MLB News and Notes June - 3

MLB News and Notes June - 3

Notes from Saturday's AL games
June 2, 2007


CHICAGO: Manager Ozzie Guillen said changes are likely coming for Chicago's bullpen after White Sox relievers gave up six runs in the final two innings in a 9-3 loss to Toronto on Saturday. Guillen said any roster move would likely happen once the White Sox return to Chicago on Monday to face the Yankees. ... The White Sox matched a season high by allowing 16 hits Saturday. The last time they allowed 16 hits was May 28 at Minnesota. ... OF Darin Erstad has been diagnosed with a Grade II sprain of his left ankle, indicating a partial ligament tear. He's expected to miss at least two weeks.

TORONTO: Troy Glaus (tight left hamstring) and Vernon Wells were held out of the starting lineup Saturday. Wells pinch-hit for Matt Stairs in the seventh inning and hit a game-tying, two-run single off Chicago White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton, snapping an 0-for-7 slump. ... Lyle Overbay had three hits, ending an 0-for-17 slide. ... Royce Clayton (sore toe) returned to the lineup after missing the past two games and went 1-for-4. ... Stairs picked up his 600th career walk in the third inning.


TIGERS: Manager Jim Leyland said RHP Todd Jones wouldn't be available Saturday night. Jones threw 46 pitches in trying for a four-out save in Friday night's 12-11 loss, but still has the confidence of his manager. ``Todd Jones is my closer,'' Leyland said. ``It was a freak night. It could happen to anybody. It happened to us.'' ... 3B Brandon Inge (chip fracture of left big toe) and SS Carlos Guillen (left groin strain) were out of the lineup again Saturday. It's unclear when they will return. Inge was hit on the foot by a pitch Tuesday while Guillen was injured running out a ground ball Wednesday. ... For the third straight night, Omar Infante started at third base and Neifi Perez played shortstop. ... Leyland would like to give 2B Placido Polanco a day off, but can't because of the injuries. ``When you have injuries, it not only affects the people who aren't playing, but the people who are playing because you can't give them a day off,'' Leyland said.

INDIANS: RHP Jake Westbrook (strained left abdominal) allowed five runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings in his first rehabilitation assignment for Triple-A Buffalo on Friday night against Toledo. Manager Eric Wedge said Westbrook will start again for a minor league team Wednesday and throw 65 to 70 pitches. ... After RHP Fausto Carmona threw 121 pitches in a complete-game win over Minnesota on May 17, Wedge said they would monitor his pitch count closely. Carmona threw 70 pitches in six innings against Kansas City in his next start and 91 in six innings Friday night. ... RHP Fernando Cabrera's problems continued Friday night. He allowed two runs, one hit, three walks and struck out three in 1 2-3 innings. Cabrera has walked 11 in his past 4 2-3 innings. ... The Indians have the 13th pick in the first round of the major league draft, which begins Thursday. Because of signing outfielder David Dellucci and reliever Roberto Hernandez, the Indians lost their second and third-round picks and won't choose again until the 137th pick.


KANSAS CITY: RHP Scott Elarton, Sunday's scheduled starter, is 0-5 with a 9.13 ERA in five career games against Tampa Bay. ... OF David DeJesus, mired in an 0-for-11 slide, started Saturday after being out of the lineup Friday. ... LHP John Bale (left shoulder tightness) is scheduled to start Sunday at Triple-A Omaha. ... RHP Leo Nunez (fractured right wrist) struck out one and walked one over two scoreless innings in his second rehab appearance for Double-A Wichita on Friday.

TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon disagreed with LHP Scott Kazmir's postgame comments following Friday night's 4-1 loss to Kansas City that the Devil Rays ``really just didn't come out to play.'' Maddon said he ``didn't see that'' and that a strong eight-inning performance by Royals RHP Brian Bannister was the key factor. ``I thought their pitcher had a lot to do with that,'' Maddon said. ``Whenever you don't hit, it always seems as though you are flat. I just thought that guy pitched a really good game.'' ... 3B Akinori Iwamura hit leadoff for the first time. ``Take it out for a test drive,'' Maddon said.


