MLB News and Notes July - 6

MLB News and Notes July - 6

Brewers' Hall out indefinitely with severe ankle injury
July 5, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Brewers center fielder Bill Hall badly sprained his right ankle while leaping to try to catch Ryan Doumit's solo home run for Pittsburgh in the second inning Thursday and will be out indefinitely.
   
The injury to one of its top players could be a major setback to division-leading Milwaukee, which has lost five of seven and was beaten in three of four in Pittsburgh. Hall has a high ankle sprain, the more severe form of the injury and one that can sideline a football player for a month.

``I hope it doesn't take that long,'' Hall said.

The Brewers aren't estimating how long their 2006 team MVP will be out, but it will be until after the All-Star break. Hall returned to Milwaukee to see his own doctors and did not accompany the Brewers to their weekend series in Washington.

No fractures were revealed in X-rays taken in Pittsburgh, but Hall will undergo additional tests, including an MRI exam, in Milwaukee.

``I'll have to wait and see how much swelling there is,'' Hall said. ``Hopefully I'm a quick healer.''

Hall is hitting .272 with nine homers and 38 RBIs while usually hitting fourth or fifth in Milwaukee's order. His 288 at_bats are the third most on the club.

Hall's own athletic ability may have contributed to the injury. As he went back on the play, he used the center field wall's padding as a springboard to boost himself and get closer to Doumit's drive.

``I saw where the ball was,'' he said. ``I took a swipe with my glove and got pretty close to it, actually.''

That extra push caused him to get higher than he expected and, when he didn't land when he anticipated he would, he came down hard on the ankle.

``I didn't realize how high I was and I was prepared to land quicker than I did,'' said Hall, who returned to the lineup after being given a planned day off Wednesday. ``When I didn't, the ground kind of snuck up on me.''

Hall lay on the warning track while trainers and teammates gathered around him, finally limping off the field under assistance several minutes later.

With Hall out, Kevin Mench and Gabe Gross are expected to get more at_bats. Manager Ned Yost, who won't have the lineup flexibility he had before, was terse when discussing Hall's injury - no doubt unhappy that it accompanied a 6-3 loss to the Pirates.

``We'll know more (Friday),'' Yost said. ``Nothing is broken. That's the extent we know right now.''

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Young begins 5-game suspension, wins All-Star spot
July 5, 2007

SAN DIEGO (AP) -What a day it was for Chris Young, who began a five-game suspension for his part in a brawl, then found out about three hours later that he was an All-Star.
   
The San Diego Padres' right-hander beat out four other pitchers for the last spot on the NL All-Star team on Thursday in the online Final Vote, which started Sunday night. The 6-foot-10 Young will join teammates Jake Peavy and Trevor Hoffman at Tuesday night's game in San Francisco.

The Padres organization, including Hoffman and Peavy, heavily promoted the online voting that made Young an All-Star for the first time.

``Obviously I don't want to be serving a suspension,'' Young said. ``I don't want to take away from my team. But all in all, I think it's a good day, for the most part. I wish we had won our game.''

Because he can't be in the dugout or clubhouse during a game, Young (8-3, 2.00 ERA), watched from the press box as Peavy and the Padres lost 3-2 to the Florida Marlins.

Young had been appealing his suspension for his part in a bench-clearing brawl at Chicago on June 16, which started when Young hit the Cubs' Derrek Lee with a pitch.

Lee, convinced that Young was throwing at him on purpose, had words with the pitcher as he walked to first base, then threw a punch. Young swung back and the benches emptied.

Young will sit out the last four games before the break and the first game after it.

He made his final start before the break on Wednesday night, striking out nine and holding the Marlins to five hits in seven innings of a 1-0 win. He didn't get the decision, but lowered his ERA to 2.00, tying Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best in the majors.

Hoffman and Peavy were the unofficial campaign managers for Young. The franchise pitched it by promoting the vote, even setting up computers on the concourse at Petco Park so fans could vote.

