Joyce's RBI double got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, as the veteran took advantage of a rare night in the lineup. His usual duty as a pinch-hitter limits the former Rays slugger's effectiveness, though.
Ellsbury has now homered twice in his past five games. This power surge follows a stretch in which he went 116 at-bats without a home run and hit just .224/.272/.267 from July 15 through August 16. Unfortunately, that has been the Ellsbury who has shown up for most of the year; he owns just a .262/.321/.368 batting line and six home runs on the season.
Polanco got off to a hot start with an RBI single off rookie starter Joe Musgrove in the first, and piled on with solo homers in the third and fifth innings. The 24-year-old outfielder hit just nine long balls in 153 games last season, but has already managed more than double that amount in only 110 games this year. His massive increase in power more than makes up for a downturn in steals.
Nova has been a valuable addition since coming over from the Yankees, holding the opposition to nine runs over 25.1 innings in four starts en route to a 3-0 record with his new team. This was by far his best effort yet, as the 29-year-old needed just 98 pitches to get 27 outs after failing to pitch more than seven innings on any previous occasion this season. Another strong outing could be in the cards when he faces an underwhelming Brewers team on the road Sunday.
The rookie looked impressive in his firth three major league appearances, but has come crashing down to earth with 13 runs allowed in just 9.1 innings over his last two outings. Musgrove will have a good chance to rebound in his next start, as he faces the Athletics at home Monday. While he has been good at Minute Maid Park, it'll be tough to trust him after mixed results through 27.2 innings with the Astros.
Ruggiano is off to a hot start for the Mets, with two home runs out of his six hits to go with six RBI in just three games since he came off the disabled list August 18. With Jay Bruce struggling, Ruggiano could be in line for many more at-bats if the Mets opt to ride the hot hand.
Garcia has now allowed five home runs over his past two starts and has watched his ERA jump from 4.04 to 4.37 in the process. He still had hitters whiffing, as he induced 12 swinging strikes in just 64 pitches, but his mistakes were regularly punished. Garcia had just a 0.8 HR/9 in his first 22 starts of the season, though, so there's good reason to believe he can turn this around.
This was a big rebound performance for the versatile fielder after he had been hitless in his previous four starts. Houston's overall offensive ineptitude against Pirates starter Ivan Nova sadly kept Gonzalez from doing more with this three-hit effort.
Wieters followed up a second-inning RBI double with a run-scoring single in the seventh. The catcher had driven in just three runs in his previous 15 games, so this was a much-needed offensive breakout. Don't expect things to pick up much going forward, though, as Wieters is on pace to finish with a slugging percentage below .400 for the first time since 2010.
While Trumbo has been consistently launching balls out of the park, this was surprisingly only his second multi-hit effort since Jul. 22. The feast-or-famine right fielder's power has entrenched him as a key cog in the heart of the Orioles lineup, and that's unlikely to change given his seven homers in 11 games coming into this one.