There’s one player responsible for keeping the Indians several games under .500. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera is batting .619 with five home runs against Cleveland. And the Indians have intentionally walked him five times. “I suppose we could shift more,’’ Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “We could put Bournie [outfielder Michael Bourn] behind the [center-field] shrubs.’’ Cleveland is 3-9 against Detroit.
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Victor Martinez has finally recovered from a knee injury, and it has been a huge boost for the Tigers offense. Since returning to the lineup on June 19, Martinez is 11-for-33 with a home run and seven RBI. Teams already are stuck when deciding whether to intentionally walk Cabrera. That takes pressure off Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez, too.
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After grabbing headlines with offseason acquisitions, the White Sox have been a huge disappointment as they have sunk to the bottom of the division standings. That has led to speculation about Robin Ventura’s future. But the belief is that the team has not quit on him. And White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf historically has been loyal almost to a fault.
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The Royals feel like they have made an in-season acquisition in getting lefthander Danny Duffy back from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for over a month. Duffy went 4⅔ innings Wednesday at Seattle in his return, giving up two runs on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts. The division leaders just got tougher to beat.
La Velle E. Neal III