MLB News and Notes June - 30

MLB News and Notes June - 30

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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Oakland places Buck on DL
June 29, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Oakland placed Travis Buck on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a sprained right thumb and optioned right-hander Ruddy Lugo to Triple-A Sacramento.

The Athletics also recalled infielder Donnie Murphy and promoted outfielder Dee Brown from their top farm club.

Buck originally hurt the thumb making a sliding catch against San Francisco on June 10. The rookie outfielder has been in and out of the lineup since.

``We're going to just give it a couple of weeks to try to heal it up,'' manager Bob Geren said before Oakland's game against the New York Yankees.

Buck is hitting .283 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 54 games this season.

Brown was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash on May 30. The 30-year-old was hitting a combined .283 with nine homers and 50 RBIs with Triple-A Tucson and Sacramento. He hasn't played in the major leagues since 2004 with Kansas City.

Oakland transferred outfielder Chris Snelling (left knee contusion) to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Brown on the 40-man roster.

Murphy played in five games for the A's earlier this season and was hitless in four at_bats. He was sent back to Sacramento on June 1, and was hitting .327 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 41 games with the River Cats.

The moves left Oakland with 12 pitchers on its active roster.

``It didn't look like there'd be a need for that pitching the next few days,'' Geren said.

Oakland also sent temperamental outfielder Milton Bradley to the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Andrew Brown. The A's are giving San Diego $1,360,929 to cover part of the approximately $2.05 million Bradley is owed for the remainder of the season.

Oakland designated Bradley for assignment on June 21.

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Angels designate Hillenbrand; call up Gorneault
June 29, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) -The Los Angeles Angels designated Shea Hillenbrand for assignment Friday, two days after informing him of the pending move.
   
The 31-year-old Hillenbrand signed as a free agent in December. He appeared in 53 games this season and had complained about his diminished role after being an everyday player the past six years with Boston, Arizona, Toronto and San Francisco.

The emergence of rookies Reggie Willits (.337) and Casey Kotchman (.319) severely cut into Hillenbrand's playing time. Hillenbrand, primarily a designated hitter this year, batted .254 with three homers and 22 RBIs in 197 at_bats.

The Angeles recalled outfielder Nick Gorneault from Triple-A Salt Lake to take Hillenbrand's spot on the roster. Gorneault hit .220 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in 79 games at Salt Lake

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Reds call up Stone to help battered bullpen
June 29, 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) -Right-hander Ricky Stone, out of baseball last year while starting a drywall business, was called up Friday by the Cincinnati Reds, who are still struggling to fix their bullpen.

The Reds designated right-hander Victor Santos for assignment on Friday, a day after he gave up a walk, two hits and the deciding run in an 8-7 loss in Philadelphia.

The 32-year-old Stone pitched for the Reds in 2005, going 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 27 relief appearances. He retired after the season, devoting his time to starting a drywall business.

After sitting out the 2006 season, Stone - who is from nearby Hamilton, Ohio - wanted to get back into baseball. The Reds offered a minor league deal, and he went 4-4 with a 1.70 ERA and nine saves in 11 opportunities for Triple-A Louisville.

The bullpen has been the Reds' downfall this season. Reds relievers have combined for a 4.83 ERA and 17 losses, tied for the most in the NL. Most of their problems have come in the seventh and eighth innings, with one reliever after another failing in the setup role.

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Struggling Geary sent down to Triple-A
June 30, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Geoff Geary changed his appearance. His results stayed the same.

Once an integral part of Philadelphia's bullpen, the struggling reliever was sent to Triple-A Ottawa on Saturday. Geary's spot was taken by left-hander J.A. Happ, who made his major league debut starting against the NL East-leading New York Mets.

``It's probably for the better,'' Geary said. ``I've done everything I can here. Maybe going down will switch my mind-set a little bit.''

Frustrated by his poor performance, Geary recently cut his hair and shaved his face. It didn't help him get batters out consistently.

Geary was 1-1 with an 8.59 ERA in 12 games this month. Overall, he's 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA in 37 appearances this season. The right-hander was one of Philadelphia's most reliable relievers last year, going 7-1 with a 2.96 ERA and one save in 81 games.

``He did a great job in '06 and right now he's not at that point,'' general manager Pat Gillick said. ``He needs to go down and get straightened out. He has a few mechanical things to work on. He's not pitching as well as he's capable of. We're not in position where we can afford to have people work out their problems here.''

Early on, Geary was the one manager Charlie Manuel turned to in a jam. At one point, Geary had stranded 17 of 18 inherited runners. However, he allowed 10 of the next 17 runners inherited to score.

