Nationals' 2-0 blanking of the Giants. Loretta did not play in
Loretta might have needed the break after manufacturing only three
hits in his past 10 games. A season after hitting .335, Loretta is
batting .272 in 96 games.
He hit his third home run of the season in Monday's 8-7 triumph
against the Rockies.
If the Padres advance to the playoffs, it will be their first
postseason appearance since 1998.
San Diego is also on the verge of setting a mark for futility. No
team has ever won its division with a sub-.500 record.
In fact, the mark for fewest wins by a division champion is 82,
set by the New York Mets in 1973.
Jason Botts (Glendale Community College, 2002), designated hitter,
Texas Rangers -- Four games into his major league career, Botts has
already had his share of highlights and forgettable moments.
Botts earned his second start in Texas' 7-6 win against the
Seattle Mariners on Saturday. He went three for four with a run
The Rangers scored twice in the second, including one run on
Botts' first major league hit.
Texas scored one run in the eighth to cut Seattle's lead to 6-5,
but its rally was cut short when Botts was thrown out while
attempting to advance to third base from first on a base hit by Rod
"I was a little bit aggressive on the basepaths in the wrong
situation," Botts told mlb.com.
"The guys picked me up in the ninth inning. I made my mistakes and
I can learn from them."
The Rangers rescued Botts in the ninth inning by rallying for two
runs to earn the win.
Botts is three for 12 on the season.
Gregg Zaun (St. Francis, 1989), catcher, Toronto Blue Jays -- A
career year in 2004 earned Zaun a one-year contract worth $950,000.
Playing with a sense of security, Zaun eclipsed several of his
single-season highs this year.
He's established new personal-best with games played (126), runs
scored (58), hits (108), runs batted in (59) and walks (65).
Zaun, a career .252 hitter, is batting .261 this season, his 11th
in the majors.
Toronto (75-77) is third in the American League's East Division
and out of the playoff picture.
But it might play the role of spoiler down the stretch, as it
begins a three-game series with the division-leading Yankees today.
The Blue Jays will then play a four-game series with the Boston
Red Sox before finishing the season with three games against the
Kansas City Royals.
* EDGAR MELIK-STEPANYAN covers sports. He can be reached at (818)
637-3252 or by e-mail at email@example.com.