MLB News and Notes June - 28

MLB News and Notes June - 28

Blue Jays activate Burnett; demote Taubenheim
June 27, 2007


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Toronto Blue Jays activated A.J. Burnett from the 15-day disabled list after Wednesday's game and returned Ty Taubenheim to Triple-A Syracuse.
   
Burnett, who is scheduled to start Thursday, came out of a game against the San Francisco Giants on June 12 in the bottom of the fifth inning with a sore shoulder. In 14 starts, he is 5-6 with a 4.00 ERA. He has pitched two complete games.

Taubenheim, recalled June 20 from Syracuse, started Saturday and allowed five runs in five innings against Colorado.

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Notes from Wednesday's games
June 27, 2007

TEXAS: RHP Willie Eyre said he felt fine Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he was hit in the chest with a line drive during his first major league start. X-rays showed no serious injury but manager Ron Washington said he wasn't certain whether Eyre would start July 1 at Boston. ... DH Sammy Sosa's 61 RBIs marks a major league-best 12th straight season the Rangers have had a player with more than 60 RBIs before the All-Star break. The next closest streak is St. Louis' 10 seasons.

DETROIT: Craig Monroe, the Tigers' regular left fielder, was scratched from Wednesday's lineup because of soreness in his left knee. Monroe, who said he came to the park expecting to play Wednesday, had the knee X-rayed after Tuesday's 9-6 loss to Texas. ... LHP Kenny Rogers' scoreless streak at Comerica Park is 23 1-3 innings, 23 of which came during last season's AL playoffs and World Series. ... Wednesday's rainout was the Tigers' second this season at Comerica Park but the first because of rain. Snow and sleet forced the postponement of an April 4 game against Toronto.


KANSAS CITY: The Royals' shutout Wednesday was their first since Sept. 5, 2006, against the Yankees. ... They finished their road trip with a 5-4 mark. ... The Royals won the season series against the Angels for the first time since 1996. ... LHP Jorge De La Rosa didn't allow any runs Wednesday, a season best.

LOS ANGELES: The Angels told DH Shea Hillenbrand that he will be designated for assignment Friday. He has complained about his reduced role after being an everyday player for six years. His .254 average and 22 RBIs have been eclipsed by the emergence of LF Reggie Willits and 1B Casey Kotchman. ... RHP Justin Speier, out since May 1 because of an intestinal infection, will pitch at Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. ... INF Maicer Izturis, on the DL because of an irritated right hamstring, will begin a rehab assignment Thursday at Rancho Cucamonga and OF Garret Anderson, sidelined by an aggravated right hip, will follow on Friday.


OAKLAND: LHP Alan Embree will stay in the closer's role despite allowing five ninth-inning runs in Tuesday night's 8-5 loss at Cleveland. ``He's done a great job,'' manager Bob Geren said Wednesday. ``He will continue to get the ball in the ninth inning.'' Embree, who has converted eight of 10 save chances, pitched Monday and Tuesday, throwing a total of 46 pitches. ... RHP Huston Street (right ulnar nerve) will rejoin the team in New York this weekend. Street has been in Toronto, being examined by a specialist. Street played long toss at 60 feet Monday and 100 feet Tuesday. ... OF Travis Buck (elbow, thumb) started Wednesday night after missing three straight games. ... SS Bobby Crosby was given a planned day off and Marco Scutaro started in his place. ... Geren said RHP Rich Harden is still slated to throw two innings Friday or Saturday against the Yankees. Harden was scheduled to throw two innings Monday, but was pulled after one because of tightness in his shoulder.

