MLB News and Notes June - 27

MLB News and Notes June - 27

Big Unit to return to Arizona's rotation
June 26, 2007

PHOENIX (AP) -Randy Johnson will return to the Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation on Thursday, 10 days after he was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his back.

The 43-year-old lefty, who went on the disabled list June 11, will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game of a four-game series at Chase Field.

Johnson declared himself ready after he had no lingering problems coming off a sharp, two-inning simulated game on Monday.

``Today was a big day,'' said Johnson, who is 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA. ``I didn't feel that bad, relatively speaking. It's nothing that I haven't felt already - last year when I was pitching or earlier this year.''

Johnson said he hoped he wasn't in for a repeat of the last two seasons, when he struggled with back problems with the New York Yankees. Johnson had back surgery last October and started this season on the disabled list.

``I don't know how much longer I can pitch with it,'' Johnson said. ``So I'm going in with a positive frame of mind. I'll go as hard as I can as long as I can. When I was in New York, I pitched through a lot of discomfort.''

Johnson has had two back operations. Asked if another one was possible, he said, ``I guess I can always fall back on surgery. I prefer not to, obviously. I've only made nine starts coming off my last surgery and I have probably about 18 more. Let's just get through the Dodger start and not kind of look too far down the road.''

``That's what I'm preparing myself for right now, and then I'll deal with whatever happens after the Dodger start,'' Johnson said. ``Those are the questions that I have and there's no answers.''

Manager Bob Melvin said he would keep an eye on Johnson's pitch count, but didn't have a specific number in mind.

``He's got a bulging disk in there, but I'll tell you what I saw (in the simulated game) was pretty good,'' Melvin said. ``It just depends on how he feels. In the past it's bothered him sometimes and he's pitched through it, and other times he's felt good.''

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Dempster placed on DL; Miller moved to 60-day
June 26, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -The Chicago Cubs put closer Ryan Dempster on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle, and transferred Wade Miller to the 60-day disabled list.

Dempster's move was retroactive to June 23. He is 1-3 with a 3.38 ERA and 16 saves. Miller went on the DL on April 23 with back spasms after his third start. He is 0-1 with a 10.54 ERA.

The Cubs called up right-hander Billy Petrick from Double-A Tennessee. He is 1-2 with two saves and a 2.57 ERA in 24 minor-league games this season.

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Tejada likely sidelined into August
June 26, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) -Injured Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada won't be able to resume baseball activities for at least a month because of a fractured right wrist, and could be sidelined well into August.

Tejada played in 1,152 straight games - the fifth-longest streak in baseball history - before being placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. The injury occurred on June 20, when he was hit by a pitch thrown by San Diego's Doug Brocail.

``There's nothing I can do,'' Tejada said Tuesday. ``I don't want to be out. It's tough for me because I like to play baseball. I just hope I heal pretty good and can be back before (August).''

Tejada is batting .306 with seven homers. He ranks second on the team with 41 RBIs.

``Losing Miguel is a big blow. He's definitely the MVP of the club,'' Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar said. ``But when he goes down, other guys step up. That's our job.''

Reserves Freddie Bynum and Chris Gomez will share time at shortstop until Tejada returns, and interim manager Dave Trembley has been shuffling players at the cleanup spot.

``I think its an unfortunate situation. Honestly, everybody knows what he meant to our club and what he meant to baseball,'' Trembley said. ``When you take a No. 4 guy out of the lineup on a daily basis, were going to have to regroup a little bit. Well get by the best we can.''

Tejada had an MRI on Tuesday and was fitted with a splint, which he will wear for the next two weeks. He said Brocail called him to apologize for the inside pitch.

``I told him that's part of baseball. Don't worry about it,'' Tejada said.

Tejada kept his streak alive the day after being struck by the pitch, but left after one at-bat - a bunt. He came under criticism for extending his run in that fashion, and he acknowledged Tuesday it wasn't the right thing to do.

``It's not me. I play every day because I love this game, not because of a streak,'' he said. ``I left the game because I think I hurt the team. If I can't swing, I don't want to be in the lineup.''