Hoffman, baseball's all-time saves leader with 506, said he's pretty much computer-illiterate, but was able to vote 50 to 75 times for his teammate.

``It's not an easy process for me,'' Hoffman said.

``I think it would have been different had C.Y. maybe been a borderline nominee,'' Hoffman said. ``The fact that his numbers stand up against anybody's in the National League warrant him going. I think this sends, really, a stronger message than anybody could say in publicly rallying for him.''

Peavy said Young was a better pitcher in the season's first half than the players he beat out - Chicago's Carlos Zambrano, Arizona's Brandon Webb, Pittsburgh's Tom Gorzelanny and Houston's Roy Oswalt, who was named to replace injured Atlanta pitcher John Smoltz.

``I thought it was big for the city to get behind him,'' Peavy said. ``The whole city should give themselves a pat on the back because we beat out some pretty big-market teams. I know we went hard at it and campaigned hard for him and it was well deserved. I'm proud that this city is going to have another representative with that Padre jersey on.''

Young received more than 4.5 million votes. His winning margin wasn't immediately available.

Young said he didn't vote for himself because he didn't want to get distracted. He also was on the ballot last year, when he said he did vote a few times for himself.

``This year I really tried to block it out and not worry about it,'' Young said. ``I think Trevor and Jake took it upon themselves to just be active and really reach out and be vocal about it. That just means so much to me.

``It might be even greater that just being elected without all this,'' he said. ``It's been really special.

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Gomez out 6-8 weeks with broken hand
July 5, 2007

HOUSTON (AP) -New York Mets outfielder Carlos Gomez will miss 6-8 weeks after breaking a bone in his left hand.

Gomez, 21, broke the hamate bone in his hand on a check swing in the sixth inning of the Mets' 17-7 loss to Colorado on Wednesday, assistant general manager John Ricco said.

Gomez flew to Houston with the team, then caught a morning flight back to New York, where he had surgery scheduled for Thursday night. He was hitting .250 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 42 games.

``It was bothering him. He was in pain,'' said Mets manager Willie Randolph.

The Mets recalled David Newhan from Triple-A New Orleans to replace Gomez on the roster.

Newhan hit .200 in 41 games with the Mets this season before he was optioned to New Orleans on June 8. He hit .338 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 21 games for the Zephyrs.

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White Sox recall Floyd, send down Aardsma
July 5, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -The Chicago White Sox recalled right-hander Gavin Floyd from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday and said he'll start the second game of Friday's day-night doubleheader against Minnesota.

Manager Ozzie Guillen had been leaning toward starting Nick Masset, who has been used mainly in relief, but did not want to leave his bullpen short-handed.

``It's a good opportunity for (Floyd), for us to see what he has,'' Guillen said.

Floyd was 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 15 starts with Charlotte. He appeared in 24 games over three seasons with Philadelphia, going 7-5 with a 6.96 ERA, and was acquired in the deal that sent Freddy Garcia to the Phillies during the offseason.

Floyd replaces reliever David Aardsma, who was sent down after giving up three runs on three hits in 1 2-3 innings of Wednesday's 9-6 loss to Baltimore. Aardsma is 2-1 this season with a 6.40 ERA in 25 appearances.

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Mets' Lo Duca begins serving 2-game suspension
July 5, 2007

HOUSTON (AP) -New York Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca began serving his two-game suspension on Thursday for an outburst in a game last month, dropping his appeal after meeting with manager Willie Randolph.

Lo Duca was suspended and fined $2,000 for a June 23 tirade aimed at umpire Marvin Hudson. He was ejected for arguing a call, then tossed his equipment onto the field. After meeting with Randolph and assistant general manager John Ricco in Colorado on Tuesday, Lo Duca agreed to serve his suspension for the first two games of the Mets' weekend series in Houston.

``They called me in there the other day and decided this would be the best time,'' said Lo Duca, who was batting .300 on the Mets' current road trip.

