Astros.com. "I don't think it's just this past week, but it's been an extended period for him. Leading up to the [All-Star] break, I thought he was swinging the bat well, and then he continued. He's been a big part of our resurgence."
Santana dazzling en route to weekly honor: Johan Santana was named the National League co-Player of the Week on Monday, sharing the award with Wigginton. Santana threw a complete game shutout last week and went 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA, allowing only three runs on 11 hits in 16 innings of work. He struck out 13 hitters while walking only two.
"I wanted to give the guys out there a break," he told Mets.com. "That's why I'm happy I pitched the complete game. That it was a shutout, too -- that's better."
Haren keeps Kennedy's memory alive: Dan Haren remembers his good friend Joe Kennedy every day he puts on his spikes. Kennedy, a teammate of Haren's in Oakland from 2005-2007, died last year when his heart suddenly stopped beating while visiting his in-laws in Florida. It would later be revealed that he had hypertensive heart disease, and a problem with a valve in his heart.
"I still think about him a lot," Haren told dbacks.com. "It's hard, because life goes on for us, it goes on for everybody, but I just don't want to forget. I just like to remind myself and take a second and think about him."
Kinsler lands on DL with sports hernia: The Rangers placed Ian Kinsler on the disabled list due to a sports hernia. Kinsler may be able to simply rehab the injury, in which case he could return before the end of the season. But if surgery is required, he will be out for the rest of the year.
"Hopefully, I don't have to get surgery, but I'll just go by what this doctor says," Kinsler told texasrangers.com. "Hopefully, he says it's not as bad as we thought."
Mussina could win 20 games for first time: Mike Mussina has won 19 games in a season twice, doing so in 1995 and 1996. Mussina could finally reach the 20-win mark this season after notching his 16th victory of the year against Kansas City on Sunday.
"It's been a long time since I've been to 16, and it's still August," he told Newsday. "Hopefully, I can get a few more before the season is over."
Mussina is now 16-7 and has won five of his last seven starts. He now has a 3.35 ERA as well.
Schilling contemplating career decision: On his Web site, 38pitches.com, Curt Schilling says his shoulder is improving but he isn't sure if he is ready to commit to returning to the field next season.
"As I stated yesterday, the pendulum is swinging very heavily in the direction of it just being over," Schilling wrote. "I've never sat around and not gotten ready to head to Florida -- well not in 23 or so years anyway -- so to me, that will likely be the last real test for me and whether or not I want to put the time and effort into getting after it one more time."
Samardzija not warming up to backpack duties: Veteran players often try to keep rookies humble by requiring them to handle menial chores. For Jeff Samardzija, that involves carrying a pink backpack out to the bullpen before every Cubs game.
"I grow to hate it more every day," Samardzija told the Chicago Tribune. "But it's all for fun and it does serve a great purpose. There's a lot of great snacks in there, and some Red Bull. It's all for good, but it's an ugly backpack."
Burnett a winner for first time since 2004: For the first time since July 25, 2004, Sean Burnett has picked up a Major League win. After getting out the one hitter he faced in the Pirates' 5-2 victory over the Mets on Monday, Burnett said that the long journey, with multiple surgeries, was worth it.
"It's been a few years and a couple of surgeries later, but it all paid off today," Burnett told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It was one of the easiest [wins], but given the last couple of years, it was one of the most special. It might be the most special because of how hard it's been to get back to this level."
Ludwick turns the corner: Ryan Ludwick's success is more about maturing as a hitter than swinging for the fences.
"When I was younger, all I really cared about was home runs," Ludwick told MLB.com. "My approach was look for the ball middle-in. I was more open with my stance. And all I tried to do was see how far I could yank a ball to left field. I used to hit a lot of balls just foul or right down the line for home runs. I used to hit a lot of foul-ball home runs."
Pena delivering with confidence: Tony Pena has posted a string of solid outings, including a pair of scoreless innings on the Diamondbacks' road trip.
"I thought [Saturday] was about as easy as I've seen him throw," pitching coach Bryan Price told dbacks.com. "About 95 to 98[-mph] with the power slider. If he just goes out there and makes pitches, the odds are always going to be in his favor."
Chris Davis makes shift to third: Chris Davis is moving across the diamond to make room for Hank Blalock. The Rangers want to make the move because they want to protect Blalock's right shoulder at first base.
"First base is my best position because I've played there so much this year," Davis told texasrangers.com. "But if I put the time in at third base, there's no reason why I can't be successful there, too."
-- Red Line Editorial