MLB News and Notes June - 29

MLB News and Notes June - 29

Padres activate Giles, option Thompson
June 28, 2007

SAN DIEGO (AP) -Padres right fielder Brian Giles was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday after missing just more than a month due to a bone bruise in his right knee.
   
To make room on the roster, the Padres optioned right-hander Mike Thompson to Triple-A Portland a day after calling him up.

Giles was put on the DL on May 26, retroactive to May 20, with a bone bruise that had bothered him for weeks. He completed a three-game rehab assignment Wednesday night with Class A Lake Elsinore. Giles batted .400 (4-for-10) with a home run, three RBIs, two runs scored and four walks during his rehab assignment.

Giles is hitting .276 this season with one homer and 12 RBIs.

Thompson was recalled from Portland prior to Wednesday's game at San Francisco. After making the Padres' opening day roster, Thompson went 0-1 with a 7.84 in five appearances and was sent to Portland on April 19.

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Twins to recall Garza, option Heintz to minors
June 28, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Minnesota Twins plan to promote pitcher Matt Garza from Triple-A Rochester in time for Friday night's game at Detroit.

``Garza will pitch out of the bullpen, but probably start one of the doubleheader games next Friday at Chicago,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Thursday.

Garza is 4-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 16 starts at Rochester.

After starting 2006 at Class A, Garza quickly worked his way up to the Twins. Often relying on his fastball, he was 3-6 with a 5.76 ERA in nine starts for Minnesota last year.

``He knows he can't survive on just a fastball. Hopefully, he's worked on that,'' catcher Joe Mauer said.

Heintz appeared in 13 games for Minnesota, batting .240 with three doubles and seven RBI.

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Sheffield's suspension cut from 3 games to 2
June 28, 2007

DETROIT (AP) -Tigers slugger Gary Sheffield had his three-game suspension reduced to two Thursday by Major League Baseball.

Sheffield was ejected May 31 at Cleveland for arguing balls and strikes. Plate umpire Greg Gibson claimed Sheffield threw a piece of his broken bat at him as he walked away - Sheffield and Tigers manager Jim Leyland disputed Gibson's account.

``Umpires lie, too,'' Sheffield said.

``It just goes to show you it wasn't true and how corrupt the umpiring system is,'' he said. ``They can make a statement and that means it's true. And so it has to go all the way to the commissioner's office, just because it has to go to a higher power, I guess, and that means it's true.''

Bob Watson, baseball's vice president in charge of discipline, spoke to Sheffield and Leyland before Detroit's 5-2 win over Texas. The Tigers DH hit his 18th home run in the victory.

``Jim and I and Gary had a long conversation before today's game and we came to this agreement,'' Watson said. ``His side was compelling and I felt he was sincere.''

Sheffield will sit out games Saturday and Sunday against Minnesota. Still, he's not happy with the ruling.

Sheffield brought up another situation - Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca's recent two-game suspension after tossing equipment from the dugout - when talking to Watson.

``I challenged him and asked him, 'Was my situation was worse than Paul Lo Duca's?''' Sheffield said. ``He said it was the same. I didn't throw stuff on the field. When you hear reasoning like that, you know it's a joke.''

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Astros release White
June 28th, 2007

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Houston Astros announced four roster moves on Thursday, including the release of veteran right-hander Rick White.

White went 1-0 with a 7.67 ERA in 23 games for the Astros this season. He allowed 36 hits while striking out 15 and walking 14 over 29 1/3 innings.

The 38-year-old was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 2 with a pinched nerve in his neck. He returned on June 17 and appeared in five more games for Houston, struggling in the last three.

In 12 big league seasons, White owns a 42-53 record with a 4.43 ERA in 607 games, including 18 starts.

The Astros also designated left-hander Stephen Randolph for assignment and recalled right-hander Matt Albers and left-hander Mark McLemore from Triple-A Round Rock. Both will be in uniform Thursday night when the Astros host the Colorado Rockies at Minute Maid Park.

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Baseball Today - June 29
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Friday, June 29

L.A. Angels at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EDT). Kelvim Escobar goes for win No. 10.

STARS Thursday

-Carlos Lee and Craig Biggio, Astros. Lee hit a game-ending grand slam and Biggio reached 3,000 career hits in Houston's 8-5, 11-inning win over Colorado.

-Jimmy Rollins, Phillies, had four hits, including a game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning to lift Philadelphia over Cincinnati 8-7.

-Paul Konerko, White Sox, hit a pair of solo homers to lead the Chicago White Sox past Tampa Bay 5-1.

-Jason Michaels, Indians, hit a three-run homer in Cleveland's 4-3 win over Oakland.

-Gary Sheffield, Tigers, hit a two-run homer - his team-high 18th - to help Detroit beat Texas 5-2.

ELITE COMPANY

Craig Biggio became the 27th player in major league history to get 3,000 hits in Houston's 8-5 11-inning victory over Colorado on Thursday. Biggio singled to center field in the seventh inning for the milestone hit and was thrown out trying to stretch the play into a double. The 41-year-old finished 5-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored.