Ramon Castro started Thursday's game in Houston. Randolph said Lo Duca would return to the lineup on Saturday. With the All-Star break starting Monday, Randolph wanted Lo Duca to serve his suspension to avoid a five-day gap between starts.

``Your timing gets messed up a little bit - you don't want to have too much time off,'' Lo Duca said. ``I can understand it. They didn't want that to happen.''

As insurance, the Mets purchased the contract of veteran catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr. on Wednesday and sent down left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas.

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Bonds won't participate in HR Derby
July 5, 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) -Barry Bonds will sit out of the Home Run Derby on Monday night, opting to rest his tired body before Tuesday night's All-Star game.

``Nope,'' Bonds said Thursday when asked about the Derby. ``Especially when you're 42. It's not that you don't want to, it's that you just can't anymore. You can't. It's too long. Too much waiting. Too much sitting around. You can't do that.''

Bonds, who turns 43 on July 24, was set to start in Thursday night's series finale, after playing in 74 of the team's first 82 games. He sat out Wednesday afternoon to allow his sore legs to recover and said he ``felt better'' Thursday.

Bonds is slated to start in left field for the National League in the All-Star game July 10 in San Francisco. He made up more than 119,000 votes in the final days - getting 1,111,968 additional votes - to finish with 2,325,391 and ahead of Cubs star Alfonso Soriano.

The seven-time NL MVP has appeared in six home run contests, winning it in 1996 in Philadelphia. The Derby has since gone from two rounds to three. He said he was worn out after the '96 Derby as well.

``And it was only two rounds then,'' Bonds said.

Who's his favorite to win it now?

``You don't know in our ballpark,'' he said. ``It depends on the wind.''

Bonds will be busy Monday night anyway, at a party he's throwing along with hip-hop artist Jay-Z.

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Reds activate Stanton from disabled list
July 5, 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) -The Reds activated left-handed reliever Mike Stanton from the 15-day disabled list Thursday, making him available to pitch to Barry Bonds in the final game of a series against the San Francisco Giants.

The Reds also optioned right-hander Brad Salmon to Triple-A Louisville.

The 40-year-old Stanton pulled a hamstring while running out a ground ball on June 16. He pitched one game on a rehabilitation assignment for Class A Dayton on Wednesday night, the final test for his leg.

Bonds is 4-for-11 in his career against Stanton with three doubles and no homers. His return gave interim manager Pete Mackanin another option to face a left-handed batter late in a game.

Stanton is 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA in 21 games. Salmon went 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 21 games.

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Marlins recall Reed to take Johnson's roster spot
July 5, 2007

SAN DIEGO (AP) -The Florida Marlins recalled outfielder Eric Reed from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday to take the roster spot of right-hander Josh Johnson.

Johnson went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday night with stiffness in his right forearm. He was 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.

Reed had been sent down to Triple-A in early May. The rookie hit .284 and stole 18 bases with the Isotopes.

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Notes from Thursday's AL games
July 5, 2007

TAMPA BAY: The Devil Rays have had six losing streaks of at least 10 games since entering the majors in 1998. The franchise record is 15 games, from April 25-May 10, 2002. ... The Devil Rays signed 41st-round draft pick RHP Austin Hinkle, of Coastal Carolina. ... J.P. Howell allowed six runs while getting just two outs, ballooning his ERA from 5.19 to 6.62.
   
BOSTON: LHP Hideki Okajima was added to the AL All-Star roster as the winner of the Internet voting. ... 1B Kevin Youkilis was out of the starting lineup for the third time in four games with a strained hamstring. ... Coco Crisp's first-inning grand slam was the third for the Red Sox this season and the second of his career. He also hit one in 2004 for the Indians. ... The Red Sox signed first-round draft pick LHP Nick Hagadone along with eight international free agents.


