Monday, June 27, 2016

Rox ride 6-run inning to spoil Tulo's return

The Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado were proud of the 34,619 in attendance who loudly cheered Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in his return to Coors Field -- where he played from 2006 to last July.
But Gonzalez, with a three-run sixth-inning homer, and Arenado, with a go-ahead two-run single an inning later, attracted the most joyful noises of the Rockies' 9-5 victory Monday night.
Gonzalez's 189th homer with the Rockies, which moved him past Tulowitzki and into fifth on the team's career list, cut the Blue Jays' lead to 4-3.
"I want to make sure the fans are on my side and not the other side -- that's what it looks like in the first inning when Tulo stepped up to the plate and everybody was cheering and they got the Tulo chant. I was like, 'OK let me make sure that I'm the one wearing purple,'" Gonzalez said with a smile. "They better cheer for me when I hit it in the seats."
Arenado's two-run single off Drew Storen (1-3) was part of a six-run seventh that also included Daniel Descalso's two-run single, Mark Reynolds' bases-loaded walk andBrandon Barnes' RBI double. Arenado also made a slick, spinning fielding play on anEdwin Encarnacion smash in the fourth -- all in the presence of his mentor, Tulowitzki.
"I'm always pulling for him -- it's just a weird time not to pull for him," Arenado said. "It was cool to see the ovation he got … but it was a little weird. It's a big series for us."
Rockies rookie Jon Gray (5-3), who was removed from his last start after four innings because of right arm fatigue, struck out eight and gave up five hits in seven innings.
"Everything felt fresh," said Gray, who reduced his throwing after being removed from a no-decision at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. "I was on top of the ball, sliders were down. I felt pretty good."
Gray gave up a solo homer to Devon Travis (fifth homer) in the first and a two-run shot to Edwin Encarnacion (20th) in the Jays' three-run sixth.
"It was a cool moment for me," Tulowitzki said of the standing ovation he received upon returning. "It brought back a lot of memories but it was great to see the fans react that way. It was definitely exciting."
Not letting him off the hook:
 Storen entered with six clean outings in 32 games; sometimes he escaped trouble, sometimes he didn't. But in the seventh, after Barnes' leadoff single, Storen hit Charlie Blackmon and Cristhian Adames. Then Arenado made him pay with a two-run single that gave the Rockies the lead and touched off a big inning.
"I figured I'd get a chance to get a pitch over the plate, and luckily I did," Arenado said. "But Storen's a good pitcher. He's not a comfortable at-bat."
The Ed-Wing: The Blue Jays were in the lead, 2-0, when Encarnacion gave the club some breathing room in the sixth with a two-run shot to center. The veteran slugger is the Major League leader in RBIs with 69, and 54 of those have come over his previous 52 games. According to Statcast™, Encarnacion's 20th homer of the year was projected to travel 440 feet and left his bat at 100 mph. Encarnacion added a solo shot in the ninth for his third multi-homer game of the season.
The here and now: Gonzalez's three-run shot -- a day after his grand slam was part of a Rockies victory over the D-backs -- came after the Jays' three-run top of the fifth. He homered on an Estrada 2-2 changeup -- his signature pitch -- to give Gray and the Rockies a lift.
"We were real silent up until then," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Estrada, if you look at his numbers, they're pretty ridiculous. He's having a heck of a year. That changeup is legit."
Travis time: Travis gave the Blue Jays an early lead with a solo shot to straightaway center field in the first inning. According to Statcast™, Travis' fifth homer of the season was projected to travel 434 feet and left his bat at 101 mph. Travis now has four home runs since June 16, and he entered play on Monday with a .404 average, eight extra-base hits and 11 RBIs over his previous 12 games.