500 FOR THOMAS

Frank Thomas hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Toronto's 8-5 loss to Minnesota on Thursday to become the 21st major leaguer to reach 500 career home runs. The Big Hurt sent Carlos Silva's 1-2 pitch an estimated 396 feet into the left-field stands.

EXCLAMATION POINT

Carlos Lee's grand slam in the 11th gave the Houston Astros an 8-5 win over the Colorado Rockies Thursday night. Lee's shot to left field off Brian Fuentes (0-3) came on the first pitch. Craig Biggio singled in the 11th, tying a career high with his fifth hit. Hunter Pence followed with a double before Lance Berkman was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

ECHOES OF THE PAST

The New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles game was suspended Thursday night due to rain. New York was leading 8-6 in the top of the eighth when play was halted for the last time. The game will be resumed on July 27, at the point it was stopped, when the Yankees return to Camden Yards. Before 1980, the score would have reverted to the start of the inning, giving the Orioles a 6-4 win. But the rule was changed after a game on Aug. 13, 1978, when Baltimore led 3-0 after six innings and the Yankees scored five runs in the top of the seventh.

FRUITFUL RETURN

Kenny Rogers gave up one run and four hits over six innings in his first home start since shoulder surgery, leading Detroit to a 5-2 win over Texas on Thursday. Rogers (2-0) missed the first 12 weeks of the season after surgery to remove a blood clot from his throwing shoulder. It was his first start at Comerica Park since Oct. 22, when he pitched eight scoreless innings to win Game 2 of the World Series against St. Louis.

K-FISH

Scott Olsen became the first Marlins pitcher to start a game with five strikeouts, finishing with 10 in a 9-7 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. Olsen (6-6), who was one strikeout shy of his career high, gave up five runs and seven hits in six-plus innings.

STREAKS

Adam Dunn hit his 23rd home run of the season in Cincinnati's 8-7 10-inning loss to Philadelphia and has now homered in three straight games for the third time this season. ... Delmon Young extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games in Tampa Bay's 5-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

SPEAKING

''I'm probably the first to get 500 home runs and get thrown out of the ballgame. That's something I didn't want to happen, but the moment just got the best of me.'' - Frank Thomas, who became the 21st major leaguer to reach 500 career home runs. Thomas hit a three-run shot in the first inning of Toronto's 8-5 loss to Minnesota on Thursday and was ejected in the ninth for arguing after being called out on strikes for the second time.

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Notes from Thursday's games
June 28, 2007

OAKLAND: RHP Rich Harden threw bullpen sessions Wednesday and Thursday, and reported no pain in his shoulder. He's scheduled to throw two innings in relief Friday or Saturday in New York. Harden felt soreness in the shoulder after throwing one inning against the Indians on Monday. ... RHP Justin Duchscherer (strained right hip) threw off the mound Thursday. It's hoped he can throw a simulated game or begin a minor league rehab assignment next week ... RHP Huston Street (irritated nerve in elbow) might throw off the mound over the weekend when the team is in New York. He's been working out with specialists in Toronto for two weeks and has played catch the last several days. Manager Bob Geren hopes to have Duchscherer and Street back soon after the All-Star break. ... DH Jack Cust is batting .444 (12-for-27) with five homers and 15 RBIs against Cleveland this season. ... RHP Joe Blanton has allowed three runs or less in each of his last six starts. ... OF Shannon Stewart is batting .390 (16-for-41) in his last 12 games.

CLEVELAND:
RHP Roberto Hernandez was placed on waivers Thursday with the intention of giving him his unconditional release. He was designated for assignment on June 20. The 42-year-old Hernandez went 3-1 with 6.23 ERA in 28 games. ... The Indians are 27-15 against teams with a .500 or better winning percentage this season. ... Thursday's victory marked the Indians' 23rd come-from-behind win of the season ... RHP Joe Borowski has converted his last 10 save chances. ... OF Jason Michaels is batting .395 (15-for-38) in his 11-game hitting streak. ... Indians starters have gone at least five innings in 66 of their 78 games. ... 1B Beau Mills, the Indians' first-round pick in the draft, has been promoted from Class A Mahoning Valley to Class A Lake County. He batted .179 (5-for-28) in eight games at Mahoning Valley.


TEXAS: Manger Ron Washington said he's still not sure who will start Monday at Boston. RHP Willie Eyre, the scheduled starter, left Tuesday's game after being hit in the chest with a line drive and is still being evaluated. RHP Brandon McCarthy (blister) is due to return from the disabled list, but Washington said he'd rather see him make another rehab start. ... 1B Mark Teixeira (quadriceps) is making progress, Washington said, but there is no timetable for his return. He's been on the disabled list since June 9.

DETROIT: So much for a slow start. DH Gary Sheffield, mired in the mid-100s in April, is hitting .337 with six home runs and 24 RBIs in June. He's hitting .289 for the season after Thursday's 1-for-3 outing against Texas. ... Manager Jim Leyland is honored to be the skipper of the AL All-Star team, but could do without the process of selecting the remainder of the squad. ``The heartbreak to this is someone's still going to get left off,'' he said Thursday. ``You almost have to be callous about it because you're not going to please everyone.''


