MLB News and Notes April - 27

MLB News and Notes April - 27

Orioles activate Hernandez, designate Castillo
Thu, Apr 26, 2007
By Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles finally got starting catcher Ramon Hernandez back Thursday, activating him from the disabled list before facing the Boston Red Sox.

Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list on opening day with a strained muscle in his rib cage. He played for Class A Frederick on Tuesday and Wednesday in a rehabilitation assignment before declaring himself ready to return.

''I asked if he wanted to go or not, and he said he was ready,'' Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. ''There's no reason to hold him back.''

Paul Bako and Alberto Castillo handled the catching duties while Hernandez was out.

''The two guys back there did a great job backing up, but when you're missing your starting catcher it's a little different,'' Perlozzo said. ''Catching, throwing, and it's a big bat.''

Hernandez batted .275 last season and set career highs in homers (23), RBIs (91), doubles (29) and games (144). He delayed his return because he felt a twinge while swinging, but that problem appeared to be behind him Thursday.

After taking batting practice, Hernandez said, ''Taking BP I don't feel nothing, so why wait longer, you know what I mean? Just come out and play, that's the only way to see if it's totally right or not. Playing every day is the only way I'm gonna figure it out, 'cause it's a lot of intensity and (that is) totally the test.''

Hernandez batted ninth as the starting catcher.

To make room for Hernandez on the roster, the Orioles designated Castillo for assignment. Castillo, obtained from Boston in March for outfielder Cory Keylor, was hitting .174 in eight games.

''I'd like to see us keep him,'' Perlozzo said. ''Great energy guy, and he handled the pitchers well.''

Bako is batting .238 with one homer and five RBIs. His biggest contribution offensively was a three-run homer in a 6-4 win over the New York Yankees on April 8.

''He did very well. Our pitchers like throwing to him, he calls a good game, he can throw,'' Perlozzo said. ''I know his average wasn't as good as you like, but at the same time he got us some big hits.''

Bako signed up with Baltimore to be Hernandez's backup, and now that's his role.

''I was just thankful for the opportunity to play. It was a lot of fun,'' Bako said. ''I had a great time catching all our pitchers and helping the club get off to a decent start. But at the same time, Ramon is the guy. It's a no-brainer type of situation.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes April - 27

Sheets probable for next start despite strained groin
Thu, Apr 26, 2007
By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets is expected to make his next scheduled start after having an MRI exam on his strained right groin muscle Thursday.

Sheets left Wednesday's game against the Chicago Cubs in the bottom of the third inning after reaching down to tag out Ryan Theriot at third base.

The Brewers said Sheets visited team physician Dr. William Raasch in Milwaukee on Thursday and underwent an MRI, which confirmed a strained right groin. Sheets underwent treatment and is expected to rejoin the team Friday in Houston.

He is listed as probable for his next start against St. Louis at Miller Park on Tuesday.

Sheets has made only 39 starts over the past two seasons because of nagging shoulder and back injuries.

Sheets gave up four hits and no runs on a damp, 44-degree day at Wrigley Field before leaving the game and has now gone four starts without a victory. His lone win came in the April 2 season opener when he threw a two-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Re: MLB News and Notes April - 27

Crisp may be put on DL
By Michael Silverman
Boston Herald Sports Reporter

BALTIMORE - Coco Crisp [stats] may want to just skip coming to this town altogether.

On April 8, 2006, his season was all but ruined here when he broke his left index finger sliding into third base. He was placed on the disabled list three days later and missed 41 games.

Yesterday, he was out of the starting lineup for the fourth game in a row with an oblique injury as the Red Sox [team stats] let it be known that a stint on the 15-day DL is not out of the question. A decision is expected to come by tomorrow in New York.

If Crisp does go on the DL, the move could be back-dated so he would be eligible to be activated before the May 8-10 series in Toronto.

“The plan is to not play him for the next two days, and then let the medical staff have him when we get to New York,” Sox manager Terry Francona said before last night’s 6-1 win over the Orioles. “We have to find out if it’s a bruise or a strain. I’m not sure if it makes that much difference in the treatment. Hopefully, we’ll try to get him ready for Yankee Stadium.”

