MLB News and Notes June - 2

MLB News and Notes June - 2

Sheffield and Bard suspended for 3 games
June 1, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Detroit designated hitter Gary Sheffield and San Diego catcher Josh Bard were suspended for three games each by the commissioner's office Friday for confrontations with umpires the previous night.

Both players filed appeals, meaning they cannot be penalized until after hearings and decisions on the appeals.

Sheffield was penalized for ``aggressive actions directed at umpire Greg Gibson'' at Cleveland, according to Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for discipline. Gibson ejected Sheffield in the fifth inning after the slugger argued a strike call, then broke his bat on a groundout and threw away the piece of wood still in his hands.

Bard was suspended for ``aggressive actions, including making contact with umpire Ed Rapuano'' at Pittsburgh.

Bard hit an 11th-inning drive that appeared to reach the right-field seats for his second homer of the game. Bard took his home run trot and put his catching gear back on, only to have Joe West's umpiring crew reverse the call after Pirates manager Jim Tracy successfully argued the drive struck a thin metal railing above the right-field wall and did not leave the park.

The reversal changing it to a double caused Bard to race off the bench and start yelling at the umpires. Bard chased the umpires from second base to first. Padres manager Bud Black also was ejected for arguing.

Both players also were fined.

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Dodgers' Brazoban on DL, Hull called up
June 1, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Los Angeles Dodgers recalled right-hander Eric Hull from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday to replace reliever Yhency Brazoban, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder.

Hull was 2-2 with two saves and a 3.60 ERA at Las Vegas, striking out 27 while allowing only one homer. He also spent last season at Las Vegas, going 2-4 with two saves in 44 games.

Brazoban had pitched only 1 2-3 innings, giving up three earned runs and four hits since his May 23 callup. He didn't retire any of the three hitters he faced Thursday night in Washington, allowing a bases-loaded single, walking a batter and committing a throwing error.

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White Sox put Erstad on DL, recall Owens
June 1, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -The Chicago White Sox put outfielder Darin Erstad on the 15-day disabled list Friday and recalled outfielder Jerry Owens from Triple-A Charlotte.
   
Erstad sprained his left ankle when he fell awkwardly after swinging and missing on a Roy Halladay fastball in the seventh inning of Thursday's 2-0 loss to Toronto. X-rays were negative.

``It's nothing really serious,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``It could have been worse. The bone is clean, nothing broke.''

Owens got the nod over Ryan Sweeney because the White Sox wanted someone who could hit in the leadoff spot. Owens started Friday's game in center and batted leadoff.

Owens, 26, hit .305 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in 48 games at Charlotte. He was tied for the International League lead with 36 runs and second in steals with 23.

Owens, a left-handed batter, appeared in 12 games for the White Sox in 2006. Guillen said he will get the majority of the playing time in Erstad's absence, but right-handed batter Rob Mackowiak could start against left-handed pitchers.

Chicago already has two outfielders on the DL. Scott Podsednik has been out since April 16 with a strained right abductor and Pablo Ozuna suffered a fractured right fibula on May 28.

Podsednik is due to undergo an MRI when the White Sox return to Chicago next Monday and could soon begin a minor league rehab assignment. Ozuna is expected to be out for at least three months.

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Giambi placed on DL, 2 others called up
June 1, 2007

BOSTON (AP) -The New York Yankees placed Jason Giambi on the 15-day disabled list Friday with torn tissue in his left foot that is expected to sideline him at least three weeks, and perhaps much longer.

They also sent right-hander Matt DeSalvo to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre and called up righty Chris Britton and outfielder Kevin Thompson from the club.

Giambi, the Yankees' designated hitter, tore the tissue while running out a home run Tuesday night at Toronto. He was examined in New York on Thursday by Dr. William Hamilton.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said before Friday night's game in Boston that surgery was not an option.

Giambi is hitting .262 with seven homers and 23 RBIs. His foot began bothering him soon after he played the field for the first time on April 28, and he hit .117 in May with three homers and six RBIs.

DeSalvo was 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA for the Yankees.

Britton had no record and a 0.78 ERA with five saves in 15 relief outings at Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Thompson was hitting .260 with two homers and 17 RBIs for the Triple-A team.