TORONTO: Toronto plays its next three games in Seattle, followed by three in Oakland. ... A.J. Burnett pitched for the first time Thursday since leaving a June 12 start in San Francisco with a shoulder strain. He gave up five runs and six hits in four-plus innings, and is 0-3 with a 4.65 ERA in his past five starts. The Blue Jays have scored 12 runs in those games. ... Toronto committed two errors Thursday, after committing four Wednesday. ... Jordan De Jong allowed one hit and one earned run in three innings of relief Thursday. ... Frank Thomas, who hit his 500th home run Thursday, has 50 career homers in Minnesota. ... Manager John Gibbons' ejection Thursday was his first since April 21.

MINNESOTA:
1B Justin Morneau, out since Friday with a bruised lung, returned to the Minnesota lineup Thursday, going 0-for-3 as the team's DH. He is expected to DH during the upcoming three-game series in Detroit. ... The Twins play their next 11 games on the road. Besides Detroit, the trip also includes four games in New York and four in Chicago. ``It's a big road trip. We want to go into the All-Star break feeling good about ourselves,'' said manager Ron Gardenhire. ``We've got to go out and perform. It won't be easy.'' ... OF Rondell White, out since April 5 with a strained right calf, is expected to play one more game in the Gulf Coast League before playing four or five games with Class A Fort Myers. ... Jason Bartlett twice stole second base Thursday, and is 15-for-15 in attempts this year. ``He's got plenty of speed. But I think the biggest thing is he's very confident and aggressive,'' Gardenhire said.


BALTIMORE: RHP Danys Baez (strained forearm) played long toss Thursday and experienced discomfort in his pitching arm, an indication he might not be ready to come off the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. ``I feel good, (but) I still feel a little bit of tightness there,'' he said. ... Aubrey Huff ended a career-long home run drought at 143 at_bats with an opposite-field drive to left Wednesday, but he's still not driving the ball well. ``Something about the home run swing, it's just not really coming this year. I can't really explain it,'' he said. Huff has five home runs this season; he hit 21 last year. ... Brandon Fahey, recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, started at SS on Thursday and singled in his first at-bat.

NEW YORK: The Yankees did not take batting practice before Thursday's game, a move manager Joe Torre hoped would pay off in a win - as it did when he tried the same tactic after a five-game skid last month. Torre said he sensed a tenseness in the team during its 4-0 loss Wednesday and wanted to try the move again. Asked what he would do if it didn't pay off this time, the 66-year-old Torre joked he would take batting practice himself. ``Just to give them a laugh, maybe loosen things up, but it would have to be early batting practice, before any fans were here to watch,'' he said. ... Torre said he was ``bewildered'' by the lack of production from the three key left-handed hitters in the lineup, Bobby Abreu (.253), Johnny Damon (.247) and Hideki Matsui (.278). He said their collective struggle ``has left a big hole'' in the lineup.


CHICAGO: OF Jermaine Dye (sprained quadriceps) missed his sixth straight game and could wind up on the disabled list this weekend. Dye has been taking batting practice, but hasn't resumed running full speed. ``I haven't run the bases seriously yet,'' Dye said. ``The issue is running.'' When asked if he thought he could play Friday, Dye said, ``No.'' Manager Ozzie Guillen said he will talk with GM Ken Williams about the situation before the White Sox open a three-game series Friday at Kansas City. ... OF Darin Erstad (sprained left ankle) had a long toss session and hit off a tee.

TAMPA BAY: 2B B.J. Upton, on the disabled list since June 9 with a strained left quadriceps, went 0-for-3 and played five innings in the field during his first rehab game with Class-A Vero Beach. He could rejoin the team early next week. ``To push him is not right,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``We've waited this long.'' ... The Devil Rays started play Thursday hitting .251 at home, compared to .281 on the road. ``I really don't get that,'' Maddon said. ``The players like to hit here. I would have thought it was just the opposite. No good answer.''


PITTSBURGH: SS Jack Wilson is batting .333 (17-for-51) in his last 15 games. ... Fans are expected to walk out after the third inning on Saturday night at PNC Park to show their displeasure with the team's ownership and management.

FLORIDA: 3B Miguel Cabrera leads the NL batting .415 against left-handed pitchers. ... RHP Logan Kensing (elbow ligament replacement surgery) suffered a setback in his rehab after injuring his groin and had to shut down the throwing program.


CINCINNATI: 2B Brandon Phillips celebrated his 26th birthday. ... LHP Eddie Guardado's rehabilitation assignment has been shut down because of low back stiffness. He has made seven rehab appearances (6 1-3 innings, six hits, two earned runs) since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Sept. 8, 2006. ... Heading into Thursday, RF Ken Griffey Jr. had received 1,640,575 votes in All-Star game balloting, second to the New York Mets' Carlos Beltran (1,698,217) in the NL. Voting ended at 11:59 EDT Thursday night. Griffey Jr. has received more All-Star game votes than any player in history with 43,050,790. ... LHP Bill Bray (left shoulder tendinitis) is scheduled to pitch again at Triple-A Louisville as a part of his rehab assignment. He allowed three runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning in his first appearance Wednesday.

