MLB News and Notes June - 10

MLB News and Notes June - 10

A's send backup catcher Melhuse to Rangers for cash
June 9, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -The Oakland Athletics traded little-used backup catcher Adam Melhuse to Texas on Saturday for cash considerations, reuniting him with former A's coach and first-year Rangers manager Ron Washington.

Texas had expressed interest in acquiring Melhuse about a month ago. The A's will call up Kurt Suzuki from Triple-A Sacramento to fill the backup catcher spot, and he was set to join the team in time for Sunday's Bay Bridge Series finale against the San Francisco Giants.

``I'd have to think anywhere would be better than here,'' Melhuse said before packing up his locker and saying goodbyes. ``It's weird, I've been here for five years now. I'm comfortable here but playing time is tough to come by for me. The other day I was joking with my agent, saying 'I can barely feel a pulse anymore career-wise. Pretty soon, I'm going to flat line. It's like I'm dying a slow death over here.' Hopefully this will be an opportunity to play. ... It's bittersweet.''

Melhuse batted .231 with two RBIs with only seven starts this season and also had a stint at Triple-A. Durable starting catcher Jason Kendall rarely takes games off, which made it that much more difficult for manager Bob Geren to get Melhuse into games.

``Hopefully it's good for Adam, an opportunity with a manager who knows him,'' A's assistant general manager David Forst said. ``Hopefully he'll get an opportunity to play. We'll bring Kurt here to learn from Jason.''

The deal came together in the last few days.

The move gives the Rangers a chance to use Melhuse behind starter Gerald Laird and move Chris Stewart to the minors to gain experience. Washington will be able to rest Laird more, too.

``Obviously we wish him well - maybe not against us,'' Oakland manager Bob Geren said of Melhuse. ``He will hopefully get more opportunities to play. He's done everything we wanted. He's a great guy.''

Melhuse publicly criticized former A's manager Ken Macha to the San Francisco Chronicle after last season for not communicating enough with him as he rode the bench for long stretches at a time. The 35-year-old Melhuse played in only 12 games during Oakland's AL West title season in 2006, and 209 total games in five seasons with the club.

``I'm really happy for him,'' A's second baseman Mark Ellis said. ``He's a big part of this clubhouse. Not many people know that.''

Suzuki batted .280 (59-for-211) with three home runs and 27 RBIs in 55 games - 44 at catcher and 11 as designated hitter - for Sacramento this season.

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Mariners activate Weaver, put Huber on DL
June 9, 2007


SAN DIEGO (AP) -Seattle right-hander Jeff Weaver was activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday night and started against the San Diego Padres.

Weaver had been on the DL since May 11 because of shoulder tendinitis. It was his first career trip to the DL.

Weaver entered the game with a 0-6 record and a 14.32 ERA.

Weaver beat San Diego in Game 2 of the division series last year while with St. Louis.

To make room for Weaver, right-hander John Huber was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Thursday, with a right forearm strain.

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Notes from Saturday's games
June 9, 2007

PITTSBURGH: 2B Freddy Sanchez went 0-for-4, ending his nine-game hitting streak. ... The Pirates had played six straight one-run games before their 9-3 loss to the Yankees. ... Pittsburgh placed reliever Salomon Torres on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow and purchased the contract of RHP Masumi Kuwata from Triple-A Indianapolis. The 39-year-old Kuwata was a famous starter in Japan, but he 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.

NEW YORK: RHP Mariano Rivera got a rest after throwing a total of 3 2-3 innings the previous two games. ... INF Chris Basak made his major league debut when he entered as a pinch runner for Alex Rodriguez in the eighth. Basak remained in the game at third base. ... CF Melky Cabrera made a leaping catch to take away extra bases - and possibly a home run - from Ronny Paulino in the seventh. ... RHP Roger Clemens pitched in pinstripes for the first time since Game 7 of the 2003 AL championship series against Boston, which the Yankees won on Aaron Boone's 11th-inning homer. The only players in New York's starting lineup Saturday who were with the Yankees back then were SS Derek Jeter, LF Hideki Matsui and C Jorge Posada. ``To have the opportunity to get back here and see some old faces and some new faces, it was pretty nice,'' Clemens said. Jeter visited the mound for a quick chat before Clemens' first pitch. ``I introduced the infielders to him,'' Jeter said. ... RF Bobby Abreu is hitting .441 (15-for-34) in June with a homer, five doubles, six RBIs and nine walks. ... Yankees pitchers struck out a season-high 11. ... The Yankees are a major league-best 106-73 (.592) against the NL since interleague play started in 1997.