Bynum and Gomez won't be asked to do anything more than simply play their best until Tejada returns.

``You can't ask people to do anything more than they're capable of doing. If you do that, then you're looking for trouble and its your fault for putting them in those situations,'' Trembley said. ``Were not going to be unrealistic.''

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Tigers place Rodney on disabled list, activate Robertson
June 26, 2007

DETROIT (AP) -The Tigers placed right-hander Fernando Rodney on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday and activated lefty Nate Robertson.

Robertson was scheduled to start Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers. He was 4-6 with a 5.07 ERA in 12 starts when he went on the 15-day disabled June 6 with what manager Jim Leyland called a ``tired arm.''

Robertson went on the DL the day after he faced six batters in a start against Texas, allowing two walks, two singles, a triple and a grand slam before Leyland pulled him.

Rodney was placed on the DL retroactive to Sunday with tendinitis in his right shoulder. He is 1-5 with one save and a 5.40 ERA in 27 games this season.

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Florida to place Boone on the DL, recall Linden
June 26, 2007

MIAMI (AP) -The Florida Marlins plan to place Aaron Boone on the 15-day disabled list with a knee injury.

The move will be retroactive to June 25, and outfielder Todd Linden is expected to be called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill the roster spot.

The 34-year-old Boone was taken out of Sunday's game after injuring his left knee during a cutoff play in the fourth inning. The

In his first year with the Marlins, Boone is batting .286 with five home runs and 28 RBI in 69 games. Primarily a third baseman, Boone started 46 games at first base in place of Mike Jacobs, who returned to the Marlins lineup this past weekend after a long stint on the DL.

Linden hit .143 in 13 games for the Marlins earlier this season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 27

Baseball Today - June 27
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Wednesday, June 27

N.Y. Yankees at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EDT). Roger Clemens looks to record his 350th career victory.

STARS Tuesday

-Jeff Cirillo, Twins, hit a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning and Minnesota defeated Toronto 2-1.

-Tony Abreu, Dodgers, hit a pinch-hit home run to break a 10th inning tie and lift the Los Angeles Dodgers over Arizona 6-5.

-Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres, hit a tie-breaking homer in the 10th inning to help San Diego edge San Francisco 3-2.

-Brendan Ryan, Cardinals, homered in the 11th inning and St. Louis defeated the New York Mets 5-3.

-Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Braves, homered twice to help Atlanta beat Washington 6-2.

-Marlon Byrd, Tigers, hit a tie-breaking triple in the ninth inning and Texas beat Detroit 9-6.

NOT SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 on his 33rd birthday but the New York Yankees fell to Baltimore 3-2 on Tuesday. Reliever Scott Proctor walked in the winning run to send the Yankees to their third straight defeat and sixth out of their last seven.

CATCHER ON THE FLY

Carlos Ruiz had three hits and a career-best four RBIs and stole home in Philadelphia's 11-4 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday night. Ruiz became the first Phillies catcher in 25 years to steal home when he scored as part of a double steal in the second inning for a 5-1 lead.

SOLO JOBS

Mike Cameron, Khalil Greene and Kevin Kouzmanoff each hit a solo homer to lead San Diego over San Francisco 3-2 in 10 innings on Tuesday.

SNAPPED

Pittsburgh defeated Florida 3-2 on Tuesday to snap a five-game skid. ... St. Louis defeated the New York Mets 5-3 in 11 innings to end the Mets' four-game winning streak.

SPEAKING

''I told a couple of guys I'm starting to get used to winning now. It's a great feeling after the tough two months we went through. We were fighting without results. Now we're starting to get a little bit better.'' - White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on his team defeating Tampa Bay 6-1 on Tuesday. The White Sox, who had dropped 22 of 28 before the win, have won two straight for the first time since winning three in a row against the Cubs and Athletics from May 20-22.

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Notes from Tuesday's games
June 26, 2007

TEXAS:
RHP Willie Eyre made the first start of his major league career. His first 61 games, totaling 95 1-3 innings, had all been in relief. His last start came in 2004 for Triple-A Rochester. ... The Rangers were hitting .335 with runners in scoring position since June 6, second in the majors to Detroit's .376. ... Jerry Hairston lined consecutive third-inning pitches into the Tigers' dugout, leading two Detroit players to jokingly wave white towels in surrender.