PHILADELPHIA: With the losses of Freddy Garcia and Jon Lieber, the Phillies' starting rotation for this weekend's pivotal four-game series with the New York Mets will feature three pitchers that were in the minor leagues three weeks ago. RHP J.D. Durbin (0-0, 94.50 ERA) will start Friday's first game of a day-night doubleheader. He was 2-4 with a 4.55 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Ottawa. He allowed seven earned runs in two-thirds of an inning in his lone major league start this season while pitching for Arizona. LHP J.A. Happ will make his major league debut on Saturday and Kyle Kendrick (2-0, 5.00 ERA) will make his fourth big league start on Sunday. ... OF Michael Bourn (leg cramps) was available for Thursday's game. He left Wednesday's game with cramps that developed from dehydration. ... LF Pat Burrell took extra batting practice before the game, but wasn't in the starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game and seventh time in the last 10. Manager Charlie Manuel said Burrell might return to the lineup for Friday's day-night doubleheader. ``Pat has had some good at_bats against (Friday night starter John) Maine. We'll see.'' ... Manuel was asked to be a part of the National League All-Star coaching staff by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, but had to decline because of prior commitments.


ST. LOUIS: C Yadier Molina was activated from the DL and C Kelly Stinnett was outrighted to Triple-A Memphis. Molina missed 26 games with a fractured left wrist. ... INF Scott Spiezio was hospitalized Wednesday with an infection on his left index finger. ``It's good they caught it when they did,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ``I don't think he'll play the whole weekend.''

NEW YORK: 3B David Wright (16) and SS Jose Reyes (38) have combined for 54 stolen bases, most by any two teammates in the majors. The Mets lead the majors with 91 steals. ... RHP Orlando Hernandez will pitch in the opener of Friday's day-night doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies and RHP John Maine is scheduled to go in the second game. Hernandez was supposed to go Thursday night but the game was rained out.


COLORADO: CF Willy Taveras, who made his major league debut with the Astros and spent the past three seasons with the team, made his return to Minute Maid Park on Thursday. But he might not stay through the series, as his wife is due to deliver their first child any day. ``I'll leave any moment if it happens and they call,'' Taveras said. A favorite of fans and players alike when he was in Houston, Taveras got many hugs from his former teammates and coaches during batting practice and tipped his hat to the crowd after getting a round of applause on his first at-bat. ... Also returning to Houston were pitchers Jason Hirsh and Taylor Buchholz, who also made their big league debuts with the Astros. ... The Rockies opened their series in Houston after being swept in the first two series of this road trip. Those were their only sweeps of the season.

HOUSTON: Citing the recent struggles of the bullpen, the Astros released reliever Rick White and designated reliever Stephen Randolph for assignment. They recalled RHP Matt Albers and LHP Mark McLemore from Triple-A Round Rock. The Astros will use both pitchers in the bullpen immediately, but manager Phil Garner said he still wants Albers to be a starter in the future. ``It's not only these guys' fault, but these are the decisions we made to try and shore up the bullpen and give Albers a chance to throw out of the bullpen,'' Garner said. ``We're not looking at him as a bullpen guy, but this might give him a chance to get big league experience.'' ... RHP Brad Lidge, who is on the 15-day DL with a pulled oblique muscle, threw a bullpen on Thursday.

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Werth placed on 15-day DL; Coste recalled
June 28, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Outfielder Jayson Werth was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Philadelphia Phillies because of a sprained left wrist after Thursday night's win against Cincinnati.

The move was one of four by the Phillies, who begin a pivotal four-game series with the NL East-leading New York Mets on Friday.

Philadelphia recalled catcher Chris Coste from Double-A Reading and right-hander J.D. Durbin from Triple-A Scranton. Durbin will start the first game of a day-night doubleheader Friday against the Mets. The Phillies optioned right-hander Yoel Hernandez to Scranton.

To make room for Durbin on the 40-man roster, the Phillies moved right-hander Scott Mathieson to the 60-day DL. Mathieson underwent ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in Sept. 2006.

Werth said he injured the wrist playing catch during the Phillies series in Cleveland from June 18-20. He said the injury had nothing to do with his previous wrist ailment that sidelined for most of the past two seasons.

Werth was hitting .235 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 85 at_bats.

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Report: A's deal Bradley to Padres
June 29th, 2007

San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres have reportedly agreed to acquire outfielder Milton Bradley from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a minor league pitcher.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Bradley could join the Padres Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

Bradley was designated for assignment for the A's a week ago. He was batting .292 with two home runs and seven RBI in 19 games this year, but struggled with injuries the past few seasons.

The veteran had five stints on the disabled list in his two seasons with the A's. Bradley already missed 51 games due to injury this season, along with 59 last year, 85 in 2005 and 61 in 2003.

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Angels designate Hillenbrand for assignment
June 29th, 2007

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - The Angels officially designated Shea Hillenbrand for assignment on Friday.