CLEVELAND: Manager Eric Wedge said LHP Rafael Perez will help fill the void left by LHP Aaron Fultz, who went on the Indians' disabled list Wednesday with a strained rib cage. Perez has a 0.87 ERA and allowed only 13 hits and five walks in 20 2-3 innings, striking out 25. ``He's done a good job and been very consistent,'' Wedge said of the 25-year-old rookie. ... RHP Edward Mujica was called up from Triple-A Buffalo to fill out the bullpen. ... Through 37 dates, the Indians' home attendance of 868,476 ranked 11th in the AL and 25th overall. But ratings for the club's games on TV are up 19 percent over 2006. ... C Kelly Shoppach's game-winning homer as a pinch-hitter Tuesday night was the first in that situation by a Cleveland player since Hall of Famer Eddie Murray beat Minnesota on July 18, 1996. ... After hitting only .246 in April, the Indians batted .282 over their next 54 games through Tuesday.


NEW YORK: OF Bobby Abreu's exile to the eighth spot in the batting order lasted only one night. Abreu, who had never hit eighth before Tuesday, was moved up to the sixth position Wednesday after going 1-for-4. ``Just putting Bobby in a little more responsible spot,'' manager Joe Torre said. ... Yankees relievers walked 138 batters through Tuesday, a statistic that worries Torre. ``It's concerning, it's frustrating and certainly nothing good comes from it,'' he said. ``We've had bad counts out of the bullpen and when you have bad counts, bad things happen.''

BALTIMORE: Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, said Wednesday that he won't interview candidates for the managerial job before the end of July. He said he was encouraged by the team's play under interim manager Dave Trembley, who remains a candidate to assume the job on a full-time basis. ... The Orioles recalled INF Brandon Fahey from Triple-A Norfolk to solidify the SS position while Miguel Tejada is on the 15-day disabled list. Tejada, who has a broken bone in his left wrist, isn't expected back until August. To make room for Fahey, the Orioles optioned OF Jon Knott to Norfolk.


CHICAGO: The White Sox won their first two games after GM Ken Williams said Sunday that changes to the roster could be upcoming. ``We've played good the last couple days,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said before Wednesday's game at Tampa Bay. ``We have to prove to Kenny and myself, we can make a run with this ballclub.'' Guillen said one job he will never take in baseball is general manager. ``It's not an easy job,'' Guillen said. ... The White Sox remain hopeful that RF Jermaine Dye (strained quadriceps) will return to the lineup this weekend. If Dye is not ready, Guillen said it would likely be best if he goes on the disabled list. Dye, who has taken part in onfield drills the past two days, has missed the past five games.

TAMPA BAY: 2B B.J. Upton (strained quadriceps) went through pregame drills before Class-A Vero Beach's game at Tampa and is expected to play five innings Thursday. ... C Shawn Riggans (right elbow) has started a throwing program ... Backup INF Josh Wilson started at second Wednesday, his fourth consecutive day in the lineup. Manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to give INF Ty Wiggington a couple days off by having him DH. ... 3B Evan Longoria, the Devil Rays' 2006 first-round pick, hit .395 with two homers and nine RBI in his last 10 games through Tuesday at Double-A Montgomery.


TORONTO: Frank Thomas entered Wednesday's game one home run shy of 500, and is hitless in his last nine at_bats. Manager John Gibbons doesn't believe Thomas is putting extra pressure on himself. ``He's just got to get a pitch to hit and get after it.'' ... For the first time this year, Aaron Hill did not start at second base. Howie Clark got the nod and is expected to start at third base Thursday. ``We just want to get Howie some at_bats. He's been swinging the bat really well,'' Gibbons said. Clark, who came off the bench to hit a game-tying sacrifice fly Tuesday, is hitting .316 in 12 games since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse May 30.

MINNESOTA: 1B Justin Morneau, out since Friday with a bruised lung, passed more medical tests Wednesday. ``He's going to start working out and we'll gauge that accordingly to how he feels day-to-day. When he tells us he can get out there and start running around and playing, that's when he'll play,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. Morneau is expected to hit in the batting cage soon. ... Michael Cuddyer started at 1B for the second straight game, and is expected to play there Thursday. ... Joe Mauer started at DH for Minnesota, with Mike Redmond behind the plate. Mauer is expected to catch Thursday's day game. ``It's kind of necessary right know, with Justin out,'' Gardenhire said. ``You want to keep as much offense as you can in there. This is a good chance to get him out from behind the plate and keep his bat in there.''


