Mariners demote Taijuan Walker to Triple-A

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Seattle has optioned right-hander Taijuan Walker back to Triple-A, but it looks like the move might be more about keeping the 21-year-old rookie on his normal schedule rather than any sort of performance-based demotion.

Walker has had one good start and one bad start since joining the rotation after missing the beginning of the season with shoulder problems, and he’s got a 3.60 ERA in five career starts as a big leaguer dating back to his debut last season.

He can either make one start at Triple-A or just hang out in Tacoma over the All-Star break, and then return to the majors for the beginning of the second half.

To take Walker’s roster spot the Mariners called up reliever Stephen Pryor from Triple-A, where the 24-year-old right-hander had a 4.91 ERA and 24/16 K/BB ratio in 26 innings.  He’s also had some shoulder problems, so expect Pryor to be used in a low-leverage role initially.

Astros, Red Sox announce lineups for ALCS Game 5

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The Red Sox are looking to punch their ticket to the World Series in Houston on Thursday night Game 5 of the ALCS. If they do, they’ll return to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2013, knocking out the defending champs in the process.

Red Sox

RF Mookie Betts
LF Andrew Benintendi
DH J.D. Martinez
SS Xander Bogaerts
1B Mitch Moreland
2B Ian Kinsler
3B Rafael Devers
C Christian Vázquez
CF Jackie Bradley, Jr.

SP David Price

Chris Sale is still feeling weak after his brief stint in the hospital earlier this week, so Price is getting the start instead. If the series goes to a Game 6, Sale would start.

The lineup is a little different than it was when they faced Verlander in Game 1. Moreland and Kinsler are new additions. Devers draws another start with Eduardo Núñez banged up.

Astros

3B Alex Bregman
RF George Springer
DH José Altuve
SS Carlos Correa
1B Yuli Gurriel
2B Marwín González
LF Tony Kemp
C Martin Maldonado
CF Jake Marisnick

SP Justin Verlander

Bregman hits leadoff again. He hasn’t hit for average — just .182 — but he has drawn seven walks across four games. González handles second base again as Altuve’s right knee remains sore. Marisnick is getting his first start of the postseason. He’s had just one plate appearance, coming in Game 2 of the ALDS and he struck out.