The Angels announced after Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Kansas City that the move was to be expected before they started their nine-game road trip in Baltimore Friday night.

Hillenbrand didn't play on Wednesday and was hitting .333 this month and .254 for the season with three homers and 22 RBI.

After a tumultuous 2006 season, Hillenbrand landed in Anaheim with a one-year contract that included a club option for 2008.

Hillenbrand started last year with Toronto before blasting the Blue Jays organization and forcing the club to trade him to San Francisco. After taking three days off to complete the adoption of a baby girl, Hillenbrand ripped Blue Jays officials for not putting him in the starting lineup.

He also was upset about not being congratulated by the team's front office on the adoption while Blue Jays manager John Gibbons reportedly challenged Hillenbrand to a fight during a closed-door meeting.

Hillenbrand batted .301 with 12 home runs and 39 runs batted in 81 games with Toronto before the Blue Jays designated him for assignment.

Playing time was apparently the bone of contention for Hillenbrand in Anaheim too. He's appeared in 53 games this season.

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Baseball Today - June 30
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, June 30

San Diego at L.A. Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EDT). Jake Peavy (9-2) of the Padres squares off against Dodgers right-hander Brad Penny (10-1).

STARS Friday

-Aramis Ramirez, Cubs, hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Chicago Cubs rally past Milwaukee 6-5.

-Ben Francisco, Indians, led off the bottom of the ninth inning with his first major league home run to give Cleveland a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay.

-Mark Loretta, Astros, hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning and Houston defeated Colorado 9-8.

-Howie Kendrick, Angels, hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the ninth inning to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-7 win at Baltimore.

-Jose Bautista, Pirates, drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and Pittsburgh edged Washington 3-2.

-Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks, hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the 10th inning of Arizona's 4-3 win at San Francisco.

CHASING AARON

Barry Bonds hit his 750th career home run in San Francisco's 4-3, 10-inning loss to Arizona on Friday. The homer pulled the San Francisco slugger within five of tying Hank Aaron's record. The home run came an inning after a fan gave everybody a scare when he hopped the fence and ran out to Bonds in left field. The seven-time NL MVP calmly greeted the man and walked him off and into the custody of security personnel.

CYCLE

Aubrey Huff hit for the cycle in Baltimore's 9-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. Huff tripled in the second inning - his 1,000th career hit - doubled in the fourth, hit a three-run homer in the fifth and singled in the seventh. The last Oriole to accomplish the feat was Cal Ripken in 1984. Huff is the first Oriole to hit for the cycle at home.

FUENTES' FUTILITY

Brian Fuentes gave up a walk-off home run for the second night in a row and Colorado lost to Houston 9-8 on Friday. With two outs in the ninth inning, Fuentes (0-4) walked Carlos Lee, who hit a grand slam in the 11th off him on Thursday. Mark Loretta followed with his second home run of the season to win it for the Astros. It was the fourth blown save in eight days for Fuentes.

PERCIVAL RETURNS

Troy Percival pitched a perfect seventh inning in St. Louis' 4-2 victory over Cincinnati on Friday to pick up his first victory since April 22, 2005. Percival, who is 12th on the career list with 324 saves, signed a minor league deal with St. Louis on June 8 after not pitching in nearly two years because of persistent soreness in his right shoulder.

STREAKS

The Chicago Cubs rallied to top Milwaukee 6-5 on Friday and win their seventh straight game. ... Kansas City topped the Chicago White Sox 8-1, giving the Royals their first five-game winning streak in two years. ... Magglio Ordonez extended his hitting streak to 15 games in Detroit's 11-1 loss to Minnesota. ... Lance Berkman homered for the third straight game in Houston's 9-8 win over Colorado. The Rockies have dropped eight straight following the loss.

SNAPPED

Delmon Young had his hitting streak snapped at 13 games in Tampa Bay's 2-1 loss at Cleveland on Friday night. ... Kansas City beat the Chicago White Sox 8-1, ending Chicago's season-best four-game winning streak.

SPEAKING

''As a 235-pound fat guy, you get a triple out of the way, that's something. After I got the double, it kind of snuck in my mind. But I haven't been hitting homers lately, so I'm thinking that's going to be a long shot, and I hit that.'' - Baltimore's Aubrey Huff, on becoming the third player in Orioles' history to hit for the cycle in a 9-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

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Notes from Friday's games
June 29, 2007

TEXAS: With a single to lead off the game, Kenny Lofton has hit in 12 of his last 13 games. ... Manager Ron Washington was selected by AL manager Jim Leyland for the coaching staff at next month's All-Star game. Minor-leaguers John Whittleman and German Duran will play in the futures game.

BOSTON: The Red Sox signed two of their 2007 draft choices, RHP Brock Huntzinger (fourth round) and OF Kade Keowen (ninth round). Huntzinger was assigned to the Gulf Coast League and Keowen will go to Lowell of the New York-Penn League. ... It was NASCAR night at Fenway, with the Red Sox honoring members of the Fenway Roush Racing team that will compete at the New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend. A giant checkered flag with the team's logo and numbers was draped over the Green Monster, and the Red Sox-themed No. 99 car drove out onto the field before the game.