HOUSTON: The Brewers beat the Astros 6-3 in 11 innings Wednesday to sweep them in a three-game series for the first time. Houston has lost seven of its last 10. ``We're not finding a way to win a ballgame,'' manager Phil Garner said. ``On the flip side, we're finding a way to lose ballgames. It's very disappointing.'' ... Craig Biggio returns home Thursday night against Colorado needing three hits to become the 27th player with 3,000. He popped out trying to bunt in his only at-bat Wednesday. Biggio started only one of three games in Milwaukee to make sure he could set the record at home.

MILWAUKEE: C Damian Miller's 11th-inning, three-run homer gave Milwaukee a 6-3 victory Wednesday. Miller, who was born in La Crosse, Wis., got the big hit in front of hundreds of fans on La Crosse Area Day. ``It's perfect timing,'' Miller said. ``The stars were lined up perfectly for La Crosse.'' ... Miller Park's retractable roof didn't close quick enough to keep some Brewer players from getting wet before Wednesday's game. The roof was being closed an hour before the game because of a threat of rain. It was partly closed when a brief shower doused players practicing in the outfield and sent them scurrying for cover. Workers even put a tarp on the infield to keep it dry. ... OF Corey Hart extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games with a double.


COLORADO: OF Cory Sullivan went 2-for-4 and scored a run Wednesday. It was Sullivan's first multihit game of the year and came in his first start of the season. Sullivan had 25 multihit games last year. ... OF Matt Holliday, the NL's leading hitter at .349 entering Wednesday, has come a long way since he broke into the big leagues in 2004. Manager Clint Hurdle said he's seen Holliday improve tremendously over the past four years. ``It's been a process where he's matured and gotten better,'' Hurdle said. ``He's added a little discipline, he's added recognition, he's added experience. He's just gotten better just about all across the board.'' ... OF Willy Taveras, who didn't play Wednesday, has set a club record with 26 bunt hits, even though there are three more months left in the season. He had two bunt hits Tuesday night and passed Juan Pierre, who had 24 in 2002.

CHICAGO: The Cubs have swept back-to-back series for the first time since April 20-25, 2004. ... Turns out Kerry Wood did get in his bullpen session Tuesday before a deluge hit Chicago. On Tuesday, manager Lou Piniella told reporters Wood had gone home because his house was flooded during heavy rains. But a team spokesman said Wood did throw before the rains hit. Wood is on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis and has not pitched all season. ... Closer Ryan Dempster is not slated to pitch until after the All-Star break after being put on the DL Tuesday with a strained oblique muscle. ``Take care of it and be strong for the second half,'' he said.


SAN DIEGO: The Padres recalled RHP Mike Thompson from Triple-A Portland to provide a fresh arm in their taxed bullpen. To clear roster room, San Diego optioned INF Chase Headley to Double-A San Antonio. ... The Padres plan to activate OF Brian Giles on Friday for the opener of a weekend series at Los Angeles after he was scheduled to complete a rehab assignment with Class-A Lake Elsinore on Wednesday. Giles has been sidelined with a bruised right knee since May 26, a move retroactive to May 20. ... LF Terrmel Sledge sprained his right thumb - on his glove hand - while diving to try to make a play on Randy Winn's eighth-inning single. X-rays were planned. ``Let's hope it's nothing significant,'' manager Bud Black said.

SAN FRANCISCO: Slugger Barry Bonds had the day off and planned to travel home to Beverly Hills in Southern California to relax on Thursday's off day. ... The Giants held SS Omar Vizquel out for another day as he heals from a strained right groin. He is expected to play Friday in the opener against Arizona following the team's off day Thursday. ... RHP Russ Ortiz (strained right forearm) will make the team's upcoming road trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis, rather than staying back home to do his rehab work. One person not going: longtime equipment manager Mike Murphy, with the club since it came west from New York in 1958. Murphy can't remember the last time he's skipped a trip, saying it's been at least five years. ``We have the All-Star game. I've got to get ready for that,'' he said of the July 10 midsummer classic.


