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Around major league baseball

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

Central Division

White Sox: After gnawing on soft candy in Cubs and D'backs, Sox head to Oakland, where they're 15-39 (.278) since 2001.

Indians: Is Cleveland big enough for Johnny Football and Tony Plush, the alter ego of Nyjer Morgan?

Royals: Eric Hosmer gets off schneid with first home run. The 6-4, 225-pound first baseman hit 17 in 2013.

Tigers: Best eye in the game? Victor Martinez had his first strikeout looking in 597 plate appearances over 154 games, including 2013 postseason.

Twins: Joe Mauer's back issues sideline him again. Sans Mauer, Twins early-season rise to mediocrity is thwarted.

East Division

Blue Jays: Sneaking up in parity-filled division. Jays had league-leading 49 home runs entering weekend.

Orioles: .563 winning percentage marks, the first time since 1990 the AL East leader had lowest total percentage of first-place teams on May 8.

Rays: Played five games in 75 hours at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, or one every 15 hours.

Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia gets Mariano Rivera's endorsement over Robinson Cano. Could Rivera sway All-Star voting?

Yankees: Derek Jeter's parting gifts so far -- pinstriped boots (Astros), pinstriped paddle board (Angels). Cubs planning to give pinstriped goat.

West Division

Angels: Hector Santiago (0-6, 5.19 ERA) disses Mike Scioscia by walking off mound before handing off ball during pitching change.

Astros: Vying for attention this weekend with Tracy McGrady's debut with Sugar Land Skeeters. Put your money on T-Mac.

Athletics: His family tells San Francisco Chronicle that Sonny Gray once bought a Guinness beer cap because he thought it said "Genius."

Mariners: Addition of Cano hasn't helped offense -- 27th Friday with .230 average, just below Cubs.

Rangers: Put down that pop tart, Prince. Fielder had a -0.2 WAR after 151 at-bats, according to fangraphs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Central Division

Cubs: Anthony Rizzo's OPS rises from .742 in 2013 to .926 entering weekend; seventh among MLB first basemen behind Jose Abreu (.931).

Brewers: Aramis Ramirez in 3-for-48 slump entering weekend. With Ryan Braun on the DL, Brew Crew offense looks wobbly.

Cardinals: Outfielder Joey Butler called up from Triple-A to beef up bench, ending the brief Randal Grichuk experiment.

Pirates: Sunday's game vs. Cardinals at PNC Park is their first home game on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" since July 28, 1996.

Reds: In first year of 10-year, $225 million deal, Joey Votto was tied for 133rd place Friday with 10 RBIs.

East Division

Braves: Upton brothers were on pace for 425 combined strikeouts. Justin had major league leading 46 strikeouts Friday, while B.J. had 38.

Marlins: Mike Redmond turning out to be one of best young managers, guiding a rebuilding Marlins team to respectability.

Mets: As Subway Series nears, former-Mr. Met's tell-all memoir gets overshadowed by Mariano Rivera's tell-all memoir.

Nationals: Matt Williams rear-ended by guy in police chase while doing a live interview with radio guys called the "Junkies." Believe it or not.

Phillies: Steepest per-game home attendance decline in majors for franchise that saw a 257-game sellout streak end less than two years ago.

West Division

Diamondbacks: Josh Collmenter tells Arizona Republic it would be "fun" to run for president someday: "But we'll see how that plays out." Uh, OK, Josh.

Dodgers: Don Mattingly believes Yasiel Puig's on verge of Troutness: "He is that (Mike) Trout guy. He's showing us that he's moving in that direction."

Giants: Victims of first major league game that ends on a walk-off replay reversal. Losing pitcher Tim Hudson: "I've never been a fan of it from the beginning."

Padres: Dubious honor of being the last team to reach the 100-run mark, with 92 runs heading into Friday night.

Rockies: Sharknado alert -- Nolan Arenado's 28-game hitting streak ended Friday, halfway to Joe DiMaggio's unbreakable 56.

(c)2014 Chicago Tribune

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BASEBALL


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