Rays promote Desmond Jennings from Triple-A Durham

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12:00 a.m. EDT update: Upton is staying put for now.  The Rays announced after the game that Jennings was being called up, but that he’d be taking shortstop Reid Brignac’s spot.  Brignac, whose demotion was long overdue, hit just .193/.234/.219 in 187 at-bats and was losing playing time at shortstop to Sean Rodriguez and Elliot Johnson.  Jennings will get starts in left while the Rays figure out what they’re doing with Upton.  Sam Fuld will lose some playing time, and Ben Zobrist figures to be used pretty strictly as a second baseman.

11:30 p.m. EDT update: Durham Bulls writer Adam Sobsey confirms that Jennings has been recalled by the Rays.  That doesn’t necessarily mean Upton is a goner — the Rays could use Jennings in left field — but the trade possibility remains very much alive.

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It sounds like the Rays have made a move, as they just pulled B.J. Upton from the game against the Royals and they scratched Desmond Jennings from Triple-A Durham’s lineup.

Washington has been the most common landing spot for Upton in trade rumors.

Upton was 1-for-4 tonight before being removed.  He’s been playing well of late, having hit .270/.333/.429 with three homers and 10 RBI in 16 games this month.  The Nationals have long coveted him to fill their hole in center field, and the 26-year-old is under control through 2012.

His replacement in center field with the Rays would be Jennings, who recently returned from a finger injury.  He’s hit .286/.426/.510 in 13 games this month and .275/.374/.456 overall for Durham.

Update: For what it’s worth, it’s possible we’re overreacting here.  The Rays were down by six runs and had already removed Matt Joyce from the contest.  Upton also could have been due a little rest, considering he had started every game since the break.  Still, there is a little evidence that something is going on.  Draysbay.com reports that Jennings was seen signing something in the managers office at Triple-A Durham before tonight’s game.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.