Nobody around the Diamondbacks wants to put a jinx on Conor Jackson's torrid hitting. The 26-year-old first baseman has racked up seven multi-hit games in Arizona's first nine games since the All-Star break. During that span, he's 19-for-37 with four home runs, two doubles and a triple.
07/30/2008 12:25 PM ET
Mum's the word on Jackson's hot streak
Arizona first baseman has been on fire since All-Star break
"I don't want to talk about it," Melvin told the East Valley Tribune. "He's squaring it up a lot, a couple of times a game. He's not swinging at bad pitches."
Jackson, who had 13 hits in a 20 at-bat span, didn't want to delve into the topic, either.
"I really don't, to tell you the truth," Jackson said, smiling. "I'm feeling good. I'm seeing the ball good. I'm a little more patient."
Jackson has 12 home runs, three short of his career high, and his 65 RBIs has already surpassed last year's total.
No growing pains for Chris Davis: Chris Davis' booming bat has kept him in the Rangers lineup. The 22-year-old rookie first baseman hit 10 home runs in his first 33 days in the Major Leagues.
"I didn't know what was going to happen after the All-Star break," Davis told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I mean, I know what we talked about, but I was hoping I had enough success to open some eyes."
"It is a great problem to have, because he was the guy who was going to be there for the future anyway," manager Ron Washington said. "We didn't expect his future to be now. We expected him to have growing pains. He didn't have any."
Kotchman excited to start new chapter with Braves: The Braves traded first baseman Mark Teixeira to the Angels for first baseman Casey Kotchman and Minor League reliever Stephen Marek. Kotchman is hitting .287 with 24 doubles, 12 home runs and 54 RBIs and is considered a strong defensive player at first base.
"I'm excited to go to Atlanta and play for Bobby Cox. The Braves are an East Coast, Southern team," Kotchman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Bobby Cox has been there forever. Seeing how he handles players, pulls for them, I've got to believe it's a blessing for me to start a new chapter in Atlanta."
Peña to begin four months of shoulder rehab: Wily Mo Peña had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday to repair a partially torn rotator cuff. Peña said the injury has bothered him for three seasons.
"I [was] always trying to be strong," Peña, who is headed to Florida on Sunday to begin a rehabilitation expected to take four months, told the Washington Post. "Like if I got hurt, I just want to keep playing, keep playing, keep playing."
Lackey takes no-hitter into ninth: John Lackey took a no-hitter into the ninth inning on Tuesday night before giving up a one-out single. Lackey gave up a home run to the next batter and settled for a complete game in the Angels' 6-2 win over the Red Sox.
"I gave up the hit with a curve -- that's my best pitch," Lackey told the Los Angeles Times. "I can sleep on that."
Hunter high on new teammate Teixeira: The Angels' trade for Mark Teixeira was met with instant approval in the clubhouse because, among other things, it signals that the front office is competing to win the big prize.
"He's like, 'Forget it -- we want to win,''" Torii Hunter told the Los Angeles Times of general manager Tony Reagins. "He came after me over the winter, and now Teixeira. He's very aggressive. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's a great thing.
"A lot of people wanted that extra bat in the lineup. You got it. Believe me, you got it. There aren't many players who hit like this guy. All I can say is, 'Wow.'"
Isringhausen returns to role as closer: Jason Isringhausen, who had been pitching in middle relief, is back into the closer's role. Isringhausen has 292 career saves. Pitching coach Dave Duncan was among those who believe the move is definitely in the best interest of the team.
"We're a better club with him in that role," Duncan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Samardzija getting acclimated to relief role: Jeff Samardzija, a starter in the Minor Leagues, is doing his best to get acclimated to his role out of the bullpen.
"The biggest thing for me is just concentrating on getting the arm warm," Samardzija told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Instead of having 30 minutes to take your time and get on the mound and get stretched out, you have about three minutes."
Fasano helping to guide Sowers: The Indians say Sal Fasano's veteran presence has something to do with Jeremy Sowers' recent signs of success. The 25-year-old left-hander retired 15 straight batters to start Sunday's game against Minnesota. He allowed just three hits in eight innings to get his ERA back under 6.00.
"I see somebody with a lot of talent," Fasano told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Jeremy has an underrated fastball, and he can locate that fastball pretty well. What's making him successful now is his ability to repeat pitches and to throw breaking balls behind in the count.
"He's here for a reason. I'm just trying to take it to where, how can we teach him to be a Major Leaguer and stay here for the next 10 years?"
Karstens ready for new start in new league: Jeff Karstens, dealt by the Yankees to the Pirates last week, says he's looking forward to starting fresh in a new town and a new league.
"I'm excited about this opportunity," Karstens told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It's a clean slate. I've got to make the most of it."
Mather makes the most of his opportunities: Joe Mather has been up and down between St. Louis and Triple-A Memphis this season, but he says that going back and forth hasn't inhibited him at all.
"It's not like I'm coming up and down in A-ball," Mather told MLB.com. "Every time I come up and go down, I'm more comfortable in both spots, which can only help me in my career. The playing time in Triple A and here has been completely different, but I think it's been positive because I can learn to hit in different situations. In the end, I think it's going to make me a better player."
Richmond puts Olympics on hold after callup: Scott Richmond is putting his Canadian Olympic plans aside now that he's reached the Major Leagues with the Blue Jays. A native of North Vancouver, B.C., Richmond was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, where he had a 1.77 ERA in his last three starts.
"I've been told, `You're not going to make it.' I've been told a lot of things, `You're too old. You got a late start' -- all these things, and I've overcome all of that," Richmond told The Star. "I feel I deserve to be here. I've worked hard. It's just a little different path."
Cruz plans to return on Thursday: Juan Cruz appears to be on track to return to the Diamondbacks' roster on Thursday after pitching for Triple-A Tucson on Saturday while on a rehab assignment. Cruz is expected to pitch again on Tuesday and, if everything goes well, be activated in time for Thursday's game in Los Angeles.
"The depth makes us a little bit stronger in games where we could be slightly behind," Melvin told the Arizona Republic.
Tatis oozing confidence: During the Mets' three-game series against St. Louis over the weekend, Fernando Tatis went 7-for-12 with five extra base hits and a game-tying home run in Saturday's game.
"It's amazing the way I feel at the plate right now. I thank God for the confidence," he told Newsday.
Tatis, who was out of baseball in 2004 and 2005, is now hitting .318 with a .486 slugging percentage.
Nady's first hit as a Yankee a long one: Xavier Nady's first hit with the Yankees was a home run to left-center field on Monday that traveled more than 400 feet.
"Just to get a hit [is big]," he told the New York Daily News. "I had decent swings. I got a pitch to hit. You relax and go out there and have fun."
Colon looks to return from DL: Bartolo Colon had a side session Monday and is on track to return to the mound for the Red Sox in about a week, the Boston Herald reported. Colon has been on the disabled list since June 17 due to a lower back strain.
"I think we've been trying to go at a pace where we don't have setbacks," manager Terry Francona said. "Unfortunately a couple times this year we start him up and there's been some. There's been some arms issues in the past that you don't want to flare up because he's favoring his side. Just try to do it right."
Andy Gonzalez brings versatility with glove: The Indians' Andy Gonzalez has embraced his defensive versatility.
"I like second or third. It doesn't really matter," Gonzalez told the Akron Beacon Journal. "A couple of years ago at [Triple-A] Charlotte, I asked the manager if could play every position [except pitcher and catcher] in the same game, but he said, no, that he couldn't let me do that."
-- Red Line Editorial