MINNESOTA: Catcher Joe Mauer, the AL batting champion, sprinted on the field, ran the bases and did agility drills in right field as part of his recovery from a strained left quadriceps from a game on May 5. As long as he feels OK on Sunday, Mauer will probably do more on-field work. The Twins are considering sending Mauer to extended spring training in Florida rather than on a rehab assignment. ``He felt good today,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``He did push the issue. Taking off from first base, that's the hardest I've seen him run. We're all trying to figure out the best thing to do. ... Because of the setbacks the last time he ran, you get a little nervous. We're going to do the right thing.'' ... Gardenhire is gaining confidence in his starters - and plans to keep using this rotation - including Kevin Slowey after his impressive major league debut Friday night. ``I'm going to keep running them out there,'' Gardenhire said. ``It's about letting people do their jobs. If guys in there right now struggle, we'll make adjustments.''

OAKLAND: 2B Mark Ellis returned to the team and was in the lineup a day after the birth of his first child. Ellis missed games Tuesday and Wednesday with a swollen right knee. ... LF Shannon Stewart was off for the second straight day but will be back in the lineup for Sunday's series finale. ... CF Milton Bradley is clearly discouraged with the team's lack of offensive production. ``It's the same story every day,'' he said after the A's lost in 10 innings Friday night. ``We get runners on, but we can't get them in. We need to execute in those situations. We need to start bearing down. It's frustrating when you have a starting rotation that's pretty much lights out and you can't support them.'' ... Injured RHP closer Huston Street, nursing an irritated nerve in his throwing elbow, plans to begin a throwing program Wednesday.


BALTIMORE: 1B-DH Aubrey Huff, hitting .214 over his past 18 games, did not start Saturday night's game. ``He's pressing right now,'' manager Sam Perlozzo said. ``He wants to do well so badly that it's probably wearing a little bit on him, so I thought I'd probably give him a blow and free his mind up a little bit. But he's going to be fine and he's going to be a big contributor. He's had probably the toughest luck of all of our hitters. I mean, he's hit some balls on the screws and has nothing to show for it. But if he keeps centering it, the hits will start falling for him.''

LOS ANGELES: LHP Joe Saunders' emergency start against Baltimore was his first since April 20 at Anaheim, when he pitched six scoreless innings for the Angels in an 8-4 victory against Seattle while wearing a Virginia Tech hat to honor the memory of the 32 shooting victims at his alma mater. He was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake the following day when RHP Bartolo Colon came off the disabled list. ... Friday's 3-2 win marked the Angels' sixth when they've scored three runs or fewer. They entered Saturday 23-5 when they score five or more, but were 12th in the AL in home runs with 42. ``People should stop expecting us to hit a bunch of home runs and score seven or eight runs every night, because that's not the type of team we are,'' cleanup hitter Gary Matthews Jr. said. ``The team plays according to the talent that we have, and I think our guys do a really good job of staying within their game.''

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Notes from Saturday's NL games
June 2, 2007


ATLANTA:
John Smoltz had his scheduled start pushed back from Sunday to Tuesday because of discomfort in his right shoulder and an injured right pinkie finger. Smoltz, who is 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA, is expected to start one of the doubleheader games against Florida. Right-hander Lance Cormier will be activated from the 15-day disabled list and start Sunday against the Chicago Cubs. ... Yunel Escobar started at third and had two hits, including a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning, in his major-league debut. He also singled in the first inning. Escobar, who started at third, arrived just a few hours before the game after the Braves purchased his contract from Triple-A Richmond. He replaced 3B Chipper Jones, who went on the disabled list with a bruised right hand on Friday. ``He made a spectacular barehanded bunt play that looked like he belonged at third,'' manager Bobby Cox said. ``Took the extra base on a hit. He did all that in his first game. That's pretty darn good.'' ... CF Andruw Jones was 1-for-4 with a home run. He extended his hitting streak to eight games.

CHICAGO: After a rather slow start, OF Alfonso Soriano sees some signs that his swing is coming around. He went 2-for-5 and hit his fifth homer on Saturday, and is batting .318 (14-for-44) over his last 10 games. ``The last couple days, I feel very good at home plate,'' he said. ``I'm seeing the ball good.'' Soriano is now hitting .291. ... The Cubs reinstated RHP Juan Mateo from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Class-A Peoria. ... C Koyie Hill singled in the sixth inning for his first hit since Sept. 15, 2005, when he was with Arizona.


