Jake Smolinski cranks out four hits vs. A's
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) Rangers outfielder Jake Smolinski had a monster game at the plate Thursday afternoon against the Athletics in Oakland.

He singled in a run in the first, and added three more singled. He finished the game 4 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI in a 7-2 victory. He is hitting .408 with one home run and eight RBI over 49 at-bats.

Josh Hamilton experiencing more shoulder issues
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is dealing with tightness and discomfort in front part of his right shoulder, a different spot, which flared up before Wednesday's game, the Los Angeles Times reports. He returned to action Tuesday but left the ballpark early to visit a chiropractor. Hamilton described it as "a sharp, stabbing pain" near his chest and right rib cage, underneath his armpit, per MLB.com. 

He was not in the starting lineup Thursday against Seattle.

Zach Walters sits out again Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) Indians outfielder Zach Walters was held out of the starting lineup Thursday night against the Astros, as he continues to nurse an intercostal strain. Walters suffered the injury on Monday and has not been able to return this week. He is hitting .172 with nine homers and 15 RBI over 122 at-bats.

Angels issue skeleton lineup for Thursday game
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) Angels top hitters Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick are three of many starters sitting Thursday against Seattle after the team clinched the division title.

Red Sox issue Thursday lineup sans Rusney Castillo
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) Red Sox ballyhooed rookie outfielder Rusney Castillo is not in the Thursday lineup in Pittsburgh. He had his major league debut Wednesday night and went 1 for 4.

Yoenis Cespedes set to sit Thursday night
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) The Red Sox have benched disappointing left fielder Yoenis Cespedes for the Thursday night game in Pittsburgh.

Cespedes, who has not homered since Aug. 22, has just four hits in his last 34 at-bats and one RBI since Sept. 6.

Josh Reddick nursing left ankle injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick is dealing with a sore left ankle sustained on a fall heading to first base Wednesday night against Texas. He is being checked by trainers and is not in the lineup for the Thursday afternoon game.

Norichika Aoki on tear in leading Royals roll offensively
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) The Royals have picked it up lately offensively and right fielder Norichika Aoki is greatly responsible.

Aoki has been white-hot with 11 hits in his last 13 at-bats to raise his average 16 points to .281 - no easy feat at this time of year. That mark is at its highest point since May 25, but his overall hot streak has extended back to Aug. 27. Aoki has hit safely in all but four games since then and is 28 for 72 during that stretch.

Avisail Garcia solid, but not slugging in September
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) White Sox outfelder Avisail Garcia has inched his average in a positive direction since bottoming out at .222 on Aug. 30.

Garcia is 17 for 57 since then with one home run and nine RBI. But he has just one extra-base hit since Sept. 3. His stat line now sits at .254/.318/.413.

Lorenzo Cain on roll for Royals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/18/2014) Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain merely accentuated a strong stretch Wednesday night against Chicago, when he blasted a three-run homer off super southpaw Chris Sale and added two more hits.

Cain has hit so well that he has been moved to the third spot in the lineup. He has hit safely in seven of his last eight games with 12 hits in 32 at-bats during that run. Cain has eight RBI and seven runs scored in his last 10 games, sweetening his stat line on the season to .298/.337/.413. He has also contributed 25 stolen bases.

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