Garret Anderson had a three-hit night and drove in a run in his franchise-record 11th straight game to lead the Angels over the Indians on Thursday. Anderson eclipsed the previous record of 10 straight games with an RBI set by Fred Lynn in 1984 and tied by Wally Joyner in 1986.
"It's not as simple as being healthy, but that's on top of the list," Anderson told the Los Angeles Times of his hot streak. "I don't have to worry about anything other than hitting the ball. Nothing is bothering me. Nothing is taking my thoughts in other places."
Anderson is batting .415 (27 for 65) with nine home runs and 31 RBIs over his last 18 games. He has a Major League-leading 56 RBIs since the All-Star break.
He now has his sights set on the American League mark of 13 games in a row with an RBI, established by the White Sox Taffy Wright in 1941 and tied by Mike Sweeney of the Royals in 1999.
A-Rod joins Banks, Matthews: Alex Rodriguez was taken to Columbia Presbyterian where he underwent an MRI on his right ankle on Wednesday afternoon. The test revealed he had a sprain and a bruise to the ankle and he was considered doubtful for that night's game against Seattle.
He felt sore but told the Yankees he was ready to play, which was an understatement given his performance. Rodriguez hit his 47th and 48th home runs of the season during a seven-run seventh inning against the Mariners as the Yankees.
"There's not much time left," Rodriguez told Newsday after the game. "If this was April or May, I definitely would have taken the day. Going to the hospital at 5:15 is something you're not going to get excited about. I certainly didn't want to get in that MRI machine."
Only an hour before the start of the game, Rodriguez was not expected to start. Manager Joe Torre said he expected to maybe use the right-handed slugger as a pinch-hitter. However, Rodriguez convinced Torre to put him into the lineup as the designated hitter.
The two home runs move Rodriguez into a tie with Ernie Banks and Eddie Matthews for 17th place on the all-time home run list with 512. Rodriguez leads the Majors in home runs with 48 and RBIs with 134.
For Beltre, hamstring 'like my brother': Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre has hit safely in 16 of the last 20 games and has a .338 batting average in that span. Overall, he leads the team with 22 home runs and has stolen 14 consecutive bases despite playing with an injured hamstring.
"The hamstring is still there," Beltre told the Seattle Post-Intelligence with a wry smile. "But that's OK. The hamstring is like my brother. I know how to handle it."
The hamstring injury has sidelined Beltre in the past two seasons.
"Most of the time I can kick my brother's butt," Beltre says. "Sometimes he can kick mine.
"But I'm going to continue to run because the team needs me to0. I won't be stealing when we're four runs up or four runs down. But when it makes a difference and it's a base we've got to have, I'm going to run. We're going to get to the playoffs by doing the little things like that."
Hatteberg gets rave reviews: Veteran infielder Scott Hatteberg has always been a student of the game, and in Cincinnati his leadership and talent are valued by not only his peers, but team management as well.
"He prepares for games and takes it into the game," Reds manager Pete Mackanin told MLB.com. "He's got a professional approach. He makes pitchers throw strikes. He gives you the kind of at-bat you want to see everybody give you. He handles himself like a true professional."
Outfielder Josh Hamilton says just having Hatteberg around is helpful. "He doesn't have to say anything to teach anything," said Hamilton. "Just watch him go about his business and the way he carries himself in the locker room and on the field. The guy has been around a long time and knows how to do it and do it right."
Could there be a future in management for Hatteberg?
"This is what we know. This is what I got my masters in," said Hatteberg. "Right out of the game though, I don't have any immediate aspirations. It'd definitely be something I'd consider -- getting back in it. I would consider going down that road. It's a long road, I know, and a difficult one."
Soto 'a good looking player': Geovany Soto had one spectacular year in the Pacific Coast League, winning the MVP award and getting the attention of the brass of the Chicago Cubs. On Wednesday night, they got a good look at him first hand when he had two hits and a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Manager Lou Piniella is among those anxious to look at the newest Cubs catcher.
"Look at his numbers at Triple-A and they're pretty darn good," Piniella told MLB.com.
Soto didn't exactly just show up out of nowhere, admitted Piniella.
"We liked him this spring," said the Cubs veteran manager. "He did a nice job last night with the pitcher, did a nice job swinging the bat, and scored from first on a double. He's a good-looking player. We're going to give him some playing time here in September. How much, we'll see. He didn't come here to sit."
Soto batted .353 with 31 doubles, 26 home runs and 109 RBIs at Triple-A Iowa.