PITTSBURGH: A day after his first throwing session since being placed on the DL on June 9, RHP Salomon Torres (elbow) told manager Jim Tracy on Wednesday he ``felt good.'' Tracy said Torres will likely come back just after the All-Star break ... The Pirates had collected at least one extra-base hit in a season-high 32 straight games entering Wednesday.

FLORIDA: SS Hanley Ramirez batted leadoff Wednesday for the first time since May 14. He has batted .343 at leadoff this season, compared to .297 at the third spot, where he had hit since the move. ``He came in my office laughing at me,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``He said, 'I know what you're calling me in for, I'm batting leadoff.' I said, 'No you've been traded.' I was just messing with him. He doesn't care where he hits. He can hit no matter where he is in the lineup.'' ... INF Aaron Boone was placed on the 15-day DL with a sprained left knee. OF Todd Linden was brought up from Triple-A Albuquerque and OF Cody Ross was transferred to 60-day DL with a left hamstring strain.


CINCINNATI: 1B Jeff Conine was in the lineup and batted cleanup on his 41st birthday. ... CF Ryan Freel, on the DL with contusions to the head and neck, was scheduled to play nine innings in the field Wednesday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. RHP Jared Burton (back) and LHP Bill Bray (elbow) were supposed to pitch for Louisville.

PHILADELPHIA: LHP J.A. Happ will make his major league debut against the New York Mets on Saturday. He's 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA in 13 starts at Triple-A Ottawa. ... RHP J.D. Durbin will make his first big league start against the Mets in Friday's day-night doubleheader. He was 2-4 with a 4.55 ERA in 10 starts at Ottawa. Durbin has been with three other teams this year. In his only appearance in the majors with Arizona, Durbin allowed seven runs and seven hits in two-thirds of an inning. ... LF Pat Burrell was out of the lineup for the sixth time in nine games.


ST. LOUIS: Injured ace Chris Carpenter threw 34 pitches in a simulated game against minor league hitters at the team's complex in Florida. As long as he comes out of it OK, the next step will be for Carpenter to make a rehab start in the minors. The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow on May 8. He hasn't pitched for the Cardinals since starting on opening day. ... 3B Scott Rolen returned to the lineup after missing two starts with a bruised left foot. He reached on an infield single in his first at-bat. ... INF-OF Scott Spiezio was hospitalized with an infected left index finger, leaving him unavailable to play. Spiezio was receiving antibiotics and was to be re-evaluated Thursday. ... C Yadier Molina (broken left wrist) was expected to be activated from the DL on Thursday. SS David Eckstein (back spasms) could return this weekend in Cincinnati. ... Rookie INF Brendan Ryan had quite a day in New York on Monday. First, his cab driver took him to Yankee Stadium instead of Shea Stadium. Then, when he arrived at the ballpark, he found his teammates had frozen his clothes as part of a rookie hazing ritual. When he tried to thaw them out, the moisture blew a fuse and knocked out power in manager Tony La Russa's office.

NEW YORK: Even with RHP Anthony Reyes on the mound for St. Louis, Damion Easley started at 2B. But manager Willie Randolph said that had nothing to do with Jose Valentin's rough game on defense Tuesday night. Valentin has been wearing a brace on his right knee since he returned from the disabled list June 7. ``You can see there's a different movement to him, but I think it's adequate enough to get the job done,'' Randolph said, adding that the brace didn't cause Valentin to fumble two balls Tuesday. ``He doesn't have any braces on his hands. He had the ball in his hands. He just dropped it.'' ... Randolph said he won't shy away from using struggling reliever Scott Schoeneweis, who gave up a tiebreaking homer to rookie Brendan Ryan in the 11th inning Tuesday night. ``I'm not afraid to use my people,'' Randolph said. ``I think I'll keep him.'' Randolph said Schoeneweis just needs to keep his pitches down consistently. ... The Mets were still waiting to learn when the commissioner's office will hear C Paul Lo Duca's appeal of his two-game suspension. ``Nothing immediate,'' Randolph said. Lo Duca said he was told there are cases lined up ahead of his.

