Albert Pujols gets home run No. 400
Slugger is third-youngest player to reach milestone
Albert Pujols is the third-youngest player in Major League history to hit 400 career home runs. Only Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez reached that mark sooner than the Cardinals slugger.
"It's pretty special, obviously. It's a really special milestone that you reach," Pujols told MLB.com after getting the homer in a loss to the Nationals on Thursday night. "But I don't play for numbers. My goal as a little boy was to try to do whatever I can to be a professional baseball player, and the Cardinals gave me the opportunity. God allowed me to have the opportunity, which I thank Him for that."
Humber's first victory brings excitement: The No. 3 overall draft pick in 2004 and once a Mets' top prospect, Philip Humber got his first Major League victory as a reliever with the Royals on Wednesday night.
"When you are a Minor League free agent, it's not like you think you are always going to get chances," Humber told MLB.com. "You have to have opportunities to be able to get a win. I don't even know what to say right now. I'm just really thankful and excited.
"It's been a long time coming."
Oswalt shows his outfield prowess: Roy Oswalt finally got a chance to play the outfield and wanted to make the most of it, turning down Shane Vicotrino's offer to help him out during his late-inning, fill-in performance in Tuesday night's game.
"Oh, no doubt," Oswalt told MLB.com.. "Shane [Victorino] actually walked over there and said, 'If there's a high fly ball, do you want me to catch it and throw it?' I said, 'No.' That's what I've been wanting to do forever is throw somebody out at the plate."
Parnell lobbying for role as closer: Bobby Parnell would like the challenge of trying to close some games for the Mets.
"I absolutely think I could gain something from being thrown in there," Parnell told the New York Post. "That's what I want to do and what I see in my future. I need to learn to succeed and learn to fail. I'd like to get my feet wet.
"I'd like for them to have confidence in me to say that I'm the guy. I feel like my stuff is good enough that if they see me there in the future, this is a good time to do it. I want to close a few games and find out what it's all about."
Jaso gets a new look at first base: Not only did John Jaso hit his first leadoff home run on Wednesday, but he also made his debut at first base. Jaso, primarily used as a catcher and designated hitter, had played some first base at Triple-A Durham and thinks the additional versatility can help the club.
"I think so," Jaso told the Tampa Tribune. "Having that option that I can do that is a good thing. I want to be able to do that, too."
Glaus making smooth shift to third base: Troy Glaus is on a Minor League rehab assignment for an inflamed left knee. While there, Glaus is adjusting to playing third base after spending all of 2010 playing first base for the Braves.
"Even the first day standing over there, it felt good," Glaus told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Now it's just a matter of getting into game speed over there."
"In all fairness to him, it's not going to happen overnight," Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage said of the transition. "He'd be the first to tell you his range is not what it was years ago. But his hands seem to work at third base, his actions. The balls that were hit to him, he's got good actions on."
Cust proves worthy with the glove, too: The A's wanted to load their lineup with lefties on Thursday so Jack Cust played left field -- the first time he's been on the field since an Interleague series in St. Louis more than two months ago.
"I haven't played much out there," Cust told the Oakland Tribune before the game. "I can't say I'll be too comfortable. We'll see."
Cust handled each of his three chances, including a sliding catch to end the fifth inning with two runners on base to preserve a 1-1 tie.
Flores brings postseason experience to Twins: Randy Flores, picked up this week by the Twins for the stretch drive, says his experience as part of the Cardinals' 2006 world championship team should help.
"It's not overhyped, there is nothing better than the playoffs," Flores told MLB.com. "There is nothing better than winning it all. I consider myself very thankful to pitch in postseason chases and postseasons and hope to draw on that experience this next month."
Chris Young continues comeback: Chris Young continues his effort to return to the San Diego starting rotation after completing his second simulated game on Thursday. He threw a total of 55 pitches in three innings.
"The main thing is he's feeling healthy. His arm is still gaining strength. Overall, it's a step in the right direction," Padres manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Kendrick sees average climb: Howie Kendrick raised his average 16 points in just over a week with an eight-game hitting streak that included a five-hit game on Wednesday.
"A guy is hitting .270, and it's considered struggling -- that's quite a compliment," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times of Kendrick. "He has the potential to be a .300 hitter. He hasn't gotten there yet, but he's feeling more comfortable in the box, laying off some good pitcher's pitches, getting into better hitting counts and using the whole field."
Wandy Rodriguez continues successful ways: Wandy Rodriguez continued his streak of outstanding pitching Thursday, leading the Astros to a 5-1 win over Philadelphia. Rodriguez is 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA in his last 12 starts.
"For the last couple months, it's arguable that you'd find a better pitcher in the National League," manager Brad Mills told the Houston Chronicle.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.