MLB News and Notes July - 5

MLB News and Notes July - 5

Baseball Today - July 5
By Associated Press

Atlanta at L.A. Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EDT).

Tim Hudson faces off against Brad Penny.

STARS

Wednesday

-Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins, Rockies. Both drove in a season-high five runs and Colorado routed the Mets 17-7.

-Matt Chico, Nationals, pitched seven innings of four-hit ball to lead Washington past the Chicago Cubs 6-0.

-Dustin McGowan, Blue Jays, allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings and Toronto beat Oakland 10-3.

-Jarrod Washburn, Mariners, threw eight innings in Seattle's 4-0 win at Kansas City.

-Cole Hamels, Phillies, struck out eight in seven innings and Philadelphia beat Houston 8-3.

ROOKIE RECORD

Giants' rookie Fred Lewis hit his second grand slam of the season in San Francisco's 9-5 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday to become the first rookie in San Francisco history to hit two in a season. Lewis was in the lineup so Barry Bonds could rest following a night game.

ROCKED

Colorado pounded out 20 in a 17-7 victory over the Mets on Wednesday, becoming the first team in more than half a century to sweep two New York clubs in the same year. The Rockies' three-game sweeps of the Yankees and Mets at Coors Field were oddly sandwiched around a 1-9 trip, the worst three-city swing in franchise history. The last team to sweep series from two New York clubs during the regular season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, was the Milwaukee Braves, who whitewashed the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants in 1956. After moving to Los Angeles, the Dodgers swept the Yankees in the 1963 World Series after sweeping the Mets four times during the season.

SLUMPING

The White Sox have lost 14 of their last 19 home games after a 9-6 defeat to Baltimore on Wednesday. ... The Los Angeles Angels have lost six of eight overall following a 4-2 loss at Texas.

STREAKS

Boston beat Tampa Bay 7-5 on Wednesday, handing the Devil Rays their 10th straight loss. Tim Wakefield got the win for the Red Sox to improve to 9-8 and has a decision in all 17 of his starts this season. ... Johan Santana pitched seven strong innings to get the win in Minnesota's 6-2 victory over the New York Yankees and has now pitched at least five innings in 109 consecutive starts dating to May 2004. ... Texas has won 10 of its last 14 after a 4-2 win at home against the Angels.

SIDELINED

Florida starter Josh Johnson left Wednesday's 1-0 loss to San Diego after five innings due to a stiff forearm, then was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Johnson was making just his fourth start this season after missing the first 2 1/2 months while recovering from an irritated ulnar nerve in his right elbow. ... Mike Sweeney, who had hoped to get back in the Kansas City Royals' lineup this week, will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday. Sweeney, hitting .245 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs, has been dogged by injury since signing a $55 million contract five years ago. He went on the disabled list June 19 with right knee inflammation.

SNAPPED

Detroit ended Cleveland's six-game winning streak with a 6-4 win Wednesday.

SPEAKING

''We tried to get the two guys up, and no phone. With all the good things the Red Sox do, they failed to pay their phone bill, I guess. I hated to stop the game there, but I had to.'' - Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, on the bullpen phone going out and having to send a Red Sox bat boy out to relay a message. Boston beat Tampa Bay 7-5 on Wednesday to win their third straight game.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 5

Johnson goes on DL after leaving with stiff forearm
Thu, Jul 5, 2007
By Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Florida right-hander Josh Johnson left the Marlins' game against the Padres on Wednesday night after five innings because of a stiff forearm, then was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Making just his fourth start after missing the first 2 1/2 months of the season while recovering from an irritated ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow, Johnson said he felt the tightness while throwing warmup pitches before the sixth inning.

''It didn't get better,'' he said. ''It was tight. I guess better safe than sorry.''

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the coaching staff ''saw him start fidgeting with his arm to get it loose. We went out and asked him and he said, 'It's tightened up.' So that was all we needed to get him out of there.''

Johnson held San Diego to four hits while striking out three in five scoreless innings. He came in with a 10.97 ERA.

