- BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRABy Mark Simon, ESPN Research
If you look at the current list of Red Sox killers, which includes the likes of Magglio Ordonez, Ichiro Suzuki and Ken Griffey Jr., and you can add a new name -- Vernon Wells.
Wells had the third three-homer game by a player this season, joining Albert Pujols and Alfonso Soriano, in Toronto's win over Boston on Tuesday. The Blue Jays and Wells, according to Karl Ravech, have been sneaky good this season.
Toronto is just 1½ games out of first place in the AL East and has succeeded even without high-priced free-agent acquisition A.J. Burnett.
All's Wells For Vernon Tuesday's notes: • First career three-homer game.
• Fourth multi-HR game (tied for most in MLB with teammate Troy Glaus, who also hit two homers in the game).
• Josh Beckett allowed a career-high four home runs.
• According to Elias: Wells' eight home runs against the Red Sox are three shy of the all-time record for homers vs. Boston in a season, shared by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle.TUESDAY'S NEWS AND NOTES• Mariners RF Ichiro Suzuki played in his 293rd consecutive game, tying Edgar Martinez's franchise record.
• 1B Lance Niekro, who had been sidelined with a right shoulder injury, was activated from the DL and went 3-for-4 with two solo home runs in the Giants' 5-3 loss to the Marlins. 1B Travis Ishikawa was optioned to Double-A Connecticut to make room on the roster for Niekro.
• Orioles RHP Daniel Cabrera will make a rehab start Wednesday night for Double-A Bowie. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since May 15 with a muscle strain in his right shoulder.
• OF Lastings Milledge got his first major league hit, a double leading off the seventh inning, in the Mets' 7-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. Milledge replaces OF Xavier Nady, who was placed on the DL after undergoing appendectomy surgery.
• Indians manager Eric Wedge picked up his 266th career win, tying him with Alvin Dark for 10th on the club's career list.ELIAS SAYS• Andre Ethier has been in the majors for less than a month, but he hit his fourth home run in the Dodgers' 8-3 win at Atlanta. In April of last year, Jason Repko hit four home runs in the month of his big league debut, but before that, no Dodgers rookie had done so since Dick Gray belted four homers in April 1958, the Dodgers' first year on the West Coast.
More from EliasWHERE WILL BARRY LAND?By Buster Olney, ESPN The Magazine | Olney Archive
Barry Bonds sure sounds like a guy who is ready to keep playing, writes Mike Berardino, and this is Bud Selig's worst nightmare. Bonds says he's discovered a softer side to himself, and says he's never going back.
What will be utterly fascinating in the offseason is to see how Bonds is treated by the baseball owners, if he chooses to come back as a designated hitter to pursue Hank Aaron's record. Will he be treated as a controversial numbers accumulator who can put people in the seats of your ballpark? Or will he be treated as a pariah?
Undoubtedly, there is sentiment within Major League Baseball that the best possible situation would be for Bonds to be jobless in 2007. So which American League owner will give Bonds a shot?
More from Olney's blog
INSIDE PITCHJoe Mauer discusses the best technique for throwing out potential base stealers. NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES GOOD Jose Castillo went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and six RBI in the Pirates' 12-1 rout of the Brewers. Castillo hit home runs in consecutive at-bats -- a solo shot in the second inning and a three-run blast in the third. BAD After getting a good start from Jorge Sosa (three runs allowed in seven innings), relievers Mike Remlinger and Tyler Yates gave the game away by giving up a combined five runs in the final two innings as the Dodgers beat the Braves 8-3. UGLY Doug Waechter took the loss in the Devil Rays' 7-5 defeat by the Orioles. He fell to 0-4, and in Waechter's 10 outings this season (nine starts and one relief appearance), the Rays have a 1-9 record. PHOTO OF THE DAYAP Photo/Tim SharpRaul Ibanez, right, argues a third-strike call with home plate umpire Paul Nauert during the Mariners' 6-4 loss to the Rangers. Ibanez was ejected from the game. FORWARD THINKING: WEDNESDAY • Nationals at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. ET: Livan Hernandez (3-5, 5.35), who went from April 13 to May 21 without a W, goes for his third straight win. He faces the Phillies' Cory Lidle (4-4, 4.92).
• Yankees at Tigers, 7:05 p.m. ET: Mike Mussina (6-1, 2.72) has allowed just 59 hits in 72.2 innings, holding opponents to a .215 average; Nate Robertson (5-2, 3.02) has four wins and three no-decisions in his past seven starts.
• Diamondbacks at Mets, 7:10 p.m. ET: It's a battle of NL ERA leaders. Coming off back-to-back shutouts, Brandon Webb (8-0) has lowered his ERA from 2.78 to an NL-best 2.18. Pedro Martinez (5-1, 2.79) suffered his only loss of the season May 26 against the Marlins despite a strong outing (7 IP, 2 ER, 10 K).
• Twins at Angels, 10:05 p.m. ET: Rookie lefty Francisco Liriano, who makes his fourth start of the season, has won his past two starts. He tossed a season-high 83 pitches in his last outing. The Angels send Ervin Santana (4-2, 4.73) to the hill.
THE HOT TOPICS Jayson Stark and David Kull discuss the top news from around the majors.