Frank Thomas started his day with a bang, homer #500, and ended it with one, ejected in the ninth, while the Blue Jays were losing 8-5 in Minnesota. Thomas became the 21st major leaguer with 500 homers when he sent a Carlos Silva offering into the hermetically sealed bleachers of the Metrodome in the first inning. It provided a nice bookend to the Big Hurt's career. His first homer was at the Metrodome 17 years ago and he's blasted 50 homers against the Twins all time, the most he has against any team. Thomas's family was in town for the historic home run but were gone by the time he was tossed for arguing balls and strikes in the ninth because they had an early flight out of Minneapolis. Lost in the hoopla over the Big Hurt were Torii Hunter's 180th and 181st home runs which bailed Silva out and sent the Twins home winners.
- Meanwhile, due south of the Dome Craig Biggio was joining an exclusive club of his own. He collected five hits to pass the 3,000 hit plateau and Roberto Clemente for place on the all-time hit list. He needed three hits when the night began and got #3,000 on a game-tying seventh inning single. He was thrown out trying for second on the play so the inning was over when he celebrated his accomplishment on the field with longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell. His fifth hit touched off the 11th inning rally that ended with Carlos Lee's grand slam and won the game 8-5 for the Astros. It's another feather in the cap of a sure Hall of Famer. The next one, however, won't feel quite so sweet.
- In more prosaic diamond action, the Dodgers pounded a returning Big Unit to take three of four from the Diamondbacks. Russell Martin jumped on Johnson, back from back problems, in the first inning with a two-run homer and L.A. added two more runs in the third to send him to the showers. The 9-5 win leaves the Dodgers a half-game up on Arizona in the West.
- Kenny Rogers won for the second time in two starts since his return from a blood clot by allowing Texas one run over six innings in Detroit's 5-2 win at Comerica Park. Gary Sheffield burnished his All-Star chances with his 18th homer and Carlos Guillen did the same with a two-run single.
- The A's are in desperate need of some bullpen mojo. They lost Tuesday when Alan Embree melted down in the ninth and they blew a 3-1 lead yesterday when Ron Flores gave up a three-run homer to Jason Michaels in the seventh inning. With Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer and Kiko Calero laid up by injury, Oakland needs to find a way to close out games better than they did in yesterday's 4-3 loss. One way they hope to do that is by working Rich Harden back to health via the bullpen, he's expected to relieve in Yankee Stadium this weekend. The A's also traded Milton Bradley to San Diego for a minor leaguer yesterday.
(AP Photo/Jim Mone) (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)