Without much enthusiasm, Crisp said, “I’m fine” before going to do some light pregame hitting.

Meanwhile, Double-A Portland center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will carry a 10-game hitting streak into today’s game against New Britain. He is hitting .432 during the streak.

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Baseball Today - April 27
Fri, Apr 27, 2007
By Associated Press

Boston at N.Y. Yankees (7:05 p.m. EDT). Daisuke Matsuzaka gets another chance against the Yankees after his shaky start on Sunday.

STARS

Thursday

-Bartolo Colon, Angels, allowed four hits in seven innings and struck out 11 to lead Los Angeles to an 11-3 victory over Tampa Bay.

-A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays, pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and Toronto beat New York 6-0.

-Tony Clark, Diamondbacks, hit two home runs to lead Arizona to a 7-4 win over San Diego.

-Wily Mo Pena, Red Sox, hit a grand slam to lead Boston to a 5-2 win over the Orioles.

-Shawn Hill, Nationals, allowed one run on four hits over eight innings and Washington beat Philadelphia 4-2.

FLAILING

Toronto''s A.J. Burnett dominated the struggling Yankees, sending last-place New York to its sixth straight loss in a 6-0 victory Thursday night. Missing injured Derek Jeter, the Yankees (8-12) are on their longest skid since also dropping six in a row from May 28 to June 3, 2005.

SLAMMIN'' SAMMY

Sammy Sosa set a major-league record Thursday when he homered for Texas at Jacobs Field - the 44th big-league ballpark in which has homered in his career. Sosa added another homer in the eighth inning of the Rangers'' 9-4 loss to Cleveland. Sosa had been tied with Ken Griffey Jr., and Fred McGriff with homers in 43 ballparks.

GREAT EIGHT

San Francisco defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Thursday night for its eighth consecutive victory. The Giants have won eight straight for the first time since taking 10 in a row in May 2004. The Giants earned their fourth consecutive series sweep and their first three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium since April 2-4, 2002.

INJURED

Twins star Torii Hunter was hit by a pitch in the mouth from Kansas City's Zack Greinke on Thursday and was taken to a hospital, where he received three stitches. Hunter was cut on the inside of his mouth. He was listed as day-to-day. Minnesota beat Kansas City 1-0 in 11 innings.

SNAPPED

Washington beat Philadelphia 4-2 on Thursday to snap the Phillies'' five-game winning streak.

STREAK

Aaron Rowand hit a solo home run in the Phillies'' 4-2 loss to the Nationals on Thursday night to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.

EXTENSION

John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a contract extension on Thursday. Smoltz, who turns 40 next month, will return for a 20th season in 2008 with a deal that will guarantee him about $14 million. The contract includes an option for 2009 that can become guaranteed and a club option for 2010.

SPEAKING

''There''s going to be panic soon if the winning doesn''t start. We have to stay close. If we can''t start getting victories, I''m sure there''s not going to be too many happy people.'''' - Johnny Damon, after the Yankees lost their sixth straight game, 6-0 to the Blue Jays on Thursday night. It is their longest skid since also dropping six in a row from May 28 to June 3, 2005.

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Re: MLB News and Notes April - 27

Devil Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli injured his right leg when he collided with the wall on Thursday. The ailment is labelled as a contusion, and he is day-to-day, MLB.com reported. "I don't really know what happened," Baldelli said. "I don't even know where I hit it. But I know at some point I hit something pretty square, and it ended up being the wall."

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Re: MLB News and Notes April - 27

Reds LF Adam Dunn (rest) and CF Ken Griffey Jr. (flu) are doubtful.

Pirates 1B Xavier Nady (hamstring) is doubtful.

Marlins 1B Mike Jacobs (thumb) is doubtful.

Cubs CF Alfonso Soriano (rest) is doubtful.

Indians RF David Dellucci (calf) is doutbful.

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