"We could have had over a .500 month [assured] a week ago, if we could have won those games [three tough losses, one to the Yankees, two to the D-backs]. But we've got a good offense and are playing good ball." -- Arenado, against the backdrop that the Rockies are a win away from their first June over .500 since 2011
"I've told some of the guys, when you throw a curveball here, you have to act like it's an 0-2 count and bounce it. It's a tough place throw an offspeed pitch." -- Estrada, on only using his curveball a couple of times during the game
"Honestly I didn't think there was really any doubt that I would get [cheered] ... I felt like when I was here I had a good relationship with the fans. The whole Tulo chant thing, I remember seeing a lot of jerseys. I knew they were going to be good to me." -- Tulowitzki
• Estrada pitched at least six innings and surrendered five or fewer hits for the 12th consecutive start. That extended his Major League record after Jake Arrieta (2014), Johnny Cueto (2013-14) and Johan Santana (2004) each did it for 10 consecutive starts.
• The six runs allowed in the seventh inning were the most Toronto has surrendered in any one inning this season.
With injuries rendering second baseman DJ LeMahieu (left knee contusion) and shortstopTrevor Story (bruised right middle finger) unavailable, Rockies manager Walt Weiss had justRyan Raburn and backup catcher Tony Wolters on his bench. After Barnes singled to lead off the seventh, Weiss turned to Tyler Anderson -- a member of the rotation -- as a pinch-hitter. Anderson's ability to put a 1-2 slider in play helped apply the pressure that led to the big inning.
Blue Jays: Left-hander J.A. Happ will take the mound against the Rockies on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 8:40 p.m. ET. Happ has made two appearances, one start, in his career at Coors Field. He has allowed three earned runs on eight hits over 7 2/3 innings.
Rockies: Eddie Butler will take the mound Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Butler has allowed six runs in both of his last two appearances and has struggled to a 9.70 ERA at home over 21 1/3 innings.

5 alive! Bryant 5-for-5, hits 3 of Cubs' 5 HRs vs. Reds

Plenty of players have hit for the cycle before in Major League history. No one has ever had a full house, at least not the way Kris Bryant did Monday night.
Bryant went 5-for-5 with six RBIs and became the first player in modern MLB history, dating back to 1913, to hit three home runs and two doubles in the same game. He also set a Cubs franchise record with 16 total bases, as Chicago beat the Reds, 11-8, at Great American Ball Park. It was the first three-home run game in Bryant's career. Two of them were mammoth blasts into the upper-deck bleachers in left field.
"I tried to get in on him the first at-bat [a double in the first inning], and then the second at-bat I tried to throw a fastball down and away, and it ended up middle about belt high. He hit it out," said Reds starter Dan Straily. "The next one I tried to throw a slider down and away and tossed it middle high again. He did what good hitters do with those pitches. They do damage with them."
Jake Arrieta, who made history the last time he pitched against the Reds by tossing his second career no-hitter, and Anthony Rizzo added solo home runs for the National League Central leaders. It was just the second win in the last eight games for the Cubs, but they still own the best record in MLB (49-26).
Joey Votto hit two homers for the Reds, who battled back from an 8-3 deficit with four consecutive runs to make it an 8-7 game after seven innings. Bryant and Rizzo hit back-to-back homers with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to give the Cubs some breathing room.
Arrieta earned his 12th win of the season, best in the NL, despite having one of his least effective outings. The ace went five innings and gave up just four hits, but he allowed a season-high five runs and walked a season-high five batters.
"You look at the [radar] guns and the readings and the boards, everything's normal," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He's just not on top of his fastball regarding where it's going, and that's it."
Bryant's Kris-tening: Bryant's career night included nearly a quarter mile of home runs, according to Statcast™. His first was a 410-foot, one-out solo shot in the third, followed by a 444-foot, three-run shot the next inning. He wasn't done, hitting the history-making 403-foot solo shot in the eighth. Bryant's five hits were a career high, to go along with the other marks he set. More >
Familiar spot: Votto was back hitting in the No. 3 spot in the Reds' lineup Monday. It was just the fourth time in his last 29 starts that he's hit third, a lineup spot he's been accustomed to hitting in during his career. Votto has hit in the No. 2 spot 25 times this season, all since June 1, and has responded with by hitting .309/.425/.521. He went 2-for-4 vs. the Cubs, hitting a pair of home runs to go along with a walk and three runs scored. The dingers were Votto's first since June 7 off St. Louis left-hander Kevin Siegrist, and it was his 12th career multi-homer game.