Johnson was activated from the disabled list on June 18.

''I really can't put into words how I feel,'' Johnson said. ''I finally got back to where I wanted to and something bad happens.''

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Dodgers' Wolf headed to DL.
Wed, Jul 4, 2007
By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' pitching staff took another hit Wednesday when Randy Wolf, one of three starters with at least eight victories, went on the 15-day disabled list because of soreness in his left shoulder.

Wolf joins starter Hong-Chih Kuo, who was demoted to the minors last weekend and went on the DL on Wednesday. Right-hander Jason Schmidt is already out for the season after elbow surgery, and reliever Yhency Brazoban is sidelined because of a strained right shoulder.

Wolf (9-6) will have an MRI on Thursday and will miss his next scheduled start Sunday. He departed after three innings against Atlanta on Tuesday because of tenderness in his shoulder.

''Going into yesterday, it was the worst it's been,'' he said. ''I really haven't thrown 100 innings since 2004, so it could be the result of that. There's a level of frustration because I know there's probably nobody in the world that does more shoulder exercises than me.''

Wolf has not completed a full season since 2003. He returned to pitching for Philadelphia in June 2006 after missing more than a year because of Tommy John surgery. The left-hander signed as a free agent with the Dodgers during the offseason.

''I learned a lesson from what happened with my elbow. You're kind of afraid of the truth,'' he said. ''No reason to create any demons, just wait and see what the MRI says and go from there.''

Wolf's shoulder has been bothering him for the last month. He thought it might loosen up once he started pitching Tuesday, but that didn't happen. The soreness kept him awake the last two nights.

Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte said there was discussion about placing Wolf on the DL.

''We don't think it's that severe,'' he said. ''It's been creeping up the last couple of starts. He didn't look right throwing (Wednesday) and his velocity was down.''

Manager Grady Little suggested that Wolf ''may have withheld some stuff from us in order to be out there.'' But Wolf denied that he didn't fess up to the training staff.

''If there was any holding out, it might have been yesterday,'' he said.

Reliever Joe Beimel remained in the hospital Wednesday while undergoing further tests after complaining of heart palpitations during batting practice Tuesday.

The left-hander has no history of heart problems and initial testing did not show a cause, a team spokesman said.

''To talk to him on the phone, there's nothing wrong,'' Little said. ''I think a lot of people get them from time-to-time.''

Kuo, demoted to Las Vegas on Sunday after his third consecutive poor start, went on the major league DL Wednesday retroactive to Saturday. An MRI showed irritation in the back of his left elbow. He will rest and rehabilitate over the next seven-to-10 days.

''A lot of unfortunate things have come about,'' Little said. ''Hopefully, all of the cases will turn out to be OK.''

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Notes from Wednesday's AL games
July 4, 2007

TAMPA BAY: Carl Crawford got his 900th career hit. He is the 23rd player since World War II to reach the mark before his 26th birthday. ... Tampa Bay placed reliever Al Reyes on the 15-day disabled list with a mild rotator cuff strain and recalled LHP Jon Switzer from Triple-A Durham. ... Raul Casanova hit his fourth homer of the season and second in his last three games.

BOSTON: The Red Sox improved to 20-6 in day games, the best mark in the majors. ... RHP Tim Wakefield has a decision in all 17 of his starts. That's the most starts without a no-decision since at least 1980, according to STATS statistical service. ... Jonathan Papelbon is the first Red Sox pitcher with consecutive 20-save seasons since Derek Lowe saved 62 games from 1999-2000. Papelbon is the second pitcher in club history with 20 or more saves in his first two full major league seasons, joining Dick Radatz, who saved 59 games from 1962-63.


MINNESOTA: The Twins have won seven straight day games and 11 of their last 12. They are 16-10 in day games this season. ... LF Jason Kubel's seventh-inning homer was the Twins' first in 128 at_bats. ... OF Rondell White left Tuesday night's rehab game with Class-A Fort Myers after one inning because of tightness in his injured right calf. Manager Ron Gardenhire said it's not serious. White has been out since April 5.