DETROIT:
Carlos Guillen's first-inning sacrifice fly gave him at least one RBI in Detroit's last 10 games - the longest streak for the Tigers since Willie Horton had a 10-game run in 1976. ... The Tigers activated LHP Nate Robertson and placed RHP Fernando Rodney on the 15-day disabled list. Robertson, who started against Texas, had been out since June 6 with a tired arm. Rodney, who took over the setup job when Joel Zumaya went down with a finger injury, was on the DL from May 21 through June 5 with biceps tendinitis, but is having shoulder problems this time. ... RHP Zach Miner (elbow) moved from Double-A Erie to Triple-A Toledo on his rehab assignment, and expects to make two relief outings before being activated.


OAKLAND:
RHP Rich Harden, who left Monday night's game after one inning because his shoulder was bothering him, threw about 10 minutes of long toss Tuesday. Manager Bob Geren played catch with him and said Harden will try to go two innings - which was Monday night's plan - Friday or Saturday against the Yankees. ``He felt good,'' Geren said. ``From last night to today, that's good news.'' Harden was on the DL from April 23 to June 21. ... RHP Justin Duchscherer (right hip strain) threw 21 pitches from the front part of the mound and will throw again Thursday. Geren said Duchscherer will probably throw a simulated game and go on a rehab assignment before he is activated. ... Geren said DH Mike Piazza (sprained right shoulder) is three weeks from returning. The A's want to give Piazza playing time at catcher when he returns and he's on a throwing program to stretch out his arm. ... OF Chris Snelling, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento, left Monday night's game with a sore left knee. He's been on the DL since May 11.

CLEVELAND: Several Indians think RHP Rafael Betancourt deserves consideration for the All-Star team. He entered with a 1.10 ERA in 29 appearances as a setup man. In 32 2-3 innings, he had 32 strikeouts, only three walks, and had allowed 19 hits. ``I don't think about the All-Star game because it's out of my control,'' Betancourt said. ``What means more to me is what my teammates, coaches and manager think of me.'' ... LHP C.C. Sabathia, 11-2 with a 3.24 ERA and 108 strikeouts, appears certain to get his third All-Star berth, but also denies dwelling upon it. ``I've got two more starts for my own team and that's all that matters,'' Sabathia said. ``After that, we'll see.'' ... Entering play, Cleveland relievers had a 2.39 ERA over their last 19 games. Overall, they were 12-9 with a 3.89 ERA and 21 saves in 26 attempts. At the same point a year ago, Cleveland relievers had only 10 saves in 21 chances. ... The Indians' six minor league affiliates have a combined 188-141 record (.571), second only to Milwaukee's 184-126 mark (.594).


NEW YORK: SS Derek Jeter turned 33. ``I'm amazed that he's half my age,'' said Yankees manager Joe Torre, who is 66. ... DH Johnny Damon returned to his Florida home on Monday and visited a chiropractor. He found he had four ribs misaligned and they were put back in place. ``It's going to be a difference with me in there - even if I'm not 100 percent,'' said Damon, who batted leadoff against Baltimore. ... RF Bobby Abreu, in a 3-for-24, slump, was dropped to the eighth spot. It's the first time in Abreu's career that he's started a game batting eighth or lower. ``It was just to get him out of the 3-hole and get him comfortable,'' Torre said. ... RHP Roger Clemens, scheduled to start Wednesday in search of his 350th career win, was not with the team. A friend of his mother's died, and he attended the funeral in Connecticut.

BALTIMORE:
SS Miguel Tejada (broken wrist) can't resume baseball activities for another month, which means he probably won't return from the 15-day DL until sometime in August. ``I don't want to rush it,'' he said. ... RHP Danys Baez (forearm tendinitis) threw around 20-25 pitches. He will rest Wednesday and increase the workload on Thursday, interim manager Dave Trembley said. Baez has been on the disabled list since June 16. ... LHP Erik Bedard, who left with a hamstring strain after his last appearance, will make his scheduled start Tuesday against the Yankees.