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Giambi placed on DL

[b]Yankees: Giambi likely done for the year

It looks like Jason Giambi's 2007 season could be finished. The New York Post is reporting that the partially torn plantar fascia tendon on the bottom of his left foot will likely keep the slugger out for the rest of the year. Giambi was immediately put in a walking boot after the injury and will be re-evaluated in three weeks, but medical sources told the Post it's usually a three-to-six-month recovery process. Even if Giambi's recovery time is on the short end of that estimate, he would be out until at least early September. That much time off combined with the fact that he wouldn't have the option of playing in any rehab games (the minor league season ends in early September) will make it very tough for Giambi to play another game this year. While Giambi is out, Johnny Damon is expected to be the primary DH, with Melky Cabrera taking over in center for Damon.

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Kotsay comes off DL to play for first time all season
June 1, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Mark Kotsay took several rounds of early batting practice, and what an encouraging sight for the Oakland Athletics to see their healthy center fielder.

Kotsay was activated from the 60-day disabled list Friday and in the starting lineup for the first time this season after recovering from an operation on his lower back March 8.

``I feel better than before the surgery,'' said Kotsay, who missed 16 games for San Diego in 2003 with a sprained lower back. ``I don't have any pain. I have general soreness from playing every day (in minor league rehab stint).''

With Kotsay returning and batting seventh in the opener of a weekend series with the Minnesota Twins, manager Bob Geren had his entire projected starting outfield from opening day available.

But Geren gave Shannon Stewart a much-deserved day off - he'd played in a team-high 50 games - and used Travis Buck in left field against Stewart's former club. Milton Bradley, the team's right fielder who filled in at center when healthy during Kotsay's absence, returned Wednesday from his second stint on the DL with a strained left hamstring.

``He was one of the first guys here today,'' Geren said of Kotsay. ``When he walked in, he was pretty happy, shaking everybody's hands and saying, 'How you doing?' It was nice. He brings a little different energy. ... He gives a little uplift to everybody.''

Kotsay's goal was to be back June 1, and he did it exactly. The initial diagnosis for his recovery time was up to three months, though Kotsay used that as a conservative estimate. He said he will have to work hard to maintain his core strength for the rest of his life.

``I hope I beat everyone's expectations,'' Kotsay said. ``For me, I had a time frame in mind, and I accomplished it.''

To make roster room, the A's optioned infielder Donnie Murphy to Triple-A Sacramento.

Kotsay began a rehab assignment for Sacramento on May 21, batting .270 in 10 games - making seven starts in center field and three as designated hitter.

The A's have five healthy outfielders to use now, and Buck will get more chances in left. Geren said he has spoken with his players about the situation.

``It's different than a month ago when we were searching for help,'' Geren said. ``Now, we have an abundance. You do the best you can to keep everybody sharp. It's great. I like the looks of the team.''

Bobby Kielty, another one of the A's injured outfielders, did some live hitting but won't really be able to gauge the health of his strained left calf until he begins strengthening work and light running - which is still a ways off. He isn't eligible to return from the DL until June 28.

``It seems like the team has been bitten by bad luck,'' Kotsay said. ``Hopefully because we've had so much negative it turns into a positive.''

The A's still have nine players on the disabled list, which they have used 13 times already after needing the DL 15 times total in 2006. Designated hitter Mike Piazza, star right-hander Rich Harden and closer Huston Street are among those sidelined.

Injured righty reliever Justin Duchscherer, on the DL with a strained right hip, was examined in Nashville on Friday by Titans doctor Thomas Byrd. He recommended Duchscherer not throw for two weeks.

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Devil Rays: Fossum dropped from rotation

The Devil Rays have dropped Casey Fossum from their rotation. The southpaw is 3-5 with a 7.89 ERA over 10 starts. "In the conversion with him today, he was great," manager Joe Maddon tells the AP. "He was very receptive to it." The Rays have not named a replacement.

Tigers: Guillen remains out

Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillen remained out of the lineup on Friday due to a strained left groin. He could miss the rest of the weekend, the AP reports.

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Teixeira leaves game because of concussion
June 1, 2007

SEATTLE (AP) -Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira left the Rangers' game Friday night against Seattle in the third inning because of a mild concussion after getting hit below the left eye with an outfield throw while scoring.

Teixeira was sliding feet first into home after Marlon Byrd's single when Ichiro Suzuki's throw from center field banged off the left side of Teixeira's face and caromed to the dugout railing. A trainer met the 2005 All-Star on his way into the dugout and then examined Teixeira on the bench, as Teixeira squinted and winced.

