AL Central notes


Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving took batting practice with the Indians. When Irving finally got in the cage, he quickly made contact and even hit a few line drives. “We were very open with Kyrie that he was welcome to do this,” Indians manager Terry Francona told the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal . “I think the players really enjoy it. The distraction of another athlete being here is good, it’s all positive. I hope I get a chance to meet him.” After throwing out the first pitch with LF Michael Brantley catching, Irving settled into a suite with some buddies overlooking the Indians dugout down the third base line.


It has been over a decade since the Royals were in first place this late in the season, and try as he might, manager Ned Yost couldn’t totally downplay the achievement Tuesday night. He just wants it kept in perspective. “It’s nice. We’ve got a lot of games to play. We don’t get all geeked up,” Yost said. “It’s better than the alternative, trust me.” Kansas City is in first place this late in the season for the first time since 2003, according to STATS. The Royals were leading the division in late August that year, only to finish third at 83-79. They have not made the postseason since winning the World Series in 1985.


Reliever Evan Reed was designated for assignment. Reed went 0-1 with a 4.88 ERA for the Tigers. In his last 11 appearances, the right-hander posted a 7.71 ERA. Manager Brad Ausmus said the move had nothing to do with Reed’s legal situation. He faces a sexual assault complaint, though prosecutors have not yet said whether he will be charged. … The Tigers paid tribute to Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn by putting “TG 5.5” in light-colored dirt in the hole he often hit through between third basemen and shortstops. “He was just a good, regular guy,” said Ausmus, who was a teammate of Gwynn’s in San Diego. “He’d talk to anybody like they were his next door neighbor.”


Only 18 men in baseball history own more hits than Tony Gwynn. One of them is in the Twins clubhouse, mourning his old friend. “It’s a tough day,” said Twins coach Paul Molitor, who was enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2004, three seasons years of Gwynn. “He was a very humble guy. Obviously very talented, but in times like this, you think more about the man than (his) ability. He was a gracious guy who gave back to his community throughout his career, and seemed to keep great balance in his life.”

White Sox

Andre Rienzo (4-4) remained winless since May 20, but could keep his spot in the rotation because of a lack of viable options at the minor and major league levels. “Right now, we’ll keep going with him,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We’ll re-access (the situation). He has just got to pitch better. That would help, too.”

Compiled by Rick Crotts from wire reports.