``I cut my hair. I shaved my face. It had nothing to do with my performance,'' Geary said. ``There's no reason to blame anybody but myself. It's my performance.''

The injury-riddled Phillies are trying to contend with a patchwork pitching staff. Happ was the sixth pitcher to make his big league debut for Philadelphia this season. The team is using three rookie starters in its pivotal four-game series against the Mets this weekend.

Starters Freddy Garcia (shoulder) and Jon Lieber (foot) both could be out the rest of the season. Closer Tom Gordon (shoulder) and started-turned-closer Brett Myers (shoulder) remain sidelined.

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Cubs recall Cherry, option Petrick
June 30, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -The Chicago Cubs recalled right-hander Rocky Cherry from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday and optioned right-hander Billy Petrick to the same club.

Petrick had just been called up from Double-A on June 26 and made two appearances. He was 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA in 3 2-3 innings.

Cherry will be in his second stint with the Cubs this season. He was 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in eight games before being sent to Iowa on May 15.

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Marlins option Tankersley; recall Gardner
June 30th, 2007

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Florida Marlins optioned relief pitcher Taylor Tankersley to Triple-A Albuquerque Saturday and recalled reliever Lee Gardner.

Tankersley is 4-1 with a lofty 6.65 ERA in 32 appearances with the Marlins this season. On Friday he was touched for four runs on two hits in one inning of work in Florida's 12-3 loss to the Braves.

Gardner has had a couple of stints with the Marlins this season. in 23 games, the right-hander has a 1-2 mark with a 3.86 ERA and one save.

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Pirates' Duffy placed on 15-day DL
June 30th, 2007

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday placed center fielder Chris Duffy on the 15-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain.

Duffy sprained the ankle while attempting to catch an Alfredo Amezaga fly ball in the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the Florida Marlins. The X- rays taken of the ankle came back negative, and an MRI revealed no ligament damage to his left foot.

The injury came five days after Duffy returned to the starting lineup after missing almost a week with a strained right hamstring.

Duffy is hitting .249 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 70 games this season.

In corresponding moves, the Pirates have purchased the contract of infielder/outfielder Matt Kata from Triple-A Indianapolis and designated pitcher Marty McLeary for assignment.

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Orioles put Trachsel on disabled list
June 30, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) -Orioles right-hander Steve Trachsel was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, less than 24 hours after he struggled in his shortest outing in four years.

Trachsel has a strained muscle below his lower back. He could miss only one start, because part of his stint on the DL will come during the All-Star break.

``I know Steve has been in some discomfort. He felt like it affected the way he threw last night and his preparation in between starts,'' interim manager Dave Trembley said. ``He's a very regimented, routine-oriented type guy. He gets one more start before the break, and I think everyone's feeling was to back away from that, let him get a chance to get some treatment.''

Trachsel was taken back by the news.

``It's amazing, isn't it? I haven't even seen a doctor yet,'' the 36-year-old veteran said Saturday afternoon. ``I was a little surprised.''

The injury occurred during Trachsel's previous start, on June 24 in Arizona. In 17 starts this season he's 5-6 with a 4.95 ERA.

Trachsel allowed five runs and nine hits in 1 2-3 innings Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels. It was his shortest outing since July 10, 2003, when he got only five outs against Philadelphia for the New York Mets.

Left-hander Kurt Birkins was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Trachsel on the roster. Birkins will pitch long relief, because the Orioles had to use Rob Bell in that role Friday night after Trachsel was chased.

Bell, who allowed one infield hit in 4 1-3 scoreless innings, is a candidate to fill Trachsel's spot in the rotation Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander has 108 career starts.

Against the Angels, he came in with Baltimore trailing 5-0 and left with the Orioles up 7-5.

``Great for Rob Bell. He did his job. He has waited for his opportunity,'' Trembley said. ``He's kept himself in shape and kept himself sharp throwing out of the bullpen. You root for a guy like that.''

The Orioles also are considering Garrett Olson, who allowed only two hits for Norfolk on Friday night against Pawtucket to earn his fourth straight win.

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Royals put Shealy on DL
June 30, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -The Kansas City Royals put first baseman Ryan Shealy on the 15-day disabled list Saturday and replaced him with Ross Gload.

Gload was recalled from an injury rehab assignment and was in the starting lineup for the Royals' game against the Chicago White Sox. The 31-year-old Gload had been out since May 14 with a right quadriceps tear.

Shealy has been slowed by a left hamstring strain.

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