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Notes from a day in baseball:

• 1. At Least There Was No Head-Butting. We tend to enjoy it when teammates engage in fisticuffs. What makes it better is when they later deny the incident, even though the entire fight had been shown on television. It happened most recently to the Royals, who must by now be thinking that this has been the longest season in the history of baseball. Starting pitcher Runelvys Hernandez and catcher John Buck engaged in their own special celebration for the 1,000th game played at Cleveland's Jacobs Field, duking it out in the dugout at the conclusion of the third inning on Tuesday. Said manager Buddy Bell: "It's September and there was some sort of misunderstanding." (We can't count the number of times we've said that very thing in court). But then, inexplicably, Hernandez said: "Nothing happened." Oh, then that must have been a very fat bat boy we saw trading punches with your catcher on TV. Anyway, amidst all the confusion, Kansas City won 5-3.

• 2. Isn't He Gorgeous? Still apparently mad over "The Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's demise, Bobby Abreu punished the Devil Rays with a homer, double and seven RBI to lead the Yankees to a 12-4 win, which featured a nine-run first inning.

• 3. Stripes. Carlos Guillen helped keep the Twins at bay, as his solo homer in the ninth won it for the Tigers over Texas, 3-2. First-place Detroit is 1 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central race.


• 4. Honk If You're Within Three Games Of The NL Wild-Card Lead. Let's face it, the NL wild-card race looks a lot like this right now. Leave it to Jason LaRue to make it even more confusing, as his 11th-inning homer won it for Cincinnati, 5-4 over San Diego. The Reds are 2 1/2 games behind the Padres for the wild-card lead, with four teams all with 2 1/2 games of each other.

• 5. The Island Of Justin Morneau. Justin Morneau doubled home a pair in the eighth as the Twins beat the A's 7-5, further complicating the AL Central.