ARIZONA: 2B Orlando Hudson extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. ... Arizona's eight-game winning streak was the longest for the Diamondbacks since they won 12 straight in June 2003. ... The Diamondbacks have lost 16 of their last 20 games against the Mets. ... Former Yankee LHP Randy Johnson did not make the trip to New York and is not expected to accompany the team to the city when Arizona plays the Yankees in June.

NEW YORK: Carlos Delgado's 415th career home run left him 40th all-time, five back of ex-Met Mike Piazza. ... Ruben Gotay has reached base safely in six of his last seven plate appearances with four singles, a home run and a walk. ... The Mets have gone 12 games without an error, tying a franchise record. ... Jose Reyes has three straight multi-hit games. ... Carlos Gomez snapped an 0-for-18 skid with an eighth-inning single.


ST. LOUIS: St. Louis optioned LHP Troy Cate to Triple-A Memphis and recalled infielder Brendan Ryan on Saturday. Ryan made his major league debut and was 0-for-1. ... C Brian Esposito also made his first appearance in the majors on Saturday, but did not have a plate appearance. ... 3B Scott Rolen, who injured his right hamstring in the second inning Friday night, missed Saturday's game and manager Tony La Russa said he will also sit out Sunday's series finale. The Cardinals are also without Chris Duncan, who has missed the last two series with an infection in his left knee. ... CF Jim Edmonds hit his sixth home run of the year and his fifth since May 25 on Saturday. He's hitting .323 with five home runs and eight RBIs since May 27.

HOUSTON: Manager Phil Garner said he thought Carlos Lee's 14-pitch at-bat that ended with an RBI double on Friday night was impressive. ``That was as good of an at bat as you'll ever see,'' Garner said. ``It had every ingredient in it that you want.'' ... Lance Berkman got his 782nd RBI on Saturday to tie him with Bob Watson for fourth on the Astros RBI list. ... Rookie Hunter Pence was 2-for-4 on Saturday for his eighth multi-hit game in the last 10 games. He is hitting .421 over that stretch. His 13 multi-hit games since May 12 are the most in the majors. ... C Eric Munson, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Round Rock after Friday night's game, got hit first major league hit since August 19 on Saturday. ... Houston had three home runs on Saturday for its first game with more than one home run since the Astros hit four on May 15.


FLORIDA: The Marlins haven't decided if Sergio Mitre will make his scheduled start on Monday. The right-hander strained his hamstring Wednesday at Chicago, but ran and took part in defensive drills before the game Sunday. Manager Fredi Gonzales said the chances of Mitre making the start are 50-50. The team still hasn't decided how it will handle starting pitching for its doubleheader. ... Gonzales met with pitcher Steve Olsen before the game Saturday to discuss an obscene gesture Olsen made as he left the field following his start Friday night. ``We talked until we had it taken care of,'' Gonzales said.

MILWAUKEE: Manager Ned Yost did not hesitate to bring in closer Francisco Cordero to face one batter in an 8-4 victory Friday night. ``It was a save situation,'' Yost said. ``I'm not taking my chances. It was a four-run lead against the meat of their order.'' Cordero is 20-for-20 in save opportunities this season. ... Yost used a different staring lineup for the ninth consecutive game, and the 34th different combination this season. ... The Brewers have used just five starting pitchers in 2007, the lowest mark in Major League Baseball. Tampa Bay has also used just five starters.


LOS ANGELES: INF Andy LaRoche, optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday night, stayed in Pittsburgh an extra day so he could hook up with father Dave LaRoche, the former major league pitcher. Dave LaRoche traveled to Pittsburgh to see both of his sons play - Andy for the Dodgers, and 1B Adam LaRoche for the Pirates - only to have Andy sent down to the minors. Andy LaRoche flied out as a pinch-hitter Friday night, then was sent out following the game. The Pirates had an Adam LaRoche bobblehead doll giveaway Saturday night. ... LHP Hong-Chih Kuo was called up from Las Vegas to start Saturday, his first start since Game 2 of the division series against the Mets last year.

PITTSBURGH: RHP Dan Kolb, who signed a minor league contract with the Pirates during the winter, is pitching again for Triple-A Indianapolis after being sidelined for several weeks because of a hamstring injury. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 14 games and is throwing in the mid-90s again. Given the Pirates' season-long problems with middle relief, he could be called up soon. ... Former Pirates 1B-OF Craig Wilson, cut by the Braves earlier this season, agreed to a minor-league deal with the Chicago White Sox. ... LHP Tom Gorzelanny, who opposes the Dodgers on Sunday, had a 1.83 ERA in six May starts despite going only 3-2. Gorzelanny has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last six starts and has lasted at least seven innings six times in 11 starts.


