MLB News and Notes May - 25

MLB News and Notes May - 25

Astros call up lefty McLemore
May 24, 2007

PHOENIX (AP) -The Houston Astros called up left-hander Mark McLemore from Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday to fortify their bullpen.

McLemore, the club's fourth-round pick in 2002, joined the team a few hours before Thursday night's game at Arizona.

``I'm really excited,'' the 26-year-old McLemore said. ``Everybody waits for that first call.''

McLemore was 0-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 14 games, including four starts, at Round Rock. Astros manager Phil Garner said McLemore would pitch out of the bullpen.

The Astros optioned right-hander Matt Albers to Round Rock. Albers was 1-4 with a 6.35 ERA in seven starts for Houston.

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Ramirez leaves start with shoulder injury
May 24, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Seattle Mariners left-hander Horacio Ramirez left after two innings of Thursday's game against Tampa Bay with tightness in his throwing shoulder.

Ramirez doesn't believe the injury is serious, but has no timetable for when he will throw again. The Mariners list him as day to day.

``It stiffened up in that second inning,'' Ramirez said. ``It was just pretty tight. It wouldn't loosen up.''

Ramirez threw 35 pitches before departing. He allowed three runs, three hits and two walks.

``It's in the back of the shoulder,'' Ramirez said. ``Velocity wasn't there. It doesn't allow me to finish a pitch. Hopefully it will calm down soon.''

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Phillies' Howard completes rehab at Lakewood
May 24, 2007

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) -Ryan Howard is expected to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta on Friday, after completing a rehab assignment with Class A Lakewood.
   
Howard, who went on the 15-day DL May 10 due to a strained left quadriceps, went 0-for-3 Thursday night. He was 2-for-6 over two-games with the BlueClaws with a homer, double, two walks, four RBIs and two strikeouts.

The left-handed power hitter's return to the Phillies coincides with the team's possible loss of closer Brett Myers, who suffered a right shoulder strain against Florida on Wednesday. Myers flew to the team's spring training complex for an MRI on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day.

After starting as the DH Wednesday, Howard looked comfortable at first base Thursday night. He made an impressive stretch in the fifth to secure a 6-4-3 double play.

At the plate, Howard got jammed and popped to center against right-hander Don Levinski his first time up, then walked in the third. Howard struck out looking in the fifth and bounced into a 4-6-3 double play in the seventh, but ran hard down the line with no apparent problems.

The Phils did not say whether Howard will be in the lineup against Tim Hudson when the Phils start a three-game series against the Braves, but he was scheduled to fly to Atlanta on Friday.

Howard said Wednesday that he was ready to face big league pitching.

``I was anxious to get back the day I went on the DL,'' he said. ``I'm ready to get back, as soon as possible.''

Howard, who led the majors with 58 home runs and 149 RBI in 2006, is hitting .204 with six homers, 23 RBI and 39 strikeouts in 27 games.

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Brewers call up third baseman Ryan Braun
May 24, 2007

MILWAUKEE (AP) -Power-hitting third baseman Ryan Braun was called up Thursday night to make his major league debut for the Milwaukee Brewers, whose offense has stalled somewhat in recent games.

The 23-year-old Braun, a first-round draft pick of the Brewers out of Miami in 2005, was hitting .342 with 10 homers and 22 RBIs in 34 games this season with Triple-A Nashville.

In spring training, Braun hit a grand slam and a three-run homer in the Brewers' exhibition opener.

He will join the Brewers in San Diego for a weekend series with the Padres.

The division-leading Brewers are 28-19 going into Friday night's game but have gone 4-9 in their last 13 games.

To make room on the roster, the Brewers placed reliever Elmer Dessens on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain.

Offensive production has been lacking from the third-base position. Veterans Craig Counsell and Tony Graffanino have shared the job, batting a combined .214.

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Baseball Today - May 25
Fri, May 25, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Friday, May 25

Milwaukee at San Diego (10:05 p.m. EDT). San Diego's Greg Maddux faces left-hander Dave Bush.

STARS Thursday

-Carlos Guillen, Tigers, homered twice and drove in five runs in a 12-0 rout of the Los Angeles Angels.

-Micah Owings, Astros, struck out a season-high eight in his first complete game to lead Houston to a 9-1 win over Arizona.

-John Smoltz, Braves, pitched seven shutout innings and became baseball''s first pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves with a 2-1 win over the Mets.

FAST START

Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-6 with a homer in his 1,000th major league game. Suzuki, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games, has 1,414 hits - the second most by a player in his first 1,000 games since 1900. Hall of Famer Al Simmons (1924-44) had 1,443 hits in that span.

MILESTONES

John Smoltz became baseball''s first pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves, achieving the feat by throwing seven shutout innings to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 win over the New York Mets on Thursday night. Smoltz saved an Atlanta-record 154 games as the Braves' closer from 2001 through 2004. ... Frank Thomas hit his 493rd career home run in Toronto's 5-4, 10-inning win over Baltimore Thursday night, tying Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 21st on the career list.

BAD NEWS BUCCANEERS

St. Louis beat Pittsburgh 3-1 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep. Both of the Cardinals' sweeps this season have come against the Pirates, the other on the road in April. Before the series, the defending World Series champions had lost five in a row and were nine games below .500.

RUSTY ROCKET

Roger Clemens probably will make another minor league start before rejoining the New York Yankees. Clemens struggled Wednesday night for Double-A Trenton, allowing three runs and six hits with four walks, five strikeouts, a hit batter and a wild pitch in 5 1-3 innings. If the 44-year-old right-hander starts Monday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he would be on track to make his first start for the Yankees at Fenway Park on June 2 or 3 against Boston.