NEW YORK: Manager Joe Torre spoke with owner George Steinbrenner before Wednesday's game to wish him a happy 77th birthday. ``Of course, he wanted a win for his birthday and I couldn't deliver,'' Torre said. The Yankees lost 6-2 to the Twins. ... LF Hideki Matsui is batting .400 (6-for-15) in his career against Twins ace Johan Santana. Matsui's second-inning homer was only the fourth by a lefty batter against Santana this season. ... Minor league RHP Joba Chamberlain had a career-high 12 strikeouts in Double-A Trenton's 2-0 victory over Harrisburg on Tuesday. ... Alex Rodriguez is in a season-worst 0-for-19 skid.


TORONTO: OF Vernon Wells homered for the third time this series and continued his strong hitting from the leadoff spot. Wells is batting .349 with six of his 12 home runs and 12 RBIs in 10 games as the leadoff hitter. Toronto is 7-3 in those games. Manager John Gibbons said he would consider keeping Wells in the top spot when Reed Johnson comes off the DL, but would prefer to have his big bat in the middle of the lineup. ``He had a really good series here. He's too good a player not to hit,'' Gibbons said. ``I think he'll have a big second half, I really do. That will be big for us.'' ... Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus left in the third inning with an injured left foot. X-rays were inconclusive and Glaus will be checked out again Thursday at home.

OAKLAND: RHP Rich Harden felt good after his latest bullpen session and could be in line to return to the rotation Saturday against Seattle. Harden, who has made three relief appearances since coming off the DL on June 21, hasn't started since April 15. ``He had a lot of power to his game down there,'' pitching coach Curt Young said. ``He's getting back to his regular mode.'' ... RHP Huston Street (nerve irritation in his right elbow) threw off the front of the mound from about 50 feet for a second straight day and is targeting July 20 as a possible return date. ``We're not taking it easy,'' Street said. ``I'm on the path to getting back as soon as possible.''


DETROIT: Ivan Rodriguez caught his 2,000th game Tuesday night and isn't writing off his chances to break Carlton Fisk's major league record of 2,226. ``I work hard, I've been blessed with good health and I feel great,'' said Rodriguez, on pace to pass Gary Carter (2,056) for third place later this season. ``I have a lot of baseball left in me.'' ... LHP Kenny Rogers picked off Grady Sizemore in the first inning and needs one more pickoff to match Mark Langston's major league record of 91. The statistic has been kept since 1974.

CLEVELAND: RHP Rafael Betancourt doesn't plan to speed up his pitching routine, despite being called for automatic balls twice Tuesday because he took too much time between pitches. ``When I pitch, I don't count how many seconds I have between every pitch,'' he said. ``I don't know what the rules are, but I'm not going to change the way I pitch.'' Indians manager Eric Wedge thought the Tigers might have mentioned Betancourt's dawdling to the umpires. ``I don't know if Detroit or Jim or one of those guys over there pointed it out, but somebody gave them a heads-up,'' he said. ``Just let the kids play the game.'' ... RHP Jake Westbrook made his second Independence Day start in a row. Last season, he allowed one unearned run in seven innings as the Indians routed the Yankees 19-1 at Jacobs Field.


BALTIMORE: 3B Melvin Mora was out of the starting lineup for a third straight day with a bruised left foot. Interim manager Dave Trembley said Mora was able to hit but was still having difficulty moving. ``(Mora) said he felt real comfortable yesterday swinging the bat,'' Trembley said. ``He didn't feel real comfortable going side-to-side fielding.'' Trembley said he hopes to have Mora back in the lineup Thursday. ... RHP Scott Williamson was designated for assignment before the game to make room for LHP Garrett Olson, who was called up from Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles have 10 days to trade or release Williamson, and Trembley said the reliever will likely find a job on another club. ``Williamson has a proven track record,'' Trembley said. ``I'm sure there are a lot of teams that are looking for bullpen help for guys with experience.''

