Getting hit in the face by a pitch wasn't about to deter Randy Ruiz, a 31-year-old journeyman slugger who has hit six home runs since being recalled by the Blue Jays in mid-August.
"When I spit the blood I was like, `Uh-oh. I probably broke my nose,'" Ruiz told the Toronto Star. "When I looked in the mirror I was like, `Ah, my face is just swollen. I'm fine now.' It's nothing that, growing up in New York City, I haven't experienced."
It was an eventful Sunday afternoon for the Bronx-born Ruiz, who also found out he had been named the Pacific Coast League's Most Valuable Player after hitting .320 with 25 homers and 106 RBIs for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Chris Young catches fire at the plate: Chris Young, who struggled earlier this season, has been red-hot lately, going 7-for-15 with four home runs in his last four games. Three of those homers came on Sunday against Colorado.
"He's by far our best center fielder and he's part of what we're trying to build toward next season," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch told the Arizona Republic, "But of course, I considered how much the next 25 days or so are going to look like. Seeing him come through the last couple days, it's an encouraging thing, and he should be out there playing for most of those games."
Beltran a welcome presence after DL stint: Despite the season basically being over for the New York Mets, Carlos Beltran is back with team after a long stint on the disabled list.
"It'll be a lift, and something positive is always welcome around here," David Wright told the New York Daily News about seeing Beltran back on the field. "You have to feel good that he's doing well enough and feeling healthy enough. Now he has a chance to feel good about himself at the end of this year and heading into Spring Training."
Beltran has been out since June 21 with a bone bruise below his right knee. He was hitting .336 with eight home runs, 40 RBIs and 11 steals in 62 games at the time.
Rivera back to form with 35th consecutive save: Nearly one week since his last appearance on the mound due to a strained groin, Mariano Rivera threw one scoreless inning of relief on Monday to earn the save in the Yankees' 4-1 win over Tampa Bay in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Rivera walked Pat Burrell to lead off the inning but then retired the next three hitters he faced to earn his 39th save. He has now converted 35 straight save opportunities.
"Felt good, felt good," Rivera told Newsday. "First batter, I was kind of a little tentative. After that, I do my job."
Michael Young recovering from pulled hamstring: Michael Young is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a pulled left hamstring and now hopes to return for a three-game series against the Angels from Sept. 18-20. The Texas third baseman suffered the injury a week ago while trying to beat out a grounder.
"Yeah, I'm hopeful, but I don't know what the timetable is because I've never been through this before," Young told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Pena's fingers snapped 'like a pencil': After Carlos Pena saw the X-ray of his left hand, the Tampa Bay first baseman knew his 2009 season was over. Pena was hit in the left hand by a fastball on Monday. The middle finger suffered the most damage but Pena's index finger is also fractured.
"I knew that it was broken, and then when I saw the picture it was just horrible," Pena told the Tampa Tribune. "It looked like a pencil snapped in half."
Pena ends the season with 39 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Andrew Miller back after ankle injury: Andrew Miller might have made it back to the Marlins even earlier had he not suffered an ankle injury that forced him out of action for a month shortly after being sent to the Minors.
"It's frustrating to go down and have that happen right away," Miller told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "The whole point of going down was to work on things and get better and do what I could to make an adjustment to get back. To go out there and have that second game go like that, turn my ankle in the middle of the first inning, was frustrating and disappointing. It basically shut me down for a month."
Zimmerman could join Gold Glove brigade: Since 1995, only five different National League third basemen have won a Gold Glove. The Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman hopes to make it six this season.
"I played with [three-time winner] Ken Caminiti, and he got to everything," relief pitcher Ron Villone told the Washington Post. "But [Caminiti] still doesn't have the range of Ryan. He had a great arm, but at the prime of his career, he didn't get to as many balls. I watched Alex Rodriguez, who works as hard as any player does -- I don't think Alex gets to the balls that Ryan does. Just watching him day in and day out, with as much as he works at the position, I don't want to put anybody else above him right now."
Sweeney mulls playing for another year: Mike Sweeney planned to make 2009 his final season. But a recent hot streak and his relative good health this season now have the Mariners designated hitter talking about coming back to play in 2010. A pep talk from his wife did not hurt, either.
"She sat me down about a week ago and said 'I just wanted you to know that if you want to play another year, I'm behind you 100 percent,'" Sweeney told the Seattle Times.
"It just meant the world to me that she said that," Sweeney said. "Because I believe that, as the head of the household, your family has to come first. That's why I was prepared to retire and not have to move my family around. We'll see what happens this winter. I probably won't know if I'll get the opportunity to play for another five months or so. But if I do and it can be in a place where we could all make it work, then I'd love to play another season."
Hart to see familiar faces: Kevin Hart, who was traded from the Chicago Cubs to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, is scheduled to pitch against his former teammates on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
"It'll be fun" Hart told the Chicago Tribune. "I know what they're going to try and do. They know what I'm going to try and do. I think everyone is going to enjoy it."
Phillips glad to have Rolen on board: Brandon Phillips has been inspired by the play of veteran Scott Rolen, who came to the Reds earlier this year from the Blue Jays.
"Just watching him play every day," Phillips told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He doesn't talk that much. But the way he approaches the game, I learn a lot from just watching him. I don't talk to him that much. We say, 'Congratulations, nice hit,' that stuff. But his approach to the game says a lot."
Oswalt not expected to miss start: Roy Oswalt is still scheduled to make his next start, but he went to see a doctor on Monday after leaving Saturday's start with back spasms.
"[Trainer] Nate [Lucero] called me this morning and just said [Oswalt] had some upper-respiratory congestion or whatever," general manager Ed Wade told the Houston Chronicle. "Instead of waiting until the doctor got over here, I think he's seeing Dr. [Jim] Muntz just to make sure.
"All indications I've gotten are that he should be ready to go in his next start. He just went to the doctor's office to get checked out."
Axford gets the call after stellar season: The Milwaukee Brewers purchased the contract of John Axford from Triple-A Nashville and will use him out of the bullpen. Pitching at three different levels this season, Axford went 9-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 45 games, allowing 44 hits and 38 walks in 68 1/3 innings. He struck out 89 hitters and opposing batters hit only .185 against him.
"He made a lot of progress this year," assistant general manager Gord Ash told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He has plus-velocity and a good curveball."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.