Charlie Morton fell to 0-3 on the season after allowing four runs (three earned) in six innings as the Pirates lost to the Reds on Wednesday.
Opposing base runners hadn't attempted a steal against Morton in four starts entering Wednesday, but the Reds ran roughshod on him and catcher Chris Stewart. They stole four bases in five attempts. Perhaps an odd fluke, but interesting nevertheless. Overall, Morton allowed four hits, walked five, and struck out four. Morton also hit his league-leading fifth batter. If he wants to bounce back, he'll have to do so against the Orioles on the road next.
John Lackey excelled against the Yankees on Wednesday, striking out 11 while allowing one run over eight innings.
Lackey was coming off a pair of six-run drubbings -- one of them coming at the hands of the Yankees -- but he was in command from the first tonight; only once in his eight innings did the Yankees have multiple batters reach. Lackey is now 3-2 with a 4.22 ERA. He'll get the Rays next.
Red Sox optioned RHP Alex Wilson to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Wilson was recalled for Wednesday's game after the Sox bullpen was taxed in previous games. He wasn't used, as John Lackey and Koji Uehara were all that the team needed to beat the Yankees. His demotion makes room for Shane Victorino to be activated Thursday.
Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his third save of the season in Wednesday's win over the Pirates.
Broxton was in a bit of hot water, bringing the tying run to the plate with one out after giving up singles to Chris Stewart and Starling Marte. But Broxton was able to get Neil Walker to fly out and Andrew McCutchen to ground out to end the game. Broxton hasn't exactly been lights out, but has gotten the job done and will be asked to continue to do so until Aroldis Chapman is ready to return.
Mike Napoli had three hits, including a double, Wednesday to continue his hot streak.
Napoli would have homered for a third straight game had he been playing in any other park tonight; he drilled one to left field off David Phelps, but it simply went high off the Green Monster.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he's sticking with Ernesto Frieri at closer.
The endorsement came a mere minutes after Frieri allowed four runs while recording one out in a blown save against the Nationals on Wednesday. It's exactly what you'd expect a manager to say, so we'll see if Scioscia's actions follow the next time there's a save opportunity. Either way, Frieri's handle on a high-leverage role is tenuous at best at this point.
Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run in Wednesday's loss to the Reds.
McCutchen homered for the third consecutive game, but unfortunately for the Pirates, all three blasts have been with the bases empty. The Pirates overall have had trouble scoring runs, having been held to two or fewer in three out of their last four games, but McCutchen isn't to blame. The defending NL MVP is picking up right where he left off in 2013.
Mark Teixeira fanned all four times he was up Wednesday in the loss to the Red Sox.
It's his seventh career four-strikeout game, but the first of those in which he struck out every single time up. We're just not very optimistic about Teixeira's chances of becoming a quality fantasy first baseman this year as he deals with the aftermath of last year's wrist surgery.