MINNESOTA: RHP Kevin Slowey was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the loss. Slowey lasted just 3 2-3 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs. The Twins recalled LHP Carmen Cali from their top farm club. Minnesota used three relievers in the loss and needed another pitcher in the bullpen for its day-night doubleheader against the White Sox on Friday. Slowey wasn't scheduled to make another start before the All-Star break. ... 2B Luis Castillo rested for the second straight day. He has sore legs and a swollen left hand from being spiked. ``He's got a nice cut on there and it's swollen up in the knuckles,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said Thursday. ... 1B Justin Morneau hasn't homered in 12 consecutive games, tying a season high. The AL MVP needs one more for 100 for his career.

NEW YORK: An MRI on 3B Alex Rodriguez's strained left hamstring came back normal. The All-Star missed his first game of the season Thursday but could be back in the lineup Friday against the Angels. ... SS Derek Jeter turned in a great play to take a hit away from Jason Bartlett in the second. He gloved Bartlett's grounder in the hole and made a leaping throw to an outstretched Andy Phillips at first, nipping the speedy shortstop by a step. ... With Rodriguez out, Hideki Matsui batted fourth for the first time since June 12, 2005, at St. Louis.


CLEVELAND: Even in his worst start of the season, LHP C.C. Sabathia only walked one batter in the loss to Detroit. Sabathia has not issued more than one walk in a game since April 15 - a span of 16 starts. ... Sabathia is 2-1 against the Tigers this season, facing RHP Justin Verlander all three times. ... All-Star C Victor Martinez was 2-for-3 with his 15th homer, 22nd double and two RBIs, giving him 66 this season. In his last 33 games, Martinez is hitting .349 with seven homers and 25 RBIs. ... 3B Casey Blake was 1-for-3 with a double and a run. Since May 8, he is hitting .302 with nine homers and 32 RBIs.

DETROIT: Even before manager Jim Leyland knew whether RHP Jeremy Bonderman beat out four players on the Internet ballot for the final AL spot, he said he didn't like the process. ``I think it's silly if you want to know the truth,'' Leyland said. ``It's kind of a farce.'' ... The Tigers originally planned to invite the Boston Red Sox's All-Stars to join them on their private plane after Sunday's game, but they can't. ``We don't have room,'' Leyland said. ... OF Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-4 with his major league-leading 35th double.


BALTIMORE: 3B Melvin Mora was scratched from the lineup for the fourth straight game after asking interim manager Dave Trembley for one more day to rest his bruised left foot. ``When Melvin tells me he's ready to play, I'll put him in there,'' Trembley said. ``He's played long enough, he knows himself.'' Mora was available to pinch hit Thursday, and Trembley hoped to get him back in the lineup before the All-Star break. ... RHP Daniel Cabrera got some help from a Hall of Famer on Thursday, when Jim Palmer observed his bullpen session. ``You use whatever tool's available to you,'' said pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who occasionally turned to Don Sutton when he was in Atlanta. Mazzone said Cabrera's release point is inconsistent, which may explain his 6-9 record and 5.15 ERA. ... Trembley said LHP Erik Bedard, RHP Jeremy Guthrie and Cabrera will start the first three games after the break. The other two spots in the rotation are a bit unsettled. ... LHP Garrett Olson, who made his major league debut Wednesday, will not play in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday.

CHICAGO: Given his rib and back problems and his team's 36-45 record entering Thursday's game, it's no surprise DH Jim Thome wanted to ``turn the page'' on the first half. Although he batted .275 with 12 homers, the first half was not easy for the slugger. He spent three weeks on the DL with a strained rib cage and was bothered by back spasms, but he has felt ``real good in the box'' the past week to 10 days. ``I can let some balls fly now and hit some balls like I normally have in my career,'' Thome said. ... RHP Nick Masset thought he was in line to start the second game of Friday's day-night doubleheader against Minnesota. Instead, he'll have to wait to make his second start this season. The White Sox chose to go with RHP Gavin Floyd, who was called up from Triple-A on Thursday, and keep Masset in the bullpen. ``I guess they made an executive decision,'' said Masset, who's 2-3 with a 6.95 ERA in 23 appearances. ... The White Sox agreed to terms with second-round draft pick RHP Nevin Griffith from Middleton H.S. in Tampa, Fla., and assigned him to their advanced rookie club.