Arrieta helps himself: Arrieta had a tough night on the mound, but he was able to help himself at the plate. Arrieta went 2-for-3 with a single, a solo homer and two runs scored.
Short stint: Straily had his shortest starting outing of the season, lasting just 3 2/3 innings. He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts. He contributed to Bryant's big night by allowing an RBI double in the first inning, a solo home run in the third and a three-run blast in the fourth. Straily's previous shortest outing was on April 23, also against the Cubs, when he went 4 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs on four hits in a 13-5 Reds victory. It's the only game the Reds have won against the Cubs this season in eight meetings.
"I told a lot of people coming into Spring Training last season, I got asked a lot of questions about him. 'So what do you got on Bryant?' or 'What kind of hitter's he going to be?' Most of the people that asked me, I told them he's going to be a top five hitter in the league as soon as he gets into the big leagues. Not to put any pressure on him, but that's the guy he is, and I saw it from day one. The ability he had to obviously have power to all fields, have very few holes. ... He's not going to hit three home runs every game, but that's what he's capable of, especially if guys continue to make mistakes to him." -- Arrieta, on Bryant's potential to be a future MVP
"That's like the Dave Kingman-Tommy Lasorda question -- three homers and two doubles. So yeah, instead of tearing this place down and going after you right now, I'm just going to acknowledge that he had a great game. I hope to never see it again." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, when asked how impressed he was with Bryant's performance
The night Arrieta threw his no-hitter against the Reds in April was also the night Cincinnati'sHomer Bailey made his first rehab starting assignment of the year. Bailey, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May, threw 67 pitches in 3 2/3 innings at Triple-A Louisville on April 21. He had a setback in his rehab process, but returned to the mound in Louisville on Monday, just as Arrieta returned to the GABP mound. Bailey threw 25 pitches in one inning in this appearance, giving up three hits, including a pair of solo home runs.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Cubs' Albert Almora Jr., who was on first base following a single, was called safe on a pickoff throw attempt by Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart to first baseman Votto. The Reds challenged the call, but after reviewing all relevant angles, replay officials could not determine that Votto had definitively tagged Almora out before he returned to the bag. The call remained as stands.
In the top of the ninth inning, Cubs third baseman Javier Baez roped a ball into right field and attempted to take second base. The throw beat Baez to the base, but he tried to avoid it on the slide. Umpires ruled on the field that Reds shortstop Zack Cozart applied the tag. The Cubs challenged the call, but the call on the field stood.
Cubs: The Cubs send lefty Jon Lester (9-3, 2.10 ERA) to the mound for the second game of a three-game series against the Reds on Tuesday, starting at 6:10 p.m. CT. Lester is coming off six consecutive quality starts, a span in which he's posted a 1.45 ERA over 43 1/3 innings.
Reds: Lefty John Lamb takes the mound for the middle game of three against the Cubs, a 7:10 p.m. start on Tuesday. He is seeking to regain the form that saw him become the first Reds starter this season to go seven-plus innings in back-to-back starts at the beginning of the month. Lamb hasn't been able to go longer than 5 1/3 innings in his last three starts, in which he's allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 14 hits with nine walks.

Baker's delight: Early outburst ends Rays' skid

The Rays jumped all over Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox to snap an 11-game losing streak and hand rookie Blake Snell his first big league victory in a 13-7 win in Monday night's opener of a three-game series.
While this type of outburst was exactly what the Rays needed, another rough -- and short -- outing by a starting pitcher was the last thing the Red Sox were looking for.
"Good win. We needed a win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I'm really happy for the guys, because I know they've been grinding through it. A lot of questions have to be answered when you're not playing well. I think they've handled it pretty admirably."
Tampa Bay leadoff man Logan Forsythe set the tone with three hits, including a homer.Nick Franklin, who was hitless on the season entering the game, went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs. Logan MorrisonDesmond JenningsOswaldo Arcia and Taylor Motteradded multihit games.
The Rays had scored 29 runs over their losing streak, but they broke out of that in a big way.