WELCOME BACK

Jeremy Bonderman made a strong return from the disabled list Thursday to help Detroit beat the Los Angeles Angels 12-0. Bonderman (3-0), pitching for the first time since May 8 after missing two starts with a blister on his right middle finger, gave up four hits, walked five and struck out six in eight innings to win for the third time in as many starts.

STREAKS

The Arizona Diamondbacks routed Houston 9-1 on Thursday night, sending the Astros to their fifth straight loss.

WILD ONE

Carl Crawford had three RBIs and triggered a seven-run third inning, leading the Tampa Bay Devil Rays past the Seattle Mariners 13-12 on Thursday. Seven of Tampa Bay's nine starters drove in at least one run. Jae Seo (3-4) gave up seven runs and 13 hits over 5-plus innings to earn the win.

SPEAKING

''Sometimes you need a little fire. I''m not going to back down from anything. ... It's over with. We won. So keep moving.'' - Dontrelle Willis, angry because he thought the Phillies' Jon Lieber intentionally threw behind him in Florida''s 5-4, 11-inning win over the Phillies on Thursday. Willis began shouting at the Philadelphia dugout and the benches and bullpens emptied, but no players were ejected during the fourth-inning episode.

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Diamondbacks: Young leaves due to groin

Chris Young was unable to complete Thursday's game due to his nagging groin injury. He was pulled after three innings, according to the AP.

Mariners: Ibanez to play on Friday

Raul Ibanez was not in the starting lineup Thursday for the seventh time in the Mariners' past eight contests. However, he's expected to return from his sore lower back for Friday's game, according to the AP. "He's better today," manager Mike Hargrove said. "I think he'll be ready to go tomorrow. We just wanted to give the extra day, especially on this (Tropicana Field) turf."

Mariners: Ramirez (shoulder) exits game

Horacio Ramirez lasted just two innings on Thursday before being pulled from the game. He was dealing with tightness in his throwing shoulder, according to the AP. "It's in the back of the shoulder," Ramirez said. "Velocity wasn't there. It doesn't allow me to finish a pitch. Hopefully it will calm down soon."

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White Sox 3B Joe Crede (back) is doubtful.

Twins SS Jason Bartlett (back) is doubtful.

Padres RF Brian Giles (knee) is doubtful.

A's 3B Eric Chavez (elbow) is doubtful.

Braves 3B Chipper Jones is expected to be out of the starting lineup until at least Sunday after receiving a cortisone injection in his sore right hand.

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Mets activate "El Duque"
May 25th, 2007

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The New York Mets activated pitcher Orlando Hernandez from the 15-day disabled list in time to start the team's game against Florida on Friday.

Hernandez was shelved since April 25 with bursitis in his right shoulder.

The veteran right-hander has a record of 2-1 with a 2.53 earned run average in five starts this season.

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Mariners place Ramirez on DL
May 25th, 2007

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - The Seattle Mariners placed starting pitcher Horacio Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left shoulder.

Ramirez felt stiffness in his left shoulder in his start Thursday against Tampa Bay and was pulled following the second inning. The 27-year-old southpaw is 4-2 with a 6.47 ERA in eight starts for Seattle this season.

To take his spot on the roster, the Mariners recalled pitcher Jon Huber from Triple-A Tacoma. Huber is 1-2 with a 4.01 ERA and five saves in 15 relief appearances for Tacoma this season.

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Phils place Myers on DL, activate Howard
May 25th, 2007

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies announced good and bad news on Friday. Reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard was activated from the disabled list while closer Brett Myers was placed on the 15-day DL.

Howard, who had been out with a left quadriceps strain, completed a two-game rehab assignment with Single-A Lakewood, going 2-for-6 with a home run, double, four RBI and two walks. Before the injury, Howard got off to a rocky start this season, hitting just .204 with six home runs and 23 RBI.

To make room for Howard on the roster, catcher Chris Coste was optioned to Double-A Reading.

Myers, meanwhile, suffered a right shoulder strain after throwing a wild pitch in the Phillies' 8-7 extra-inning win over Florida on Wednesday. This is his first trip to the DL in his major league career.

Myers, the club's Opening Day starter, had excelled since he was moved to the bullpen. In 18 relief appearances, Myers is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA and six saves in seven opportunities. He also led all NL relievers in strikeouts (32) and strikeouts per nine innings (13.9) at the time of his injury.

To take his spot in the bullpen, Philadelphia purchased the contract of left-hander Mike Zagurski from Reading. The 24-year-old Zagurski began the season in Single-A Clearwater before he was promoted to Reading. In 18 combined appearances, he had five saves, a 1.16 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 23.1 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .104 average.

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A's place Robertson on DL
May 25, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) -The Oakland Athletics placed right-hander Connor Robertson on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a thumb injury and called up left-hander Erasmo Ramirez from Triple-A Sacramento.

Robertson fractured his right thumb in Monday's game against the Chicago White Sox. Since being recalled from Sacramento on May 15 to replace pitcher Huston Street, he allowed at least one run in each of his three outings.

Ramirez was 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA and two saves in 19 relief appearances with Sacramento. He last pitched in the major leagues in 2005 with the Texas Rangers.

To clear a spot for Ramirez on the 40-man roster, the A's designated right-hander David Shafer for assignment. Oakland also announced that catcher Jeremy Brown, who was designated for assignment Tuesday, cleared waivers and had been outrighted to Sacramento.

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