NEW YORK: Mets manager Willie Randolph felt that his team couldn't ask for a much better situation than they got in the seventh inning of Saturday's loss to the Tigers. Trailing 8-6, a Carlos Beltran walk brought Carlos Delgado up with the bases loaded, but he grounded out to end the inning. ``We had a great chance - bases loaded for the big guy,'' Randolph said. ``It just didn't happen this time.'' ... The Mets are one home run shy of becoming the first National League team to reach 200 in interleague play. ... OF Shawn Green (foot) is eligible to come off the disabled list in time for Sunday's finale against the Tigers, but no official decision on his status was announced Saturday.

DETROIT: The Tigers announced after Saturday's win over the Mets that RHP Aquilino Lopez will be designated for assignment Sunday, and LHP Andrew Miller will be recalled from Double-A Erie. Miller, Detroit's first-round pick in the 2006 draft, will start against Tom Glavine in Sunday's series finale. Miller made eight relief appearances late last season for the Tigers, going 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA, then pitched six shutout innings against St. Louis on May 18. ... LHP Kenny Rogers, who has missed the entire season with a tired arm, is scheduled to make his first rehab start Sunday night for Triple-A Toledo against Norfolk. Tigers manager Jim Leyland is hoping that Detroit's 1:00 game will end quickly enough for him to make the short drive to Toledo for the 6:30 p.m. start. ``I'm going to go down and see him myself if we get done in time,'' Leyland said. ``He's like a little kid, he can't wait to pitch.''


OAKLAND: Dan Haren won his seventh straight decision and lowered his majors-best ERA from 1.70 to 1.58. He has an ERA of 0.76 in five day starts. ... Oakland traded little-used backup C Adam Melhuse to Texas for cash considerations, reuniting him with former A's coach and first-year Rangers manager Ron Washington. Texas had expressed interest in acquiring Melhuse about a month ago. The A's will call up Kurt Suzuki from Triple-A Sacramento to fill the backup catcher spot, and he was set to join the team in time for Sunday's Bay Bridge Series finale. ``I'd have to think anywhere would be better than here,'' Melhuse said before packing up his locker and saying goodbyes. ``It's weird, I've been here for five years now. I'm comfortable here but playing time is tough to come by for me. The other day I was joking with my agent, saying 'I can barely feel a pulse anymore career-wise. Pretty soon, I'm going to flat line. It's like I'm dying a slow death over here.' Hopefully this will be an opportunity to play. ... It's bittersweet.'' Melhuse batted .231 with two RBIs with only seven starts this season and also had a stint at Triple-A. ... Bobby Crosby connected for his sixth home run of the season, his third career homer against the Giants.

SAN FRANCISCO: Barry Bonds stole his second base in as many days, fourth of the year and 513th of his career, moving him within one of matching his late father, Bobby, for most in San Francisco history (263). Bonds last stole two bags in consecutive games July 14-15 last year. ... LHP Steve Kline made his 750th career appearance in the ninth, matching Hall of Famer Warren Spahn for 16th place on the all-time list for lefties. ... The Giants were happy to welcome back CF and leadoff hitter Dave Roberts, whose speed at the top of the order gives the club a dimension it didn't have before on the basepaths. He went 0-for-4. Roberts was activated from the DL 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. Both players were needed after OF Fred Lewis and C Eliezer Alfonzo, both hurt 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 of Oakland's 5-3 win to save a run - has a sprained ligament in his left knee that could require surgery and end his season. ... The Giants sold out for the ninth time this year (42,526).


