In 27 games from Aug. 5-Sept. 7, the Indians averaged just 3.3 runs, the fourth-lowest average in the big leagues in that span. And yet, this severe offensive funk had directly coincided with the Tribe posting the fourth-best winning percentage in the majors (.654) in that one-month sample. Despite strong pitching over the stretch, Danny Salazar’s struggles against the Angels in Monday’s 12-3 loss only hammered home the notion that the Tribe needs to get its bats going if it’s going to stay alive in the playoff race.

“That’s the hardest thing, is we haven’t been scoring,” leadoff man Michael Bourn said. “If we do, it’s one or two runs. Luckily, our pitching has been lights out, better than just good. Offensively, if we can pick it up these next few series, we’re in a good position.”


While most of the Royals stayed together in a Manhattan hotel during last weekend’s series against the Yankees, catcher Francisco Pena had the luxury of sleeping at home. Pena got to reconnect with his father, Tony Pena, the Yankees’ bench coach, for the past couple of days, both at Yankee Stadium and while at his family’s New Jersey home. Once a kid running around the Royals’ clubhouse when his father was the Royals’ manager, “Frankie,” as he is affectionately known, was excited to make his first road trip to New York after his callup , if only to see his father for the first time since January.

“We don’t see this every day, having all our family together,” the younger Pena said. “I’m just taking advantage of that, making some dinner, playing cards at home. … Your dad on the other side is pretty unique.”


Anibal Sanchez took what the Tigers described as “baby steps” before last Sunday’s game, doing some light tossing for the first time in a couple of weeks. The right-handed starter has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with a pectoral strain, but the club hasn’t ruled out a return this season.


Kennys Vargas has successfully made the jump from Double-A since his call-up July 31, hitting .303 with seven homers, eight doubles and 33 RBIs in 36 games. Vargas joined some impressive company with his hot start, as the only Major Leaguers to reach 40 hits and 30 RBIs quicker than he did are Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols, who did it in 32 games.

White Sox

Paul Konerko put to rest any doubt he will play again during the final month of his 16-year career with the White Sox.

“I’ll finish on the field, one way or another,” Konerko said about the fracture of a sesamoid bone in his left hand. “I don’t care if I go up there and take three pitches and strike out. I’ll finish on the field.”

Konerko believes the fracture took place making a tag at first base last week.

Compiled by Rachel Lister from wire reports.