Darin Ruf 1B/LF.. PHI 7 Hrs

Darin Ruf is getting a second straight start at first base on Thursday afternoon against the Giants.

Ryan Howard will again take a seat. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Wednesday that he wants to see what Ruf can do with regular playing time, and there was a report from CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury that club officials are considering releasing Howard -- who's still owed over $60 million guaranteed -- after this season.

Dustin Pedroia 2B BOS 7 Hrs

Dustin Pedroia is not in the Red Sox starting lineup on Thursday afternoon against the Blue Jays.

It's a routine day of rest for the 30-year-old second baseman, who has registered a disappointing .269/.337/.363 batting line with four home runs and two stolen bases in 99 games this season. Brock Holt is at second.

Yoenis Cespedes LF/CF.. OAK 7 Hrs

Yoenis Cespedes has been diagnosed with a right thumb sprain.

Cespedes suffered the injury on a violent swing Wednesday night. He had homered twice in the game before exiting. X-rays were negative, but the slugger is likely to sit out of Thursday afternoon's series finale with the Astros. The A's are calling him day-to-day.

Marwin Gonzalez 2B/SS.. HOU 8 Hrs

Marwin Gonzalez was pulled from Wednesday's loss to the A's with soreness in his right hamstring.

"It happened the second game in Chicago (on Saturday), I got sore running the bases and since that day I've been playing with (soreness)," Gonzalez told reporters late Wednesday night. "So I've been dealing with it." The shortstop is hoping to play in Thursday's series finale. He's hit well since taking over for Jonathan Villar.

Rymer Liriano CF SD 8 Hrs

Padres prospect outfielder Rymer Liriano went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a walk in his first game with Triple-A El Paso on Wednesday.

Liriano hit .264/.335/.442 with 20 doubles, two triples, and 14 home runs over 99 games with Double-A San Antonio. He has a right-fielder's profile and appears to have shaken off the rust after missing all of 2013 after having Tommy John surgery. Liriano has a career high in home runs (his previous high was 12), so this could be the beginning of his tapping into his power potential. San Diego seems like they are undergoing a full rebuilding effort, and Liriano is one of the prospects who could see time in the majors in the near future.

Alex Rios RF/DH TEX 8 Hrs

Alex Rios (ankle) went 1-for-2 in the Rangers' rain-shortened loss to the Yankees on Wednesday.

Rios had missed a couple of games due to soreness in his right ankle. The 33-year-old outfielder is batting .303/.331/.435 with four home runs and 16 stolen bases in 97 games this season and is likely to be shopped by the Rangers at the July 31 trade deadline. The Blue Jays and Royals are among the teams with reported interest.

Yasiel Puig CF/RF LAD 8 Hrs

Yasiel Puig (hand) drew a walk as a pinch-hitter Wednesday in the Dodgers' loss to the Pirates.

Puig was held out of the Los Angeles starting lineup for a fourth straight game due to a bruise on his left hand. He took pregame batting practice and obviously felt good enough to pinch-hit, so his return should be imminent. The Dodgers are off on Thursday.

Jose Abreu 1B/DH CWS 8 Hrs

Jose Abreu (back) went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored Wednesday in his return to the lineup.

Abreu was held out of Tuesday's game with stiffness in his back. It was never a major concern. The sensational rookie first baseman has a .959 OPS, 29 homers, and 74 RBI through his first 87 games as a major leaguer.

Yasiel Puig CF/RF LAD 12 Hrs

Yasiel Puig returned to action on Wednesday July 23.

Danny Valencia 3B/DH KC 12 Hrs

Danny Valencia returned to action on Wednesday July 23.