HOUSTON: Luke Scott had to leave the game in the eighth with a strained hip flexor muscle, giving the Astros two players with a similar injury. OF Hunter Pence, who strained a right hip flexor muscle while running out a grounder on Friday, was out of the starting lineup Saturday. Manager Phil Garner said his standout rookie felt fine but was being cautious with him. Garner was also glad that Pence showed the wisdom and common sense to back off when it started bothering him Friday. Pence has led all rookies by batting .366 since joining the Astros in late April. ... Chad Qualls came in and gave Brad Lidge and Dan Wheeler a much-needed day off, getting the win and stopping two rallies Saturday. ``He did a really nice job on a day when we didn't have a whole lot available down there,'' Lance Berkman said. ``We're fortunate to have three guys that could close probably for any team in the league.'' ... Jason Jennings threw 97 pitches in just his third start since coming off the DL (elbow), allowing just six hits and a run in seven-plus innings. ``I'm still trying to build up my pitch count and my arm strength,'' he said. Jennings joined the Astros during the offseason in a deal with the Rockies. It came shortly after a potential trade between Houston and Chicago involving Saturday's other starter, Jon Garland, couldn't be worked out. ... Berkman had three hits Saturday to match a season high.

CHICAGO: The White Sox had a players-only team meeting after another discouraging loss Saturday. Reliever Bobby Jenks said after the meeting, ``It felt a little bit come off your shoulders, especially since it was just the team. The guys got together and joked and laughed a little after it was over.'' ... But the White Sox' struggles are wearing on manager Ozzie Guillen, who says it seems like he's already been involved in 130 games instead of 58. ``They should be embarrassed, they should be upset, they should feel the same way I feel,'' Guillen said of his team that has lost 12 of 14. ... With catcher A.J. Pierzynski expected to serve a one-game suspension Sunday, Guillen is hoping nothing happens in the game to backup Toby Hall. That could mean utility player Andy Gonzalez or outfielder Rob Mackowiak would be called in for emergency duty. ... Darin Erstad is still trying to regain the strength and mobility in his sprained left ankle that landed him on the DL. ``I'm not able to rotate on it the way I want,'' said Erstad. Another injured outfielder, Scott Podsednik, is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte, trying to return from a muscle strain that has forced him to miss nearly the last two months. With both of those leadoff hitters sidelined and OF Jerry Owens out of the lineup after straining a hamstring Friday night, the punchless White Sox turned to Mackowiak to bat first Saturday.


TAMPA BAY: Friday's 14-8 loss to Florida marked the second time in four days that the Devil Rays lost a game after holding a lead of six or more runs. The Rays blew a six-run lead against the Blue Jays in a 12-11 loss to open the road trip on June 8. The last time a club blew two leads of six or more runs within a four-game span was the Houston Astros in May 2000. The Astros blew a 9-2 lead in a 10-9 loss against Milwaukee on May 22, and surrended a 7-0 lead in a 9-7 loss against the Phillies on May 24. ... The Devils Rays have blown 34 leads this year, tied for third most in the AL with the White Sox and Blue Jays. ... The Devil Rays have stolen eight bases in their last two games and 11 in their last six.

FLORIDA: Alfredo Amezaga has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games, all from the leadoff spot. ... Hanley Ramirez (54) and Dan Uggla (50) are first and second in the NL in runs scored. ... Florida's leadoff hitters have combined to bat .314, second in the NL and fourth in the Majors. ... Aaron Boone has been hit by pitches 11 times this year, a career-high. Boone is second in the NL in being hit by a pitch, trailing Chase Utley (14).


COLORADO: OF Willy Taveras had two SBs Friday and 2B Kazuo Matsui had one, marking the first time this season the Rockies collected three in one game and only the fifth time in four years. Taveras' 15 SBs through Friday were Colorado's most since Juan Pierre had 47 in 2002, and Matsui has 11. ``It's a weapon we've never had before,'' manager Clint Hurdle said of the speed at the top of his lineup. ``It puts pressure on the pitcher and the defense.'' ... OF Matt Holliday, who had a career-high 15-game hitting streak snapped Friday, served as DH Saturday. It was his first start other than left field in 2007. Holliday came in leading the NL with a .355 average. ``It's not something you're accustomed to,'' Hurdle said of his players playing DH. ``We use it as a time to give guys a little bit of a blow, and get off their legs a bit.'' ... 1B Todd Helton was hitting .189 (7-for-37) over his last 10 games through Friday. ... Entering Saturday, Colorado was 6-16 in its last 22 road interleague games dating to 2004.

