Trailing by seven games in the NL wild-card race on Aug. 26, they had won nine straight games through Sunday to close to within a game and a half.
Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals
When he drove in his 100th RBI on Aug. 29, Pujols became the first player to begin his career with four straight 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons.
Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins
He's thrived as the club's new every-day first baseman: 12 homers and 30 RBIs since July 31.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
After a promising first half, Lou Piniella's team had lost 17 of 22 games and was on pace to lose at least 90 games for the seventh straight season.
Mark Prior, RHP, Cubs
Struggling with his control, he had only two wins in his last 11 starts and finished August with a 5.13 ERA.
Hee Seop Choi, 1B, Dodgers
Acquired on July 30 to add punch to the lineup, he has been a big disappointment in hitting .164 with no homers since the trade.