MLB News and Notes June - 9

MLB News and Notes June - 9

Orioles place Hernandez on DL; call up Castillo
June 8, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) -Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez is back on the 15-day disabled list, this time with a bruised groin.
   
Hernandez was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Seattle's Ben Broussard in the ninth inning of the Orioles' 9-5 win Wednesday. Hernandez was walking gingerly in the clubhouse on Friday and was placed on the disabled list before Baltimore's game against the Colorado Rockies.

The Orioles purchased the contract of catcher Alberto Castillo from Triple-A Norfolk. Paul Bako will take over as the starting catcher, the same role he filled when Hernandez began the season on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his rib cage.

Castillo was the Orioles' backup catcher before being sent to Norfolk on April 26, when Hernandez returned from the DL after missing 21 games. Obtained from Boston in March for outfielder Cory Keylor, Castillo batted .174 in eight games with Baltimore in April.

The Orioles survived three weeks without Hernandez earlier, and now must do it again.

``It's not a good thing. but we did that early on in the season and hung in there,'' manager Sam Perlozzo said. ``It will be up to the rest of the guys to pick up the slack.''

Hernandez went 0-for-5 Wednesday and was 1-for-12 in the three-game series. He's batting .244 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 34 games.

Bako, who started 13 games while Hernandez was on the disabled list in April, entered the weekend series against Colorado with a .219 batting average, one homer and five RBIs.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 9

Leyland: Zumaya might not pitch this season
June 8, 2007

DETROIT (AP) -Until Joel Zumaya actually returns to the mound, Detroit manager Jim Leyland isn't counting on seeing the hard-throwing reliever for a long time.

``The reports are that Joel Zumaya will be back in August,'' Leyland said Friday. ``However I'm not in any way, shape or form counting on that, and it would not surprise me if he was not ready to pitch before the season is over.''

Zumaya had surgery in mid-May to repair a ruptured tendon in his right middle finger. At the time, he was expected to miss three months.

Zumaya, whose fastball regularly tops 100 mph, was 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13 appearances this season. He was 6-3 in 62 appearances during his rookie season last year and ranked third among AL relievers with 97 strikeouts.

Leyland said there have been no setbacks and he has heard nothing from the team's medical staff.

``I'm looking at like I'm managing this team this year without Joel Zumaya, and if I get him back in August or Sept. 1 that's a big bonus,'' he said.

Reliever Fernando Rodney came off the disabled list Tuesday against Texas after being out with biceps tendinitis.

Catcher Vance Wilson may be done for the year, however. He reaggravated his sore right forearm throwing long toss before Thursday's Triple-A game in Toledo against Syracuse. He had three at_bats while playing DH until the third inning, when he took himself out of the game due to soreness.

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Percival to try comeback with Cardinals
June 8, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -Former All-Star closer Troy Percival, out of the majors since injuring his right arm in the middle of the 2005 season, will try to make a comeback with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 37-year-old Percival and the Cardinals agreed on a minor league contract Friday. He will report to Triple-A Memphis.

Percival was working as a special assignment pitching instructor for the Los Angeles Angels before asking to be released from his coaching contract on May 23.

The Cardinals made the announcement before their game against the Angels.

Percival spent most of his career with the Angels and signed as a free agent with Detroit before the 2005 season. The right-hander hurt his forearm in July that season.

Percival tried to pitch last season for the Tigers, but was unable to do it. He threw out the ceremonial first ball for the Angels this year.

Overall, Percival has 324 saves in the majors and closed out the Angels' victory in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series against San Francisco.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 9

Arizona demotes Medders to minors
June 8, 2007

PHOENIX (AP) -The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned struggling right-hander Brandon Medders to Triple-A Tucson on Friday.

Arizona recalled right-hander Jailen Peguero from Tucson in a corresponding move.

Medders, a long reliever, was 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA in 23 appearances.

Manager Bob Melvin said the 27-year-old Medders remains part of the Diamondbacks' plans but needs to rebuild his confidence.

``This is a guy we really need to get right,'' Melvin said. ``We need to be able to rotate him in there.''

Peguero, a 26-year-old from the Dominican Republic, has not pitched in the majors. He was 3-2 with a 1.69 ERA and two saves in 26 relief appearances for Tucson.

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Mets send down Newhan, call up Ledee
June 8, 2007

DETROIT (AP) -The New York Mets purchased the contract of outfielder Ricky Ledee from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday and optioned utility man David Newhan to the Zephyrs.