SAN DIEGO: Cs Josh Bard and Rob Bowen, and relievers Doug Brocail, Scott Linebrink, Justin Hampson, Kevin Cameron and Trevor Hoffman spent two hours Saturday at Bethesda Naval Hospital, visiting with veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. ... OF Jose Cruz Jr. continues to undergo treatment for back spasms, but the process is going slowly. ``He's getting better,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``I don't think he's going to be able to play today. Tomorrow's going to be a stretch, too.''

WASHINGTON: RHP Luis Ayala, who is on the 60-day disabled list, continued his recovery from ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow by throwing 2-3 of an inning Friday for Single-A Potomac on a rehabilitation assignment. ``I was working on my location, throwing balls down and working my sinker on the corners. I threw pitches with good location. It felt good to come back,'' he said. ... Manager Manny Acta said RHP John Patterson, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow and biceps soreness, would work on offspeed pitches in his next bullpen session. If all goes well, Patterson would then move on to pitch in a simulated game.


SAN FRANCISCO: Barry Bonds isn't supposed to start Sunday, but will return to the lineup Monday. ... Newly acquired RHP Randy Messenger changed to No. 23 Saturday. He wore No. 28 in his first appearance on Friday. ... OF Fred Lewis, who hit his first-career grand slam Friday, wasn't in the starting lineup Saturday against LHP Cole Hamels. Lewis was hitting .268 with two homers and 12 RBIs since coming up May 9. ``He has good discipline. He can lay off pitches, choose pitches and hit a good pitch. One area where Freddy has to improve is against left-handers and the more he sees of those, the more comfortable he's going to get,'' manager Bruce Bochy said.

PHILADELPHIA: Closer Brett Myers is expected to begin throwing as early as Sunday. Myers, who replaced the injured Tom Gordon, went on the disabled list last week with a strained shoulder. ... Manager Charlie Manuel isn't ready to start thinking about a wild-card chase, even though the Phillies were nine games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets. ``I think they've got a good lead, but without a doubt we can catch up real quick,'' he said. ... Manuel said he won't let Pat Burrell's salary ($13 million) dictate how much he'll continue to play the struggling left fielder. ``I put the lineup in and try to help the team have the best chance possible to win,'' he said. ``You play long enough, there comes a time when you have to make some kind of decision.'' Burrell was hitting .229 with six homers.


CINCINNATI: The Reds returned LHP Bobby Livington to Triple A Louisville Saturday, but haven't forgotten his 6 2-3 inning outing the night before. ``If we need a spot start he might be a high possibility,'' said manager Jerry Narron. ``Next Saturday is a possibility.'' ... RHP Marcus McBeth took Livingston's roster spot. ``Marcus will be in the bullpen, but won't work long relief,'' Narron said. ... Narron said the need for another reliever arose in part from watching the Colorado seventh inning Friday night when the Rockies loaded the bases with a single off Livingston and two walks issued by RHP Brad Salmon. ... Narron doesn't mind using closer RHP David Weathers in more than one inning. ``I'd prefer he would only have to get three outs,'' Narron said. ``We don't always have that luxury.''

COLORADO: OF Matt Holliday showed no signs of the head contusion that took him out in the fifth inning of Friday night's game. ``I'm OK and let's leave it at that,'' Holliday said. ... Holliday was in the starting lineup Saturday night. ``He's a tough guy and a constantly improving hitter,'' manager Clint Hurdle. ``He hits the ball where it's pitched and is taking some of the game's best pitchers out of the park.'' ... RHP Josh Fogg (strained left groin) is eligible to come off the DL on June 7. ``We'll have six starters, but we'll use five,'' Hurdle said

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 3

Yankees' Mientkiewicz to be placed on DL
Sun, Jun 3, 2007
By Associated Press

BOSTON -- New York Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game Sunday, a day after colliding with Boston's Mike Lowell on an errant throw by shortstop Derek Jeter.

Mientkiewicz was taken from the field on a cart after banging his head on Lowell's hip while trying to one-hop Jeter's throw in the seventh inning.

