FULL COUNT: Tanaka sent down, others performing as expected


Following the San Francisco Giants trip to the White House on July 29, popular left fielder Kensuke Tanaka was optioned to Fresno to make room for Roger Kieschnick and Brett Pill. Tanaka hit .267 with two RBIs in 15 games along with a .353 on-base percentage, two steals and four runs scored. Fans haven’t seen the last of him as he’ll likely be back when rosters expand next month.

On Aug. 6 at AT&T Park, Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki got his first hit in five games and also scored, but Milwaukee needs him to continue in this fashion especially with Ryan Braun suspended for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jerome Williams (5-8) has been pretty bad throughout July, most recently being touched up for four runs on six hits in Oakland on July 26.

The Athletics game on July 27 was Turn Back the Clock Day to 1969, and also Nichi Bei Day with the A’s. The afternoon brought back memories of former A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki and retired legend Hideki Matsui, who played for the team in 2012. On Aug. 4, Suzuki drove in two runs for the Nationals, but remains Washington’s backup catcher.

Yu Darvish (11-5) got his 11th win on Aug. 6, striking out six to bring his major league leading total to 198.

Hisashi Iwakuma (10-5) lost his most recent start against the Blue Jays on Aug. 5, but has allowed just seven earned runs in his past five starts. He’s still one of the top pitchers in the A.L.

Elsewhere, Los Angeles relief pitcher Brandon League (6-3) surrendered three runs on two homers on Aug. 6 in the Dodgers 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, keeping himself in Don Mattingly’s doghouse.

Kansas City Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (12-7) won his fourth consecutive start on Aug. 5 with a complete game shutout of the Minnesota Twins. Guthrie has been the victor in six of his last seven starts.

It’s the usual story for Chicago second baseman Darwin Barney: top-notch defense while struggling at the plate; he went 1-for-12 during the Cubs’ three-game series with the Giants at the end of July.

Though he’s battling aches and pains, Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino has still put up solid numbers, a .291 average, seven home runs and 34 RBIs. Boston closer Koji Uehara has 10 saves with 71 strikeouts in 51.1 innings and a 0.70 WHIP, that’s filthy good; setup man Junichi Tazawa (4-3) has 19 holds and 54 strikeouts.

In New York, Hiroki Kuroda (10-7) threw seven shutout innings versus the Dodgers on July 31, maintaining a 2.45 ERA with 103 strikeouts while Ichiro Suzuki is still hitting .277 with a .312 OBP, but is now splitting time with Curtis Granderson who is back from the disabled list.

Unfortunately for the entire Yankee clubhouse, the PED stains of Alex Rodriguez can’t be washed out just yet.

Drew Morita, a Yonsei from the island of Kaua‘i, grew up rooting for the Oakland A’s but is now a loyal San Francisco Giants fan. He writes from San Francisco. Follow him @drewmorita or e-mail him at drew_morita@yahoo.com.

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