With the Indians idle on Monday, the Tigers and White Sox took the opportunity to pick up a half game on the division leaders. Detroit bludgeoned Toronto, 10-5, and the Sox took down the Angels, 8-0, behind seven shutout innings from Edwin Jackson (3-4), and a huge night from Carlos Quentin.
Jackson allowed five hits and a solitary walk while fanning five. With his pitch count at 101 and the 8-0 lead in hand, he took a seat after seven complete innings.
Quentin doubled in runs in both the 3rd and 5th innings, capping off his night with his 8th home run of the season, a towering, 3-run blast to center field, giving him five RBI for the game.
Batting either in front of or behind Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, Quentin usually has plenty of opportunities to drive in runs, and he's up to 23 so far. With the amount of talent on both the Tigers and White Sox - not discounting the Royals, who are loaded this year - one gets the distinct feeling that the AL Central will eventually evolve into one of the better pennant races of the season.
Chicago has gotten off to a very slow start (14-22), while the Indians have put up the best record in the AL, at 22-11. With 9 1/2 games to make up, the White Sox have their work cut out for them.
Cincinnati's Travis Wood had one of those games pitchers dream about.
In his best outing of the season, Wood limited the Astros to six hits while striking out six and issuing just one walk. His home run - the second in as many seasons - broke a 0-0 tie in the third inning, giving Wood a working margin that he did not squander.
The win was just Wood's second, against three losses, but it gave the starter some confidence moving forward. Wood will continue as a part of the Reds rotation that has seen both Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey return from the DL.
The win left the Reds just one game behind idle Central division-leading St. Louis.