CHICAGO: Manager Ozzie Guillen said recent speculation about his job status is not surprising. ``Obviously, the question is there with the team not playing good,'' Guillen said. ``That doesn't bother me at all. I go out and take it day by day. If my players are not playing good, my name should be out there.'' GM Ken Williams said again Sunday that Guillen's job is not in jeopardy. ... The 5-4 win over Tampa Bay on Monday was just the third time the team won a game since 1970 when Chicago batters struck out 15 or more times in a nine-inning contest.

TAMPA BAY:
2B B.J. Upton (strained left quadriceps) is set to work out Wednesday with Class-A Vero Beach and start playing in minor league games Thursday. His status will be evaluated after he plays Friday. ... Manager Joe Maddon said pitching coach Jim Hickey, who underwent surgery Monday to repair a detached retina, is doing better but still is in pain. Hickey is expected rejoin the team next Tuesday in Boston. ... University of Mississippi RHP William Kline, Tampa Bay's second-round pick in this year's amateur draft, worked out before the game. He has been assigned to Class-A Columbus.


TORONTO:
With 12 homers in 58 games this season, veteran Matt Stairs jokingly had a message for injured 1B Lyle Overbay, whose broken hand opened the door for Stairs to get playing time. ``He's going to have a hard time knocking me out. He's going to be a bench player,'' Stairs said with a chuckle. ``I know when O gets back, he's a great hitter and his job is to be the first baseman every day. I'll move back in the outfield or whatever they need.'' ... Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said his club, which started the day 10 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, can look at the Twins for inspiration. Last year the Twins rallied from 12 1/2 games back to win the AL Central. ``It gives other teams hope,'' he said. ``We're hoping that Boston has to cool off someday. But what's great about the game now is the wild card, and that's still in reach.''

MINNESOTA: 2B Luis Castillo was in the lineup with his left hand bandaged after it was inadvertently stepped on by Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay during a play at the plate on Monday. Castillo needed a pinch hitter in the ninth, but said it was feeling better on Tuesday. ... Manager Ron Gardenhire is worried that so much youth in the starting rotation is starting to wear down his bullpen. Boof Bonser, Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey have all had short starts recently, putting the pressure on one of baseball's best relief units. ``That's my biggest concern, overtaxing the bullpen trying to get these young men to figure it out,'' Gardenhire said.


KANSAS CITY: The Royals entered last in the AL Central, 15 games out of first place. The fact that veterans Reggie Sanders, Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Sweeney and Scott Elarton are on the disabled list isn't helping. ``With the type of team that we have, everybody needs to be in place,'' said Sanders, who has played in the World Series with three teams and won a ring with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. ``If somebody goes down, you need somebody to fill that spot until he gets back - and we don't have that here. So what we're going through right now, with so many of the veteran guys being hurt and not being in there - and having these young kids fill in - it's like a snowball effect. We can't afford to give extra outs and make those little mistakes that we can't catch up from. This team has to be perfect.''

LOS ANGELES:
RHP Francisco Rodriguez was glad to hear that his mentor, Troy Percival, has revived his career with the St. Louis Cardinals after 1 1/2 years out of baseball due to injuries. ``You know how he is. He's a competitor,'' said Rodriguez, who followed Percival as the Angels' closer. ``We talked in spring training and he told me his arm didn't bother him when he was throwing batting practice to his son, but he never said anything about coming back - as far as I know. That's why I was surprised that he did. But good for him. All I can say is I wish him the best.'' ... Manager Mike Scioscia also expressed his pleasure about the news concerning Percival, who still holds the club record with 316 saves and got the final three outs in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series when the Angels beat the Giants. ``I don't know if you want to call it unfinished business, because he's accomplished so much in his career. But you have to understand how much he loves to pitch and how much he loves to compete,'' Scioscia said. ``And if he can do it, he wants to try and be a part of something.''


