For the first time since June 29 -- a span of 10 starts - Volquez made it through an outing without allowing an earned run, lowering his ERA to 4.88, its best mark since late-July. Thursday was a nice touch on an otherwise awful month up to this point. Through five starts in August, the righty owns a 5.81 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in five starts (26.1 innings). Volquez will make one more start before turning the calendar to September when he takes the hill Tuesday against the Yankees.
Happ's amazing 11-game winning streak -- which dated back to June 6 -- finally came to an end Thursday. He was dealing early on, retiring 13 batters in a row with six strikeouts, before failing to record an out in the sixth and getting the hook. The left-hander's five-inning outing was the shortest in Happ's last nine starts, and the four runs allowed were his most given up since June 28. He'll look to start a new streak when he toes the rubber for his next start Tuesday in Baltimore.
Entering the game, Weaver was 0-3 with a 7.29 ERA through four starts this month, but he somehow mustered a strong performance to down the potent Blue Jays lineup. The veteran's five hits allowed were the fewest he's given up since June 19, and the third fewest Weaver's allowed in any of his 25 starts this season. Despite the impressive performance, the 33-year-old continues to be hit-or-miss when it comes to his fantasy production, making him a poor option in most formats.
Making the start in place of the injured Chris Tillman (shoulder), Jimenez admirably notched a quality outing against a strong Nationals lineup. Wednesday's effort was just his second six-plus inning outing since May 7, and lowered his (still unsightly) ERA from 6.94 to 6.62. Possibly the biggest takeaway from the night is that Jimenez didn't walk a batter for the first time in a start since April 7, his first outing of the season. With Tillman on the 15-day DL, Jimenez is slated to start again Tuesday versus the Blue Jays.
The left-handed Norris took a shutout into the sixth before surrendering a pair of RBI singles over his last two frames. Thursday's effort was his first quality start of the season, and it marked the first time this year in which Norris worked into the seventh inning. Since being recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Aug. 8, the 23-year-old owns a respectable 2.91 ERA over four starts (21.2 innings). Norris will make his next start Tuesday at home against the White Sox.
Odorizzi got the better end of a pitcher's duel with Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz to pick up his sixth straight victorious decision. Thursday marked the right-hander's seventh quality start in his last eight outings, a stretch in which he's posted a miniscule 1.40 ERA with 34 strikeouts over 45 innings. Odorizzi remains undefeated since the All-Star break and has pushed his ERA for the season down to 3.53, its best mark since June 8. The 26-year-old will look to continue his hot streak when he takes on the Red Sox once again, this time on the road, in his next start Tuesday.
Despite his quality effort, Pomeranz was outdueled Thursday by Rays' starter Jake Odorizzi (one run over seven innings) and tagged with his first loss in five starts. The left-hander induced an eye-popping 23 swinging strikes while lowering his ERA to 4.06, its best mark since being acquired from San Diego in mid-June. After three rough outings to begin his Red Sox career (12 runs in 14.1 innings), Pomeranz has settled in nicely. Over his last five starts, the 27-year-old owns a 2.40 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Manager Buck Showalter indicated he'd have a good idea of a timeline once Tillman was able to get throw next week's throwing session. The team's ace is dealing with a case of shoulder bursitis, but the fact that he'll be able to throw less than a week after landing on the disabled list indicates that the setback could be a fairly minor one. If healthy, Tillman will be eligible to be activated the first week of September.
The move is contingent on Lewis making it through Monday's rehab outing without incident, and would put him in line to face the Astros in his first start. Before making an official determination though, he's set to throw about 65 pitches at either Double-A Frisco or Triple-A Round Rock in his second -- and potentially final -- rehab start.
Duffey was lit up his last time out, yielding six runs over three innings in a losing effort Wednesday, as he saw his ERA rise to 6.24 on the season. The 25-year-old will try to figure out what's been going wrong back in the minors, while Andrew Albers will join the major league roster in a corresponding move.