Some Struggle: Oakland Athletics pitcher Dave Stewart won his first eight starts this season. His earned-run average in those games was 2.42. Stewart was 3-5 in his last eight starts through Friday, but his ERA in those outings was only 2.69. In his first 10 losses, the Athletics scored just 16 runs, scoring two or fewer seven times. After Stewart lost to the Angels Monday night, Athletic Manager Tony La Russa said, “The next guy who asks me why Dave Stewart is struggling is going to get a royal chewing out.”

No. 1 and Counting: Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Mike LaValliere recorded his first major league steal Tuesday night. The last time he stole a base was six years ago in double-A ball, and that came on the back end of a double steal. “This takes the pressure off,” LaValliere said. “Now I can run at will.”

Rollin’ Rookie: Melido Perez, who boosted his record to 10-5 with his fourth victory in a row Wednesday night, became the first White Sox rookie to win 10 games since Britt Burns and Richard Dotson did it in 1980.

Beating the Birds: This is, of course, the Orioles’ season of discontent, but Baltimore is particularly hapless when it meets the Cleveland Indians. The Orioles finally beat the Indians Thursday, snapping an 11-game losing streak against Cleveland. The Indians have outscored the Orioles, 57-19, this season.


Ed Whitson: The San Diego Padres right-hander is 6-1 in his last 11 starts. “I’m on the roll of my life,” he said. “I’ve never pitched better.” Whitson is 9-6. In his last six starts he’s 2-1, but the Padres have scored just 17 runs.

What a Tandem: St. Louis Cardinals reliever Todd Worrell had saves in 7 ofDanny Cox’s 11 victories in 1987 and has saved all three of Cox’s wins this season.

Starters / Finishers: Cincinnati Reds pitchers have 14 complete games this season compared to just 7 last year.