CHICAGO: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen gave catcher A.J. Pierzynski the night off. ... Guillen said he hasn't talked to general manager Ken Williams about any potential trades. ... With a doubleheader on Friday against the Twins, Guillen said he will likely start reliever Nick Masset in the second game. Masset started May 20 against the Cubs and earned the win by lasting 5 2-3 innings. He is 2-3 with a 6.95 ERA in 23 games this season. ... OF Jermaine Dye returned to the lineup Monday after missing nine games with a strained left quadriceps and is hitless in eight at_bats since returning.


SEATTLE: C Kenji Johjima might have avoided a broken hand because he has a metal plate in his right hand. A foul tip struck the hand on Tuesday and knocked Johjima out of the game. But the Mariners said he could probably play on Thursday. ``We got a big scare because it hit him on his plate and the trainer said if it hadn't hit him on the plate and he didn't have the plate it would have broken his hand,'' manager John McLaren said. ... 1B Richie Sexson was also feeling better after bruising his thumb on Monday and was still day-to-day. ... The Mariners have won the season series against the Royals for the eighth year in a row.

KANSAS CITY: DH Mike Sweeney will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday and be out indefinitely. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Steven Joyce. Sweeney had hoped to be back by Friday. He's been on the DL with inflammation in his knee. His surgery will allow rookie Billy Butler to log more time in the big leagues. He planned on returning to Triple-A Omaha once Sweeney got back. Butler had six RBIs on Tuesday night, one short of the team record. ... Manager Buddy Bell said 2B Mark Grudzielanek might be ready to get back in the lineup by Friday. ``We're shooing for Friday, but we're not sure,'' Bell.


LOS ANGELES: SS Orlando Cabrera said while he's disappointed he won't be playing in next week's All-Star game, he's focused on helping the Angels make the playoffs. ``I'd like to be there,'' Cabrera said. ``I deserve to be in there. But at the same time I don't want to be a distraction for the guys. It's a long season and we can do a lot of good things here.'' Cabrera came into Wednesday night's game hitting .333 with five home runs and 48 RBIs. ... RHP Chris Resop pitched a scoreless inning in his Angels debut Tuesday night after being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. ``In spring training and in the first month of the season it looked like he was searching for something,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``(Tuesday) he pounded the zone, and you can see his stuff is there. We're very excited about him.''

TEXAS: RHP Vicente Padilla threw off flat ground again as he continued rehabbing from inflammation behind his right elbow that landed him on the 15-day DL on June 25. Padilla will have another throwing session on Friday before team management and medical personnel decide on the next step, which will include a few minor league outings. ... Bench coach Art Howe was thrown out of Tuesday night's game for arguing from the dugout with plate umpire John Hirschbeck, but Ron Washington hasn't been ejected thus far in his first season as a big league manager. ``I don't come to the ballpark to get tossed and argue with umpires,'' Washington said. ``The times that I've argued that I thought they missed the play, the umpires have let me say what I've had to say, they didn't toss me. That tells me right there that I was right.''

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Notes from Wednesday's NL games
July 4, 2007

CHICAGO: LHP Rich Hill gave up a season-high six runs in a 6-0 loss to Washington ... Mark DeRosa extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He's batting .405 during that stretch ... The Cubs had scoring chances in Wednesday's loss but went 0-for-7 and stranded seven runners ... The Cubs gave up a first-inning run. It was their 48th this season, more than any other inning. ... The Cubs need a win in Thursday's game to capture their fifth straight series ... Chicago had a 42-41 record after Wednesday's loss. The Cubs were just 30-53 at the same point last year.

WASHINGTON: The 6-0 victory over Chicago on Wednesday was the team's first shutout since May 11 against the Marlins. ... Even though the Nationals ranked next-to-last in hitting in the NL, they've hit five grand slams, tied for second in the majors. ... Dmitri Young's grand slam was the sixth of his career. ... Young leads Washington with 28 multi-hit games this season. ... Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning homer was his first in 15 games. ... Matt Chico's victory on Wednesday was his first since May 17. Chico has allowed just two runs on 14 hits in his last three starts. He's thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings during that stretch.


