Crawford, Bourn at home in Houston
Former Little League teammates battle during Interleague Play
Houstonians Carl Crawford and Michael Bourn had a little reunion when the Astros hosted the Rays last weekend.
Bourn, who grew up in Houston and played at Nimitz High and then the University of Houston, started in center field for the Astros. Meanwhile, the left fielder for the Rays was Crawford, who grew up in Houston and went to Davis High School. They've known each other for most of their lives.
"It's nice that we played on the same Little League team," Crawford told the Houston Chronicle. "His dad basically raised both of us, and, for us to get to the big leagues and have success, it's just a nice story."
Jeff Niemann, who attended Lamar High School and then pitched for Rice University, was the Rays' starting pitcher on Saturday night.
Maxwell hopeful with Nats: Just as his wife arrived in Syracuse to spend a month, Justin Maxwell was promoted to the Nationals. No complaints, though.
"I know that's part of the game right now, because I have options," Maxwell told the The Washington Post. "I know I can play at this level. It's just getting the opportunity and making the most of it."
Rosales shows versatility in left field: Utility player Adam Rosales thought he was getting a rare start at shortstop on Sunday for the A's, but an injury to Coco Crisp forced manager Bob Geren to reshuffle the lineup and pencil Rosales in at left field, a position he had never played before in the Majors. Only one fly ball came his way.
"It was right at me, so it was pretty routine," Rosales told theOakland Tribune. "Going into the gaps and going down the line was what I was most worried about, but it was awesome. I had a good time with it."
"Actually, I think I can," Rosales said about playing the ourfield. "Whatever I can do to help the team out, really. I feel confident about it."
Walters follows commands, lands with Cardinals: P.J. Walters missed Saturday's scheduled start for Triple-A Memphis after getting promoted to St. Louis midway through the Redbirds' game Friday night.
"Always glad to hear it," Walters told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. "It was unexpected in the middle of the game like that, but I'll take it. They said you have a flight at midnight and a day game tomorrow. That's about it.
"I had no idea what was going on. I was watching the game, it was about the fourth or fifth inning, and they told me I was leaving. You don't ask too many questions, you just get on the plane before they change their mind."
Qualls credits hard work for recent success: Chad Qualls has not allowed a run in four straight games, earning three saves and shaving almost a run off his ERA.
"Anytime you can go out there and throw the ball well and have a positive outcome, it's going to help your confidence," Qualls told the The Arizona Republic. "Sometimes you go out there and feel good, and you know you've thrown well, but the outcome isn't the way you want it, and that can be tough.
Another good start for Francis: So far, so good in Jeff Francis' return from a 20-month layoff to repair his left labrum.
In his first start of the season, Francis allowed only one run in seven innings against Washington and followed that with 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over Kansas City on Saturday night.
"I feel like I'm throwing the ball as well as I can," Francis told the Denver Post. "I'm spotting my fastball well and throwing my off-speed stuff for strikes and, for the most part, keeping hitters off-balance."
Blake Wood ready for high-pressure moments: Blake Wood has mostly pitched the eighth inning when he's entered games for the Royals.
"I think any reliever wants to be in there when the game's on the line, and I've been fortunate to throw well whenever they've thrown me in that situation," Wood told MLB.com. "It seems like they have confidence in me so far, so hopefully I keep performing and the team keeps winning."
Howry a boost to clubhouse: Bob Howry is providing the proverbial "veteran presence" in the Cubs' clubhouse.
"He's a professional," manager Lou Piniella told the Chicago Tribune. "I really enjoy having him in the clubhouse as a player and a person. He's A-1."
Duncan stays prepared: Shelley Duncan thinks the best way to get ready when you don't play very often is to assume you're going to get four at-bats.
"I know I'm not going to get a lot of at-bats; when I get them, I need to be ready," Duncan told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I prepare myself like an everyday player. That way, nothing can sneak up on you."
Berkman holds fond memories of Lima: News of Jose Lima's death left his former Astros teammates shocked. Lima was a fan favorite in Houston who was known as "Lima Time" for his love of the game and music. He died early Sunday in Pasadena, Calif., of a heart attack at the age of 37.
"He was one of the characters of the game," Astros first baseman Lance Berkman, Lima's teammate from 1999 through 2001, told the Houston Chronicle.
"He was a great guy, great teammate, a lot of fun to have around," Berkman said. "When I was a young player he was one of the veterans or one of the guys that had been here a few years, and he was good to me, made me feel comfortable, and I will always remember that."
Lima spent Friday with Dodgers: Jose Lima had been at Dodger Stadium on Friday and received a standing ovation from the crowd when he was introduced. On Sunday following his unexpected death from an apparent heart attack, the flags at Dodger Stadium were at half-mast and a video tribute to Lima played during the sixth inning.
"High energy, always in a good mood, loved to sing," is the way Brad Ausmus, a teammate of Lima's for four years, described him to the Los Angeles Times. "We had to listen to his demo tape all the time in the locker room. Now it's a fond memory. Back then, it was annoying."
Lima's younger brother, Joel, is a prospect in the Dodgers' Minor League system.
Redmond set mark with streak of errorless games: For the first time since July 22, 2004 -- a streak of 253 games -- Mike Redmond committed an error. His run of 253 games is a Major League record, and many of those games came during his five years backing up Joe Mauer in Minnesota.
"I don't know what's more amazing," Redmond told MLB.com. "That I went 253 games without an error, or that it took me six years to do it."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.