Central intelligence

 

Kendrys Morales is finishing up quite a bounceback season after batting .216 in stints with the Twins and Mariners last season. Last Sunday, Morales hit three home runs against the Tigers, the first time in 24 years a Royals player had hit three in a game. It was the first three-homer game of his career. He had 21 homers and 105 RBI going into the weekend; four more RBI will set a career best.

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In a shocking move, the Tigers sent struggling closer Bruce Rondon home because of his “effort level,” according to manager Brad Ausmus. Rondon, who can throw a fastball 100 miles per hour, was struggling to hone his craft. During a series at Target Field this month, Rondon threw 28 consecutive fastballs over two games, causing the Tigers to ask him if his arm was sore.

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White Sox lefthander Chris Sale struck out Chris Young on Thursday for his 1,000th career strikeout. The big number to focus on for Sale is 267 — the number of strikeouts he has this season. That’s only two away from tying Ed Walsh for the White Sox single-season record. A pretty big deal, considering that Walsh set the record in 1908.

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It’s time to add Indians first baseman Carlos Santana to the list of Twins tormentors. His three-run home run off Kyle Gibson on Thursday was his 18th homer against the Twins, his most against any team. He has hit 11 home runs at Target Field, tying Jose Bautista for the most by an opponent at the park.