BALTIMORE: The Orioles led the AL in fielding before making errors in seven straight games, including a throwing error by RHP Jeremy Guthrie in Saturday's matchup against Colorado. ... Entering Saturday's game, Orioles RHP Chad Bradford had not yielded a home run since May 14, 2006. He faced 295 batters during that span, the longest current run in the majors without yielding a homer. ... RHP Chris Ray earned his 13th save Friday night, the first when pitching more than one inning. He went 1 1-3 innings, allowing only a walk.


CLEVELAND:
RHP Jake Westbrook, out since May 3 with a left abdominal strain, allowed five hits and four runs with three walks and one strikeout in 2 1-3 innings of his second rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Friday. ``He said he started to find it at the end,'' Indians manager Eric Wedge said. ``Hopefully, he'll be able to take it into his next start.'' ... Utility infielder Matt Rouse was hitting .116 after going 0-for-2 Friday, but the Indians weren't specifically exploring options at Triple-A Buffalo. ``We always talk about players in Buffalo, but we haven't had any serious discussions,'' Wedge said. ... OF Grady Sizemore's homer to lead off Saturday's game was his fourth leadoff homer of the season and 11th of his career.

CINCINNATI: After missing a rehab assignment because of personal business, LHP Eddie Guardado resumed his comeback from ligament replacement surgery on his left elbow with a bullpen session on Saturday. ``Each time out, it's getting better,'' said Guardado, who's made two rehab appearances with Single-A Dayton. Guardado is scheduled to make another rehab appearance Monday. ... LF Adam Dunn didn't start Saturday, and manager Jerry Narron hopes to give RF Ken Griffey Jr. Sunday off, especially with an off day on Monday. ``I'd like to get him those two days,'' Narron said. ... RHP David Weathers' 12 saves equal his total from last season.


WASHINGTON: Jason Bergmann (right elbow inflammation) and Jerome Williams (right shoulder strain) should rejoin the Nationals' injury-ravaged rotation within a couple of weeks. They've been out for three-plus weeks, along with Shawn Hill, and John Patterson has missed a month. But both Williams and Bergmann threw successful bullpen sessions before Saturday's game, according to manager Manny Acta, with ``no pain whatsoever.'' They will probably begin minor league rehab assignments next weekend. ... OF Alex Escobar and reliever Luis Ayala have also begun rehab assignments. ... After praising SS Cristian Guzman's health, happiness and hot hitting Friday, Acta raved about Washington's other streaking hitter, 1B Dmitri Young, who has revived his career. ``We gave him a clean slate, and thank God we did because he's been outstanding,'' the manager said.

MINNESOTA: Joe Mauer will get a break from catching Sunday, but the possibility of him being the DH on those days has decreased in light of his recent thigh injury. ``Those days off, he needs that to recoup,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``DHing, obviously that's more wear and tear.'' ... Reliever Dennys Reyes, out for nearly three weeks with inflammation in his left shoulder, will throw a bullpen session Sunday and a simulated game Tuesday. Then the team will decide whether to send him on a rehab assignment. Carmen Cali has done well in his absence as the specialty lefty, so Reyes is not going to rush back. ``I don't think it's an emergency to have me this week,'' he said. ... The Twins will use their off day Monday to push Scott Baker's next start back to Friday. He hasn't pitched well since a stellar debut three weeks ago. Johan Santana has asked for an extra day between starts when it was available before, but he told the team he wants to stay on schedule and pitching every five days.


PHILADELPHIA: RHP Freddy Garcia, a major disappointment since signing a $10 million contract this year, was placed on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder strain. Garcia, who turns 31 on Sunday, is 1-5 with an ERA of 5.90. A replacement for his spot in the rotation will be announced on Monday, according to manager Charlie Manuel. The Phillies signed Jose Mesa, 41, who is fifth among active pitchers with 320 saves. He was released by Detroit earlier this year with a 1-1 record and an ERA of 12.46 in 16 games. He holds the Phillies' record with 111 saves.

