Buses for Baseball rolls into Miami: Players from the Florida Marlins hosted a group of 40 children from South Florida as part of the Major League Baseball Players Trust's Buses for Baseball program.
Luis Gonzalez, Wes Helms, Mark Hendrickson, Logan Kensing, Scott Olsen, Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla met with the kids and signed autographs before Thursday night's game against the Rays. The Players Trust program offers free game tickets, food, beverages and souvenirs in addition to round-trip transportation to the game.
It was the first Major League game for most of the 40 kids, who are part of Miami-based organization Amigos for Children. Buses for Baseball is underwritten by Majestic Athletic, a division of VF Imagewear, Inc. More than 1,500 underprivileged kids will attend big league games as part of Buses for Baseball this season.
Zaun turns to video for improvement: Gregg Zaun was struggling to drive the ball, so Toronto's veteran catcher studied video from the start of the 2006 season, when he was 18-for-52 (.346) with five home runs and 13 RBIs in his first 15 games.
"I found my stance in '06 -- I started the season and hit five home runs in 52 at-bats -- I was more on my legs and driving my backside through the ball," he told Bluejays.com. "I put the ['06 and '08] clips side-by-side and looked at them on film and I was like, 'OK, this is a period of time when I was really driving the ball wellF and hitting the ball hard up the middle and in the gaps and out of the ballpark.'"
Zaun is making some adjustments with his stance and reports he's already getting positive results.
Dodger Stadium holds memories: Playing this week in Dodger Stadium has been very special for White Sox outfielder Bryan Anderson. As a kid, he attended many games at the ballpark with his father, rooting on the home team.
"Growing up a die-hard Dodger fan, it's cool to come back and play," Anderson told MLB.com. "I talked to my dad about it. For me, this is one of the best places to play, and I love the atmosphere here -- it's Dodger Stadium. It's more important and special to me to play here over Wrigley Field or even Yankee Stadium."
Rain delay brings out skit from Todd Jones: During a nearly three-hour-long rain delay on Wednesday in Detroit, Todd Jones entertained Tigers fans by recreating -- in his own way -- the Magglio Ordonez walk-off home run and ensuing trot around the bases that took place in the 2006 ALCS. He was even sporting an Ordonez jersey and a wig that somewhat resembled Ordonez's hair.
"I've never had a chance to go on the tarp because it's kind of taboo; you don't really do it," Jones told the Detroit News. "I figured, 'What the hey, have a little fun.' It was pretty cool, I'm glad everybody got it."
Wise swinging a hot bat: DeWayne Wise of the White Sox is 8-for-16 with four home runs in his last five games.
"I would like to go out there and do something to help us win every game, but I'm trying to keep it simple -- go out, have fun and take advantage of the at-bats I'm given," Wise told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Wood's closer role put in place in 2005: Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who formerly coached the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa franchise, recalls a discussion in 2005 about moving Kerry Wood into the closer role.
"I went out to dinner with [then-Iowa manager Mike Quade and then-Cubs President Andy MacPhail after the season], and everybody was talking about who's going to be the closer for the Cubs," Kranitz told the Chicago Tribune. "I said, 'Hey, how about Kerry Wood?' "
Wood has already amassed 20 saves to go along with four victories and a 2.50 ERA.
Pujols doesn't miss a beat in return from DL: In his first game back since being placed on the disabled list with a strained calf, Albert Pujols reached base in all five plate appearances and appeared to be fully recovered from the injury that kept him out for 15 days. He had four hits and a walk.
"It's tough when you come off the DL," Pujols told MLB.com. "You don't see too many live pitches. The worst thing when you come off the DL is to go out there and hack at every pitch you see. I was pretty patient at the plate, just getting a good pitch to hit."
Campillo making the most of his starts: Jorge Campillo, a pickup from the Mexican League, is shining for the Braves since making the move from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Wednesday night, Campillo pitched seven innings, singled twice and scored two runs.
"Jorge -- he won the game all-around," second baseman Kelly Johnson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He's been awesome. Can't say enough about him."
Saunders still trying to make his mark: Despite being tied for the Major League lead in wins with 11, Joe Saunders still thinks like a pitcher trying to establish himself.
"You're fighting for your life here," Saunders told the Los Angeles Times. "I wouldn't say there's any job security in this game unless you're a superstar. There's always a guy in the Minor Leagues trying to take your spot."
Home run ball No. 2 a keeper for Gonzalez: A's rookie Carlos Gonzalez hit his first Major League home run last week. He tried to acquire the ball from the fan who caught it, but his offer of three bats and an autographed ball was turned down.
Thursday night he went deep for the second time this year and the ball was retrieved for him.
"It's not home run No. 1, but it's No. 2, and my mom and my family are going to enjoy it," Gonzalez told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Newhan hopes to settle in with big club: David Newhan, recalled by the Astros on Tuesday, is taking a liking to the idea of playing in the Major Leagues.
"I love being here," he told Astros.com. "I love the organization. It's a great group in the clubhouse, and obviously I'd love to stay."
In his second stint with the Astros this season, Newhan collected three hits, including a two-run double, in his return.
Chamberlain continues to bring positive results: Joba Chamberlain has given the Yankees a spark as a starter. In five starts, Chamberlain is now 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA. He has allowed 22 hits and 13 walks in 25 innings of work while striking out 26 hitters. The Yankees are 4-1 in his starts, and Chamberlain has allowed one run or less in four of his five starts.
He threw a career-high 6 2/3 shutout innings on Wednesday night. Chamberlain (2-2) allowed only six hits and one walk and struck out seven batters.
"Joba has the ability to pitch games like this; that's the kind of stuff he has," manager Joe Girardi told New York Daily News. "When you lose three out of four, you want to get back on the right track. Joba was up to the task."
Rested Wright blasts pair of home runs: Given a rare day off on Tuesday, David Wright looked like a reenergized player Wednesday as he hit two home runs. It is the second time Wright has hit two home runs in a game this season.
"More crisp today than I've been in awhile," Wright told the New York Daily News. "I noticed a difference. [Manager] Jerry [Manuel] has been with me personally for a little while now, so he knows what he's seeing. He knows when I seem fatigued. As much as I don't like taking days off, I think it helped me, and it's going to help me in the long run. The bat feels a little lighter. Pitches that I was just missing -- not getting to before the day off -- I got to tonight and stayed through it."
Sardinha to get a chance at catcher: Catcher Dane Sardinha, recalled this week by the Tigers, is anxious to take full advantage of his opportunity.
"You try to hold your own, and also at the same time, you're glad for the opportunity," Sardinha told MLB.com.
First game, first hit for Rangers' Davis: The Rangers decided the future for top prospect Chris Davis is now. The club recalled the first baseman from Triple-A Oklahoma Thursday morning, the Dallas Morning News reported. Davis was in uniform for Thursday night's game against the Astros and collected a pinch-hit infield single for his first Major League hit.
Davis was hitting .333 at Oklahoma after tearing up Double-A ball at Frisco to start the season. Since June 1, he hit .357 with nine homers and 25 RBIs.
"[It] makes sense to give Chris an opportunity," general manager Jon Daniels said.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.