MINNESOTA: RHP Matt Garza, recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, will start in one of the games of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox next Friday. Garza was 4-6 with a 3.62 ERA at Rochester. ... 1B Justin Morneau returned to the lineup in Thursday's 8-5 win over the Blue Jays. He had been sidelined with a bruised right lung since last Saturday when he was injured in a home plate collision at Florida. Morneau was 0-for-3 with a RBI as the DH on Thursday and manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau would be the DH in all three games of the weekend series in Detroit.

DETROIT:
3B Brandon Inge was a late scratch for Friday night's game against Minnesota because of a sore back. He was replaced in the lineup by Neifi Perez. ... The Tigers reinstated RHP Zach Miner from the disabled list. Miner, 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA in five games, had a strained right elbow flexor tendon. ... Detroit also placed LHP Tim Byrdak on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow tendinitis. He has a 3.66 ERA in 17 games and has 25 strikeouts in 19 2-3 innings.


OAKLAND:
The A's placed Travis Buck on the 15-day DL with a sprained right thumb and optioned RHP Ruddy Lugo to Triple-A Sacramento. They also recalled INF Donnie Murphy and promoted OF Dee Brown from their top farm club. ... Oakland also sent temperamental OF Milton Bradley to the Padres for minor league pitcher Andrew Brown and cash. Oakland designated Bradley for assignment on June 21. ... Injured closer Huston Street (nerve irritation in his right elbow) was scheduled for a long-toss session. ``He's thrown three of the last four days,'' manager Bob Geren said Friday. ... OF Bobby Kielty (strained left calf) went 1-for-2 with a double in a rehab game at Sacramento on Thursday night. ... The A's have needed the disabled list 16 times already this season, equaling last year's total. Including Buck, they have 10 players on DL.

NEW YORK:
Manager Joe Torre misspoke after the Yankees' game at Baltimore was suspended Thursday night because of rain. New York was leading 8-6 after scoring four runs in the eighth. Torre thought before this year play would have reverted to the last inning and Baltimore would have won, but the rule was actually changed in 1980. ``That just gives you an idea of how old I am,'' a grinning Torre said. ``It seems like last year.'' A rule was changed in the offseason to stipulate games called with the scored tied shall resume at the point the game was suspended, instead of being declared official ties and replayed from the start. ... New York will honor its 1977 World Series championship team at the 61st Old-Timers' Day on July 7. Reggie Jackson, Craig Nettles, Chris Chambliss and Ron Guidry are among the members of the championship team expected to be at Yankee Stadium. New York plays the Los Angeles Angels after the Old-Timers' game. ... General manager Brian Cashman stayed quiet about the team's level of interest in Angels DH Shea Hillenbrand, who was designated for assignment Friday. ``That's just an area I wouldn't be able to comment on,'' Cashman said.


TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon thinks the club's pitching is improving. ``I see signs of it getting better, but in order for us to sustain something we need our starters to be more consistent,'' Maddon said. Entering Friday, Devil Rays pitchers led the AL in strikeouts (549), but had the highest ERA (5.60). No club in AL history has ever done that for a full season. ... INF B.J. Upton, out since June 14 with a strained left quad, could rejoin the team next week in Boston. Upton began a rehab assignment at Class A Vero Beach on Thursday and is expected to play five, seven, then nine innings in consecutive games at second base. ``If he's a little sore, we'll have him DH, but we want him in the field,'' Maddon said. ... The Devil Rays will play the Red Sox 18 times in the final 81 games, which represents 22.2 percent of the second half. Tampa Bay goes to Boston after its series in Cleveland. ... Pitching coach Jim Hickey, who had surgery Monday to repair a detached retina in his right eye, remained in Tampa because he isn't allowed to fly. He's expected to join the team in Boston.

CLEVELAND:
OF Ben Francisco made his first major league start Friday night. He had appeared in four games and was hitless in two at_bats. ... The Indians have 23 comeback wins this season. ``There are so many different things you can't account for trend-wise,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ``I think we have found different ways to win ballgames all year long. I think that says a lot about our team.'' ... OF David Dellucci, who had surgery to remove a torn tendon from his left hamstring at Cleveland Clinic on Thursday, met with head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff at Jacobs Field on Friday. At the time of the June 19 injury, the Indians said Dellucci would miss eight weeks. ``Hopefully, it will be prior to that,'' Wedge said. ... The Indians are 31-15 in games started by LHP C.C. Sabathia and RHPs Fausto Carmona and Paul Byrd. They are 15-17 in other games. ... RHP Adam Miller, one of the top pitching prospects in the minor leagues, pitched two scoreless relief innings for Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday night. He's being groomed for a relief role and could join Cleveland's bullpen after the All-Star break.