KANSAS CITY: DH Mike Sweeney was held out off Saturday's lineup to rest a sore knee. The Royals do not expect him to go on the DL, and plan to have him back at DH on Sunday. ... The Royals will host about 50 youngsters from Greensburg, Kan., at Sunday's game. Greensburg was the little town in south-central Kansas that was destroyed on May 4 by a massive tornado. ... Thirty-seven years ago Saturday, Bob Lemon was named the Royals' second manager. He was fired at the end of the 1972 season with a 207-218 record.


LOS ANGELES: OF Chone Figgins singled in the first inning Saturday against St. Louis to extend his hitting streak to nine games. ... Manager Mike Scioscia said P Justin Speier's recovery from a viral condition is going slower than expected. Speier landed on the 15-day disabled list May 21 and began rehab but returned to Arizona for extended spring training. No date has been set for when he'll being rehab, again. ... OF Juan Rivera on the 60-day disabled list with a broken right leg, suffered during winter ball in Venezuela, is running on a tread mill and throwing. He is expected to return around the All-Star break.

ST. LOUIS: Manager Tony La Russa said the signing of reliever Troy Percival does not signal a major shift in how he'll use the bullpen. ``What it does is deepen our bullpen,'' La Russa said. ``If he's anything close to himself, he'll be a real weapon there.'' The Cardinals signed the 37-year-old Percival on Friday to a minor league contract. He will report to Triple-A Memphis and should be there for about two weeks before he's in playing shape. Percival hasn't pitched in the majors since July 2005. ``He's not going to come back and go through all of this to embarrass himself,'' La Russa said. ``There's a realistic chance he's going to pitch for us and pitch well.''


MILWAUKEE: RHP Dave Bush, Sunday night's starter, has been victimized by three blown saves in his 12 starts and the Brewers have lost his last five starts. Nevertheless, manager Ned Yost is happy with Bush's recent performance. ``He's been pretty good since early May,'' Yost said. The Brewers are 3-9 when Bush has started. ... Yost isn't discouraged despite his team's recent slump. ``I'm very pleased about the way that they're going about their business - the way that they're playing, for the most part,'' Yost said.

TEXAS: RHP Vicente Padilla will make his scheduled start Sunday night against Milwaukee after reporting that the right triceps irritation that knocked him out of his last start has improved. ... 2B Ian Kinsler is off to a shaky start on defense, committing 12 errors in his first 58 games in addition to numerous mental blunders. ``It's poor decision-making, that's all,'' said manager Ron Washington, a former big-league infielder who's been working individually with Kinsler. ``He's still learning. He's only been up here two years. He's such a talent that people forget how young and inexperienced he is.''

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BOSTON: SS Julio Lugo's leadoff home run Friday night was his second of the season and ninth of his career. ... 1B David Ortiz entered Saturday's game with a season-best nine-game hitting streak. ... RF J.D. Drew's last three multihomer games have been at Chase Field, twice against the Los Angeles and again Friday for the Red Sox. ... Lugo unofficially became the 18th Boston player and first in 16 years to use the so-called hidden-ball trick to record an out, tagging out Alberto Callaspo at second base in the third. ... Boston has played regular-season games at all but three current major-league parks - Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, Houston's Minute Maid Park and Petco Park in San Diego.

ARIZONA: LF Eric Byrnes has reached base in 31 straight games, tied with Matt Williams for fourth on the club's all-time list. Jay Bell holds the franchise record with a 40-game streak in 1998, and Orlando Hudson reached safely in 33 games to start the season. ... C Miguel Montero, who started Saturday night, has three home runs in nine at_bats as a pinch-hitter this season. David Dellucci and Erubiel Durazo hold the single-season club mark with five pinch-hit homers. ... The Diamondbacks have lost two straight for the first time since May 22-23 at home against Colorado.


TORONTO: Jeremy Accardo, who absorbed his first loss of the season Thursday and his second blown save on Friday, has given up nine earned runs in his last five innings after starting the season with a career-high scoreless streak of 21 2-3 innings. But a couple other Blue Jays relievers continue to excel. Brian Talley has allowed one run over his last 18 2-3 innings, and Casey Janssen two earned runs in his last 22 1-3 innings.

