Rolen celebrates 300th career homer
Veteran reached milestone a day after parents' anniversary
Scott Rolen hit the 300th home run of his career one night later than he had originally hoped.
"I don't know what to say about it," the veteran third baseman told MLB.com. "I'm excited about it. My family is here, and they're excited about it. I guess I look at it, and I wanted to hit it [Sunday] because it was my parents' 45th wedding anniversary. My whole family was here, we were going to eat dinner, and I thought, 'Wow, that'd be great.' I guess when you force something, it doesn't work out all the time."
But he connected the following night, which was good enough.
"When I reflect on it now, I realize -- or I want to realize -- it was great. We didn't talk about it at all at dinner. Mom and Dad had their 45th wedding anniversary -- that was the most important thing. That achievement is bigger than this one. So let's leave that one to itself and pick another night."
Lerew's nickname has cowboy, family roots: Anthony Lerew's nickname "Lash" -- given to him back in 2004 by Braves Class A pitching coach Bill Fischer -- was based on 1940s cowboy movie star Lash LaRue. But it turns out the pitching coach wasn't the first to link the two names.
Lerew told MLB.com, "I didn't know my grandpa was nicknamed 'Lash' Lerew until I got it tattooed on myself, showed my mom and she was like, 'Oh, your grandpa was nicknamed that!' So I guess it was a good choice to get it tattooed like that."
Span's three triples brings out the cheers: To the delight of the Target Field crowd, Denard Span batted with a chance to become the first player to hit four triples in a game but he settled for a walk in his final turn.
"That's the first time I've ever come to the plate like that and witnessed anything like that, the fans getting up for me," Span told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I almost didn't know what to do. I didn't know do I hurry up and get in the box or what am I supposed to do here? Am I supposed to go deep? It was definitely an unbelievable feeling."
With his three triples, Span became the first Major Leaguer to accomplish the feat since 2002.
Wieters finds success with new approach at the plate: Matt Wieters is trying to make a slight adjustment at the plate.
"I think before I was being a little bit too aggressive before I actually saw the pitch. Now it's just seeing it and trying to hit it wherever the pitch is," the Baltimore catcher told MLB.com. "Instead of making up your mind before you go to the plate what you're going to try to do with it, just seeing it deep and trying to react to it."
Bus ride brings good news to Dobbs: In the middle of a long Triple-A bus ride between Durham, N.C., and Allentown, Pa., Greg Dobbs got word that he was heading back to the Phillies, which made the trip a bit easier.
"I wasn't sitting there thinking about what was going to happen, this or that," Dobbs told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "You're thinking about your game, how you're going to improve."
Pierzynski lauds team's starting pitchers: If the Chicago White Sox are going to rise to the top of the AL Central this season, it will be -- according to A.J. Pierzynski -- because of the outstanding work of their starting pitching staff that includes John Danks, Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy and Freddy Garcia.
"No matter who is pitching, we got a great chance," Pierzynski told the Chicago Tribune. "And they're starting to live up to it. Everyone knows that's what our team was built on, and that's what everyone kept saying. If these guys pitch well, we'll be fine, and that's what these guys have been doing."
Blalock made strong impression: Hank Blalock made a favorable impression during his stint with the Rays. Now back home in San Diego, Blalock, a two-time All-Star, will seek to sign with another team.
"This guy is a real pro, I thought he did a great job for us in the clubhouse," Rays manager Joe Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "His work ethic is spectacular. I wish I had a longer time to work with this fellow because he's an interesting young man. ... He made a really good impression on all of us."
Fielder on a power surge: Prince Fielder entered June with seven home runs. He blasted 10 more during the month -- including two on Tuesday night -- to move within one of the NL lead.
"The main thing is to just swing my swing," Fielder told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I've never been a guy to hit singles to left field. When I take my swing at it, good things usually happen."
Hamilton also hitting stride with defense in left: Josh Hamilton's 21-game hitting streak has brought plenty of attention, but his defensive work has also been exceptional. Hamilton is hitting .346 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs. His 181 total bases are first in the AL.
But he also has six outfield assists from left field, where his speed and strong arm have helped him make the transition from center field.
"I believe the transition is over with," Hamilton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Now it's just about going out and taking fly balls during batting practice, throwing to bases and keeping everything sharp."
Hamilton and outfield coach Gary Pettis explore left field prior to each game in a new ballpark.
Sanchez not typical as No. 2 hitter: Many managers are happy when their second-place hitter gives himself up to move a runner over to second base by bunting. But new Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez does not think Gaby Sanchez is a typical No. 2 hitter, and he prefers Sanchez to swing away in those spots.
"I don't like that play," Rodriguez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "He's not a normal second hitter. I said, 'Listen, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but to be honest, I don't like to take the bat away from you. You can hit a double.' I don't like that play. I want him to be a little more aggressive."
Manny faces hamstring injury after getting hot: A strained right hamstring on Tuesday night came at a most inopportune time for Manny Ramirez, who got himself on track recently as a designated hitter during Interleague Play. In six games as the designated hitter in American League parks, Ramirez batted .360 (9-for-25).
"I think that the DH helped him out a lot," Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly told the Los Angeles Times. "Just being able to concentrate on his hitting. You could see his bat coming back, his confidence coming back."
Ishikawa on a tear as pinch hitter: Travis Ishikawa had a pinch-hit double on Monday night, which raised his average as a pinch hitter to .529 on the season.
"I still think of myself as an everyday player," Ishikawa told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I definitely believe I can have a long career in the big leagues. As frustrating as this season has been, playing-time-wise, I'm confident it's just a bump in the road."
Fowler returns to center field: Dexter Fowler returned to the Rockies' starting lineup on Tuesday, hitting leadoff and playing center field. Fowler hit .340 in 27 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
"Getting at-bats every day helped my timing, especially left-handed with the toe tap," Fowler told the The Denver Post. "It was a positive experience, a chance to get better."
Gutierrez finding his groove: Juan Gutierrez has begun to find his way back into crucial situations for the Diamondbacks.
"His stuff looks good and his confidence is high," manager A.J. Hinch told the The Arizona Republic.
Home crowd a delight for Pagan: Angel Pagan, a native of Puerto Rico, was back in action for the Mets on Tuesday during their game against the Marlins in San Juan.
Pagan, who had missed five games with spasms in his right side, played center field and batted in the No. 2 spot in front of "hundreds" of family members and friends.
"To see everybody coming back to this stadium to watch baseball, that is pretty unbelievable," Pagan told the New York Post.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.