SAN FRANCISCO: OF Fred Lewis became the first San Francisco rookie to hit two grand slams in a season. Lewis has three homers in the majors, two of them grand slams. His other grand slam was June 1 at Philadelphia off Adam Eaton. Lewis also hit for the cycle on May 13 in Colorado, becoming the 22nd player in team history to accomplish the feat. ... RHP Matt Cain got his first victory since May 13, a slump set up by the Giants' lack of run support when he was on the mound. ``It's been a long time,'' Cain said. ``You have to enjoy it. It's definitely a relief to get that one out of the way.'' ... Barry Bonds spent time with Ken Griffey Jr. and his family on the field before the game, and planned to get together with them again afterward.

CINCINNATI: RHP Matt Belisle was surprised that interim manager Pete Mackanin took him out of the game after the fourth inning, when he'd thrown only 61 pitches. ``I didn't see it coming,'' Belisle said. ``Obviously, I gave up the grand slam, but I didn't see it coming.'' Mackanin didn't like what he saw of Belisle, who hasn't won since May 29. ``I think he can be a real good pitcher, but he ran into a little adversity there and I didn't sense a lot of fortitude,'' the interim manager said. ``Maybe fortitude isn't the right word. Maybe savvy.'' ... The Reds have given up five grand slams this season.


PHILADELPHIA: Umpire Lance Barksdale apologized to manager Charlie Manuel for missing a call that sent Tuesday's game into extra innings. The Astros trailed 4-3 in the ninth, but loaded the bases with one out. Carlos Lee hit into an apparent, game-ending double play, but Barksdale called Lee safe at first. The Astros tied the game and won 5-4 in 13 innings. Barksdale was the home-plate umpire on Wednesday and admitted his mistake when Manuel made a lineup change in the eighth inning. ``I told him I made a mistake one day,'' Manuel said with a laugh. ... C Carlos Ruiz served a one-game suspension on Wednesday, a punishment that stemmed from an argument with umpire Bill Welke on June 17. Ruiz injured his right quadriceps late in Tuesday's 5-4 loss and the suspension gave him a chance to rest it. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn't sure about the seriousness of the injury. ``Hopefully, it's not too bad,'' Manuel said. ``I'm sure he'll get tested in the next day or two.''

HOUSTON: Despite using six relievers in Tuesday night's 13-inning victory, manager Phil Garner said his bullpen was in good shape for Wednesday's matinee. ``Nobody was overused,'' Garner said. Matt Albers shut out the Phillies in the 12th and 13th to earn his first victory since May 5. Garner gave a big assist to catcher Brad Ausmus, who called for Albers to throw mostly off-speed pitches. ``That's where a veteran catcher, a guy like Brad, is worth his weight in gold,'' Garner said. Albers did not pitch in Wednesday's loss. ... The Fourth of July loss killed the buzz the Astros had enjoyed in the first five games of their homestand. It started last Thursday, when Craig Biggio went 5-for-6 to pass 3,000 career hits. Carlos Lee ended that game with a grand slam and Mark Loretta hit a game-ending homer the following night. Then, rookie Hunter Pence beat Philadelphia on Tuesday with a homer in the 13th inning. The Astros are the first team to hit three game-winning homers in a six-game span since Detroit hit three in a row in June 2004. ``We've had one of the most exciting weeks I've ever had in my career,'' Garner said.


MILWAUKEE: SS J.J. Hardy (flu-like symptoms) was out of the lineup for a second consecutive day Wednesday, even though manager Ned Yost said the All-Star felt much better and could have played. Craig Counsell started again. ... CF Bill Hall also did not start. ... Expected to get a day off Thursday is 1B Prince Fielder, who has played in all 84 games this season. ``He's not wearing down,'' Yost said, ``but he's going to need a day off.'' ... Thursday's game in Pittsburgh will be Milwaukee's seventh day game in the last eight, unusual for this time of the season. But Yost hadn't noticed. ``Just go and play,'' he said.

