Jack Cust

Mariners hold on to Jack Cust, demote Carlos Peguero


Expectations were that Mike Carp would get another chance soon, but it won’t come at Jack Cust’s expense.  The Mariners demoted Carlos Peguero to Triple-A to make room for Carp after Sunday’s loss to the Rangers.

The struggling Seattle offense totaled just two runs while the team was swept by the Rangers in a four-game series.

Cust played only once in the series, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Friday’s loss.  He’s 1-for-16 with nine strikeouts and three walks during July.  For the season as a whole, his OBP stands at .348, easily the high mark of anyone who has spent the whole season with Seattle.  However, he’s hitting just .207 with three homers and 23 RBI in 208 at-bats.  Even with the solid OBP, he’s scored a total of 17 runs.

Peguero was way overmatched at the major league level, even if he did manage to hit six homers in 143 at-bats.  He had a .196 average and a 54/8 K/BB ratio in 143 at-bats.

Carp, a natural first baseman, has seen most of his playing time in left field this year, but the Mariners chose Peguero over him last month because of his issues defensively.  He’d seem to be the natural replacement in the DH slot for Cust.  However, since the Mariners aren’t giving up on Cust yet, he’ll instead battle Greg Halman for playing time in left field.

Carp was hitting .341/.410/.651 with 21 homers and 64 RBI in 65 games for Triple-A Tacoma.  He went 7-for-35 with no RBI in his time with the Mariners last month.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.