Mientkiewicz was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where tests Saturday night revealed a mild concussion, cervical sprain and a fractured bone in his right wrist. He spent the night in the hospital for observation.

The play happened with the score tied at 5 in the seventh. The Red Sox loaded the bases with nobody out against Scott Proctor before Lowell hit a grounder to second. Robinson Cano flipped to second for the force, but Jeter spun around and threw an 85-footer that Mientkiewicz tried to backhand on the outfield side of the bag.

As Mientkiewicz's momentum pulled him into the baseline, Lowell ran through the base and sent Mientkiewicz sprawling. The ball bounced off his glove and into foul territory as Manny Ramirez scampered home with the second - and go-ahead - run.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 3

Anderson set to come off DL for Angels
June 2nd, 2007

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - The LA Angels of Anaheim are expected to activate outfielder Garret Anderson from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. Anderson has been out since April 28 with a tear in his right hip flexor tendon.

The announcement was made by Angels manager Mike Scioscia after Saturday's 7-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

In 23 games this season, Anderson is hitting .263 with one home run and 10 runs batted in.

To make room for him on the roster, the team is expected to option left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders back to Triple-A Salt Lake. Saunders allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, striking out none and walking three on Saturday night while filling in for the injured Bartolo Colon.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 3

Dodgers: LaRoche headed back to Triple-A

The Dodgers are expected to option Andy LaRoche back to Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, according to the LA Times. He hit just .211 in 28 at-bats since being called up.

Dodgers: Hendrickson heading to bullpen

Mark Hendrickson will be bumped to the bullpen this week, as he's being replaced in the rotation by Jason Schmidt. 

Braves: Cormier off DL, will start Sunday

The Braves activated Lance Cormier from the disabled list after Saturday's game. He's set to start on Sunday against the Cubs.


Tulowitzki leaves with groin injury

Troy Tulowitzki left Saturday's game with a tight right groin, the Denver Post reports. He will probably sit out Sunday's game, then the team gets an off day Monday. I tried to stay in, but they pulled me out," Tulowitzki said. "I've never had a groin injury, but they said it could be something serious.

Giants: Bonds likely to sit Sunday

Barry Bonds will likely get Sunday off then return to the lineup Monday, according to the AP.


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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 3

Baseball Today - June 3
Sun, Jun 3, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Sunday, June 3

N.Y. Yankees at Boston (8:05 p.m. EDT). Andy Pettitte and Josh Beckett square off in the finale of a three-game series.

STARS Friday

-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.

-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.

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

SPARKLING 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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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 3

Cubs' Piniella suspended indefinitely, fined
Sun, Jun 3, 2007
By Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella was suspended indefinitely and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball on Sunday for his latest dirt-kicking tirade against an umpire.

Piniella was ejected in the eighth inning of Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. After Angel Pagan was thrown out trying to steal third, Piniella stormed out of the dugout and kicked dirt as he argued and tossed his cap, leading to his ouster by third-base umpire Mark Wegner.

MLB also said that Piniella made contact with Wegner during the outburst.

Piniella will begin serving his suspension Sunday. The length of Piniella's suspension will be determined Monday after a meeting with John McHale Jr., the MLB executive vice president for administration.

The Cubs have lost six straight entering Sunday's series finale against the Braves.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 3

Iwamura expected to miss 4-5 games with eye injury
June 3, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay Devil Rays third baseman Akinori Iwamura is expected to miss four to five games with a left eye injury.

Iwamura chased after a ball Saturday night in the bullpen down the third-base line in the eighth inning that bounced and hit him in the eye. He was checked by a team trainer and stayed in the game for the rest of the inning, but then left the game after the inning.

Iwamura, through an interpreter, said it feels like he ``got punched by a heavyweight.''

``It's better than when it happened,'' Iwamura said before Sunday's game against Kansas City.

Iwamura has a small cut above the eye, but no fractures. He was examined by an eye doctor late Saturday, who recommended Iwamura sit out for a few days.

``It's kind of a bruise on his eye,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. ``I don't think it's going to exceed five days. I don't know if it could be less, but it shouldn't be much more than that. He got hit in a bad spot.''

Iwamura is hitting .370 with one homer and six RBIs. The former Japanese Central League star was 8-for-17 in five games since returning from a right oblique strain that sidelined him for a month.

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