PITTSBURGH: Former first-round draft pick Sean Burnett was pulled with elbow pain after one inning of a start Tuesday night. Burnett, who had reconstructive elbow surgery after the 2004 season, was shut down for a brief period last month with the same problem. He plans to visit as soon as possible with Alabama orthopedist James Andrews, the elbow specialist who will meet Friday with Pirates LHP Zach Duke (elbow). ... Pirates manager Jim Tracy gave the Brewers a surprise gift Wednesday: He rested Jason Bay, the only Pittsburgh regular with good career numbers against Milwaukee starter Claudio Vargas. Bay is stuck in a monthlong slump that has dropped his average nearly 60 points. ... LHP Tom Gorzelanny (8-4, 3.05 ERA) pitches Thursday, the last day of fan balloting that will decide the final player on the NL All-Star team.


ARIZONA: LHP Randy Johnson, placed on the 15-day DL on Tuesday for the third time due to a back injury, returned home Wednesday to work with his personal trainer. Manager Bob Melvin said RHP Yusmeiro Petit, who had a strong outing on Tuesday as Johnson's replacement, has earned another start on Sunday. ... LHP Doug Davis, who starts on Friday in St. Louis, is 2-7 with a 3.71 ERA in nine road games this season. ... Melvin stuck with the same lineup, featuring Eric Byrnes in the third slot and alternating left-handed and right-handed bats throughout the lineup, following a 7-1 victory on Tuesday night. ``We had a nice game so we'll run the same guys out,'' Melvin said.

ST. LOUIS: Scott Spiezio, who hasn't played since June 26 because of an infected left index finger that hospitalized him for a few days last week, was available for extra duty. ... Aaron Miles, who has gotten the bulk of playing time at SS while David Eckstein has been on the DL, got a day off after five straight starts. ... Ryan Ludwick, generally considered more of a corner outfielder, made his first start of the season in center. So Taguchi missed a fly ball at the wall that was ruled a double for Scott Hairston in the third inning Tuesday. ... The Cardinals are not concerned about RHP Chris Carpenter's ugly numbers for his first rehab start Tuesday. Carpenter lasted 1 1-3 innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on Tuesday for Class A Palm Beach. ``I think you count mostly what he said, and he said he felt good,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ``That's more important than what the stats are.''


NEW YORK: Manager Willie Randolph isn't stunned that the Mets were limited to five runs in the first two games of the Colorado series after scoring 22 runs in four games at Philadelphia. ``We swung the bats pretty well in Philadelphia, but this is a different situation,'' he said. ``It's a little surprising when your guys don't hit, but that's the game.'' ... Randolph tipped his cap to the play of former Met Kaz Matsui. ``He'd shown flashes of that with us too,'' Randolph said. ``I've always said that if he plays he has a chance to be productive.'' ... The Mets haven't named a starter for Sunday's game in Houston. Among the options are RHP Phillip Humber and LHP Dave Williams.

COLORADO: OF Cory Sullivan drew his second start of the season. ``We wanted Willy Taveras to get a day off to rest his legs,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``Besides, Cory is 3-for-10 against Orlando Hernandez.'' ... 2B Jamey Carroll's sprained right wrist showed improvement. The injury forced him to miss Tuesday's game when 2B Kaz Matsui had a five-hit game. ... Hurdle sees some similarities between Hernandez and LHP Tom Glavine. ``Neither of those guys rattle,'' Hurdle said. ``Both are disciplined and experienced and aren't afraid of challenging hitters.'' ... Tuesday's win assured the Rockies' first series win after losing their previous three.


