Tribe quest: After hovering near .500 for 2½ months, the defending AL-champion Cleveland Indians have hit their stride, moving into first place by winning eight of nine games in which they outscored the Dodgers, Minnesota and Baltimore by 68-23 from June 15 through Thursday. Slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who signed a three-year, $60-million deal last winter, is batting .351 with a 1.144 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage, 10 homers and 23 runs batted in in 26 games through Thursday; he hit .208 with a .709 OPS, seven homers and 17 RBIs in 43 games through May 22. After a two-game glitch against the Dodgers, uber reliever Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Baltimore.
Thanks to a 10-game winning streak, the Los Angeles Dodgers overtook first place in the National League West and the No. 2 spot in USA TODAY Sports' power rankings. The Dodgers, led by rookie slugger Cody Bellinger with his NL-high 24 home runs, have homered in 17 consecutive games and have hit 43 in the month of June. Meanwhile, the Houston Astros maintained the No. 1 spot for the seventh consecutive week. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves had the biggest jump this week, moving up four spots to No. 19 and 20, respectively. From 1 to 30, how they stack up based on voting from our 10-person panel: TEAM. MOVEMENT 1. Houston Astros: -- ►Taxi squad rotation holding it down: 13-9 since
Picked-up pieces while wondering if there’s anything else we can do to honor David Ortiz . . . ■ Could the Celtics have made potential “fireworks” any more boring? zzz. There HAS to be more. Sorry, I would have done a deal on draft night. I would have kept the No. 1 pick and overpaid the Knicks with all those overrated “assets.” I would have done handstands to bring Kristaps Porzingis to Boston. Or Jimmy Butler. The Celtics need adults, people who have proven they can play in the league. Best of luck to Jayson Tatum, but I’ve got no time for teen angels on training wheels on the parquet floor. The Timberwolves did what the Celtics should have done. They acquired Butler. They already have Karl-Anthony