LOS ANGELES: OF Juan Rivera has begun running in 90-foot intervals in his recovery from a broken lower left leg sustained playing winter ball. Manager Mike Scioscia expects Rivera to be available before the end of the regular season. Rivera is also throwing and hitting off a tee. ... RHP Kelvim Escobar, who was 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA when the All-Star teams were named Sunday, says he's not upset about being snubbed for next week's game. ``A lot of people say I should be there, but I don't feel bad,'' Rivera said. ``I understand the situation. There should be a guy from each team.'' RF Vladimir Guerrero was selected for his fifth All-Star start, his fourth straight since joining the Angels.

TEXAS: 1B Mark Teixeira, on the DL since June 9 with a strained left quadriceps, is expected to start a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Frisco next Wednesday or Thursday. ``Hopefully, we can get him going again,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``There is no timetable on it. I want him to get multiple games.'' ... CF Kenny Lofton, who has a sore left knee, wasn't in the starting lineup Thursday. Washington said it was a planned day off for the 40-year-old and that Lofton was available to play if needed.

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Notes from Thursday's NL games
July 5, 2007

WASHINGTON:
The Nationals signed top draft pick Ross Detwiler Thursday, a left-handed pitcher from Missouri State. He'll start with the Gulf Coast League Nationals and is expected to end up with Class A Potomac in the coming weeks. Team officials said there's a chance the 21-year-old could come to the majors later this season. ... Slumping OF Ryan Church will sit for a second straight day. ... 1B Dmitri Young is batting .392 in his last 31 games. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning homer Wednesday was his first in 15 games. He also hadn't driven in a run in 13 contests. ... Washington is 8-35 when its opponents score first. ... RHP Jason Bergmann, who started Thursday against the Cubs, is one of only two Nationals pitchers to pick off a runner this season.

CHICAGO: Manager Lou Piniella rested 1B Derek Lee and 2B Mark DeRosa on Thursday against the Nationals. Piniella offered LF Alfonso Soriano the day off, but Soriano asked to play against his former team. ... Following the All-Star break, Piniella said the Cubs will again carry a 12-man pitching staff. ... Piniella offered praise for Ken Griffey Jr., one of his former players, who has had a strong first half. ``I'm happy for Junior. (Hes) healthy and swinging the bat really well,'' Piniella said. ``It'll give us someone to pitch around in Cincinnati.''


SAN FRANCISCO: INF Luis Figueroa cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Fresno. He was designated for assignment Saturday when the Giants activated OF Fred Lewis from the disabled list. ... Lewis was in the starting lineup for a second straight game, playing center. Lewis became the first San Francisco rookie to hit two grand slams in a season on Wednesday. He said he got a lot of text messages from friends about the feat. ... The Giants had unusual background music when they came to bat in the first inning. A riverboat docked outside the ballpark loudly played calliope music for the first three batters. Plate umpire Gary Darling checked with the Reds' dugout, but was told that the club had nothing to do with it. By the time Barry Bonds came to bat, the riverboat was on its way and the music had stopped.

CINCINNATI: In the latest bullpen shakeup, LHP Mike Stanton was activated off the disabled list and RHP Brad Salmon was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Stanton pulled a hamstring while running to first base on a grounder on June 16. ... C Chad Moeller and RHP Victor Santos accepted outright assignments to Louisville. ... In his first significant lineup switch, interim manager Pete Mackanin dropped leadoff hitter Ryan Freel to sixth in the batting order. Mackanin, who took over after Jerry Narron was fired on Sunday night, said more changes might be in store. ``The thing we've got to do now is experiment without being too off-the-wall,'' Mackanin said. ``Whatever they've been trying hasn't been working.'' The Reds have the worst record in the majors. ... RHP Bronson Arroyo's solo homer in the second inning off Matt Morris was the third of his career. He hit two last season, both off the Cubs' Glendon Rusch.