Mariners doctor Mitch Storey then examined Teixeira and diagnosed the concussion. The Rangers list him as day-to-day.

Matt Kata moved from third base to replace Teixeira at first, and third baseman Ramon Vazquez replaced Teixeira as the Rangers' No. 3 hitter for the bottom of the third.

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Baseball Today - June 2
Sat, Jun 2, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Saturday, June 2

San Francisco at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EDT). Cole Hamels struck out nine in a win against the Giants on May 6.

STARS Friday

-Matt Morris, Giants, gave up one hit in six scoreless innings and had three hits and scored twice in San Francisco's 13-0 pounding of Philadelphia.

-Javier Vazquez, White Sox, pitched eight shutout innings in Chicago's 3-0 win over Toronto.

-Ronnie Belliard, Nationals, had a pinch-hit single in the 10th inning to push Washington past San Diego 4-3.

-Kyle Davies, Braves, gave up one run in seven innings and went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in Atlanta's 8-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

-John Lackey, Angels, allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings to earn his major league-leading ninth win and the Los Angeles Angels edged Baltimore 3-2.

STINGY AT SHEA

Reigning NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb allowed four hits over eight innings in Arizona's 5-1 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night. He struck out eight and walked one to improve to 5-3 on the season and lower his ERA to 0.31 in four career starts at Shea Stadium.

CONSECUTIVE FIRSTS

Juan Encarnacion and Gary Bennett hit their first homers of the season on consecutive pitches in St. Louis' seven-run ninth inning to lift the Cardinals to an 8-1 victory over Houston on Friday night.

SECOND TIME'S THE CHARM

Bobby Livingston allowed seven hits in 6 2-3 innings for his first major league win and Cincinnati beat Colorado 4-2 on Friday night. Livingston was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Monday and was making his second career start. He gave up one unearned run and a walk. He also had a two-out, RBI single in the fourth.

STREAKS

Ichiro Suzuki extended his career-best hitting streak to 25 games, a Seattle record, in a 9-8 loss to Texas on Friday night. ... Kevin Youkilis extended his hitting streak to 23 games in Boston's 9-5 loss to the New York Yankees. ... Arizona topped the New York Mets 5-1 to earn their eighth straight win, their longest winning streak since 2003. ... Russell Martin homered for the third straight game in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-4 win over Pittsburgh.

SNAPPED

Kansas City snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday night. ... The Chicago White Sox snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over Toronto. ... Baltimore had a six-game winning streak snapped in a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

SPEAKING

''I don't think I've ever gone into any game thinking, 'Well, we're due for a clunker.' It just kind of happens that way some times.'' - Boston manager Terry Francona, on his team's 9-5 loss to the rival New York Yankees on Friday night.

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Seo designated for assignment
June 1, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -The Tampa Bay Devil Rays designated right-hander Jae Seo for assignment Friday, one of several moves made to revamp the starting rotation.

A pair of starters, left-hander J.P. Howell and right-hander Andy Sonnanstine, were promoted from Triple-A Durham. Reliever Jae Kuk Ryu was optioned to Durham.

Howell, 3-5 with a 3.96 ERA, was recalled to start Sunday's game against Kansas City. He made eight starts with Tampa Bay last season, going 1-3.

Sonnanstine had his contract purchased and will make his major league debut Tuesday at Toronto. He is 40-18 with a 2.56 ERA in 84 career minor league games.

Seo was dropped from the rotation last week, after going 3-4 with an 8.13 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts. Ryu, 1-1 in 15 relief appearances, will work as a starting pitcher in the minors.

``We saw it all the way through,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. ``We wanted to make sure the guys down below were ready. These two guys were deemed ready and we felt it was necessary to do something at the point.''

Left-hander Jon Switzer was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to Durham. He had been sidelined by a left shoulder injury.

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Cubs: Floyd out again Saturday

Cliff Floyd missed Friday's game due to a strained muscle in his side. He'll sit out Saturday's game, as well, since the Cubs are facing a left-handed starter, according to the Chicago Tribune. "That will give me two days off and I hope I can help Sunday," he said.

White Sox: Blanco placed on disabled list

Henry Blanco will miss at least the next couple of weeks due to a herniated disc in his neck. The Cubs placed him on the disabled list Friday due to the injury, which could require surgery if the pain fails to go away, according to the Chicago Tribune. Koyie Hill was recalled to replace Blanco as Michael Barrett's backup.