LOS ANGELES: The Angeles designated DH Shane Hillenbrand for assignment Friday, two days after telling him of the pending move. Hillenbrand, who was signed as a free agent in December, had complained about his lack of play. He hit .254 in 54 games with three homers and 22 RBI. In a corresponding move, OF Nick Gorneault was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. ... 3B Chone Figgins got hits in his first two at_bats Friday, giving him a team-record 49 for the month. He broke the mark set by Darin Erstad in April 2000. ... OF Reggie Willits was given the day off to rest the knee he banged against the wall Wednesday against KC. ``It's good for him to take another day,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

BALTIMORE: RHP Steve Trachsel lasted only 1 2-3 innings Friday, his shortest start of the season. He yielded five runs and nine hits. ... LHP John Parrish has allowed runs in five of his last 10 appearances through Thursday, raising his ERA to 6.30. ``He's aiming the ball, trying to be perfect. He's not trusting the God-given ability and talent he has,'' interim manager Dave Trembley said. ... Kevin Millar tacked 12 points onto his batting average Thursday night with his first three-hit game of the season. The .271 batting average he brought into Friday's game was his highest since April 22.


CHICAGO: Jermaine Dye missed his seventh straight game with strained left quadriceps and rainy weather in Kansas City prevented him from a planned pregame workout. The White Sox were hoping he might be back in the outfield on Sunday, but manager Ozzie Guillen said it could be Monday. ``I'll have to wait another day and see how he really is,'' Guillen said. Guillen also said he's getting tired of all the speculation about the future of LHP Mark Buerhle. He and the White Sox are reportedly negotiating a four-year contract that could make him the highest-paid player on the team. ``It's a soap opera. Now it's between the front office and him,'' Guillen said. ``It's hard for both sides. But I'm the manager of the ballclub. The only thing I can do is put out the lineup what I have.''

KANSAS CITY: Mark Teahen made his fourth start at first base, a position he previously had played only a few times during a college summer league. He was switched from third base to right field over the winter, but insists he's not getting tired of moving around. ``When they talked to me about moving to the outfield, they said they envisioned me as a guy who could bounce around, and I figured I'd be bouncing around a little bit,'' he said. ``Right now they need me at first, so that's what I'll do. I understand it's a team game and I'm not in a position to complain.''


NEW YORK: Closer Billy Wagner, a fan favorite when he pitched for the Phillies, heard the typical comments from the crowd when he warmed up in the bullpen. ``I hope you die,'' Wagner said was one of the not-so-creative remarks. ... Carlos Delgado calmed down an angry Jose Reyes, who was upset he was called out trying to steal second base in the seventh inning of the first game Friday. ``One battle you never win is against the umpires,'' Delgado said.

PHILADELPHIA: J.D. Durbin allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings, but still lowered his ERA by over 70 runs. The right-hander gave up seven runs in two-thirds of an inning in his only other appearance with Arizona this season, and entered Friday's start with a 94.00 ERA. After losing to the Mets, his ERA went down to 21.94. ... LF Pat Burrell was back in the lineup after sitting eight of 11 games. ... Injured RHP Jon Lieber had an MRI exam on his right foot. A decision on whether he will have season-ending surgery or rehab without surgery will be made next week. ... An MRI on OF Jayson Werth's left wrist revealed no structural damage. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday.


MILWAUKEE: Manager Ned Yost took a pregame jog Friday and returned unscathed. It was a pleasant contrast for Yost, who broke his collarbone while running near Wrigley Field on April 24 when he tripped on some broken up concrete. ``They put new concrete there,'' he said. ``They fixed it up. It was a wonderful day.'' ... 3B Ryan Braun made his major league debut May 25 and was batting third two days later. Yost, who was a coach in Atlanta before joining the Brewers, said that's what the Braves did with a young Chipper Jones. ``You look at Ryan and there's no way that Ryan can't hit. He's just really good. So that's his spot,'' Yost said. ``Why goof around? Throw him in there and let him go and he's going to be fine.'' ... Corey Hart extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a fourth-inning single. ... Kevin Mench got his second walk in 165 plate appearances. The first one April 4 was an intentional pass.

CHICAGO:
Aramis Ramirez hit a game-winning homer one week after coming off the disabled list (sore left knee). Ramirez sat out Wednesday's game and the Cubs had Thursday off. That's something he will probably need to do the rest of the season. ``I feel good. Like I said, I'm not going to be 100 percent the rest of the way,'' Ramirez said. ... It was Ramirez's second career game-ending homer. He hit one while with the Pirates against San Diego on Aug. 12, 2001. ... The Cubs' bullpen surrendered just three hits in six scoreless innings after starter Rich Hill pitched only three innings. ... Mike Fontenot, who got his second start of the season at short so the Cubs could keep his hot bat in the lineup, had two more hits and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. .. It was the second time in less than a week the Cubs rallied to win in the bottom of the ninth. They got two in the final inning to beat the Rockies 10-9 Monday, right after Chicago's bullpen had let a five-run lead slip away in the top half of the ninth.


ATLANTA: 2B Kelly Johnson, who has struggled at the plate recently, returned to the lineup after being replaced for two games by rookie Yunel Escobar. ... RHP Kyle Davies threw a bullpen session and played catch earlier this week and says he was ``pain-free.'' Davies suffered a mild strain of his left oblique last Saturday. Davies will pitch in the Dodgers series on Tuesday. ... The Braves began their second of three 10-day road trips on Friday. The club will play at Florida, Los Angeles and San Diego.