BOSTON: SS Julio Lugo, hitless in his past 29 at_bats, did not start. One of those outs Monday was a foul out in the fourth inning near the third-base line on which Lugo turned and walked back to the dugout instead of running to first base. Yet manager Terry Francona said Lugo's slump was the reason he sat. ``That's frustration. I'm not saying that's good, but that's frustration,'' Francona said. ``But if you are asking me if I care about that, yeah.'' Francona said Lugo will likely start Wednesday against left-hander Ryan Feierabend. ... 3B Mike Lowell and the team don't know whether he will be fined for arguing with Jim Reynolds after the plate umpire called him out on strikes to end Monday's 9-4 loss. ``He was kind of jawing. It was no big thing,'' Francona said.

SEATTLE:
LF Raul Ibanez missed his third straight game with a tight right hamstring. Ibanez said he still has tightness in the muscle, but it's coming along ``nicely.'' He and manager Mike Hargrove expect the No. 3 hitter to return in Friday's series opener against Toronto. ... RF Jose Guillen was back in the lineup after missing four games with soreness and tightness in his right arm - the same arm on which Guillen had reconstructive elbow surgery last summer. Hargrove gave Guillen the authority to decide when he would return. ... Seattle is in the middle of a season-high 12-game homestand, its longest stint at home since a 13-game homestand in September 2004.


PITTSBURGH: RHP John Wasdin (right thumb) was recalled earlier today from his rehab assignment and will re-join the Pirates bullpen. He was 1-1 with a 5.97 ERA in five rehab starts with Triple-A Indianapolis. ... 1B Josh Phelps went 2-for-5 in his Pirates debut on Sunday after being claimed off waivers from the Yankees. The Pirates have homered just twice in their last 11 games.

FLORIDA:
Rookie CF Brett Carroll is batting leadoff for the second straight game despite a .158 batting average. ... LHP Dontrelle Willis leads the NL in run support average (7.03 runs/game). LF Josh Willingham has 44 RBI in the Marlins wins, but just three in the losses. ... 2B Dan Uggla is the only Marlin to have appeared in all 76 games this season, he is in the starting lineup tonight.... RHP Rick Vanden Hurk and INF Chris Coghlan have been selected to participate in the XM All-Star Futures Game on July 8 in San Francisco.


CINCINNATI: Ken Griffey Jr. hit a double for his 1,079th career extra-base hit to move ahead of Cal Ripken Jr. for 17th on the all-time list. Dave Winfield is 16th at 1,093. ... LHP Eddie Guardado was called off his minor league rehab assignment because of stiffness in his lower back. Guardado has been on the disables list all season, recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery.

PHILADELPHIA: Struggling LF Pat Burrell wasn't in the lineup for the fifth time in nine games. He was batting .205 with eight homers and 31 RBIs, and is making a team-high $13 million this season. ``It'll take care of itself,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ``I'm sure he wants to play.'' ... Carlos Ruiz stole home as part of a double steal with Michael Bourn swiping second base in the second inning. He was the first Phillies player to steal home since Scott Rolen in 1997 and first catcher since Bo Diaz in 1982.


ST. LOUIS: RHP Troy Percival was called up from Triple-A Memphis before Tuesday's game against the Mets. Percival, who last pitched in the majors for Detroit on July 9, 2005, will be used in short relief, manager Tony La Russa said. ``It feels like it's always felt,'' he said. ``It's good to be back. It feels like I never skipped a beat.'' Percival is 12th in career saves with 324. ... 3B Scott Rolen was not in the lineup against the Mets, two days after fouling a ball off his left foot. La Russa said Rolen was day-to-day. ... OF So Taguchi has hit in a career-high 17 straight games, and is batting .369 during that stretch.