Braves: Smoltz bumped until Tuesday

The Braves have decided to bump John Smoltz from his scheduled start Sunday. Lance Cormier will get the nod in place of Smoltz, who is dealing with some soreness in his shoulder, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smoltz is expected to start one of the doubleheader games against the Marlins on Tuesday.

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Rolen, Eckstein leave game with injuries
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- The Cardinals' injury situation took one step forward on Friday afternoon, then two steps back once Friday night's game against the Astros got under way.

Scott Rolen was removed from the team's game in Houston in the third inning due to a strained right hamstring. In the fifth, David Eckstein was hit on the left elbow by a pitch, and though he remained in the game for two innings of defense, he did not take his next at-bat.

Neither player is expected to be available for Saturday's game in Houston. Rolen is likely out at least through the weekend, while Eckstein's availability beyond Saturday is in question.

As a result, the Cardinals will be forced to make a roster move, simply to have enough functional outfielders. The club expects to call up infielder Brendan Ryan from Triple-A Memphis, while placing Chris Duncan on the disabled list. Duncan has bursitis and an infection in his left knee, and has not played since Sunday.

"We've got to protect ourselves with an infielder tomorrow, I would think," manager Tony La Russa said on Friday night.

"[Ryan] is playing really well down there. He looked good in camp. I think it's a great opportunity for him."

Ryan, 25, is batting .243 with a .303 on-base percentage and a .318 slugging percentage for Memphis. He's stolen 10 bases in 14 attempts and scored 37 runs in 55 games.

Rolen grounded out in the top of the second but remained in the game to play defense in the bottom half of the inning. After the Cardinals batted in the top of the third, Rolen did not take the field in the bottom of the third. Scott Spiezio moved from left field to take his place at third base, and So Taguchi was inserted in left for Spiezio.

"Colorado is a pretty good place to get tight and sore," he said. "That happens every time you leave there. I was a little sore the last couple days.

"My legs were sore. My hamstring was a little tight. I came in and did what I always do, ran a little bit, stretched a little bit, took some batting practice. And then I went out to get loose before the game, and I had a pretty good idea right there I didn't have much of a chance. But I figured I'd give it a shot and see what happened out there."

Rolen, who slumped for much of the early part of the season, had been enjoying his hottest stretch of the year in recent days. He had a seven-game hitting streak prior to Friday, and five extra-base hits in the past five games.

Eckstein, meanwhile, had provided some welcome good news earlier in the day. He made his first start in six days after being sidelined with a back injury before taking the shot off his elbow. He left without speaking to reporters, but La Russa was clearly concerned.

"I think David really caught it right on the point of the elbow, and I think he'll be very sore tomorrow," La Russa said. "Maybe a good day not to play him."

Duncan had already been sent home to St. Louis to receive treatment on his knee. The Cards also placed Yadier Molina on the disabled list this week with a broken bone in his left wrist.

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Notes from Friday's AL games
June 1, 2007


NEW YORK: DH Jason Giambi went on the 15-day disabled list with torn tissue in his left foot. The Yankees also sent right-hander Matt DeSalvo to Scranton Wilkes-Barre and called up righty Chris Britton and outfielder Kevin Thompson from the Triple-A club. ... 2B Robinson Cano continued his hot hitting with a two-run homer in the second and a single in the fourth. In the Yankees' previous game, a 10-5 win at Toronto on Wednesday night, he went 4-for-4 with three doubles. ... Manager Joe Torre said Wil Nieves will catch Mike Mussina in Saturday's game while Jorge Posada serves as DH.


BOSTON: Manager Terry Francona said Curt Schilling, who will pitch Saturday, was outstanding in his last start because his cut fastball was sharp. He had struggled in his previous game. ... 1B Kevin Youkilis had 45 hits in May, second in the AL to the 46 by Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki. Youkilis entered Friday's game with a .354 batting average, third in the league. ... Rookie 2B Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. He doubled in his first two at bats to raise his average to .320. ... Members of the Red Sox 1967 team that went to the World Series were honored on the field before the game.