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WASHINGTON: Injured 1B Nick Johnson continues to rehab slowly from a fractured femur he suffered Sept. 23 at Shea Stadium. ``His running is OK when he's under way,'' manager Manny Acta said. ``But it still bothers him starting, stopping, turning, etc.'' In a combined 953 at_bats during 2005-06, Johnson had 38 homers and 151 RBIs. ... Because Acta doesn't favor using left-handers in three consecutive starts, the rotation will change next week at Chicago, where Washington will use RHP Jason Bergmann, LHP Micah Bowie, LHP Matt Chico and RHP Jason Simontacchi. ... Acta has little doubt that 1B Dmitri Young, who began Wednesday hitting .342 with seven homers and 36 RBIs, will represent the Nationals in the All-Star game. ``No question, the All-Star candidate is Dmitri,'' Acta said. ``The stats are there. On our team, he's the obvious guy.'' ... Acta added that OF Alex Escobar, who has yet to play this year, could return in 10 days if his ankle continues to improve. ... The 40-man roster now stands at 35 after RHP Beltran Perez was outrighted to Double-A Harrisburg. Perez hasn't appeared in the majors since last September, when he went 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA and earned both wins as a starter.

ATLANTA: Manager Bobby Cox still isn't sure when RHP Kyle Davies will rejoin the rotation. Davies, who has a sore left oblique, reported no subsequent problems after his bullpen session on Tuesday. With an open date Thursday, Cox will stay with the current lineup of LHP Chuck James, RHP Tim Hudson and RHP Buddy Carlyle this weekend at Florida. RHP John Smoltz will start the first of a four-game series Monday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. ... CF Andruw Jones, who ended the second-longest hitless streak of his career (0-for-24) with a single on Sunday, grounded into a double play and popped out on a sacrifice attempt in his first two at_bats against the Nationals. He followed with an RBI single to make it 7-0 in the fourth. ... RHP Rafael Soriano hasn't allowed any of his nine inherited runners to score. ... RF Jeff Francoeur was tied for fourth in the NL with 25 two-out RBIs and third in the majors with 78 since the start of 2006. Only Alex Rodriguez (85) and Ryan Howard (78) had more.


LOS ANGELES: In two starts since joining the rotation, RHP Chad Billingsley has allowed seven earned runs, six hits and six walks in 7 2-3 innings, and his ERA has climbed to 4.01 from 3.09. ... Manager Grady Little said the club is continuing to evaluate interim hitting coach Bill Mueller, who took over when the Dodgers fired Eddie Murray June 14. There are no other candidates being considered at the moment, Little said. ... LF Luis Gonzalez matched a career high with four walks Tuesday night at Arizona. The last time he did it, the Dodgers walked him four times when he played for Arizona on May 26, 2002.

ARIZONA:
OF Jeff DaVanon, who has missed the entire season with a shoulder injury, is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment at Single-A Visalia on Friday. Manager Bob Melvin said he's unlikely to be available before the All-Star break. ... LHP Randy Johnson will be limited to about 85 pitches when he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday afternoon, Melvin said. Johnson has been out since June 11 with a herniated disk. He's 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA and has won his last four decisions. ... RHP Tony Pena has missed the last two games with an infection, but he's expected to be back Thursday.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 28

Baseball Today
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Thursday, June 28

L.A. Dodgers at Arizona (6:40 p.m. EDT). Randy Johnson returns from the DL for the Diamondbacks, squaring off against Randy Wolf.

STARS Wednesday

-Damian Miller, Brewers, hit a game-ending three-run homer in the 11th inning to lift Milwaukee over Houston 6-3.

-Jose Lopez, Mariners, drove in the winning run in the 11th inning to help Seattle edge Boston 2-1.

-Xavier Nady and Ryan Doumit, Pirates, hit back-to-back home runs in the 10th inning to push Pittsburgh past Florida 7-5.