"I think we were just going out and having fun," said Franklin. "Anytime that we win and put up 13 runs with 18 hits, that's pretty special."
Rodriguez (1-3, 8.59 ERA) was rocked for 11 hits and nine runs over 2 2/3 innings and wasoptioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following the game. But Boston's troubles run much deeper than Rodriguez of late. In the first four games of this six-game road trip, Boston's starters have logged just 15 innings while giving up 37 hits and 27 earned runs.
"To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we're more talented than that," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can't continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes as we've been. We've got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are."
It was the sixth loss in the last eight games for the 41-35 Red Sox, who are 4 1/2 games back in the American League East for the first time this season.
Snell's pace: With a pitch count north of 80 in the fifth inning and the bases loaded for the Red Sox, Snell escaped his biggest jam of the night to preserve a six-run lead. He had just walked David Ortiz to bring in a run and make it 9-3, but Snell got Hanley Ramirez looking to end the inning.
"The whole game plan was to be aggressive, so I knew that I needed to get ahead to put him away, and I threw a curveball and got him," said Snell.
E-Rod rocked: Though the Red Sox don't have all that many internal options, the club had little choice but to send their talented lefty down after the game. For the fourth time in six starts, the lefty was subpar. In this one, he wasn't even competitive. While recording only eight outs, Rodriguez achieved career worsts in hits allowed and earned runs.
"We needed to get some innings tonight," said Farrell. "Felt like he was back to a place after his start five days ago that would carry him through. They bunched a number of hits together. They squared up a number of baseballs, a number of pitches tonight. It was disappointing."
Newfound stardom: Motter, Franklin and Oswaldo Arcia combined for nine hits and seven RBIs. Five different players in the Rays' lineup had three hits and Tampa Bay totaled 18 for the night.
"Fortunately our offense really came out alive tonight in the first, and in the third," Cash said. "Just a great offensive night for the entire club."
Brentz stays hot: A day after ripping his first Major League homer, Bryce Brentz had another strong night for the Red Sox, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Getting a chance to play regularly at a time three other Boston left fielders are on the disabled list, Brentz is hitting .467 (7-for-15) since his callup.
"I think guys are playing hard. [Heck], our shortstop ran a 3.9 down the line in the ninth inning down seven runs and then went first to third. So, yeah, that was pretty cool." -- Dustin Pedroia saying that effort isn't the issue for the slumping Red Sox
The first inning continues to be a huge problem for the Red Sox. The rotation has a 6.28 ERA in the first inning this season. Over its last 15 games, Boston has been outscored, 22-0 in the first
Red Sox: Sinkerballer Rick Porcello will be entrusted with trying to end the recent run of bad starts by the Red Sox when he takes the mound vs. the Rays on Tuesday. Porcello gave up eight hits and four runs over 5 1/3 innings of a no-decision in his last start. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET.
Rays: Chris Archer (4-10, 4.70 ERA) will try to help the Rays win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks when he takes on the Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. Archer is the only pitcher in baseball with 10 losses and has an ERA over 10 in the first inning of games this season.

Kendrys' 4 hits drive Royals to win in I-70 tilt

Left-hander Danny Duffy matched a career long with eight strong innings and red-hot Kendrys Morales had four hits and two RBIs as the Royals rallied for a 6-2 win over the Cardinals on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals remained five games back of the American League Central-leading Indians, who beat the Braves, 8-3, for their 10th straight win on Monday.
Duffy gave up six hits and two earned runs. He walked none and struck out eight, and his 68/101 strike ratio was nearly right at his season average of 68 percent since joining the rotation. The only blemish was a two-run homer to Matt Holliday in the first.
"I didn't really feel a need to settle down after that," Duffy said. "I thought I made a good pitch. He's just so strong. You just tip your cap in that situation.
"It's nice to go eight innings. Any time you can save the bullpen it's a good thing. Very gratifying."
Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright came into the game with a 4-0 career mark at Kauffman Stadium with a 2.72 ERA. But the Royals peppered him for eight hits and six runs (four earned) in the first two innings, making him spend 61 pitches. He was gone after five innings and 102 pitches.