DETROIT: C Vance Wilson is scheduled to start a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday. He has been on the disabled list all season with a sore right elbow. ... OF Marcus Thames' stolen base Thursday night was the first straight steal of his career, a span of 271 games. His only previous steal came at the back end of a double-steal with Alexis Gomez last June 28. ... 3B Brandon Inge (chip fracture of left big toe) and SS Carlos Guillen (left groin strain) were out of the lineup again Friday and could miss the entire four-game series against the Indians. ... The Tigers' 310 hits in May were the most of any AL team and the most by a Detroit club since 312 in August 1982.

CLEVELAND:
LeBron James was the talk of the Indians' clubhouse Friday. ``There's never been anything like that. Ever. In any sport,'' C.C. Sabathia said of James' 48-point performance for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. ... Indians pitchers took batting practice indoors in preparation for upcoming interleague games in NL ballparks in Cincinnati, Florida and Washington in June. ... RHP Paul Byrd has twice as many wins, six, as walks, three. The Indians' staff entered play Friday with the fewest walks in baseball - 134 in 462 1-3 innings. Byrd has walked three in 58 innings and reliever Rafael Betancourt one in 22 1-3 innings.


CHICAGO:
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen spoke with team owner Jerry Reinsdorf Friday morning and was told not to worry about his job status. ``Jerry told me to quit blaming myself,'' Guillen said. The White Sox have lost five straight and entered play Friday a season-high 7 1/2 games out of first in the AL Central. ... Chicago put OF Darin Erstad (left ankle sprain) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled OF Jerry Owens from Triple-A Charlotte. ... RHP Bobby Jenks has converted 13 consecutive save opportunities, tying him with Tampa Bay's Al Reyes for the longest active streak in the American League.

TORONTO: The Blue Jays beat the White Sox 2-0 Thursday with a pair of solo home runs, one each from Aaron Hill and Frank Thomas. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time since record keeping began in 1900 that a team has won without putting a runner on base. ... After starting May 0-9, the Blue Jays went 12-7 over the rest of the month. ``The guys hung tough,'' manager John Gibbons said. ... A second MRI on LHP Gustavo Chacin (sore shoulder) this week showed no structural damage, but Chacin is still in pain and is not throwing. ``He's on the slow track,'' general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. ... INF Ryan Roberts, who was designated for assignment Wednesday, cleared waivers Friday and was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse.


KANSAS CITY: Manager Buddy Bell rested OF David DeJesus, who is mired in an 0-for-10 slide. ... The Royals took an hour of extra batting practice. Kansas City scored just 13 runs in its previous seven games. ... Three players in Friday's starting lineup - LF Esteban German, DH Mike Sweeney and RF Emil Brown - entered hitless in their last 10 or more at_bats. ... RHP Octavio Dotel, who rejoined the Royals on May 23 after being sidelined by a strained left oblique, said he is feeling great.

TAMPA BAY: Struggling LHP Casey Fossum, who was 3-5 with a 7.89 ERA in 10 starts, was dropped from the rotation. ``In the conversion with him today, he was great,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``He was very receptive to it.'' ... Vanderbilt LHP David Price remains one of three players the Devil Rays are looking at as the potential first overall pick in Thursday's amateur draft. The other two are Georgia Tech C Matt Wieters and California high school 3B Josh Vitters. ``I wish we had the first three picks,'' Director of Scouting R.J. Harrison said. ``I like all these guys.''


BALTIMORE: Orioles RHP Chad Bradford entered Friday night's game at Anaheim having faced 287 consecutive batters in relief without allowing a home run, the second-longest current streak in the majors and one fewer than RHP Brad Penny of the Dodgers. The last homer against Bradford came May 14, 2006, when Bill Hall used a pink bat on Mother's Day - with his mom watching from the stands - to hit a 10th-inning walk-off homer that beat the New York Mets 6-5 at Milwaukee.

LOS ANGELES: The Angels are the only AL team that has yet to play on artificial turf this season. They won't have to until July 17, when they begin a six-game road trip that takes them through Tampa Bay and Minnesota. ... The Angels entered Friday outscoring opponents 60-23 in the first inning. In each of their previous four games, they allowed a first-inning run and then came back to score in the bottom half. ... Angels starting pitchers led the majors with 30 victories heading into John Lackey's outing Friday night.

