Red-hot Rangers: That Small Sample Size song? Yeah, maybe we should add Texas to the list of exempt teams. The Rangers stayed hot on Thursday with a 10-3 rout of the Detroit Tigers, good enough for their seventh straight win and a best-in-baseball record of 11-2. Mike Napoli homered for the fourth straight game while Yu Darvish earned his second win of the season by pitching into the seventh inning. They're a perfect 6-0 on the road, but have a stern test coming up on Saturday when Justin Verlander gets the start at Comerica.
Ailing Angels: While the Rangers can't lose, their supposed main competition in the AL West can't win. The Halos dropped a 4-2 decision to Oakland, inflating the A's measly three hits with three errors. But cue that Small Sample Size song because Albert Pujols isn't worried about his total of zero homers or the Angels' piddly 4-9 start.
''That's why we play 162 games,'' Pujols said. ''We can get a good streak going and forget about what happened in April. ... We know that things could be better, but they're not, and it's not because we're not trying.''
Whattsamatter with Waino?: The Cardinals have gotten off to an encouraging start without Albert Pujols, but that doesn't mean there aren't ripples of worry underneath that success. Lance Berkman hit the DL on Thursday while Adam Wainwright struggled again in a 6-3 loss to Cincinnati. The right-hander gave up four runs in five innings, bringing his ERA to 9.88 as he tries to regain his pre-Tommy John form.
Sorry, Felix: Before Brandon League entered the game, this entry was just going to feature this video clip of Felix Hernandez striking out Shin-Soo Choo to end the eighth inning and preserve a 1-0 shutout. But then League got involved and gave up a two-run single to Jack Hanahan in the ninth to rob not only the win from King Felix but the Mariners as well. The 2-1 triumph was Cleveland's fifth win in six games.
But just because League can't close a game why should Felix and the rest of us suffer. Here's that K of Choo — Hernandez's 12th of the game — that had the small crowd at Safeco Field rocking.
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Quote of the Day: ''A common denominator of teams that are competitive is they play well on the road. So far, so good.'' — Orioles manager Buck Showalter after Thursday's 5-3 win over the White Sox allowed them to take three or four in Chicago. Baltimore won only five road series in 2011.
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Photo of the Day: Juan Francisco tries to comes to term with Gerardo Parra's steal of third. He was later broken out of his trance by a 10-2 Braves victory keyed by two home runs from Freddie Freeman.
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Three facts for the water cooler
• The O's-White Sox game was far from a huge draw in Chicago. Any of the four crowds this week would have qualified as the smallest total in 2011.
• Jose Altuve, Brian Bogusevic and Matt Downs all hit triples in the first inning of Houston's 11-4 victory over Washington. It was the first time in Astros' history that the team hit three triples in one inning.
• After a 2-0 win over the Padres, the Phillies have now won 12 straight games at Petco Park. They're 23-4 there since the ballpark opened.
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