Ledee, 33, hit .188 with two homers in a combined 67 games with the Mets and Dodgers last season. He was released by Oakland during spring training before signing a minor league deal with the Mets. He hit .287 with eight homers in 55 games for New Orleans.

He moved right into the lineup, starting in left field against Detroit.

Ledee has played for seven teams in a 10-season career, and joins the Mets with a career .244 average and 62 homers in 835 games. His best season was 2005, when he hit .278 with seven homers in 103 games for the Dodgers.

Newhan hit .200 in 41 games for the Mets this season, mostly as a pinch hitter.

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A's Bradley goes on DL for third time this year
June 8, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Milton Bradley's hard-luck season took another downward turn Friday, when the Oakland outfielder went on the 15-day disabled list for the third time already in 2007.

Bradley came off his second DL stint May 30 after recovering from a strained left hamstring only to injure his right calf three days later, leaving Saturday's game against Minnesota in the fifth inning. He hadn't played in the last five games, getting scratched Wednesday night against the Boston Red Sox after testing his legs before the game.

The move is retroactive to June 3.

``It didn't respond,'' manager Bob Geren said of Bradley's calf. ``I feel bad for him. He's trying real hard. He's been working real hard to come back. We want him in there and he wants to be in there. It'll happen.''

Bradley, who is in a contract year when players hope to be putting up some of their best numbers, first was shelved from April 23 to May 10, then again May 15-29. Since his latest return, the right fielder had batted 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and an RBI.

Oakland filled his roster spot by recalling infielder Donnie Murphy from Triple-A Sacramento, and he flew from Tucson, Ariz., back to Oakland on Friday after going to Arizona from Sacramento on Thursday.

``Short turn around,'' said Murphy, who was sent down June 1. ``That's fine with me.''

Bradley has been on the DL 11 times in his career, including five in his two seasons with the A's.

Oakland did get some encouraging news on the health front: injured right-handers Rich Harden and Huston Street each had productive throwing sessions before the game.

Harden, out since April 16 with a strained right shoulder, made 65 throws with 15 of those on flat ground from 60 feet - just shy of the distance from the mound to the plate.

``From where he's come a week ago, he's doing very well,'' pitching coach Curt Young said. ``He has been throwing good.''

Harden wasn't sure when he would actually begin throwing from the front of the mound, saying: ``You guys will know. Soon enough.''

Street, meanwhile, the 2005 AL Rookie of the Year, is making progress in his recovery from nerve irritation in his right elbow that landed him on the DL on May 15. He played catch for the second time after also doing so Wednesday.

Street hopes to return before the All-Star break, and Geren thinks that's a reasonable timetable. He made 40 throws from 80 feet Friday and planned to make 50-60 throws from 100 feet Sunday.

``It still feels like I'm in Little League, getting excited about 80 feet,'' Street said. ``I felt strong. I felt a little fatigue, but that's normal the second day throwing in 27. Everything's going in the right direction.''

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Boston activates Timlin, designates Romero for assignment
June 9, 2007

PHOENIX (AP) -The Boston Red Sox activated right-hander Mike Timlin from the 15-day disabled list Friday night.

Timlin, who has missed 34 games with tendinitis in his right shoulder, is 1-0 with a 6.23 ERA.

To make room for Timlin, the Red Sox designated lefty J.C. Romero for assignment. Romero was 1-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 23 relief appearances for Boston this season.

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Notes from Friday's games
June 8, 2007


DETROIT: Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before Friday's series opener with the Mets that he thinks RP Joel Zumaya (finger) and C Vance Wilson (elbow) could miss the rest of the season. ``The reports are that Joel Zumaya will be back in August,'' Leyland said. ``However, I'm not in any way, shape or form counting on that, and it would not surprise me if he was not ready to pitch before the season is over.'' Wilson, who has missed the entire year, reinjured his elbow while on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo. ... Curtis Granderson is on pace to hit 33 triples this season. That would break Sam Crawford's 93-year-old franchise record of 26, and threaten Owen Wilson's major-league record of 36, set in 1912.

NEW YORK: OF Ricky Ledee started Friday against Detroit in left field after having his contract purchased from Triple-A New Orleans earlier in the day. Ledee hit .188 with two homers in a combined 67 games with the Mets and Dodgers this season. He was released by Oakland during spring training before signing a minor league deal with the Mets. He hit .287 with eight homers in 55 games for the Zephyrs. To make room for Ledee, the Mets optioned OF David Newhan to New Orleans. ... The Mets made their first visit to Comerica Park this weekend. They had been the last major league franchise to visit the stadium, though they played at Tiger Stadium in 1997. They would have played at Comerica Park last October had they won Game 7 of the NLCS against St. Louis.


