The National savior

Now that Stephen Strasburg has saved the Washington Nationals, he'll be asked to help save the Cleveland Indians, too.

Last in the majors in attendance, Cleveland experienced a surge in ticket sales for Sunday's game against the 21-year-old, who struck out 14 in a dazzling debut on Tuesday before a standing room only crowd in Washington.

An Indians spokesman said the club had sold 4,000 tickets since last week, when it appeared Strasburg would face Cleveland in his second game. The Indians sold another 1,000 tickets on Wednesday morning.

The Indians, last in the AL Central, average only 15,527 fans a game. Any bets on a sellout on Sunday?


Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Strasburg:

"He's good for baseball, very good for the game. As long as they keep him over in that league."

Most predictable event of the year

A restaurant in Washington is now serving a "Strasburger."

Time to go home

Oakland's Eric Patterson had a weird night in the A's 10-1 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

He reached first base on a 30-foot single in the fourth inning when his pop-up landed among three Angels clustered between home plate and the mound.

He got another infield single in the eighth but was hit in the side of the face on the throw from second baseman Kevin Frandsen.

Injury report

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales is scheduled for surgery to repair his broken left ankle on Thursday, 12 days after he fractured it while celebrating a game-winning home run. Doctors were waiting for the swelling to subside. . . . Toronto activated righthander Jesse Litsch from the 60-day disabled list. Litsch, who has not pitched since having elbow ligament replacement surgery in June 2009, will replace lefthander Brian Tallet in the rotation and is scheduled to make his first start of the season Sunday at Colorado. Tallet will move to the bullpen.


The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms with both of their first-round draft picks: outfielder Jake Skole, picked 15th overall; and catcher Kellin Deglan, chosen 22d. . . . Orioles pitching prospect Jake Arrieta will make his major-league debut Thursday as Baltimore's starter against the New York Yankees, interim manager Juan Samuel said. . . . Yankees minor-league pitcher Angel Rincon was banned for 50 games after testing positive for steroids, Major League Baseball said.