expecting Matt Wieters' offensive production out of him. AL-only owners should only break Joseph's glass in case of emergency. He's slashing .195/.274/.305.