TAMPA BAY: 3B Akinori Iwamura (eye injury) returned to the lineup Friday after missing five games. He was in the leadoff spot for the second time this season, after going 2-for-4 there against Kansas City on June 2 - the game where he suffered the bruised left eye. ... SS Brendan Harris batted seventh for the first time this season. ... The Rays' 26-32 record is the best 58-game mark in franchise history. ... Saturday's scheduled starter, RHP James Shields (5-0), is already one win away from matching his total in 21 starts last season.

FLORIDA: OF Alejandro De Aza (stress fracture in ankle) is being held out of all baseball activity for another 7-10 days. He's been on the DL since April 16. 1B Mike Jacobs (broken thumb) won't try hitting for another 3-5 days and OF Cody Ross (strained left hamstring) is jogging, but there's no timetable for his return. ... OF Todd Linden cleared waivers and was sent to Triple-A Albuquerque.


PITTSBURGH: Xavier Nady, forced from the starting lineup Thursday after injuring his left hamstring the previous night, was back in the lineup as the cleanup batter and homered off Andy Pettitte in the second inning. Nady had been 2-for-10 against Pettitte in his career. Nady entered hitting .385 (15-for-39) against left-handers this year. ... The Pirates were swept three years ago in their first regular-season series at Yankee Stadium. Pittsburgh began a run of 15 consecutive interleague games. The Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays are the only AL teams who haven't played an interleague series at Pittsburgh.

NEW YORK: 1B Doug Mientkiewicz will have surgery Tuesday to insert a pin in his broken right wrist, an operation he hopes will get him back on the field faster. ... DH Jason Giambi, on the DL with a foot injury, was back at Yankee Stadium for the first time since baseball commissioner Bud Selig asked him on Wednesday to meet within two weeks with his top steroids investigator, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. Selig said he will take Giambi's cooperation into account in deciding whether to discipline Giambi for remarks in a newspaper article last month that many interpreted as an admission of steroids use. ``There's really nothing I can say at this point other than I want to be a part of this team and show my support,'' Giambi said in a statement issued through the team. ``They are playing some great baseball right now, and they seem to be having a lot of fun doing it.'' ... Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard missed the game to receive the medal of honor from St. John's University, his alma mater.


COLORADO: OF Willie Taveras, who hit .394 (13-for-33) with a homer and three RBIs on a recent homestand, was manager Clint Hurdle's choice as the designated hitter when the Rockies began their first interleague series in an American League park Friday. ``I thought I'd give him a little blow here,'' Hurdle said. ``And it keeps his bat in our lineup.'' ... RHP Rodrigo Lopez, who pitched for the Orioles from 2002-06, starts against his former team Saturday. ``I thought it was going to be different, knowing that I was going to pitch in Baltimore,'' Lopez said. ``But so far, I don't have that excitement to go out there and prove or do something.''

BALTIMORE: The Orioles placed C Ramon Hernandez on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised groin. The injury occurred Wednesday, when Hernandez was struck by a foul ball during a game in Seattle. Paul Bako will assume the starting role, and the Orioles purchased the contract of C Alberto Castillo from Triple-A Norfolk to serve as the backup. ... Baltimore drafted the son of manager Sam Perlozzo in the amateur draft Friday, selecting 2b Eric Perlozzo of Shippensburg University in the 35th round. ... The Orioles outscored Colorado 2-0 in the first inning Friday and now have outscored the opposition 41-23 in the opening inning.


CLEVELAND: RHP Cliff Politte is scheduled to continue his comeback from shoulder surgery when he makes his first appearance of the season Saturday with Double-A Akron. The nine-year veteran will throw one inning. Politte was signed by the Indians as minor-league free agent in February after having surgery last August. ... Cleveland picked OF Brad Greenwell in the sixth round of the draft on Friday. Greenwell is the son of Mike Greenwell, a former teammate of Indians manager Eric Wedge. ``It makes me feel old,'' Wedge said. ``I remember (Bo Greenwell) running around.'' ... With Cleveland playing 33 games in the next 34 days, Wedge hopes to get his regulars some days off. SS Jhonny Peralta didn't start Friday.