BREWERS: 1B Prince Fielder was given a planned day off Thursday, missing a game for the first time this season. He started 82 of the Brewers' first 84 games and appeared in the other two. Fielder leads the NL with 27 homers, but hasn't homered since June 25. He is 5-for-22 (.227) on Milwaukee's 10-game road trip, which wraps up with three games in Washington starting Friday. ... SS J.J. Hardy returned after sitting out two games with a stomach virus and had two hits. He could have played Wednesday, but manager Ned Yost chose to rest him a day. ... Because the Brewers have four days off at the All-Star break, rather than the normal three, Yost plans a workout July 12 before the start of a three-game home series against Colorado on July 13.

PIRATES: LF Jason Bay, rested for the second time in five days on Wednesday, went 1-for-3 with an RBI single Thursday. He said afterward, ``Right now, an RBI feels like a grand slam.'' His batting average has dropped nearly 60 points since June 1. ... RHP Marty McLeary, removed recently from the Pirates' 40-man roster, cleared waivers and has returned to Triple-A Indianapolis. ... The Pirates played a club record 11th consecutive game without an error while beating Milwaukee 6-3 on Thursday. Their 106 consecutive innings without an error are a franchise record.


ARIZONA: Manager Bob Melvin believes Randy Johnson, on the DL for the third time this year due to a back injury, has no intention of retiring. The 43-year-old Johnson needs 16 wins for 300 and Melvin adds, ``The fact of the matter is he loves to pitch.'' Even if he needs another operation? ``We've talked a little bit about it and I know at times he's not particularly opposed to having it again.'' ... C Miguel Montero started for the third straight game after going 3-for-8 with a home run the previous two. Melvin said Montero is becoming more confident directing a veteran staff, but stopped short of saying Montero had seized the No. 1 job ahead of Chris Snyder. ``Chris does a terrific job back there, too,'' Melvin said. ``Both of these guys have the ability to do it behind the plate and do it offensively.'' ... RHP Edgar Gonzalez, the odd man out in the rotation, will be in the bullpen until the All-Star break. He could have started on Sunday, but the Diamondbacks were impressed with 22-year-old Yusmeiro Petit, who pitched into the sixth subbing for Johnson.

ST. LOUIS: Manager Tony La Russa didn't seem particularly interested in talking about Barry Bonds' quest for the career home run record coming to St. Louis for a three-game series starting Friday. ``Just try to win the game,'' La Russa said. ``When he plays he's in the way of us winning the game, so you've got to deal with it. I want the Cardinals to win and whatever happens, happens.'' Four active Cardinals pitchers are on Bonds' homer list: Kip Wells (2), Ryan Franklin, Jason Isringhausen and Russ Springer. ... SS David Eckstein, on the DL since June 14 with a lower back injury, said he's shooting for the first game after the All-Star break as his return. Eckstein had been aiming to return early this week but had a setback and needed three pain-killing shots in his back. ... Skip Schumaker is 5-for-25 as a pinch hitter, but has singled in his last two trips. ... The Cardinals have an eight-game winning streak on July 4 by a combined score of 64-26.


NEW YORK: LHP Dave Williams pitched a bullpen session before Thursday's game and was the likely starter for Sunday's series finale. Williams suffered a herniated disk early in the year and spent six weeks in a neck brace before he could throw again. He made his third rehab start on Monday, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts for Triple-A New Orleans. ``My focus was to trying to get back here,'' said Williams, a six-year veteran who went 3-1 in five starts for the Mets in 2006. ``I feel like I can pitch at this level again.'' ... Adjusting for Paul Lo Duca's two-game suspension, the Mets called up 19-year veteran catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr. from Triple-A New Orleans. Alomar was hitting .323 in New Orleans with four homers and 29 RBIs in 38 games. Randolph has no reservations about putting the six-time All-Star behind the plate, either. ``He still knows how to receive and how to call a game,'' Randolph said. ``Backup catchers are hard to come by. It's a nice luxury to have those guys.''