"If I just make a different pitch three of those times or four of those times, we're talking about zeros instead of big, crooked numbers," Wainwright said. "It was pretty frustrating. I had decent stuff today, too."
All six runs scored off Wainwright came with two outs. Five of them came on balls put in play with two strikes. The Royals made Wainwright throw 40 pitches while batting around in the second. Wainwright did rebound to end his outing by retiring 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.
"Nice job of kind of gritting through five, helping us out," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Sizzling K-Mo: Morales now has reached base in his last 12 starts, and since June 11 is 20-for-45 (.444) with four homers and 15 RBIs in that stretch. He stroked a two-run single in the first that tied it at 2. He also singled in the second and doubled to left in the fifth -- all hits coming left-handed, which had been his troubled side until recently. Morales now is hitting .243, his high-water mark since April 25.
"The big thing is I'm loading my backside more and getting through the ball," Morales said through interpreter Pedro Grifol. "I wasn't doing that earlier in the year."
Morales' bad luck from earlier in the season -- when seemingly every line drive was being caught -- finally has flipped.
"I felt that in the beginning of the year, I had a lot of hard contact right at everyone," he said. "But it's a long season. It's very difficult to go through a whole season with that type of [bad] luck."
Added Yost, "With veteran guys like him, it was just a matter of time."
Not crisp enough: A pair of mistakes -- one in the field, the other on the bases -- hurt the Cardinals' chances of notching a win to open the series. Matt Carpenter's first-inning error extended the inning and set up Morales' game-tying single. The error was Carpenter's first in 16 games as a second baseman. Aledmys Diaz then ran into an out after a one-out double in the sixth. Caught by Duffy as he tried to steal third, Diaz was erased from the basepaths just before Holliday launched a double.
High chop: The Royals broke it open in the second in unusual fashion. Eric Hosmer, with runners on first and third, got fooled on an inside curveball from Wainwright and chopped a one-hopper toward first. Cardinals first baseman Jedd Gyorko seemed to misjudge his leap and ball floated over his glove and down the line for a two-run double.
"For me, that was the big hit of the game," Yost said. "That's what gave us some breathing room. We did a lot of two-out hitting."
A dandy DH: Serving as the Cardinals' designated hitter for the seventh time this season, Holliday gave the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead with his 15th homer of the season. He's hit five of those homers as a DH and has four extra-base hits over the last two games. Holliday, at age 36, is on pace for 32 homers and 98 RBIs. His highest home run total as a Cardinal was 28 in 2010.
"Baby steps every day. Whether I'm in the game or not, I have to do what I can to work and move forward. Every little thing counts. I did a better job of being in the zone, getting ahead and being in more aggressive counts, for sure." -- Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal, who threw a scoreless eighth in his first outing since being removed from the closer's role
Carpenter had his 18-game on-base streak come to an end by going 0-for-4. This was a surprising place for his roll to end, too, as Carpenter entered the series with a .475 average and .532 on-base percentage lifetime at Kauffman Stadium.
Cardinals rookie shortstop Diaz fouled a ball off the top of his right orbital bone in the ninth inning, but early tests indicate that the impact did not cause a fracture. Diaz left the field with a towel to his face and was scheduled to undergo additional exams at a local hospital later in the evening. More >
"In the beginning, I was a little scared because I couldn't see anything and it was a little blurry," said Diaz, who had a welt between the top of his right eye and his eyebrow. "But thank God it just went down, and I'm now able to see just fine. It was actually a really scary moment. A lot of things went through my mind."
Cardinals: Right-hander Michael Wacha (3-7, 4.41 ERA), who snapped a 10-start winless streak his last time out, will get the ball for the I-70 Series rematch on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. CT, as the Cards close out their nine-day road trip. The club is expected to activate catcherBrayan Pena from the disabled list before the game.
Royals: Right-hander Yordano Ventura (6-4, 4.54) returns from his eight-game suspension on Tuesday as the Royals wrap up the two-game series with the Cardinals at Kauffman Stadium. Ventura last pitched on June 17 and logged 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win over Detroit.