CINCINNATI: Utility player Ryan Freel still was experiencing headaches and dizziness Friday, 11 days after his head collided with OF Norris Hopper's elbow while they were chasing a fly ball in Cincinnati's 4-0 win over Pittsburgh on May 28. ``I can't read a lot,'' said Freel, who estimated that he's had as many as 10 concussions in his life. This injury hadn't been diagnosed as a concussion, ``But I know it is,'' he said. ... With the Reds scheduled to face three left-handers this weekend, manager Jerry Narron said Hopper would start all three games. ... SS Alex Gonzalez retured to Cincinnati's starting lineup after not starting the last three games because of a strained right hamstring.


WASHINGTON: Though he pulled 2B Felipe Lopez in the fifth inning of Thursday's loss to Pittsburgh, Washington manager Manny Acta said Lopez's absence from Friday's lineup was not because he didn't run out a ground ball in the game the day before. ``It has more to do with (Ronnie) Belliard and how he's playing,'' Acta said. Belliard, entering Friday's game, had nine hits in his last 18 at_bats. Lopez is in a 2-for-26 slump, but Acta said the issue of him not hustling was over and that he expected Lopez to snap out of his skid soon. ... Tony Batista, who was Minnesota's 3B to start last season before being released in June, has fit in well with the Nationals. He's primarily been a pinch hitter since being called up last month. Acta said he wasn't sure how Batista would work in that role, since he was a streaky hitter while he was a regular throughout his career. ``He's been terrific. There's a lot of baseball left and a lot of at_bats for him,'' Acta said.

MINNESOTA: Manager Ron Gardenhire said he isn't expecting light-hitting Nick Punto and Jason Bartlett to provide the kind of power they displayed Wednesday in the Twins' 8-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Punto hit a three-run homer and Bartlett a solo shot as Minnesota finished 2-4 on its road trip to Oakland and Anaheim. The homers were the first of the season for both players. ``We're in trouble if those guys start trying to hit fly balls,'' Gardenhire said. ``Getting on base has always been their job.'' ... Minnesota averaged only 2.8 runs per game while batting .216 as a team on the road trip. ... The Twins have not faced the Washington franchise since it moved from Montreal before the 2005 season. They did, however, sweep the Montreal Expos in a three-game series June 15-17, 2004 - the teams' only previous meetings.


PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies may be making their first trip to Kansas City since the 1980 World Series, but Philadelphia's starters for this three-game series are not unfamiliar with KC's current hitters. Friday night starter Freddy Garcia spent his entire career with Seattle and Chicago teams in the AL before being traded to the Phillies last December. Jon Lieber spent time with Tampa and the Yankees and Jamie Moyer, Sunday's starter, pitched the past 13 years for Seattle, Baltimore and Boston. ... The Phillies began the series on a six-game road winning streak while KC had lost seven straight at home.

KANSAS CITY:
OF Reggie Sanders, on the DL since May 3 with a left hamstring tear, may be back in about 10 days. 1B Ross Gload, out since mid-May with a right quadriceps tear, is also close to returning, the Royals said. ... SS Angel Berroa cleared waivers Friday and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha. The 2003 AL rookie of the year had one hit in 11 at_bats and made several mistakes on the bases and in the field during a brief appearance with the Royals. He'll be with Omaha for its game on Monday in Des Moines.


HOUSTON: OF Carlos Lee made his return to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since he was traded from the White Sox to the Brewers after the 2004 season for Scott Podsednik. Before landing in Houston with a big contract, Lee also saw time with the Rangers. ``It's the business part of the game and I understand that. From the player's perspective and the front office, sometimes changes have to be made,'' Lee said. ``It worked out for them and it worked out for me. It can't get any better than this.'' Lee said he kept a house in Chicago until this year and now has a ranch close to Houston. ... Lee was initially scheduled to DH in the series-opener at U.S. Cellular but was put back in left field after he talked to Garner. ``He said he'd rather DH during the day if possible,'' Garner said. The last two games of the series are day games. ... RHP Brad Lidge may be close to resuming his role as the club's closer. ``I think Lidge has pitched pretty well. I'm very pleased with the way he's pitching. I have said there will come a time when he will go back. I have not wanted to make the move as long as we were getting things done.'' RHP Dan Wheeler blew his second save of the season in Houston's 7-6 loss Thursday night in Colorado. Lidge has not allowed a run in 16 of his previous 17 outings.