HOUSTON: RHP Roy Oswalt backed into his third All-Star appearance on Thursday when John Smoltz dropped out of the game with a shoulder injury. Smoltz was one of five NL starting pitchers elected through the player ballot. Oswalt (7-5, 3.52 ERA) was next on the list. He was scheduled to start Sunday's series finale agianst New York and said a brief appearance in the All-Star Game could be ideal. ``It's a bullpen day anyway,'' Oswalt said. ``It's actually better that maybe I throw than have four days off.'' ... Rookie center fielder Hunter Pence passed 250 at_bats last weekend and now officially qualifies as one of the NL's leading hitters. Entering Thursday's game, Pence was batting .346, second only to Colorado's Matt Holliday (.352). Pence's .598 slugging percentage was third, trailing only Prince Fielder (.604) and Barry Bonds (.614).

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Baseball Today - July 6
By Associated Press

L.A. Angels at N.Y. Yankees (7:05 p.m. EDT).

Bartolo Colon and Andy Pettitte square off.

STARS

Thursday

-Mike Lowell and Coco Crisp, Red Sox. Lowell and Crisp each drove in five runs in Boston's 15-4 win over Tampa Bay.

-Bronson Arroyo, Reds, won his first game in 10 starts and homered in Cincinnati's 6-3 win against San Francisco.

-Kelvim Escobar, Angels, allowed one run and three hits over seven innings in a 5-2 victory over Texas.

-Hideki Matsui, Yankees, hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift New York to a 7-6 victory over Minnesota.

-John Maine, Mets, struck out nine in 7 2-3 innings in a 6-2 win over Houston.

TEEING OFF

Coco Crisp hit a grand slam in the first inning, and Josh Beckett earned his 12th win as the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 15-4 on Thursday night, the Devil Rays' 11th consecutive loss. Mike Lowell had a career-high four hits of Boston's season-high total of 21, and he and Crisp each drove in five of Boston's season-high 15 runs. The Devil Rays were swept for the third straight series. ... Tadahito Iguchi fell a single shy of the cycle, and Jermaine Dye hit a three-run homer to lead the Chicago White Sox over the Baltimore Orioles 11-6. The 11 runs were a season high for the White Sox (36-45).

NEW STANDARD

Chipper Jones broke open a tie game with a pair of solo homers that tied and broke Dale Murphy's Atlanta Braves record in an 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night. Jones reached 372 homers in 6,622 at-bats. Murphy had 7,098 at-bats with the Braves.

FILL-IN

Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima was added to the American League All-Star roster Thursday night as the winner of the 32nd man Internet vote, giving Boston a leading six players in the game. Okajima received 4.3 million votes in four days to beat Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman, Minnesota reliever Pat Neshek, Los Angeles Angels starter Kelvim Escobar and Toronto starter Roy Halladay.

SNAPPED

Mike Fontenot broke out of an 0-for-16 skid with three hits, including the tie-breaking single in the seventh inning, to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 victory over Washington on Thursday night.

TIME SERVED

Padres right-hander Chris Young dropped the appeal of his five-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing brawl at Chicago on June 16, and began serving the penalty on Thursday. ... New York Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca began serving his two-game suspension for an outburst in a game last month, dropping his appeal after meeting with manager Willie Randolph.

SPEAKING

''I'll be surprised with every home run I hit, if I hit anymore.'' - Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who hit his third career home run and won his first game since May 6 in a 6-3 victory over the Giants on Thursday night.

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White Sox place MacDougal on DL
July 6th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox placed right-hander Mike MacDougal on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The move is retroactive to Thursday.

The 30-year-old MacDougal is 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA in 31 relief appearances this season.

In a corresponding move, the White Sox returned right handed pitcher Dewon Day from his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Charlotte and reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list.