Bauer, Chisenhall spark Tribe to 10th straight

 Behind a three-run home run by Lonnie Chisenhall and another solid outing from Trevor Bauer, the Indians extended their MLB-best winning streak to 10 games with Monday's 8-3 win over the Braves at Turner Field, their longest in a single season since ending the 2013 campaign with a 10-game win streak.
Cleveland jumped out to an early lead in the first, when Francisco Lindor scored on an RBI single by Mike Napoli. Atlanta quickly responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the third -- driven in by a sacrifice fly from Nick Markakis -- but Chisenhall's three-run blast in the fourth gave the Indians the lead for good.
After allowing a solo home run to Tyler Flowers in the fourth, Bauer surrendered only two more hits to the next 10 batters he faced before turning the game over to the bullpen after six strong innings. The Indians have won five of Bauer's past six starts.
"He's got that big breaking ball," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Bauer. "And it's kind of like, I really think with his fastball, you really don't set location or anything like that, because he throws it both sides of the plate and he just, he's not real easy to hit at."
Cleveland has now scored at least six runs in seven straight games, and its starters are 7-0 with a 2.05 ERA during the winning streak.
"We turn the page so fast," Indians manager Terry Francona said of his team's streak. "It doesn't matter what happened 10 days ago. It has nothing to do with tomorrow. What was important was tonight, and we played good enough to win. So now we'll turn the page and come back and see if we can do it again tomorrow."
Lonnie Baseball: Chisenhall's home run marked his fourth of the season, all of which have come since May 31. Before then, the Cleveland right fielder was hitting .271 with seven extra-base hits and six RBIs. But over his past 23 games, Chisenhall is batting .321 with 10 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs, making him a valuable asset for the Indians with outfielderMichael Brantley still on the disabled list.
"You know, it's contagious," Chisenhall said. "I believe that. I don't know how many hits we had, but I looked up and we had 12 or 13 at one point. It's fun going into the batter's box after the guy in front of you and the guy behind you has been [hitting well]."
Gant exits: Braves right-hander John Gant left the game in the third inning with a left oblique strain. He allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts in two-plus innings. With a 2-2 count on Bauer, a trainer and Snitker made a visit to the mound. After throwing a warmup pitch, Gant was removed from the game and replaced by Tyrell Jenkins, who went four innings in relief and picked up the loss.
Cabrera makes big league debut: With Atlanta's bullpen taking over early after Gant's exit, the Braves got their first look at flamethrower Mauricio Cabrera, who was called up from Double-A Mississippi on Monday. The 22-year-old made his Major League debut, allowing one hit over an inning of work in the seventh. Cabrera threw seven pitches, six of which were fastballs, all of which were at least 100 mph. The right-hander's first pitch in the bigs came in at 101 mph to pinch-hitter Carlos Santana, and later in the inning, he delivered one at 102 mph to Jason Kipnis. The only pitch that wasn't triple-digits was a 68-mph changeup to Lindor.
Changing gears: Bauer entered Monday's game having walked just nine batters in his past five starts. The right-hander struggled with his command early against the Braves, though, walking three of the first eight batters he faced. But instead of letting the bases on balls plague him as they have throughout his young career, Bauer settled in and allowed none of those runners to score en route to his sixth win of the season.
"He's done that before," Francona said. "I think he's getting better at that, though, and about not walking people. I think he used to not care, and we tried to convince him that's a hard way to pitch. But he's done a much better job. He's got the weapons to pitch around rallies, and he doesn't ever back down. So he has the ability to get out of stuff like that."
Indians: Corey Kluber will toe the rubber start against the Braves on Tuesday with an extra day of rest under his belt after throwing 115 pitches in a three-hit shutout of the Rays last Tuesday. The outing marked the right-hander's second complete game in his past four starts. During that span, he's 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Braves: Matt Wisler takes the mound for Atlanta in the second game of the Braves' three-game set with Cleveland. The 23-year-old right-hander has registered quality starts in his last two outings.