NEW YORK:
RHP Pedro Martinez threw to live hitters Tuesday for the first time since rotator cuff surgery last fall, and said he felt good afterward, the team said. ... A night after OF Carlos Gomez homered and showboated a little bit on his way around the bases, manager Willie Randolph said he took the young outfielder aside and talked to him. ``He plays with a flair. We just want to keep it under control,'' Randolph said. ... The Mets posted their sixth walk-off victory of the year Monday night when Shawn Green homered in the 11th inning. It tied the Mets with Milwaukee, Oakland and Tampa Bay for most in the league. It's the first time in franchise history that the team compiled six walk-off wins before a walk-off loss, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The Mets unveiled their ``GourMETS New York Mets Family Cookbook'' on Tuesday. Players and wives contributed 47 recipes, ranging from Carlos Delgado's grilled snapper with avocado salsa to Tom Glavine's family French toast. ``It's not rocket science,'' Delgado said. ``If you mess up fish, you're in trouble anyway.''


WASHINGTON:
1B Robert Fick returned to the team after the death of his mother. He took batting practice but won't be activated from his bereavement leave until Wednesday after missing seven games. ... The Nationals have been using CF Ryan Langerhans in the leadoff role, even though he came into the game hitting just .176. After flopping in Atlanta and Oakland, Langerhans had a .357 on-base percentage for the Nationals. ``He's done well for us since he's been here,'' manager Manny Acta said. ``You can't take away what he did for Atlanta and Oakland, but he's been doing it for us.''

ATLANTA:
RHP Kyle Davies, who left his last start with a strained left oblique, threw his regular side session before the game. If he recovers from that with no problems, Davies expects to make his next start Friday. But, with an off day Thursday, manager Bobby Cox said he may play it safe, skip over Davies' turn and give him a few extra days to recover. ... Cox said he's not concerned about the Braves' offense, even after a five-game losing streak in which they scored only one run. ``Good hitters are going to hit, and we've got good hitters on this team,'' he said. ``You run into some buzz-saw pitching like we did and you're not going to score runs. That's all there is to it.''


COLORADO: LHP Brian Fuentes has blown his last two save opportunities after converting his first 20 to start the year. He took the loss after blowing a one-run lead in Monday's wild 10-9 loss to the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano's two-run single won the game. Manager Clint Hurdle isn't concerned with the recent performances of his closer and said he didn't expect Fuentes to be perfect. ``Go to last year's closers and look for (bad) weeks,'' he said. ``Everybody's got them and everybody's going to have them. Nobody likes them and it's magnified times 10 when it's the closer.'' Fuentes has allowed five runs over a combined one inning in his last two appearances. ... SS Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer to cap a six-run ninth inning Monday, giving the Rockies a temporary lead before they fell to the Cubs. Tulowitzki is batting .276 with seven homers and 35 RBIs in his first full year in the big leagues and continues to impress Hurdle with his composure. ``He's shown up well,'' Hurdle said. ``He has grown all across the board as the season has gone on. He's gained confidence, leadership's developing in there and he can throw a big at-bat on you at a good time.''

CHICAGO: OF Jacque Jones remains a Cub, for now. Jones was widely rumored to be on his way to the Florida Marlins after the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported the move on Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs needed to open up a roster spot after calling up Double-A pitcher Billy Petrick, but they ended up putting closer Ryan Dempster on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique and transferring pitcher Wade Miller to the 60-day DL with back spasms. Jones has been the odd man out in a crowded outfield for more than a month and general manager Jim Hendry said a potential deal to trade Jones fell short of the club's expectations. ``We've been working on some things, and working hard on one in particular,'' Hendry told reporters in the press box before Tuesday's game. ``At the end of the day I know we worked hard and were close at one point to a deal, but at the same time, we couldn't get it done.'' ... RHP Kerry Wood (right shoulder tendinitis) was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday but was prevented from doing so thanks to heavy rain that soaked Chicago. Wood, who is trying to pitch out of the bullpen this season after a star-crossed career as a starter, instead headed to his house in the city, which was flooded as well, according to manager Lou Piniella.