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Notes from Friday's NL games
June 1, 2007


ATLANTA: RHP John Smoltz's shoulder is improving, but the 40-year-old isn't sure if he will be able to make his scheduled start Sunday. Smoltz threw a side session before Friday's game. He said he was able to throw all his pitches, but they were lacking some sharpness. ``It was OK,'' Smoltz said. ``But come tomorrow, and even closer to Sunday, if I don't have the sharpness then I'm not going to pitch. I'll probably need a couple extra days.'' If Smoltz isn't ready, manager Bobby Cox said RHP Buddy Carlyle would start Sunday, with Smoltz going Tuesday against Florida. ... RHP Kyle Davies was 1-for-15 with a homer before his career-high three hits Friday. ``He's a good hitter,'' Cox said. ``He's always been in the back of my mind, when we run out of players, to be the first pitcher to swing the bat.'' Davies was the first Atlanta pitcher to get three hits since Terry Mulholland went 3-for-3 on May 12, 2000, against Philadelphia.

CHICAGO: Hours before his altercation with starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano, C Michael Barrett said he was refreshed and looking forward to getting back on the field after two days off. Barrett got picked off second in Tuesday's loss to Florida and did not play the following day, when the Marlins beat the Cubs 9-0. The Cubs were off Thursday. ``I had some time to think about things,'' he said. ``As a team, as a player, you make mistakes. You have times where you go through slumps. As difficult as it can be at times, you try to put things behind you and move forward.'' ... Jacque Jones had gone 74 at_bats before hitting his second homer of the season - a solo shot in the ninth. ... Derrek Lee, who was 3-for-3, led off the fourth with his second homer in three games - his fifth this season. He is 8-for-22 (.364) over his last five games.


LOS ANGELES: INF Andy LaRoche and big brother Adam LaRoche, the Pirates' first baseman, were in opposing dugouts for the first time in the majors on Friday. The teams met in Los Angeles in April, but Andy had not yet joined the Dodgers. The brothers are four years apart, but Andy said that didn't prevent them from being competitive with each other and their father. ``It didn't matter, board games, anything - if I lost, I'd be so mad, I'd get worked up, I'd be in tears some time, and that made them even happier,'' Andy said, ``but it was all in good fun.'' ... RHP Jason Schmidt (shoulder bursitis), who last pitched for the Dodgers on April 14, expects to throw a sideline session Saturday. He pitched six shutout innings in a Class A rehabilitation start Wednesday.

PITTSBURGH: LHP Sean Burnett, a former first-round draft choice, went on Triple-A Indianapolis' DL Friday because of arm fatigue. He is 4-4 with a 4.37 ERA in 11 starts. Burnett was upset when he didn't make the rotation out of spring training, but has been up and down in the minors. He is not being shut down because of a specific injury, but because his arm hasn't felt right lately. He had reconstructive elbow surgery nearly three years ago. ... RHP Matt Capps replaced RHP Salomon Torres as the Pirates' closer Friday, a night after Torres couldn't hold a two-run lead in the ninth inning against San Diego. The Pirates went on to lose 4-2 in 11 innings. Capps said, ``I'm excited and anxious. I've been waiting for it, but I hate to get it the way I did.''


SAN DIEGO: The Padres activated RHP Clay Hensley from the 15-day DL before the game and optioned him to Triple-A Portland. ``He needs to go down there and make some more consistent pitches,'' manager Bud Black said. The Padres optioned IF Oscar Robles to Portland to clear a spot for OF Hiram Bocachica, who was claimed off waivers from Oakland on Thursday. ... 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff was out of Friday's starting lineup after fouling a ball off his instep Thursday, and OF Jose Cruz Jr. remained sidelined with back spasms caused by a sneeze.

WASHINGTON: RHP Luis Ayala, who is on the 60-day DL while recovering from ligament reconstruction surgery in his right elbow, was scheduled to pitch an inning for Single-A Potomac in a rehabilitation assignment Friday. ... 1B Nick Johnson, on the 60-day DL while recovering from a broken right leg, took live outdoor batting practice before Friday's game. ``It is a significant step because he hit the ball without any pain,'' said manager Manny Acta, who threw to Johnson.


SAN FRANCISCO: The Giants' record is weighing more on Barry Bonds than his pursuit of Hank Aaron's home run record. ``That we're not in first place, that's difficult to deal with as a player,'' he said. ``As a baseball player, you want to be out in first place. And that's tough to deal with when you feel you should be playing a lot better.'' ... Reliever Randy Messenger joined the team in Philadelphia a day after he was acquired from Florida for closer Armando Benitez. ... Only Aaron and Ernie Banks have more homers (67) against the Phillies than Bonds (64).