CHICAGO: 3B Joe Crede, on the disabled list with back inflammation, said Friday he's still waiting to hear from specialists so he can determine a course of action. He's already met with a back specialist in Chicago and plans to see others from Los Angeles and Texas. Season-ending surgery is one of the options. ``I still feel it. We want to make a decision here,'' Crede said. ``The sooner, the better.'' ... RF Jermaine Dye, who is in a 2-for-22 slump, was out of the lineup for a second straight game. Dye had fluid drained from his knee this week and wasn't ready to return. ... The White Sox bullpen was 2-6 with a 9.29 ERA and five blown saves in the previous 26 games before Friday. Relievers gave up seven runs in a loss to the Yankees on Thursday. It's led to talk of using closer Bobby Jenks for more than just the ninth inning. But manager Ozzie Guillen wasn't ready to do that. ``Sometimes I have to bring 2-3 guys just for one inning. That's not the idea. In the meanwhile, I want to win games but I have to save guys for the rest of the season,'' Guillen said. ... Guillen said it seems like 30 years ago since the White Sox swept the Astros to win the 2005 World Series, their first title since 1917. Both teams are struggling mightily this season. ``People forget pretty quick in Chicago,'' Guillen said. ``They've waited 88 years, they can't wait 2,3,5 years.''


MILWAUKEE: 2B Rickie Weeks (right wrist tendinitis) and RHP Elmer Dessens (strained right shoulder), both on the 15-day DL, are traveling with the team. Manager Ned Yost said neither was close to being activated. ... RHP Francisco Cordero, LHP Brian Shouse and OF Kevin Mench all began last year with the Rangers but were traded during the season to Milwaukee. Now they're on a first-place team, and Texas is last in its division. None expressed a feeling of being vindicated. ``It's a business,'' said Cordero. Said Shouse: ``You never wish anything bad on anybody.'' When told none of the three players for which they were traded is still with the Rangers, Mench shrugged and said, ``Did they get a draft pick for Carlos Lee?''

TEXAS: The club's top overall draft pick, Irving (Texas) High School RHP Blake Beavan, doesn't lack for confidence. In his introductory press conference on Thursday night, Beavan likened himself to a right-handed Randy Johnson. But manager Ron Washington appreciates Beavan's belief that he'll be retiring major league hitters in three years. ``I like his attitude,'' Washington said. ``He's a confident kid, nothing wrong with that. He has reason to be confident ... but the game looks easy when you're looking at it from the stands.''. ...RHP Vicente Padilla came through a 53-pitch bullpen session reporting no problems with the right triceps irritation that knocked him out of his last start. Padilla is scheduled to start Sunday night against Milwaukee. If he is unable to go, the Rangers would call up LHP John Koronka from Triple-A Oklahoma to make the start. ...OF Brad Wilkerson, on the 15-day DL since May 16 with a pulled right hamstring, has started a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco and could be activated by the Rangers next week during a three-game series at Pittsburgh.


BOSTON: RHP Mike Timlin, who has been out since May 3 with right shoulder tendinitis, is expected to be activated on Saturday, manager Terry Francona said. ... With no designated hitter at Arizona, David Ortiz started at first base in the opener of a three-game series in Phoenix Friday night. Francona said he would give Ortiz, Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis each a day off during the weekend. ``We'd rather play all three of them,'' Francona said. ``But my complaints obviously have fallen on deaf ears.'' ... RHP Julian Tavarez starts Saturday against Arizona. He's 0-1 with an 11.78 ERA in 15 career appearances against Arizona, including three starts. And he has a 14.46 ERA in 10 appearances at Chase Field.

ARIZONA:
3B Chad Tracy went 1-for-5 in a rehabilitation appearance at Triple-A Tucson. He was scheduled to play again Friday. Tracy, who went on the 15-day disabled list May 16 with a sore left ribcage, could rejoin the Diamondbacks on Sunday. ... Manager Bob Melvin gave streaking rookie 3B Mark Reynolds and slumping OF Carlos Quentin the night off Friday against Boston ace Josh Beckett. ... Beginning May 24, the Diamondbacks' starting rotation went a combined 10-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 13 games. ... RHP Micah Owings starts against the Red Sox Saturday night. Owings (4-1 with a 3.86 ERA) has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his eight starts.


SEATTLE - Manager Mike Hargrove chatted with one of his former managers with the Cleveland Indians, Dave Garcia, who lives in the San Diego area. ... Saturday's scheduled starter, Jeff Weaver, beat the Padres in Game 1 of the Divisional Series last year while with St. Louis. Weaver is 0-6 with a 14.32 ERA this season. ... The Mariners dropped two of three to the Padres in Seattle in May.

