It’s a Thursday, and that means a smaller schedule. There are just eight games on the docket, with nearly half the league having the day off.

Nonetheless, there are some storylines worth watching, including the Indians and Twins kicking off an important series and the Reds attempting to slice into the Cubs‘ division lead.

Keep it here throughout the night for the latest and greatest from the night in baseball.

Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

Baseball schedule/scores for Thursday, August 8

Urshela stays ridiculously hot

Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela came into Thursday’s game in Toronto having hit three homers in his last two games. Very quickly, he kept the good times rolling: 

And then in the third inning: 

So, yeah, that’s five homers in the past three games and four in the past two. With that second blast, Urshela becomes the first Yankee to register back-to-back multi-homer games since Aaron Judge in 2017. There’s also this: 

The 27-year-old Urshela came into this season with a career slash line of .225/.274/.315 and eight home runs in 167 games. Through the third inning on Thursday night, Urshela this season owns a slash line of .323/.367/.570 with 16 home runs in 94 games. Given the absurd number of injuries the Yankees have endured this season, Urshela has been uncommonly valuable thanks to his top-tier production while clocking more than 700 defensive innings at third base. It’s no exaggeration to say he’s in line for some AL MVP support should he keep this up. 

Speaking of keeping this up, we keep waiting for Urshela to regress, but it’s getting late out there. In related matters, his expected batting average of .312 ranks in the top 2.0 percent of the league, and his expected slugging percentage of .520 ranks in the top 9.0 percent of the league. Throw in his increased exit velocity and hard-hit rate, and, hey, maybe he’s just learned to hit. 

Castellanos keeps delivering for Cubs

Nick Castellanos was the Cubs’ signature addition leading up to the July 31 trade deadline, and the former Tiger has rewarded their efforts thus far. Coming into Thursday’s slate, Castellanos was batting .379/.400/.690 with six doubles in seven games (!) since the trade. No, Castellanos isn’t going to continue raking like that, but he can hit (118 OPS+ since the start of the 2016 season). As well, it’s possible the trade out of hopeless Detroit to a certifiable contender has renewed his focus and sense of purpose. 

Speaking of all that, Nicky Two-Bags broke character in a very productive way against the Reds on Thursday: 

That’s his second homer as a Cub and his 12th homer overall this season to go with 43 doubles. He’s looking like a key stretch-drive bat for the NL Central leaders thus far. 

Quick hits