-Jack Cust, Athletics, had a career-high five RBIs in Oakland's 13-7 win over Cleveland.

-Erik Bedard, Orioles, struck out eight and gave up two hits in seven innings to lead Baltimore past the New York Yankees 4-0.

-Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks, pitched seven innings in Arizona's 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

100 FOR HOWARD

Phillies slugger Ryan Howard hit his 100th career homer in his 325th game, a 9-6 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday, becoming the fastest player to reach that total in major league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The 505-foot drive off Reds starter Aaron Harang was the longest in the four-year history of Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.

ROAD TO 300

Tom Glavine earned his 297th career win, pitching one-hit ball for six innings in a rain-shortened shutout to lead the New York Mets past St. Louis 2-0 on Wednesday.

HOT ROYALS

Kansas City defeated the Los Angeles Angels 1-0 on Wednesday and has now won four straight for the first time since July 4-7 last year. With a record of 14-11 so far in June the Royals are assured of a winning month for the first time since July 2003.

STREAKS

The Chicago Cubs beat Colorado 6-4 on Wednesday to extend their longest winning streak in two years to six games. ... Delmon Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games, matching a career-high, in Tampa Bay's 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

SNAPPED

Roger Clemens' run of 200 consecutive starts with at least one strikeout ended when he failed to strike out a batter in the New York Yankees' 4-0 loss to Baltimore on Wednesday. ... Kansas City completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 1-0 win, snapping a string of a franchise record-tying nine consecutive series wins for the Angels. ... So Taguchi had his career-best 18-game hitting streak snapped in St. Louis' 2-0 loss to the New York Mets.

SPEAKING

''I guess the question would be, 'How 'bout those bats?' If a team was ever due to break out, it was our team.'' - Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, on his team's season-high 22 hits in a 13-0 pounding of Washington on Wednesday. The Braves managed just one run during five straight home losses to Detroit and Boston last week.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 28

Cards activate C Molina
June 28th, 2007

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals activated catcher Yadier Molina from the 15-day disabled on Thursday.

The backstop missed 26 games after suffering a non-displaced fracture of his left wrist after taking a foul tip during a May 29 game at Colorado.

Molina is batting .273 with one homer and 12 runs batted in this season.

To make room for Molina on the roster, the Cards outrighted catcher Kelly Stinnett to Triple-A Memphis.

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Indians waive Hernandez
June 28th, 2007

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians announced Thursday that veteran relief pitcher Roberto Hernandez was placed on unconditional release waivers.

The 42-year-old Hernandez, who was designated for assignment on June 20, went 3-1 for Cleveland with a robust 6.23 earned run average in 28 appearances. He also allowed 33 hits and 18 earned runs in 26 innings

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Morneau returns to Minnesota lineup
June 28, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) --Justin Morneau returned to the Minnesota Twins starting lineup Thursday, six days after bruising his right lung in a home plate collision.

Serving as the designated hitter, the reigning AL MVP batted fifth.

``He came into my office today, and we talked about him wanting to get on the field this morning, so we set it up so some guys could hit with him. And he wanted to run around the bases,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.

During batting practice, Morneau hit the ball to all fields and showed power. At one point he pulled three of four pitches over the right-field baggie.

``He wants to play. He wants in the lineup. I talked to the doctors and trainers, and they said he's ready to go,'' Gardenhire said.

Trying to score from first base on Jason Kubel's double Friday, Morneau crashed into Florida catcher Miguel Olivo. Morneau, who was coughing up blood after the incident, spent three nights in a Miami hospital before returning to the Twin Cities on Monday.

Morneau, second in the AL with 20 home runs and seventh with 57 RBIs, still has some soreness that he'll have to play through.

The team is taking no chances of having him in the field, where he may have to dive for a ball.

``He's going to DH today, and probably the next three days in Detroit, and then we'll move on from there,'' Gardenhire said. ``I'm excited for him and excited for the ballclub.''

Michael Cuddyer started at first base Thursday for the third straight game. Jeff Cirillo played first base twice during Morneau's absence.

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