SAN DIEGO - SS Khalil Greene was back in the starting lineup Friday night after missing three straight games with a sore right elbow. ... Manager Bud Black said RF Brian Giles might come off the disabled list the middle of next week. He has a bone bruise in his right knee. ``Brian picked up the pace yesterday,'' Black said. ``He improved on some movements, and on others there was no gain.''


TORONTO: The Blue Jays began a six-game trip through Los Angeles and San Francisco, so DH Frank Thomas will be limited to pinch-hitting duty. He's just five home runs shy of 500. He has hit 243 of them as a DH, tying Edgar Martinez for the most ever hit in that role. ``We'll just try to save him for the right time. Hopefully if everything falls our way, we can pop him in there and he can do some damage,'' manager John Gibbons said. ``It's been up and down for him this year and his consistency's been missing, but I think it's human nature to be pressing when you're that close to a milestone like that. I think it'll be a relief once he gets there and gets that behind him.'' ... C Gregg Zaun was activated from the 15-dat DL after being sidelined since Apr. 25 because of a broken right thumb that underwent surgery and still isn't 100 percent. He will be limited to pinch-hitting duty. ... RHP Tomo Ohka was designated for assignment, and his spot in the rotation will be taken by RHP Josh Towers beginning Monday.

LOS ANGELES: OF Matt Kemp was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and Ramon Martinez was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday, because of a sore lower back. ... LF Luis Gonzalez entered Friday with 556 career doubles, four behind Dodgers hitting coach Luis Gonzalez for 19th place all-time. Jeff Kent came in with 1,412 RBIs, just two behind Mark McGwire's total despite 229 fewer home runs.


CHICAGO: OF Cliff Floyd was placed on the bereavement list as he returned to Chicago to be with his ailing father. Jacque Jones replaced Floyd in the starting lineup. IF Mike Fontenot will be called up from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday. A player can be placed on the bereavement list for three to seven days. ... 3B Aramis Ramirez returned to the team Friday after spending Thursday in Chicago. An MRI exam on his knee revealed patella tendinitis. Manager Lou Piniella said Ramirez would be limited to emergency duty as a pinch-hitter until the knee improves.

ATLANTA: 3B Chipper Jones was eligible to come off the disabled list, but instead he was happy just to have his hands and wrists free from braces for a few minutes. Jones injured both wrists in a May 11 collision with the Pirates' Jose Bautista and was finally placed on the 15-day DL on June 1, retroactive to May 24. Jones said his wrists have improved. ``It's better but still a little ways away from doing anything,'' he said. ``I'm just hoping that it doesn't take four to six weeks to completely heal.''

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Floyd returns to Chicago for family matter
Fri, Jun 8, 2007
By Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Chicago Cubs outfielder Cliff Floyd was placed on the bereavement list Friday night as he returned to Chicago to be with his sick father.

Floyd was removed from the starting lineup about an hour before Friday night's game against the Atlanta Braves.

The team will call up infielder Mike Fontenot from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday.

Jacque Jones replaced Floyd in right field. Catcher Michael Barrett moved into the cleanup spot, replacing Floyd. Jones hit sixth.

Floyd is hitting .306 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 111 at-bats.

It wasn't immediately known when Floyd would return to the team.

Meanwhile, third baseman Aramis Ramirez was not in the starting lineup again because of a sore left knee.

Ramirez returned to the team Friday after spending Thursday in Chicago. An MRI exam on the knee revealed patella tendinitis. Manager Lou Piniella said he hopes to avoid placing Ramirez on the disabled list.

Ramirez was hitting .299 with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs.

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Baseball Today - June 9
Sat, Jun 9, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, June 9

Seattle at San Diego (10:05 p.m. EDT). Mariners starter Jeff Weaver is 0-6 with a 14.32 ERA this season.

STARS Friday

-Alfonso Soriano, Cubs, hit three home runs to help the Chicago Cubs beat Atlanta 9-1.

-J.D. Drew, Red Sox, hit a pair of three-run homers and drove in a career-high seven runs in Boston's 10-3 win over Arizona.

-Olmedo Saenz, Dodgers, hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to push the Los Angeles Dodgers past Toronto 4-3.

-Raul Ibanez, Mariners, homered in the 11th inning to lift Seattle over San Diego 6-5.

-Jorge Sosa, Mets, pitched eight scoreless innings to help the New York Mets defeat Detroit 3-0.

-Shannon Stewart, Athletics, hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the 10th, lifting the Athletics past the Giants 5-3.