HOUSTON: 2B Craig Biggio has more doubles than any right-handed hitter in major-league history. His 658th two-base hit in the 10th inning Sunday night moved him past Nap Lajoie and into sixth place on the career list. ... 3B Mike Lamb's career-best, 10-game hitting streak ended Monday night. He hit .500 during that stretch (20-for-40) with three doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBIs. Lamb raised his average from .248 to .317 during the streak. ... Houston came in Tuesday night batting at a .316 clip with 48 extra-base hits since June 13, the second-best mark in the majors. ... RHP Woody Williams (3-10, 5.75 ERA) starts for Houston Wednesday in the series finale. He is 12-6 lifetime vs. Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE: LHP Chris Capuano, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin, is expected to throw a simulated game Wednesday. If all goes well, he is a possible starter on Tuesday when the Brewers face the Pittsburgh Pirates. ... RF Corey Hart made his 21st start leading off since May 30. ... RHP Jeff Suppan (8-7, 4.90 ERA) makes his 17th start of the season tomorrow against Houston. Milwaukee is 8-8 in his previous 16 starts.

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LOS ANGELES: OF Luis Gonzalez singled Monday night to pass former Arizona teammate Mark Grace for 98th on the all-time hit list with 2,446. Grace was in the Diamondbacks' broadcast booth at the time. ... RHP Derek Lowe faces Arizona ace Brandon Webb Wednesday night. Lowe went 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks last year. ... RHP Brad Penny improved to 7-2 lifetime against Arizona in an 8-1 victory Monday night. The Diamondbacks drafted Penny in the fifth round in 1996, two years before they played their first game. He was named Arizona's minor league pitcher of the year in 1998, but the next season the Diamondbacks traded Penny, still in the minors, to Florida.

ARIZONA: RHP Brandon Webb, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night. Webb is 7-5 with a 3.24 ERA. Last year, Webb didn't lose his fifth game until Aug. 17, when he was 13-5. ... Outfield prospects Justin Upton and Carlos Gonzalez of Double-A Mobile have been named to the All-Star Futures Game at San Francisco July 8. Upton will be on the U.S. team and Gonzalez, a Venezuelan, will be on the World team. ... Monday's 8-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers marked the fifth time in six series that the Diamondbacks have dropped a series opener.


SAN DIEGO:
RHP Greg Maddux will be one of a record seven 40-year olds starting games Wednesday in the majors, joining former Atlanta teammates John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, Roger Clemens, Woody Williams, Kenny Rogers and Jamie Moyer. ``I guess it means it's not a kid's game anymore,'' Maddux said. ``It means the doctors are better now. The strength and conditioning coaches are better. Weight training in baseball didn't really start until the late 80s early 90s. There weren't even weight rooms in baseball when I first came up. Now everybody has one.'' ... OF Jose Cruz Jr. was held out of the starting lineup because he is 2-for-20 in his career against Barry Zito. Russell Branyan and Hiram Bocachica started in the corner outfield spots. ... OF Brian Giles (bruised right knee) played his second game of a rehab assignment for Class-A Lake Elsinore and is expected to be activated from the DL on Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO: SS Omar Vizquel was held out of the game after leaving Monday's game with tightness in his right groin. Vizquel could miss Wednesday's game as well, but said he should be back for the weekend series against Arizona. Vizquel is 7-for-17 with a homer in the first four games of the homestand. ``He was swinging the bat well so the timing is not great for him to miss a day or two,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ... Injured INF Rich Aurilia (neck strain) received acupuncture treatments in his neck, shoulder and ankles and plans to do so again Thursday. His goal is to begin a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. He would like to rejoin the Giants before the All-Star break. ``It feels good right now,'' he said.

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Rangers/Tigers postponed due to rain
June 27th, 2007

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Wednesday's game between the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers was postponed because of rain.

The game has been rescheduled as part of a day/night doubleheader on September 11. The day game will begin at 1:05 p.m. (et) with the nightcap scheduled for 7:05 p.m (et).

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 27

Indians place Fultz on DL
June 27th, 2007

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians placed pitcher Aaron Fultz on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a right intercostal strain. The move is retroactive to June 23.

Fultz, who starting feeling soreness in his rib cage area following his outing against Washington on June 22, is 3-1 with a 1.71 earned-run average in 32 relief appearances. He has limited opponents to a .153 batting average.

He will be eligible to come off the DL on July 8.

To take his spot on the roster, the team recalled pitcher Edward Mujica from Triple-A Buffalo.

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