On the same day Torri Hunter is quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press as saying it’ll take a no-trade clause to keep him in Minnesota, the CF homered off Jeff Karstens in the Twins’ 6-1 win over the Yankees. Justin Morneau hit a 3-run HR, and the Twins were beneficiaries of a strong performance from rookie righthander Scott Baker (5 IP, 2 hits, 1 run) in a contest ruled an official game after rain halted proceedings in the home half of the 8th.

The Red Sox slipped to 6 games behind the White Sox and Twins with their 5-1 defeat to the Blue Jays. Not only have Boston dropped 13 of their last 17, but they’re reduced to starting Kevin Jarvis while still in contention (though in fairness, he wasn’t that horrible).

The D-Backs have slipped to 4 games back in the NL Wild Card hunt, dropping a 7-6, 11 inning decision to the Nationals at RFK. Perhaps tired of walk-off hits, DC 3B Ryan Zimmerman drove in the winning run with a walk-off, bases loaded walk. Earlier, Alfonso Soriano’s 2-run HR in the bottom of the 9th tied the game at 6, as Jorge Julio blew his 4th save of the season.

The Cubs’ Sean Marshall allowed 4 longballs in his short afternoon’s work, the first of ’em off the bat of Barry Bonds (career HR no. 728) in the 4th inning, as San Francisco moved within 2 1/2 games of the NL Wild Card with their 4-1 victory over Chicago. Matt Cain allowed just 1 run and 4 hits over 7.1 IP.

Royals GM Dayton Moore tells MLB.com
that Kansas City has no intention not to honor manager Buddy Bell’s contract through the end of 2007. Royals Review — like everyone else who has followed Bell’s stints in K.C., Colorado and Detroit, can’t understand why.

Ahh, the blessings of those well born: Bell’s a proven loser, a non-entity at best, but yet, somehow is a “great ambassador to the game” and just everyone loves loves loves him.

For those who think R.R. is being a bit tough on Bell, given K.C.’s player development woes, his career record prior to becoming Royals skipper in 2005 was 338-462. Bell is 93-155 since.