Drew Silva

Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels scratched Thursday due to groin issue

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Cole Hamels allowed five runs in his Texas debut August 1 against the Giants and four earned in his second Rangers start August 7 versus the Mariners.

Now comes word from MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the left-hander has been scratched from his third Rangers start Thursday against the Twins because of a groin issue. The hope is that Hamels will only have to miss one turn in the Rangers’ starting rotation.

Hamels was acquired from the Phillies a few days before the July 31 trade deadline for catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams, left-hander Matt Harrison, and right-handers Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, and Jake Thompson. Texas also received reliever Jake Diekman in that eight-player swap.

The 31-year-old Hamels is under contract through 2018 at $23.5 million per season.

Chase Utley clears waivers and can now be traded to any team (if he gives his consent)

Chase Utley
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has passed through revocable trade waivers and can now be offered up to any team, though the 36-year-old carries full no-trade protection via 10-and-5 rights and can veto a deal if it’s not to his liking. Utley has not said publicly whether he is open to leaving the Phillies.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported Monday morning that the Giants have been keeping tabs on Utley, and the Yankees, Angels, and Cubs are also thought to have some level of trade interest.

Utley is batting just .190/.262/.294 in 69 total games this season for the last-place Phillies, but he’s shown some signs of life offensively (5-for-13 with three doubles and three RBI) since returning late last week from a right ankle injury.

Utley is making $14 million this year. He will become a free agent in the fall.

Blue Jays shut out Yankees again for eighth straight win

Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson
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Marco Estrada tossed 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball and Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson both hit solo homers as the Blue Jays blanked the Yankees 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

It’s the eighth consecutive victory for the Blue Jays, who now stand just 1 1/2 games back of New York in the American League East standings.

Toronto beat the Yankees 2-1 on Friday and 6-0 on Saturday. This is the first time the Yankees have been shut out in back-to-back games since May of 1999, per MLB’s Stat of the Day Twitter feed.

Troy Tulowitzki must be loving all this winning stuff. He’s been a part of 11 wins and only one loss since leaving the last-place Rockies on July 28.