* Houston Astros manager Art Howe, on the trials and tribulations of managing one of the worst teams in baseball: "I'd be a liar to say it doesn't eat at me. It's all going to pay off in the end. I just hope I'm here when the end comes."
* Tale of two teams: The Toronto Blue Jays scored 1 run in eac of their 3 games against the Cleveland Indians last week and still won the series. The Baltimore Orioles scored 12 runs in 3 games against the last-place Kansas City Royals and were swept.
* Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace has been effectiv bringing home runners from third base with fewer than 2 out. Through Wednesday, he had made 21 plate appearances in that situation and driven in 17 runs with 9 hits, 4 sacrifice flies and 3 walks.