Three Astros players suspended for drugs

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A little early with these for a Friday. MLB must be getting out of town for a long weekend someplace. That’s nice.

Not so nice for these three Astros farm hands, however:

Shortstop Jose Fernandez, first baseman Michael Martinez and outfielder D’andre Toney have each been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.  Fernandez is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Astros while Martinez and Toney are on the roster of the Single-A Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League.

Everyone have a safe Labor Day weekend. And stay away from amphetamines.

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.