Mariners activate Justin Smoak from disabled list

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The Mariners announced earlier this evening that they have activated Justin Smoak from the disabled list. He’ll serve as the designated hitter and bat fifth tonight against the Athletics.

Smoak has been sidelined since suffering a broken nose on a bad hop grounder while playing first base on August 12. He went 0-for-11 with three walks over four games during a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma, but the important part is that he is feeling 100 percent. According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, the switch-hitter will have a plastic flap covering the left side of his face when he hits right-handed.

Smoak, 21, is batting just .220/.317/.387 with 12 home runs, 44 RBI and a .704 OPS over 410 plate appearances this season, including a .175 batting average and zero homers since the All-Star break.

It’s never fun to break your nose, but the silver lining is that Smoak was given some extra time to rest a thumb injury which was likely affecting his production at the plate. He now has an opportunity to finish the season on a high note.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.