TRIO OF LONGBALLS

Alfonso Soriano hit three home runs in the first four innings of the Chicago Cubs' 9-1 win over Atlanta on Friday. Soriano's only other three-homer game also came against the Braves on April 21, 2006, while playing for the Nationals in Washington. The three homers gave Soriano 10 for the season.

OUT OF POSITION

Noah Lowry was forced to play right field for the San Francisco Giants in a 5-3 loss to the Athletics on Friday night when a 10th-inning collision at the plate forced backup catcher Eliezer Alfonzo out of the game. Pedro Feliz, the Giants' starting third baseman, made his major league debut behind the plate.

UP-AND-COMER

Cincinnati's Homer Bailey won in his major league debut on Friday, helping the Reds beat intra-state rival Cleveland 4-3. Bailey gave up two runs in five innings in a 114-pitch effort that came exactly three years and one day after he was taken No. 7 overall in the 2004 draft.

LONG TIME COMING

Kansas City beat Philadelphia 8-4 on Friday in the Phillies' first visit to Kauffman Stadium since the 1980 World Series. The Phillies won that series in six games to secure their only championship.

STREAKS

The New York Yankees beat Pittsburgh 5-4 in 10 innings on Friday to for their first four-game winning streak of the season. ... Yuniesky Betancourt extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games in Seattle's 6-5 11 inning win. ... Casey Blake extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games in Cleveland's 4-3 loss to Cincinnati. ... Eric Byrnes extended his hitting streak to 15 games in Arizona's 10-3 loss to Boston.

FAMILY MATTERS

Detroit selected Tigers legend Al Kaline's grandson in the 25th round, third base coach Gene Lamont's son in the 29th round and the younger brothers of current Tigers pitchers Joel Zumaya and Nate Robertson in the 42nd and 43rd rounds, respectively, on the second day of the Major League Baseball draft on Friday. ... Baltimore took the son of manager Sam Perlozzo in the 35th round. ... The Chicago White Sox took manager Ozzie Guillen's son in the 36th round. ... The Los Angeles Angels took manager Mike Scioscia's son in the 41st round.

SPEAKING

''We are 2-0 when I get ejected.'' - Houston slugger Lance Berkman, on getting ejected for arguing a called third strike with home plate umpire Sam Holbrook in the Astros' 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. Berkman was also tossed Tuesday night in a win over Colorado for arguing a third strike.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 9

Yankees send RHP Britton to minors to make room for Clemens
June 9, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Needing to make room on the roster for Roger Clemens, the New York Yankees optioned reliever Chris Britton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.

Britton was recalled June 1 and was 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three appearances covering five innings for the Yankees this year. His demotion kept left-hander Sean Henn on the big league roster.

``That was a tough decision,'' manager Joe Torre said. ``We just felt Sean Henn seems to be improving. He's probably closer to the long man that we want.''

Clemens started Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, making his long-awaited 2007 major league debut after three tuneups in the minors. His return to the Yankees originally was scheduled for last Monday at the Chicago White Sox, but was pushed back because of an ailing groin.

In his latest comeback, the 44-year-old Clemens was pitching in pinstripes for the first time since 2003. He spent the past three seasons with his hometown Houston Astros.

The Rocket agreed May 6 to a one-year contract worth $28,000,022 - the last two digits matching his uniform number. He began earning his salary Saturday and will get $17,442,637 this season - but he also will cost the Yankees $6,977,054 in luxury tax, making the total $24,419,691.

The Yankees purchased Clemens' contract from Scranton. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the team transferred rookie right-hander Phil Hughes (strained left hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 9

Pierzynski suspended one game
June 9th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for his inappropriate actions during the bottom of the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the New York Yankees.

Unless appealed, Pierzynski's suspension will take place today, when the White Sox host the Houston Astros. If appealed, his suspension will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

Pierzynski is hitting .251 with eight home runs and 21 RBI in 52 games this season.

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Pirates put Torres on DL; call up RHP Kuwata
June 9, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -The Pittsburgh Pirates placed reliever Salomon Torres on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with inflammation in his right elbow and purchased the contract of right-hander Masumi Kuwata from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Torres recently lost his closer's job. He is 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA and 12 saves in 30 appearances.

The 39-year-old Kuwata was a longtime star in Japan, where he spent 20 years with the Yomiuri Giants and was teammates with New York Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui.

The Pirates played the second game of a three-game interleague series Saturday against the Yankees.