Votto's first start memorable: In his first Major League start on Wednesday, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto made quite an impression by going 3-for-3 with a home run and a walk. When he homered in the second inning, all he could do as he ran around the bases was think about how to not look too happy -- even if he was beaming on the inside.
"Don't smile, put your head down, run hard, touch home plate," he told the Cincinnati Enquirer, when asked what he was thinking as he ran the bases. "I was actually thinking from third to home about what they were going to do on the bench: Shake my hand, give me a high five or ignore me."
Manager Pete Mackanin says that he's fairly sure it won't always be so simple for Votto.
"I hope Joey Votto doesn't think it's going to be that easy," said Mackanin, "or maybe it is going to be that easy. He certainly made a nice debut. What a thrill for him. It was thrilling for me and everybody on the team."
Ransom back after 1,282 at-bat hiatus: When Cody Ransom started at shortstop Wednesday night for the Houston Astros, it was his first start Major League start since 2004, when he was with the San Francisco Giants. Ransom played all of the 2006 season and this season at Triple-A Round Rock before being recalled by the Astros Sept. 1.
Ransom appeared as a pinch-hitter Tuesday with the Astros, his first at-bat in the Majors since Oct. 4, 2004. The at-bat broke a string of 1,282 at-bats in the Minors between Major League at-bats.
"I'll believe it when I run out there," Ransom told the Houston Chronicle before his start Wednesday. "It's good to be back. It's been a long time. It's a long road back. It's been three years or so. I put in a lot of hard work. My family put up with a lot, but I made it back."
Ransom had an outstanding season for the Express this year, with 28 home runs and 90 RBIs. Before his first at-bat with the Astros, he was a career .238 hitter in 114 games with the Giants.
Ankiel continues comeback: Rick Ankiel continues to write new chapters to his unlikely journey to the Major Leagues. On Thursday afternoon, one more part of his story was written when he smashed two home runs, hit a double and drove in seven runs in the Cardinals' 16-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After not making his debut this year until Aug. 9, Ankiel has batted .358 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 23 games. Since being recalled, Ankiel is tied for the National League lead in home runs, and is second in RBIs.
"Marvel is a good word," manager Tony La Russa told MLB.com. "It is kind of amazing, isn't it?"
Veteran shortstop David Eckstein has seen lots of young players come and go, but he believes that Ankiel is the real-deal. "I think [he's] going to keep getting better and better," Eckstein said. "He has so much talent and this is a tough game. He's just starting to play it on a regular basis. With his talent level, he's just going to be great."
Ankiel has 10 hits in 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position in his brief stint in St. Louis.
Clement takes a big step on the mound: It has been nearly a year since Boston's Matt Clement has pitched in a game. Recovering from shoulder surgery, Clement took a step toward a return to the mound after throwing a simulated game earlier this week at Fenway Park.
"I'd love to pitch," Clement told theBoston Globe. "I'd love to be a part of this great thing that is going on here. If I could get one out that was meaningful in September, that would be great for me."
While Clement hopes to pitch this season, he knows he may not have his wish come true this year. Right now, the plan is for him to throw in the bullpen this weekend and then another simulated game next week. Clement hopes his next outing goes as well as his first.
"I'm almost in shock how good I felt," he said.
During his simulated game, many of the Boston pitchers, as well as manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein, watched his performance.
"It may look like small steps to us," Francona said, "but it was a huge step for him."
Phillips aims for October return: Andy Phillips' right arm is currently in a sling, the result of having surgery Tuesday to remove a broken bone in his right wrist. For many players, it would mean the end of the season.
Phillips, however, still is hoping to return to the lineup in October.
"I guess when you play and fight to get back to the Majors and contribute, I guess the pill is a little bit easier to swallow," he told Newsday. "I feel like I was part of this team when it got back in the race. It's still my most gratifying year so far."
Martin shelves the pain: After sitting out Wednesday's game with a sore knee suffered the day before, Russell Martin returned to the lineup Thursday and had a big day, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the Dodgers' 7-4 win over the Cubs.
"I feel fine," Martin told the Los Angeles Times. "I was running 100 percent, I was swinging pretty good. It felt like any other day."
Prior to the game, Martin put on his catching gear and got into position and pretended to block balls in the dirt, testing his knee.
"If I could do that," he said, "I knew I could play."
Manager Grady Little did not hesitate to put Martin in the lineup once his catcher told him he was good to go. v "This is a different individual," Little said. "This is Russell Martin we're talking about."
By that, was Little referring to his physical or mental resilience?
"Russell Martin is all those parts," Little said. "There aren't too many Russell Martins. I wish I had 24 more just like him.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.