LOS ANGELES: CF Juan Pierre, who entered Saturday with a .269 batting average and .297 on-base percentage, was dropped from the second spot in the order to the No. 8-hole - and didn't find out about it until the lineup card was posted in the clubhouse. ``It's just frustrating because I know If I was doing what I'm capable of doing, I'd be at the top of the lineup,'' Pierre said. ``But wherever I'm at in the lineup, I play hard every day. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm going to hit, get on base and do the things I'm capable of doing. I won't lose faith in myself, and I'll be better more times than I'm bad.'' ... The Dodgers held their annual ``Hollywood Stars Night,'' softball game, which was the first for veteran actor Joe Mantegna, who starred in the 1992 flick ``Comrades of Summer'' portraying the manager of a Russian baseball team. ``It's one of the perks of my business. It's like a childhood dream to be on a major league field. For those of us in show business, athletes are our heroes - and vice versa. I think it's because we're so different.''


CHICAGO: 2B Mike Fontenot, called up from Triple-A Iowa, started and hit seventh. Fontenot fills the roster spot of OF Cliff Floyd, who was placed on the bereavement list Friday as he returned to Chicago to be with his ill father. ... 3B Aramis Ramirez continued to be held out with tendinitis in his right knee. Ramirez called the possibility of going on the disabled list ``a long shot.'' Ramirez said he hasn't tried to run on the knee.

ATLANTA: 3B Chipper Jones was upbeat after taking grounders and making some soft throws across the infield in batting practice. On the disabled list with sore wrists, Jones said he hopes to start swinging a bat ``in a matter of days.'' ... RHP John Smoltz will not make his scheduled start on Sunday. Instead, his next start now is set for Friday in Cleveland. The team placed another starting pitcher, Lance Cormier, on the disabled list and recalled Buddy Carlyle to start Sunday.

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Baseball Today - June 10
Sun, Jun 10, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Monday, June 10

N.Y. Mets at L.A. Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EDT). Tom Glavine faces off against Andrew Miller.

STARS Saturday

-Dan Haren, Athletics, pitched seven shutout innings to earn his seventh straight victory in Oakland's 6-0 win over San Francisco.

-Jon Lieber, Phillies, struck out 11 in a three-hitter, leading Philadelphia to a 4-0 victory over Kansas City.

-Edgar Renteria, Braves, homered and drove in four runs to help Atlanta top the Chicago Cubs 9-5.

-Kazuo Matsui, Rockies, doubled in the tiebreaking run with two outs in the 10th inning of Colorado's 3-2 win over the Orioles.

-Jason Varitek, Red Sox, homered, doubled and drove in three runs in a 4-3, 10-inning victory over the Diamondbacks.

ROCKET RETURNS

Roger Clemens, pitching in pinstripes for the first time in four years, struck out seven over six solid innings in the New York Yankees' 9-3 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. The 44-year-old allowed three runs, five hits and two walks to earn his 349th career victory. The Yankees have won a season-best five straight and eight of 10 overall.

WHEELS COME OFF

Michael Young singled off Francisco Cordero with two outs in the ninth to lead the Texas Rangers to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night. With Texas trailing 3-0, Brad Wilkerson hit a two-out single, Ramon Vazquez walked and Gerald Laird hit an RBI single. Kenny Lofton followed with a run-scoring single and Marlon Byrd tied it with an RBI single.

STREAKS

Dan Haren won his seventh straight decision, leading the A's past the San Francisco Giants 6-0 on Saturday. ... Jeremy Bonderman won his sixth straight start following five straight no-decisions in Detroit's 8-7 win over the New York Mets. ... Casey Blake extended his career-high hitting streak to 18 games in Cleveland's 8-6 win over Cincinnati.

SNAPPED

Mark Teixeira's franchise-record consecutive games streak ended at 507 when the Texas Rangers placed him on the 15-day disabled list prior to Saturday's 4-3 win over Milwaukee.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Derek Lowe (6-6) went the distance for the Dodgers in a 1-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night, allowing one run on four hits and no walks while striking out three.

SUSPENSION

Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was suspended for one game Saturday by Major League Baseball for his conduct during a game against the New York Yankees earlier this week. Pierzynski appealed the suspension and was in the lineup in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros, but said he might sit out Sunday in the finale of the interleague series.