Kuwata, a starter in Japan, will work out of Pittsburgh's bullpen. He missed the first two months of the season after injuring his ankle in a March 26 spring training collision with umpire Wally Bell.

Kuwata did not allow an earned run in three relief appearances with Indianapolis covering 4 1-3 innings.

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Giants' Alfonzo, Lewis land on DL from Friday injuries
June 9, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Outfielder Fred Lewis and catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, two San Francisco players injured in Friday's wild game, were placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with injuries that could take significant time to heal.

Lewis has a strained muscle in his right side and was headed for an MRI exam Saturday, while Alfonzo - injured in a collision at the plate with Oakland pinch-runner Donnie Murphy in the 10th inning to save a run - has a sprained ligament in his left knee that could require surgery and end his season.

``Whew,'' manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday.

The Giants activated center fielder Dave Roberts two days earlier than scheduled from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno at Las Vegas, three days shy of a month after surgery on his left elbow to remove bone chips and spurs. The club also brought up Guillermo Rodriguez to be catcher Bengie Molina's backup.

Roberts arrived only about two hours before game time and was in the starting lineup for the middle game of the Bay Bridge Series against the Athletics.

Molina was already out of the Giants' 5-3 loss Friday on a double switch, despite his arm having gone numb after being hit with the ball. When Alfonzo was forced to leave the game with an injury to the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee, Bochy had no remaining position players on the bench. So, he moved third baseman Pedro Feliz to catcher, starting lefty pitcher Noah Lowry to right field and center fielder Randy Winn to third. Dan Ortmeier went from right field to center.

Alfonzo was still using crutches to get around Saturday - and Bochy said he will be out at least two months even if he opts not to have surgery.

``There's nothing I can do,'' Alfonzo said of what happened. He plans to wait until Tuesday to make a decision on whether to undergo season-ending surgery, saying, ``I don't know yet.''

San Francisco had hoped to give Roberts a couple more days in the minors to work on his swing and get his timing back, and trainer Dave Groeschner plans to monitor him closely in the coming days. Roberts has been pain-free, which is encouraging to the club.

``The fact he is ready, we're pretty lucky,'' Bochy said. ``We just had to rush him a little bit. He's good to go.''

Lowry, who pitched Thursday's series finale at Arizona, struck out to end the game. Lowry, Feliz and Winn made their major league debuts at the positions they played in the 10th. Shortstop Omar Vizquel was ``politicking,'' to catch according to Bochy, but Feliz was considered the best option.

``I didn't want it to happen, and that's probably why it happened,'' Feliz said. ``I tried. You've got to do it.''

Lowry took some popups in right during the game's short delay.

``I didn't do much,'' he said. ``I just stood there.''

The Giants were happy to have a fresh start Saturday. The club lost two one-run games against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix, winning the series finale 5-4 on Thursday night in 11 innings to avoid a sweep at Chase Field.

``You can't ever say you've seen it all in baseball. Something new always comes up,'' said San Francisco reliever Randy Messenger, who was acquired from the Marlins in a May 31 trade that sent embattled closer Armando Benitez to Florida.

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Phillies place RHP Garcia on DL, sign Mesa
June 9, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -The Philadelphia Phillies placed right-hander Freddy Garcia on the 15-day disabled list because of a right shoulder strain Saturday and signed Jose Mesa to a major league contract.

Garcia was bombed in an 8-4 loss to Kansas City on Friday night, giving up six runs in 1 2-3 innings. A key offseason acquisition, Garcia is 1-5 with an ERA of 5.90.

The 41-year-old Mesa is fifth among active pitchers with 320 saves. He was 1-1 with a 12.46 ERA in 16 games with Detroit before being released earlier this season. Last season with Colorado he was 1-5 with one save and a 3.86 ERA in 79 games.

From 2001-03 with the Phillies he was 12-16 with a 3.77 ERA and a club-record 111 saves.

``I'll pitch him wherever we need him,'' said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. ``He's always been the kind of guy who stayed in shape and worked hard and everything. And his experience speaks for itself. Is there a place where he can pitch on our team? Yeah.''

Garcia signed a $10 million contract this year but has been a major disappointment. He opened the season on the DL with tendinitis in his right biceps. He will see team physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti on Monday.

Manuel hinted Friday night that he was unhappy with the veteran right-hander for continuing to go to the mound even though he was hurting.

``I think he thought he could go out there and pitch. He thought he could still pitch, although he was hurting,'' Manuel said.

Manuel said he would announce on Monday who would take Garcia's next start, on Wednesday against the White Sox.

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