The St. Louis Cardinals have six regulars batting less than .250, among them former Oakland catcher Mike Heath, who is 0 for 27 against right-handers.
Toronto’s Dave Stieb, amid rumors that he has blown out his elbow by throwing too many sliders, is 5-11 since last season’s All-Star break. The Blue Jays’ touted rotation is 3-7 with an earned-run average of more than 5.00 this year.
Texas, which was last in the American League in runs scored last year, and the Angels, who were last in batting average, lead the majors in runs per game. The Rangers were averaging 6.07 through Thursday; the Angels, 5.5.
Toronto relief pitcher Tom Henke, who formerly pitched for Texas and was called gutless by then-manager Doug Rader, has come back to haunt the Rangers, registering four saves and a win in five appearances against them. He has struck out 11 and allowed one hit in 5 innings.
The San Diego Padres, through 15 games, had scored just two first-inning runs, primarily because their leadoff hitters were hitting a combined .211 with two stolen bases. Bip Roberts, the rookie second baseman, was 0 for 16.
Willie Hernandez has converted four of five save opportunities this year and is 68 for 79 in two-plus seasons with the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers will definitely miss Kirk Gibson’s speed. He was 5 for 5 on steals. The rest of the Tigers were 1 for 8.