SPEAKING

''Whoever else is on the staff or not, Danny's been unbelievable. No doubt he's the ace of our staff right now. He certainly deserves to be in conversations with the best pitchers in the game.'' - Oakland assistant general manager David Forst on Dan Haren (7-2), who won his seventh straight decision in a 6-0 win over the Giants on Saturday.

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Smoltz to skip Sunday start
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- If Sunday was a playoff game, John Smoltz wouldn't just take the ball, he would demand it.

Since Sunday is just the 64th game in a season of 162, Smoltz will step aside, taking precaution with his inflamed right shoulder and missing his turn in the rotation. Smoltz's scheduled start will be pushed back to Friday, his next scheduled turn.

The decision was made by Braves manager Bobby Cox and the training staff and met with little resistance by Smoltz, who wants to pitch but has the bigger picture in mind.

"If I had to pitch [Sunday] in the playoffs, it would be a piece of cake," Smoltz said. "I'd find a way to get my pitches where they need to be. We don't want to accumulate more inflammation. It's in the cycle of getting eliminated, but Bobby and the training staff said, 'Don't push it, it's just one start.'"

Smoltz left his start on May 29 in Milwaukee when his shoulder became inflamed. His next start, on Tuesday against Florida, was pushed back a day.

Smoltz said the injury forced his arm slot when releasing the ball to be changed, and when his shoulder remained stiff after the game, he received a cortisone shot.

"When I pitched last time, afterwards I was probably a little more uncomfortable than I thought I was going to feel," Smoltz said. "So I got a shot. It's doing great today, but it needs more time just to make everything work."

Smoltz said the injury probably will have subsided to the point that he could make his start Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but he will take his normal turn in the rotation, so nobody else's turn is altered.

Buddy Carlyle was promoted from Triple-A Richmond to start on Sunday, replacing Lance Cormier, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with arm soreness. Carlyle was sent down after his last start, a win on Tuesday against the Marlins, during which he allowed one hit through seven innings.

Smoltz played catch on Saturday for the first time since his last start and reported no ill-effects. He'll throw two bullpen sessions before Friday, one on Tuesday and the other to be determined.

When Cox presented him with the plan of missing a start, the usually stubborn Smoltz understood.

"I'm the absolute worst, I want to pitch so bad," Smoltz said. "I can't tell you what [missing a start] does to me, but Bobby and the training staff have been great. They know I know my body really well. I've been super honest with them all the way, so it's a piece of cake missing one start."

Smoltz said a right pinky injury has caused more strain on the shoulder, but the finger injury is relatively minor. He understands the concerns that come when it is announced he will miss a start, but the extra days between starts are being given only as a precaution, and he expects to return at full strength.

"I don't mind telling you, I feel like I'm on top of my game," Smoltz said. "The last thing I want to do is alter anything I'm doing, because I feel like I'm pitching as good as I've ever pitched. That's part of my frustration when the terminology is 'miss a start' because, all of a sudden, in my case, everybody thinks the worst."

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DL ends Teixeira's streak at 507
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- First baseman Mark Teixeira went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps muscle Saturday afternoon. It ends his consecutive games streak at 507, a club record.

"It was going to end eventually," Teixeira said. "There is a big difference between taking a day off and getting hurt. I didn't need to take a day off."

Teixeira said he had no visions of even approaching Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive game streak.

"One thing you could count on was him suiting up," shortstop Michael Young said. "That's what I'm most impressed about him as a teammate."

With Teixeira out of the lineup, Young will bat third and teammate Marlon Byrd will bat second. Teixeira strained his quad trying to beat out a ground ball Friday night against Milwaukee.

"I stepped on the bag and over-strained it," Teixeira said. "It's disappointing, but it's part of the game. I've been completely healthy my entire career. Unfortunately, it happened."

Teixeira had an MRI earlier Saturday when the doctors advised him to rest.

"We had to stop Tex from hurting himself," manager Ron Washington said. "If there was any way he could go out there, he would. But, the last thing he didn't want to do was hurt the team."

The Rangers activated Brad Wilkerson to start at first Saturday night. Washington said he expected Wilkerson to finish the week at Double-A Frisco and rejoin the team Tuesday at Pittsburgh.

