Evan Longoria will rest a little easier tonight thanks to his solo home run off of Paul Clemens in the seventh inning of an eventual 5-0 Rays win over the Houston Astros. Longoria entered the night with a paltry .399 slugging percentage, a low figure but one that wouldn't draw much attention if not for the supposedly banjo-batted Billy Hamilton entering the night with an ever-so-slightly better .400 slugging percentage. Longoria's homer powered him past Hamilton, giving him a commanding .408 to .400 lead on the season.
The Rays will hope Longoria can recover from his early season power outage in time for them to still finish in last place.
Hahn spins another gem
Padres' rookie Jesse Hahn went seven strong innings on Thursday night, making for two straight excellent starts as he scattered five hits around a lone unearned run, whiffing seven and limiting the Mariners to two free passes. In his third start of the season, he lowered his ERA to 2.16 and has been a pleasant surprise in a season of sadness for San Diego, only punctuated by the recent passing of legend Tony Gwynn. In so doing, Hahn made a bit of history:
If my research is correct, Hahn is the first Padre in history to go at least 6 IP without allowing an ER in two of his first three starts.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) June 20, 2014
Young arms shine in Miami
As the Marlins unveiled one of their top pitching prospects in Andrew Heaney, the Mets' post-prospect starting Zack Wheeler was determined to make the night about him. While Heaney was plenty to talk about as he twirled six innings of one-run ball while walking one and whiffing three while allowing a mere four hits, Wheeler took center stage. A first inning home run from David Wright was all Wheeler would need as he went the distance, giving up three hits, striking out eight batters against one walk.
Zack Wheeler is the youngest Mets pitcher to throw a 1-0 shutout since Dwight Gooden in 1985— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 20, 2014
It was the best start in what's been an up-and-down season for the young pitcher. He lowered his ERA to 3.93 on the season, as this was just the second start where he did not allow an earned run. He has been better of late though, accruing a 3.49 ERA with 33 strikeouts against 8 walks over his last five starts.
Floyd suffers fractured olecranon
Gavin Floyd exited in the midst of his best start of the season, departing in the top of the seventh inning after tossing six innings of two-hit baseball, striking out six and walking just one. He earned the win despite leaving after throwing his 64th pitch of the evening, as the Braves' bullpen made the lead stand up.
The Braves announced that the Maryland native fractured his elbow and will be placed on the disabled list with a roster move to follow. Floyd was pitching in front of a number of family members per CSN's Chase Hughes, as he attended high school in nearby Baltimore.
If you're thinking to yourself "olecranon sounds pretty familiar," either you spend a lot of time around Greek doctors or you have a strong attachment to former Tigers relievers Joel Zumaya and Al Alburquerque. Zumaya underwent surgery in 2010 and Alburquerque in 2011 to have screws placed in their respective olecranons. Alburquerque returned nine months after the procedure but has not been as effective a pitcher since, his ERA last season rising to 4.59 as opposed to 1.87 before the procedure. Zumaya never returned to the majors.
The Braves will likely look to replace Floyd in the rotation with Alex Wood, who had previously been sent to Triple-A to get stretched out for a starting role.
Braves 3, Nationals 0
Mets 1, Marlins 0
Padres 4, Mariners 1
Rays 5, Astros 1
Tigers 2, Royals 1