Bautista's blast makes him No. 1
League leader in homers breaks Jays' single-season record
Jose Bautista set a Blue Jays record when he hit his Major League-leading 48th home run of the season on Saturday.
After working extensively with manager Cito Gaston, Bautista got on a roll with his power stroke at the end of 2009, hitting 10 homers last September, then continued his power stroke in winter ball and picked up where he left off when this season began.
"I had a couple bad months, but when I've been doing good, I've been able to ride the wave for a long time," Bautista told the Toronto Star. "The confidence that Cito has given me and the change in the approach has allowed me to have that consistency."
George Bell held the previous Blue Jays record of 47 homers, set in 1987.
Daniel Hudson making progress with slider: Daniel Hudson has been tough on opposing hitters during his first nine starts with Arizona and believes he can be even tougher as his slider improves.
"It definitely is [showing improvement]," he told the The Arizona Republic. "Especially in my last couple of starts -- the shape, the tilt, everything is there."
Venable putting together another impressive streak: Hot-hitting Will Venable had four straight multi-hit games in the Padres' series against the Cardinals, going 10-for-15 with a double, triple, stolen base and two walks for a .706 on-base percentage. Since Sept. 8, Venable is 16-for-33.
"Will is playing great," manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It looks as though he is seeing the ball much better. He's letting the game come to him. He's taking balls and swinging at strikes. He's playing with a great deal of energy."
Venable said a couple of bloop hits against the Giants on Sept. 12 and adjustments he made to help get around on the fastball helped get him going at the plate.
"I told myself I was not going to miss the fastball like I had been," Venable said. "I'm not doing a great job, but it's getting better. Missing the fastball had been a problem. Things are going my way right now."
Short stroll sends Dotel to Rockies: Reliever Octavio Dotel only needed to walk the 100 or so feet between clubhouses when he was traded from the Dodgers to the Rockies.
"It was crazy," Dotel told the The Denver Post. "I thought I had this game kind of figured out when it came to stuff like this. I have no clue."
Pettitte's return brings optimism: Andy Pettitte threw six solid innings against Baltimore on Sunday, his first Major League start in two months. Pettitte threw 79 pitches in six innings and felt good after the game.
"I will be ready to go," Pettitte told the New York Post of being ready for the playoffs. "I have to get my pitch count up so I won't be limited in that area."
Alex Gonzalez making presence felt: Alex Gonzalez has done nothing but impress his new teammates since his arrival in Atlanta.
"Defensively he comes in with a great reputation, and I've seen him vaguely with Cincinnati," teammate Derek Lowe told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But guys who've played with him in Boston and in other cities said he's tremendous defensively, and he is. He's done nothing but live up to the hype."
Bourjos sees bright future at plate: Speedy outfielder Peter Bourjos is playing for his future with the Angels.
"You've just got to try to hit a line drive and stay simple," Bourjos told the Los Angeles Times. "If I can execute my approach, I think it's going to work out and I'm going to end up getting a lot of hits."
"You're seeing the quality of at-bats that Peter's giving improve as he's getting some experience here," manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's progress you can kind of gauge and project. He's certainly making the most of his playing time and his experience, and it's making him a better player."
Bowker taking advantage of chances: John Bowker likes what he's seeing with the Pirates: His name on the lineup card.
"I'm looking at this as a great opportunity to come in and just show what I can do," Bowker told MLB.com. "It's nice coming to the field and having a good feeling you're going to be in the lineup. I'm just trying to not do too much and just relax. Since I've been over here, I'm just really happy to just get the opportunity to play."
Laffey celebrates title before promotion: Before being recalled by the Indians, Aaron Laffey got to be a part of a championship team when Triple-A Columbus won the International League title on Friday night with a 13-2 win in Durham, N.C.
"A lot of guys down there are in their first year in Triple-A, so it was awesome for them to get that experience," Laffey told MLB.com. "Now they get to go out to Oklahoma City and play in that one-game playoff. I think that's a pretty cool idea for them to have the winner from each league face each other and come up with an actual champion for all of Triple-A baseball."
Jai Miller likes what he sees in his future: It's been a long road to the Major Leagues for Jai Miller, but since his promotion to the Royals on Aug. 18, he's made the most of his opportunity.
"Being here now and just seeing Major League baseball up close and personal and playing, it's definitely worth all the trials and tribulations I put in, all the work I put in," Miller told the Kansas City Star. "It lets me know this is where I want to be."
Wainwright has sights set on 20 wins: With their chances of winning the NL Central all but gone, the Cardinals still hope to secure Adam Wainwright's 20th victory.
"That means a lot to hear that from them," Wainwright told Foxsportsmidwest.com. "Obviously, it's a good milestone to hit as a pitcher, but right now, we're still battling for this division and the playoffs. Until the last day when we're eliminated, we're going to be battling, but as far as personal goals, 20 would be cool, but I have two starts to win them. Twenty-one would be better."
Dunn expects to return to Nationals: Adam Dunn will be a free agent following the season but said that he expects to be with the Nationals next season.
"I do," Dunn told the The Washington Post. "More than I did a month ago. Talks have picked back up. We'll see what happens. We're obviously talking. We're going to work something out, I think."
"Going to free agency doesn't mean I'm leaving here," Dunn said. "I'm sure whenever the season is over, I'll have, whatever it is, a month. If things haven't worked out here, yeah, it's going to go to free agency. But that doesn't mean I'm not coming here."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.