Day, 26, appeared in seven games for the White Sox, allowing five runs and seven hits in 8 2/3 innings before being placed on the disabled list on June 16 with a sore back.

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Tigers INF Perez suspended for 25 games
July 6, 2007

DETROIT (AP) -Detroit Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball on Friday after it says he tested positive for a banned stimulant.

Perez, a seldom-used utility player, is hitting .172 with one home run and six RBIs in 64 at_bats in the team's first 83 games.

``The Tigers fully support Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,'' the team said in a statement.

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BoSox bring up Bailey; transfer Clement to 60-day DL
July 6th, 2007

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - The Red Sox purchased the contract of first baseman/outfielder Jeff Bailey from Triple-A Pawtucket.

To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Boston transferred pitcher Matt Clement from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

Clement, who went 5-5 with a 6.61 ERA in 12 starts last season, has been on the DL all season after undergoing right shoulder surgery in September 2006.

The 28-year-old Bailey is batting .250 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 74 games for Pawtucket this season.

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Brewers' Hall out indefinitely with severe ankle injury

Brewers place Hall on DL
July 6th, 2007

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Brewers placed outfielder Bill Hall on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a sprained right ankle.

Hall suffered the injury on Thursday when he scaled the wall in center field in an attempt to catch Ryan Doumit's home run. When Hall let go of the wall, he landed awkwardly on the ankle and fell to the ground.

He was helped off the field by two trainers, and was walking with crutches and a protective boot on his right foot in the clubhouse. X-rays taken were negative for a fracture.

Hall is hitting .271 this season with nine home runs and 38 RBI.

To take his spot, the Brewers recalled Tony Gwynn Jr. from Triple-A Nashville.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 6

Blue Jays' Johnson activated from DL
July 6th, 2007

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays recalled outfielder Reed Johnson from his rehab assignment and activated him from the 60-day disabled list on Friday.

Johnson was placed on the disabled list on April 13 (retroactive to April 12) with a herniated disk in his lower back. He had surgery on April 17th, a procedure that has kept him sidelined for nearly three months.

Prior to that Johnson appeared in seven games with Toronto this season, hitting .265 with one home run and seven RBI.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Adam Lind has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 6

Royals activate Grudzielanek
July 6, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -The Kansas City Royals activated second baseman Mark Grudzielanek from the disabled list Friday and optioned outfielder Shane Costa to Triple-A Omaha.

Grudzielanek, the 2006 Gold Glove winner, had been out since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage on June 15 - his second surgery since March.

Grudzielanek was hitting .267 with four homers and 26 RBIS in 52 games. He hasn't played since experiencing tightness in the knee against St. Louis on June 12.

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Braves place Smoltz on DL after exam shows shoulder inflammation
July 6, 2007

ATLANTA (AP) -The Atlanta Braves placed pitcher John Smoltz on the 15-day disabled list on Friday after an MRI found inflammation - but apparently no structural damage - in his right shoulder.

The Braves said the MRI also showed a ``good'' rotator cuff, and as a result Smoltz will not travel to Birmingham, Ala., to meet with Dr. James Andrews, as had been tentatively planned.

Smoltz, 40, was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 3. He will be eligible to come off the DL on July 18. He will miss Tuesday's All-Star game in San Francisco as well as Saturday's scheduled start at San Diego.

Smoltz, who has experienced persistent discomfort in the shoulder, left the team in Los Angeles on Wednesday to return to Atlanta for Friday's examination with team doctors.

On Thursday, Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt was named to replace Smoltz on the NL All-Star team.

Smoltz (9-5, 3.07 ERA) got the decision in an 8-2 loss to the Dodgers on Monday night after giving up three runs and seven hits over six innings and striking out six. He has lost three of five starts since tweaking his shoulder on May 29.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said this week he hoped to avoid putting Smoltz on the disabled list.

Left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes, who was a combined 10-1 with a 3.08 ERA in 17 starts with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Richmond, has been announced as Saturday's starter.

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