Josh Willingham hit his fourteenth home run of the season in Friday's 6-3 win over the Rangers.
Willingham seems to be settling in with the Royals, as he's now hit in five straight games. With the Royals, he's slashing .345/.387/.586. For comparison's sake, he was hitting .210/.345/.402 with the Twins. Obviously, we don't expect Willingham to hit .345 for the rest of the season, but it's probably reasonable to expect an overall uptick in his numbers by the end of the season, as he's playing with a better club now.
Billy Butler hit his eighth home run of the season on Friday.
Butler finished the game 1-for-5. While Butler's still hitting for average this season (.280), his power numbers have been noticeably lower than normal. After hitting a career-high of 29 home runs in 2012, Butler's home run total dropped to 15 in 2013. Given that it's now late August, it's doubtful he'll match that number this year unless he goes on a tear. He's slashing .280/.330/.385 overall.
Shin-Soo Choo did not record a hit in Friday's 6-3 loss to the Royals.
In the first year of a big contract, Shin-Soo Choo continued a frustrating season on Friday, going 0-for-4. He's hitting better in August (.250/.284/.408) than he did in July or June, but that's not saying much. For the year, he's slugged twelve home runs and knocked in 39 runs. As disappointing as the batting numbers are, he's also only stolen three bases while being thrown out four times.
Yordano Ventura pitched six innings of one-run ball against the Rangers on Friday.
The win brought Ventura's record above .500, as he moved to 10-9 on the season. The youngster struck out six and walked three while scattering four hits. He holds a 3.40 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in addition to a 125/53 K/BB ratio. He'll take on the Twins next time out.
Colby Lewis gave up four runs on six hits over six innings of work on Friday.
Lewis struck out two and didn't walk a batter in the outing. He was victimized by two home runs, though. Billy Butler hit a solo shot in a three-run second inning for the Royals. Josh Willingham then socked a solo homer against Lewis in the fourth inning. The loss dropped Lewis' record to 8-11. He's had a rough go of things in 2014, as his ERA now sits at 5.54, accompanied by an ugly 1.63 WHIP.
Coco Crisp went 2-for-4 with a double, homer and two runs scored in Friday's 5-3 win against the Angels.
Crisp came into play on Tuesday 9-for-73 (.123) since the All-Star break, and he's gone 7-for-18 (.388) with at least one extra-base hit in his last four games. Could his nagging neck problems be behind him? That, kind reader, is a question for a future episode. The veteran has always been a must-start in AL-only leagues, but mixed leaguers who benched Crisp may want to revisit the matter now that he's punishing the ball again.
Freddie Freeman singled twice and scored two runs on Friday.
Freeman finished the game 2-for-5. The first baseman has 17 home runs, 68 RBI and has scored 82 runs on the season. He's been blistering hot in August, slashing .377/.488/.566 for the month. His overall slash line sits at a sparkling .295/.389/.488.
Mike Trout smacked his 28th homer of the year in Friday's 5-3 loss to the A's.
Trout finished 2-for-4. He entered the game batting only .221 this month, though he'd poked out three homers and walked eight times. The stud outfielder is slashing .289/.375/.559 and is on pace for 36 homers, 115 RBI, 108 runs, and 15 steals. The average is a little light, but he's going to top 30 home runs and 100 RBI for the first time, so MVP voters should be thrilled.