"He always comes [to Rangers Ballpark] to get treatment before he heads to Frisco," Washington said. "Today, we told him to stay for a little while."

Wilkerson started Friday night in left field for Frisco and said it was good to get his legs back under him.

"I feel good, ready to put some spark in the lineup," Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson was placed on the DL May 16 with a hamstring injury.

"It was a weird injury," he said. "It was a tease. One day I'd feel ready to go, but a couple days later, I wouldn't."

Wilkerson said playing first base would not be a problem.

To make room for Wilkerson, the Rangers optioned pitcher Kameron Loe to Triple-A Oklahoma.

"That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Washington said. "But, he has to develop his offspeed pitches to use when he's behind in the count."

Loe said he thought he would have one more start because the team did not send him down Friday.

"I haven't exactly been doing Cy Young material," he said. "I've got to figure it out and do what it takes to get back. I can't be mad at anybody."

Loe said he would work on controlling his sinker on both sides of the plate, as well as working on his secondary pitches -- a changeup and slider.

"I haven't been throwing [my secondary pitches] with the consistency I need to," he said. 

The Rangers want Loe to continue to develop as a starter, which is why they didn't put him in the bullpen.

"We want to keep him stretched out," Washington said. "We've got enough guys in the bullpen."

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 10

Pirates: Kuwata gets the call-up

The Pirates have recalled Mausmi Kuwata from Triple-A Indianapolis. He was supposed to join the team prior to Saturday's game, but travel problems kept him from arriving on time, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pirates: Torres (elbow) placed on DL

The Pirates placed Salomon Torres on the disabled list Saturday. He's slated to have an MRI taken of the sore MCL in his right elbow, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If he needs to have dye injected, he could need three weeks to recover. He's had elbow problems since spring training, but he only mentioned the MCL on Friday.

Cubs: Fontenot recalled from Triple-A Iowa

The Cubs recalled Mike Fontenot from Triple-A Iowa prior to Saturday's game to replace Cliff Floyd on their roster.

White Sox: Pierzynski to serve suspension

Look for A.J. Pierzynski to sit out of Sunday's game. He's expected to drop his appeal of a one-game suspension and serve it today, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I have a sneaking suspicion I might drop the appeal [Sunday] and sit out," he said.

Diamondbacks: Tracy set for return on Sunday

It appears that the Diamondbacks will get Chad Tracy back in the mix on Sunday. The club is expected to activate him from the disabled list prior to the game, according to the Arizona Republic.

Twins: Mauer to rest Sunday

Joe Mauer will get a break from catching Sunday, but the possibility of him being the DH on those days has decreased in light of his recent thigh injury, the AP reports. "Those days off, he needs that to recoup," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "DHing, obviously that's more wear and tear."

Royals: Sweeney rests sore knee

Mike Sweeney was held out off Saturday's lineup to rest a sore knee, the AP reports. The Royals do not expect him to go on the DL, and plan to have him back at DH on Sunday.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 10

Indians send Sowers to Triple-A
June 10th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians shipped struggling left-hander Jeremy Sowers to Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday prior to their rubber match with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Sowers, who won seven games as a rookie last season, has been a huge disappointment this season for the Indians, going just 1-6 with a 6.93 earned run average in 12 starts. He gave up five runs and seven hits in just four innings on Saturday against the Reds, but was bailed out, as the Indians won the game 8-6 in extra innings.

Taking Sowers' spot on the roster will be right-hander Matt Miller, who had pitched to a 3.46 ERA this season with Buffalo. Miller has made 98 major league relief appearances with the Indians and Colorado Rockies and is 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA in those outings.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 10

Tigers designate Lopez for assignment; recall rookie P Miller
June 10th, 2007

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers designated pitcher Aquilino Lopez for assignment on Sunday.

The right-handed reliever had one save and a 4.26 earned run average in six appearances with the Tigers this season.

To replace Lopez on the roster, Detroit recalled rookie Andrew Miller from Double-A Erie. The team's first-round draft pick in 2006, Miller will make the second start of his career Sunday against the New York Mets.

In his first start Miller hurled six scoreless innings in a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 18.

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