PHILADELPHIA: Manager Charlie Manuel was ejected in the second inning Friday night by first-base umpire Tim McClelland for arguing a pitch by Adam Eaton that pitcher Matt Morris appeared to bunt through. ... Greg Dobbs made his fifth start at third base. Manuel has been platooning Dobbs and the switch-hitting Abraham Nunez instead of playing Wes Helms. ... Only four of Eaton's 11 starts have been quality starts - three earned runs or less in six innings or more.


ARIZONA: One week before the First Year Player Draft, Arizona signed RHP Max Scherzer to a four-year major league contract. Scherzer was the Diamondbacks' first pick in the 2006 draft. In a corresponding move, the club designated pitcher Evan MacLane for assignment... Reliever Jose Valverde came into Friday's game with 19 saves, tied for the major league lead.

NEW YORK: 2B Jose Velentin rehabbing a partial ligament tear in his right knee, went 0-for-4 with a walk in extended spring training at Class-A Port St. Lucie. he played five innings in the field without any chances. ... Former OF Darryl Strawberry and minor league coordinator of instruction Kevin Morgan will represent the Mets at next Thursday's First Year Player Draft. ... LHP Tom Glavine will be honored as a Father of the Year by the National Father's Day Committee. ... Mets finished May with 19 wins, second most for the month in franchise history. The team won 21 games in May 1972 and 19 in May 1988


FLORIDA: RHP Sergio Mitre said he still was unsure whether he could make his next start, scheduled for Monday at Atlanta. Mitre left his Wednesday night start in the fifth inning with a cramp in his right hamstring. ``It's just sore,'' he said. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was unsure who would start Monday if Mitre couldn't pitch. The team also has a doubleheader with the Braves on Tuesday. ... RHP Armando Benitez said he would fill any role the Marlins want. Benitez, who was the closer for San Francisco, was re-acquired by Florida him in a trade Thursday night. RHP Kevin Gregg is expected to remain the team's closer, with Benitez and Henry Owens in setup roles.

MILWAUKEE: 2B Rickie Weeks traveled to Phoenix Friday for an appointment with Dr. Don Sheridan, the physician who performed his wrist surgery a year ago. The team said they wanted Sheridan to examine Weeks, who is on the DL with right wrist tendinitis. After the exam, Weeks flew back to Milwaukee. ``A long day of flying,'' manager Ned Yost said. ... RHP Jose Capellan joined the team Friday and will fill the long reliever role held by Elmer Dessens, who was placed on the DL last month. Capellan was with the Brewers for the entire 2006 season, but was sent to Triple-A Nashville at the end of spring training. Upset about the demotion, he left the team without permission, asked for a trade and was docked two days' pay. ... ... The Brewers went 14-15 in May, the best record of any NL Central team.


ST. LOUIS: SS David Eckstein returned to the lineup Friday after missing five straight games with back spasms. ... Scott Rolen led all third basemen with a 1.000 fielding percentage entering Friday's game. He has handled 119 balls without an error and hasn't committed an error in the regular season since Sept. 27, a streak of 49 games. It is the longest active streak by a third baseman. ... Kip Wells, who is 2-9 with a 6.20 ERA, will face the Astros Saturday. The Houston native has already faced the Astros twice this season. The first meeting was one of his best, when he allowed one hit in seven shutout innings. The second one was one of his worst this season as he allowed six hits and seven runs in 4 1-3 innings, his shortest outing of 2007.

HOUSTON: Manager Phil Garner was encouraged by Lance Berkman's three-run homer Thursday night, but knows he's still not where he wants to be. Berkman has failed to get into a rhythm at the plate this season. ``To see him swing the bat and drive the ball through the left side of the infield, through the middle of the infield, would really be an indication that he's back on track,'' Garner said. Garner said Berkman isn't comfortable right now, but that he has no doubt he'll figure it out. ``When you know he's done it as well as he has in the past, he will find it,'' Garner said. ... Garner moved hot-hitting rookie Hunter Pence from batting near the bottom of the lineup to second on Friday. He said he was reluctant to make that move earlier for two reasons. ``I felt like each night the guys at the top of the lineup were going to come out and do something,'' he said. ``But the other side of the fence is I think Hunter did quite well sitting at the bottom of the lineup, so I had no interest in moving him. We needed somebody backing up a couple of our big hitters at the bottom of the lineup and he's been doing a nice job of that, driving in runs.''