FLORIDA:OF Alejandro De Aza, on the DL with a right ankle sprain since April 18th, is doing some light throwing and will jog next week. ... RHP Logan Kensing underwent hernia surgery on Friday. Kensing has been on the DL since March 23. ... RHP Ricky Nolasco is throwing five days a week in Jupiter. ... OF Cody Ross (hamstring) is doing light running exercises and taking batting practice. He is scheduled to rejoin the team in three weeks. ... INF Aaron Boone (knee) will have no baseball activity the next three days. ... SS Hanley Ramirez has 102 hits, becoming the 9th Marlins player to collect 100 hits before the All-Star break. Juan Pierre had 117 in 2003.


NATIONALS: Manager Manny Acta shook up his batting order Friday in Pittsburgh, with SS Felipe Lopez dropped to seventh and 2B Ronnie Belliard moved up to second. Acta wants to give Lopez more opportunities to hit with runners in scoring position and generate more offense. Lopez had only two RBIs in his previous 10 games. ... RHP Jason Simontacchi, listed as the Nationals' starter Saturday, will start Monday in Chicago. Jason Bergmann (1-4), listed as the starter Monday, will go Saturday night. Acta said that was the rotation all along, but it was mistakenly listed the other way. ... RHP John Patterson, out since May 5 because of right elbow pain, rejoined the club Friday after visiting four doctors in three states for multiple opinions. There are no current plans for surgery.

PIRATES:
CF Chris Duffy was held out Friday because of a sprained left ankle, but tests did not reveal any other problems. He might have to go on the disabled list, though that decision may not be made for a day or two. ... Some fans plan to stage an in-game walkout Saturday to protest ownership's lack of commitment to fielding a winning team. The Pirates are stuck in a 15th consecutive losing season. ... LF Jason Bay, an NL All-Star starter last season, may have slumped his way out of another All-Star appearance. His average dropped from .314 at the start of June to .265 during a 12-for-83 slump, and he homered only once from June 8-28. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (7-4), who starts Saturday, could be the Pirates' lone All-Star choice when the teams are announced Sunday.


ST. LOUIS: INF Scott Spiezio remained hospitalized in New York on Friday, getting antibiotics intravenously for an infection in his left index finger. He will miss the weekend series in Cincinnati. The Cardinals said Spiezio is improving. ... Manager Tony La Russa changed his mind about his starter for the series opener on Friday. After the Cardinals' game Thursday night in New York was called off, La Russa planned to let RHP Adam Wainwright - who had started warming up for the Mets - pitch a day later in Cincinnati. After thinking it over, he decided to give Wainwright an extra day. Instead, Brad Thompson opened the series against Cincinnati. Wainwright will pitch on Saturday, followed by Mike Maroth. ... C Yadier Molina started Friday, his first appearance since he went on the DL after breaking a bone in his left wrist on May 29.

CINCINNATI:
RHP Ricky Stone was called up from Triple-A Louisville. Stone, who lives in nearby Hamilton, Ohio, pitched for the Reds in 2005 and then retired. After spending last year setting up a drywall business, he decided to give the game another try and signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati. ... RHP Victor Santos was designated for assignment to open a roster spot. ... LHP Eddie Guardado won't throw for a few days. His comeback from reconstructive elbow surgery has been slowed by a sore back and stiffness in his forearm. A medical exam on Friday detected nothing serious.


COLORADO: Carlos Lee's grand slam in the 11th inning Thursday night marked the third time in seven days that closer Brian Fuentes allowed a game-winning hit after Troy Tulowitzki homered in the top of the inning to give Colorado a lead. Manager Clint Hurdle can't believe it. ``I've seen a couple of things this week I've never seen before,'' he said. ``He's hit three game-winning home runs and he's hit none. Now you want to talk about bizarre.'' ... Tulowitzki and Houston's Hunter Pence are both having great rookie seasons and are likely front-runners for National League rookie of the year. Hurdle has been just as impressed with Pence as he has been with his own rookie. ``We know how well our guy's playing and you match up the numbers and their guy is playing just as well offensively, if not better in some categories in less amount of reps and games,'' he said. ``Pence has been fun to watch from afar. He's one of those surprises that you just get happy about in the course of the season, just as we are with Troy.''

HOUSTON: Astros reliever Brad Lidge is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, but manager Phil Garner said Friday he won't be ready. Lidge has been out since June 16 with a pulled oblique muscle. ``He's doing well though, but he won't be coming off then,'' Garner said. Garner said he is unsure of when Lidge will return. ... Craig Biggio will be honored for reaching his 3000th career hit in a pregame ceremony on Aug. 12. ... Now that the 41-year-old Biggio has joined the 3000 hit club, the question becomes whether this will be his last season. He was noncommittal on the issue Friday. ``When the time is right I'll let everyone know,'' he said. ``Who knows, maybe I'll play until almost 50 like Julio Franco.''

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