Baseball News and Notes April 19

Baseball News and Notes April 19

Mariners' Hernandez leaves game with elbow tightness
Thu, Apr 19, 2007
By Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez left Wednesday night's start against Minnesota with tightness in his right, pitching elbow after he got just one out and allowed his first two runs of the season.

The Mariners announced the 21-year-old phenom left ''for precautionary reasons'' and would be reevaluated tomorrow.

After Hernandez threw a 2-1 pitch to Justin Morneau in the first inning, he grimaced, turned away from home plate and immediately signaled to home plate umpire Ed Rapuano to halt the game. Hernandez then signaled for trainer Rick Griffin to come out of the Mariners dugout. Manager Mike Hargrove came out, too. After Hernandez briefly walked around the mound, squatted behind the pitching rubber and explained his pain to Griffin, Hargrove summoned long reliever Jake Woods out of the dugout to replace the pitching star of the young season.

When Hernandez left, a hush fell over the Safeco Field crowd that had been cheering his first two strikes of the game and then applauded when Luis Castillo led off the game with a single. It took into the eighth inning for Boston to get its only hit off Hernandez in his previous start. On opening day, Hernandez allowed just three hits and struck out 12 in eight scoreless innings of a win over Oakland.

The Mariners went on to lose the game 5-4 as -210 favorites.

Hernandez walked slowly off the field and tilted his cap back from his forehead while he talked to Griffin, who was at his side. At one point, Hernandez opened the palm of his hand toward the sky as if to tell Griffin he didn't know what had happened.

The Twins then scored again off Woods, the third run charged to Hernandez.

Hernandez was charged with two walks - the second when Woods threw ball four to Morneau - and threw a wild pitch that bounced in the opposite batters' box during his one-third of an inning. Only 12 of his 24 pitches were strikes on a chilly night that was the polar opposite of his first two wondrous starts. His wild pitch scored Castillo, the first run off Hernandez in 17 1/3 innings this season.

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Re: Baseball News and Notes April 19

Twins' Hunter out with bruised shoulder
Wed, Apr 18, 2007
By Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Torii Hunter was out of the Minnesota Twins' lineup one day after he hurt his shoulder attempting to make a tumbling catch in center field.

Hunter had said he would start Wednesday night against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez even if he had to bunt but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire chose to sit his star center fielder for possibly a couple of days as a precaution.

Hunter's left shoulder went numb briefly Tuesday night and stayed stiff and sore Wednesday after he charged a sinking drive by Jose Vidro and tumbled while trying to catch a single in the sixth inning of Minnesota's 11-2 win over Seattle. He pulled himself from the game after he hit a weak groundout in the seventh.

''Players always believe they can play through anything. So you sometimes have to say, 'Hey, this is the right thing to do,''' Gardenhire said.

''Losing him for a long time down the road is not a good option, I don't think. So he's day to day. Hopefully, it won't be too many days before he's back.''

The Twins play a Thursday afternoon series finale in Seattle and then begin a three-game weekend series at Kansas City on Friday night. Versatile Jason Tyner, who replaced Hunter on Tuesday night, was in the lineup for him Wednesday.

Hunter is batting .375 (9-for-24) with eight RBIs during a six-game hitting streak. He hit his seventh career grand slam - tied for third on the Twins' career list with Kirby Puckett - one inning before his shoulder injury to break open a close game. Hunter entered Wednesday leading the major leagues with nine doubles.

Even though he said the shoulder felt better Wednesday and that he would even try to loosen it with some batting practice swings to perhaps be available to play, Hunter understood Gardenhire's rationale.

''It kind of made me think about it: Don't be stupid. We've got 150-some games left,'' he said.

But Hunter wanted to be clear that he'd rather be out there.

''Oh, yeah, man. I'm an athlete,'' he said, laughing. ''Man, make it happen.''

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Re: Baseball News and Notes April 19

Marlins put struggling Julio on DL
Wed, Apr 18, 2007
By Associated Press

MIAMI -- Jorge Julio and his unsightly ERA went on the disabled list Wednesday.

The Florida Marlins shut down their struggling former closer, citing a strained right calf not previously disclosed. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Julio hurt himself covering first base on a grounder Tuesday at Houston.

Julio stayed in the game and took the loss, giving up six runs in one-plus inning to hike his ERA to 19.06. He has allowed 15 hits and 11 walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Julio was placed on the 15-day DL.

''It may or may not be something that'll help him,'' Gonzalez said. ''When he comes back, we'll figure out where he's at.''

The Marlins also placed rookie center fielder Alejandro De Aza on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle, retroactive to Monday. Alfredo Amezaga or Cody Ross will replace De Aza in the lineup, Gonzalez said, and outfielder Eric Reed was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Julio, acquired in a March trade with Arizona, has the Marlins' third-highest salary at $3.6 million. He lost the closer's job last week after blowing two saves and has since been equally ineffective pitching in the middle innings.

''I feel a lot for him,'' Gonzalez said. ''He's a great kid. I pull maybe a little extra hard for him to be successful, just for his own personal demons or whatever you want to call it.''

Gonzalez said he's on the verge of choosing a new closer but declined to identify the front-runner. The leading candidates are rookie right-hander Henry Owens, who earned his first save last week, and left-hander Taylor Tankersley.

Right-hander Lee Gardner was recalled from Albuquerque to take Julio's spot on the roster.

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Re: Baseball News and Notes April 19

Angels' Kendrick placed on DL
April 18th, 2007

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in the middle finger of left hand.

Kendrick was hit by a Chad Gaudin pitch during Tuesday night's loss. He later left the game and returned to Anaheim for x-rays, which showed a non-displaced fracture at the base of the third metacarpal.

There is no timetable for his return.

Kendrick was batting .327 with two homers, four RBI and six runs scored this season.

The Angels will make a corresponding roster move before their next scheduled game on Friday at home against Seattle.

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Re: Baseball News and Notes April 19

On the Mark: Buehrle no-hits Rangers
April 18th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Mark Buehrle tossed a no-hitter, baffling Texas hitters for nine dazzling innings en route to a 6-0 White Sox win at U.S. Cellular Field.

Buehrle finished with eight strikeouts and just one walk. He faced the minimum amount of batters, as he quickly picked off Sammy Sosa at first base after giving up the free pass in the fifth.

This was the first no-hitter for the White Sox since 1991, when Wilson Alvarez accomplished the feat against Baltimore on August 11. This is the 16th no- hitter in White Sox history.

The game ended when Gerald Laird hit a slow grounder to third base, but Joe Crede came up with the ball near the line and threw out Laird as the celebration started on the field.

Jim Thome hit two solo homers, while Jermaine Dye belted a grand slam.

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