CINCINNATI: Although eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, OF Josh Hamilton (stomach infection) is not expected to join the Reds in Denver. ``He'll be eligible, but most likely won't be back until Tuesday,'' manager Jerry Narron said. ``I like what he's done in his rehab assignment, three home runs, all against lefties.'' ... News of OF Ryan Freel's recovery from neck and head contusions has been sketchy. ``I haven't spoken with him,'' Narron said. ``His wife said he was not taking phone calls.'' ... 3B Edwin Encarnacion began the season hitting .218, but has enjoyed better results since being recalled from Triple-A Louisville on May 22. ``He was swinging the bat well to start the year,'' Narron said. ``He hit the ball hard, but right at somebody.''

COLORADO: OF Willy Taveras used a glue-like substance to hold his fingernail in place so he could play Friday night. Taveras was hit on his right index finger Monday on a bunt attempt. ``It's better than it was,'' he said. ... Manager Clint Hurdle will give 3B Garrett Atkins a few days off to see if it breaks him out of his slump. He's hitting .159 in his last 22 games. ``I'll give him a couple of days to refresh or rekindle and then we'll get back at it,'' Hurdle said. ... 2B Kaz Matsui was replaced in the starting lineup Friday night by INF Jamey Carroll. Matsui, who's battled back spasms this season, started the last four games. ... Colorado finished May with a winning record (15-13) for the first time since 2002.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 2

Yankees Wil Nieves will catch Mike Mussina today against the Red Sox.

Tigers 3B Brandon Inge (toe) is not expected to play until at least Tuesday according to the team.

Tigers DH Gary Sheffield has appealed his suspension and will continue to play until hearings are held and decisions rendered.

Braves SP John Smoltz (shoulder) has been scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday and will start on Tuesday instead.

Cardinals SS David Eckstein (back) and 3B Scott Rolen (hamstring) are both not expected to play this afternoon.

Mets CF Carlos Beltran (knee) has been downgraded to doubtful.

Tigers SS Carlos Guillen (groin) is not expected to play in tonight's game.

White Sox CF Darin Erstad (leg) is out.



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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 2

Blue Jays CF Vernon Wells is not in the starting lineup,Alex Rios is starting in center.

Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus is not in the starting lineup,Howie Clark is starting at third.

White Sox C AJ Pierzynski is not in the starting lineup,Toby Hall is the starting catcher.



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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 2

Mets CF Carlos Beltran (back) is not in the starting lineup,Endy Chavez is starting in center.

Mets 3B David Wright (back) is in the starting lineup.

Mets C Paul Lo Duca is not in the starting lineup,Ramon Castro is the starting catcher.

Cardinals RF Chris Duncan will likely be put on the DL today due to an infection in his knee.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 2

Torre: Proctor won't be suspended
June 2, 2007

BOSTON (AP) -New York Yankees pitcher Scott Proctor was told he won't be suspended for hitting Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis - the fifth hit batsman in Friday night's game.

Yankees manager Joe Torre said before Saturday's game he got the news from general manager Brian Cashman.

``Getting hit is part of the game,'' Torre said. ``If you take pitching inside away, you can't survive in this game.''

Youkilis approached the mound after he was hit by a pitch that veered near his head in the ninth inning of New York's 9-5 victory. The benches and bullpens emptied, and Proctor was immediately ejected.

Proctor was suspended for four games last month after pitching inside and sparking a brawl against the Seattle Mariners.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 2

Reds option Livingston after win
June 2, 2007

DENVER (AP) -The Cincinnati Reds optioned left-hander Bobby Livingston to Triple-A Louisville on Saturday.

The move came a day after Livingston earned his first major league victory. He had been with the Reds since last Monday, and allowed seven hits in 6 2-3 innings as the Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 4-2 on Friday night.

``Bobby was brought up to be used in the bullpen and make an occasional start,'' Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron said. ``Last night's start gave us what we needed.''

The Reds recalled right-handed Marcus McBeth from Louisville, where he had no record with a 0.75 ERA in 12 appearances.

``Marcus will be in the bullpen, but won't work long relief,'' Narron said. ``He will be used for an inning, a batter or whatever else we need him for.''

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