The rookie center fielder sat out the last three games with neck stiffness, but the two-hit effort seems to indicate that there is no problem on that front anymore. Brugman is now slashing .255/.341/.318 on the season and he will likely continue to be the Athletics' primary center fielder for the remainder of the season.
The strikeouts continue to roll in for Scherzer, as his eighth strikeout of the game was actually his 200th K of the season. The only blemish on this classic Mad Max start was a home run served up to Travis Shaw, but it hardly mattered given that the Nationals' offense broke out for 15 runs on the afternoon. Scherzer continues to impress with his 2.23 ERA and gaudy strikeout numbers, and he'll look to keep things going Tuesday in Miami.
Sanchez will take a seat for the second consecutive game while Luis Torrens makes another start behind the plate. Although Sanchez has been hitting the ball well since the All-Star break, manager Andy Green elected to give Torrens another opportunity after hitting a three-RBI triple during Wednesday's victory.
Austin just got back to running Tuesday, although it's promising to see that the club is confident in his progress to already begin planning the rehab stint. This timetable would line him up to head to the minors during the first week of August, which could get him back with the big-league club a week or two afterward if all goes well.
This timetable would line Hicks up to head to the minors sometime during the first week of August. No word has come forth as to how long the rehab stint will be, although if everything goes off without a hitch, he could return to the fray during the second week of the month.
With lefty CC Sabathia taking the hill for New York, Smith will head to the bench for a night off after batting below the Mendoza Line over the past 14 games. Peter Bourjos will patrol center field in his stead.
To oppose Max Scherzer in your first MLB start is daunting enough, but the Washington offense was simply ruthless to Blazek. The right-hander was done in by six home runs allowed, including five in the third inning. Blazek hadn't allowed a run in four relief appearances prior to Thursday's massacre, so some of his struggles may be able to be pinned on it being his first start in a while. If Matt Garza (lower leg) is indeed ready to make his next scheduled start, Blazek will likely move back into a bullpen role once he's ready to pitch again.
This marks the fifth time in the last eight games that Drury will retreat to the bench. He's had a good year to date, hitting .277/.328/.442 with eight home runs and 43 RBI, but has stagnated as of late while others such as Daniel Descalso and Ketel Marte are getting into grooves offensively. For Thursday's game, Chris Owings slides over to man the keystone while Marte draws the start at short.
Peralta took a seat on the bench Wednesday after fouling a ball of his knee during Tuesday's affair. The issue was minor, and Peralta slides back into left field in the leadoff spot for the series opener against St. Louis. Since the All-Star break, the 29-year-old is hitting .340/.367/.532 with two home runs and seven RBI in 47 at-bats.
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