After being pulled in an effort to preserve his arm after pitching seven no-hit innings, Kevin Slowey said he understood the motivation of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson.

"I was a little disappointed," Slowey told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I don't think it would be possible not to be a little bit disappointed, but I think more than anything I was encouraged. I was encouraged by the fact that Gardy and Andy care a lot more about me as a person and as a pitcher in the long run than they do about winning one game or having one accomplishment. I think that says a lot about them and a lot about our organization."

Pujols claims another record with 30th home run: With his 30th home run of the season on Sunday, Albert Pujols reached the 30 home run plateau for the 10th straight season to start his career. He's the only player to have ever done so.

"I'm blessed," Pujols told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I thank God for giving me the ability and talent to accomplish that. Staying healthy and to be able to do that and to help my ballclub to win [in the long haul] is pretty special. You take it any time. But it came at the wrong time. We lost."

Pierre joins Molitor in thievery department: Juan Pierre, who tied Paul Molitor for 36th on the all-time stolen base list on Saturday night, conceded he wasn't aware that Molitor had stolen so many bases (504) in his career.

"Really? I don't think about Paul Molitor as a runner," Pierre told MLB.com. "But he was a great player and any time you get on a list with a guy like that, it's big."

Stanton moving his way up in the lineup: Rookie power hitter Mike Stanton has moved up from eighth to fifth in the Marlins' batting order. His final destination is probably a little bit higher, though.

"Mike is a four hitter, I mean, let's be honest," teammate Cody Ross told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "He is just slowly moving his way up, and he is going to be a four hitter for a long time."

"Wherever I am, it doesn't really matter, as long as I am in there," Stanton said after going 2-for-4 in the fifth spot on Sunday.

Steven Hill left speechless after homer: In the ninth inning of Sunday's game between the Cardinals and the Cubs, Steven Hill got his first Major League hit -- a home run over the right-field fence.

"It's indescribable," Hill, the Cardinals' rookie catcher, told MLB.com. "It's really one of the best experiences of my life. There's really no words I can say about it."

Abreu leading off with success: The Angels looked to bolster their offense by moving Bobby Abreu to the leadoff position. Early results are positive, as Abreu is batting .370 with a .452 on-base percentage as the new leadoff man.

"Right now we really need his influence as a table-setter in our lineup," manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times, "and leading off is the best way to accomplish that."

Norris establishes career high with 14 strikeouts: Bud Norris had a career-high 14 strikeouts, tying Wade Miller (2003) for the most by an Astros pitcher at Minute Maid Park.

"I was just trying to come out and establish a strike zone," Norris told the Houston Chronicle. "Once that was done, I knew how to get back in the groove, and obviously I worked well with [catcher Humberto] Quintero from there on out."

Norris also went 2-for-2 with a double and a key sacrifice hit in the seventh inning to spark a rally.

McClendon overcomes butterflies with perfection: When the bullpen phone rang on Saturday night, rookie Mike McClendon was told to warm up and promptly got a case of the butterflies.

"I tried to keep my hat pulled down so I could only see the first level of people," McClendon, who made his Major League debut against the Colorado Rockies minutes after that phone call, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

McClendon had a successful debut as he threw three perfect innings to help the Brewers claim a win in extra innings. He became the first Brewers pitcher ever to retire the first nine hitters he faced in a single game.

C.J. Wilson warms up to scorching temps: With the temperature reaching 100 degrees and feeling even hotter on the field in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, C.J. Wilson pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing only one run on four hits and a walk while striking out eight.

"It's all in the preparation," Wilson told MLB.com. "The heat is all about getting out there in it, doing you're running. That's what I do. That's just the way it is. What can I say, it felt like 81? It felt like 102. But it's every single day. It's not that bad. It's been that way for six to eight weeks. It's not like it was 60 for my last five starts and all of sudden it was hot."

Pedroia plans to return to lineup: After missing nearly two months, Dustin Pedroia completed his two-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket and was cleared to return to the lineup on Monday night against the Angels.

"I feel good. I just sat there and then had three at-bats; it was nothing special," Pedroia told the Boston Herald. "It's not fun. You sit around. I've played defense my whole life, so it was different."

Beckham plans to add more stolen bases: Gordon Beckham plans to make stealing bases a priority next season.

"Right now, it's not a forte, but it's something I will work on," Beckham told MLB.com. "If not this year, then next year going to Spring Training. Just trying to take some bags and work on it, get my jumps. It really could be beneficial to me. I feel I could steal 20 bases if I wanted."

Romero signs five-year contract extension: One day before he shut down the Angels, Ricky Romero was celebrating a new five-year contract extension with the Blue Jays.

"It's tough to put into words how you feel," Romero told the Toronto Star. "I just bought a house for them, 25 minutes from here [in Anaheim]. My mom and dad, my two sisters and my brother were there when the phone call came in. ... It was very exciting."

-- Red Line Editorial