Joe Smith RP LAA 6 Hrs
Joe Smith tossed a scoreless ninth inning Friday against the Rangers for his 13th save of the season.
Smith didn't get any strikeouts, but he set the side down in order on 12 pitches and induced a pair of groundouts. The 30-year-old isn't your prototypical closer, but he's made it work so far. He has eight saves since June 24 and has tossed 9 1/3 scoreless innings during that time. He hasn't allowed a hit since June 26.
Nick Tepesch SP TEX 6 Hrs
Nick Tepesch yielded three runs over six-plus innings in a loss to the Angels on Friday.
Tepesch allowed just a solo home run to Mike Trout over his first six innings of work, but he was pulled after he gave up three straight singles to begin the seventh inning. The final run scored after he was replaced by Neftali Feliz. It was a pretty good outing for the most part, as Tepesch allowed no walks while striking out a pair, but the Rangers just couldn't get anything going against Garrett Richards and the Angels' bullpen. He'll finish off the first half with a 4.31 ERA over 10 starts.
Mike Trout LF/CF LAA 6 Hrs
Mike Trout clubbed a solo homer in Friday's win over the Rangers.
It was all the offense Garrett Richards would need on this night. Trout has gone deep in back-to-back games and is now up to 22 home runs and 69 RBI on the year to go along with a fantastic .310/.399/.607 batting line. His 1.007 OPS is tops in the American League.
Alberto Callaspo 1B/2B.. OAK 6 Hrs
Alberto Callaspo was removed from Friday's contest against the Mariners with a strained right hamstring.
Callaspo sustained the injury while hustling down the first base line during his only at-bat of the night. The injury doesn't sound serious, so consider the valuable utility man day-to-day.
Shin-Soo Choo LF/CF.. TEX 6 Hrs
Shin-Soo Choo went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Friday against the Angels.
Choo has struck out three times in back-to-back games and is hitting just .214 (9-for-42) this month. With a .246/.365/.382 batting line over 88 games, the 31-year-old has been one of the game's most disappointing players during the first half.
Erick Aybar SS LAA 6 Hrs
Erick Aybar went 2-for-4 with an RBI single against the Rangers on Friday.
Aybar, who was recently named as Alex Gordon's replacement for the American League All-Star team, has hit safely in seven straight games and 10 out of his last 11. The 30-year-old has had a very productive first half, batting .285/.321/.416 with six home runs, 49 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and 46 runs scored over 90 games.
Austin Jackson CF DET 6 Hrs
Austin Jackson went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, leading the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Royals in Kansas City on Friday.
Jackson got the Tigers offense started quickly, leading the game off with a double and quickly coming around to score on an RBI single by Ian Kinsler. He appears to be much more comfortable at the plate since moving back to his customary leadoff spot in the order. With the three-hit attack, he's now hitting .251/.314/.368 with three homers and 24 RBI on the season.
Joe Nathan RP DET 6 Hrs
Joe Nathan slammed the door on the Royals in the ninth inning on Friday, preserving a one-run advantage and earning his 19th save of the season.
The 39-year-old closer has pitched better of late, but still owns a troublesome 5.61 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 35/14 K/BB ratio over 33 2/3 innings on the season. He isn't a good bet to magically turn his season around and improve his ratios, but should continue to be able to rack up saves at the back of the Tigers bullpen.
Anibal Sanchez SP DET 6 Hrs
Anibal Sanchez picked up his sixth victory of the season on Friday, limiting the Royals to just one run on eight hits over seven innings.
Sanchez punched out three on the night and didn't walk a batter. The only damage against him on the night came in the first inning, where Salvador Perez cashed in Eric Hosmer with an RBI single. He'll head into the All-Star break with a terrific 3.04 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 70/25 K/BB ratio over his first 94 2/3 innings.
Salvador Perez C KC 6 Hrs
Salvador Perez went 2-for-4 and plated the Royals lone run in Friday's loss to the Tigers.
The hard-hitting backstop drove home Eric Hosmer in the first inning, but that wound up being the extent of the Royals offense against Anibal Sanchez and company. The All-Star catcher is enjoying another strong season at the plate, hitting .284/.328/.441 with 11 homers and 36 RBI through 320 at-bats.