FLORIDA: SS Hanley Ramirez missed his second straight start due to a tweaked left hamstring. On Tuesday night, Ramirez had a pinch-hit two-run homer that highlighted a four-run seventh inning that helped the Marlins beat the Padres 6-4. ... RHP Dontrelle Willis is expected to rejoin the team in time to make his scheduled start Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Willis left the Marlins on Tuesday because of ``family issues.''

SAN DIEGO: OF Milton Bradley, a switch-hitter who's on the DL with a strained left oblique, continued to take batting practice right-handed. On Wednesday he hit left-handed off a batting tee. ... RHP Doug Brocail, on the DL with a strained left gluteus, began a rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Lake Elsinore. ... The Padres wore their desert camouflage jerseys.


ATLANTA: RHP John Smoltz will return to Atlanta on Thursday and is set to meet with team doctors Friday about discomfort in his right shoulder. He will likely skip his final start before the All-Star break, which begins Monday. Doctors will decide what kind of test is appropriate. Smoltz (9-5, 3.07 ERA) was selected to his eighth NL All-Star team Sunday. ... The Braves faced a left-handed starter for the 39th time, most in the majors. They entered 16-22 when the opponents starts a southpaw.

LOS ANGELES: LHP Eric Stults was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take the roster spot of LHP Randy Wolf, who went on the 15-day DL with left shoulder soreness. Stults pitched briefly for the Dodgers last season and this year. He was 5-5 in 17 games (14 starts) for the Las Vegas 51s. ... The Dodgers have stolen at least one base in each of their past nine games for a total of 19 during that stretch. Their 75 steals trail only the New York Mets' 99 in the NL. ... Andre Ethier made his third start of the season in left field.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 5

Injured A-Rod takes a seat
July 5th, 2007

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez will not be in the New York Yankees lineup for the team's game against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

The All-Star third baseman is struggling with a strained left hamstring and left Yankee Stadium to undergo an MRI.

Rodriguez was originally hurt on Monday trying to beat out a throw at first base. Since tweaking the hamstring, he is 0-for-8 at the plate.

The 31-year-old star is hitting a robust .314 this season and leads the major leagues with 28 home runs and 80 RBI.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 5

Reds activate Stanton from DL
July 5th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Reds activated relief pitcher Mike Stanton from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday.

The veteran was placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring on June 17. Stanton, 40, is 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA in 35 appearances this season.

To make room on the roster, the Reds optioned relief pitcher Brad Salmon to Triple-A Louisville. The righthander is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 21 appearances out of the Reds' bullpen this year.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 5

Twins send Slowey to minors
July 5th, 2007

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - The Minnesota Twins optioned pitcher Kevin Slowey to Triple-A Rochester after the team's 7-6 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday.

Slowey started the game and was touched for five runs on eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings but got off the hook thanks to the Minnesota offense. The rookie has a 3-0 record with a 5.84 earned run average in seven starts for the Twins since making his major league debut on June 1 at Oakland.

To replace Slowey on the roster, the Twins recalled pitcher Carmen Cali from Rochester. The 28-year old Cali appeared in seven games earlier this season for the Twins and did not allow a run in 5 1/3 innings.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 5

Marlins put Johnson back on DL
July 5th, 2007

San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The Florida Marlins put pitcher Josh Johnson back on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday.

Johnson, who is listed as having a forearm strain, is 0-3 in four starts this season with a whopping 7.47 earned run average.

He missed the first part of this year with a biceps nerve problem before being taken off the DL on June 18 and making his first start of the season.

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ChiSox recall Floyd
July 5th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago White sox Thursday recalled right-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd from Triple-A Charlotte.

Floyd went 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA and 80 strikeouts over 15 starts with Charlotte this season. He ranks third in the International League in ERA and tied for fifth in wins. Floyd was 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA and 50 strikeouts over his last eight starts, including a 3-0 record with a 1.43 ERA in June.

Floyd, the fourth overall pick by the Phillies in the 2001 draft, was picked up from Philadelphia on December 6, 2006 with lefty Gio Gonzalez in exchange for righty Freddy Garcia.

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