MLB News and Notes July - 7

MLB News and Notes July - 7

Baseball Today - July 7
By Associated Press

Boston at Detroit (7:05 p.m. EDT).

Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman looks for his 10th win.

STARS

Friday

-Justin Morneau, Twins, homered three times in the second game of a doubleheader to help Minnesota sweep Chicago 20-14 and 12-0.

-Adrian Beltre, Mariners, finished 5-for-5 with two homers in Seattle's 7-1 win at Oakland.

-Kyle Lohse and Ken Griffey Jr., Reds. Lohse took a one-hit shutout into the ninth inning and Griffey Jr. tied Frank Robinson for sixth place on the career home run list in a 8-1 win over Arizona.

-Wandy Rodriguez, Astros, threw a four-hitter and Houston beat the Mets 4-0.

-Marcus Thames, Tigers, hit a grand slam to help Detroit beat Boston 9-2.

-Ryan Braun, Brewers, homered twice to lead Milwaukee to a 6-2 win over Washington.

-Buddy Carlyle, Braves, pitched a career-best eight innings, leading Atlanta past San Diego 7-4.

SOXED

Justin Morneau became the fourth Twins player to hit three home runs in a game, and Minnesota hit six in all in the nightcap to complete the sweep of a day-night doubleheader at Chicago on Friday. He became the first Twins player to hit three in a game since Tony Oliva against Kansas City on July 3, 1973, and he joined a group that also includes Bob Allison and Harmon Killebrew. The Twins won 20-14 in the opener behind Jason Kubel's seven RBIs. The 34 runs were the most since May 19, 1999, when Cincinnati beat Colorado 24-12, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

SIDELINED

Atlanta 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. 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. ... Minnesota catcher Mike Redmond suffered a large gash on his head and left the second game of Friday's day-night doubleheader after the Chicago White Sox's Jim Thome accidentally hit him with his bat.

SUSPENDED

Tigers infielder Neifi Perez became the first player penalized for testing positive for a stimulant under Major League Baseball's drug program Friday. Perez' 25-game suspension will cost him about $400,000 of his $2.5 million salary.

STREAKING

Paul Maholm improved to 4-0 in his career- 2-0 this season- against the Cubs after an 8-4 win on Friday. ... Vernon Wells homered and drove in three runs from the leadoff spot in Toronto's 8-6 win over Cleveland. He's batting .354 (17-for-48) with seven homers and 15 RBIs in 11 games at the top of the order. ... Milwaukee has homered in 15 consecutive games after going deep three times in a 6-2 win over Washington. It's the Brewers longest streak since a 19-game run in 1996. ... Eric O'Flaherty pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the win in Seattle's 7-1 win at Oakland, setting a Mariners record with six consecutive victories to start his career.

SLUMPING

The Angels have lost seven of 10 after a 14-9 setback to the New York Yankees on Friday.

SNAPPED

Texas' Eric Gagne blew his first save of the season in a 4-3, 10 inning win over Baltimore on Friday, snapping his overall streak at 30 in a row. His last blown save was on Aug. 18, 2004, against Florida as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Andruw Jones homered in Atlanta's 7-4 win at San Diego on Friday. It was Jones' ninth at Petco Park, the most by any visiting hitter at the downtown ballpark, which opened in 2004.

BOOTED

Oakland third baseman Marco Scutaro tied an AL record with four errors in a 7-1 loss at Seattle on Friday.

SPEAKING

''I think he needs a couple of days off. He didn't look like he was moving too good and I definitely think he needs tomorrow and Sunday off to get ready for the All-Star game.'' - Angels manager Mike Scioscia joking about Alex Rodriguez on Friday night. A-Rod rejoined the Yankees' lineup a day after a strained left hamstring forced him to miss his only game this year, hit career homer No. 493 that tied him with Lou Gehrig on the all-time list and helped New York to a wild 14-9 win over Los Angeles.

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Notes from Friday's AL games
July 6, 2007

MINNESOTA: Joe Mauer continues to scrape off the rust he had been carrying since his return from a five-week stint on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps. He had four hits and tied a career high with five RBIs to help the Twins beat the White Sox 20-14 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. ``Every hitter goes through slumps,'' he said. ``I felt pretty good today.'' ... OF Rondell White was in for seven innings Thursday in a Triple-A rehab game, going 2-for-4 while playing left field. ``He's doing fine,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said, adding that the Twins want White to play four nine-inning games before returning. ... The Twins' first three hitters combined to go 10-for-23 and score 12 runs in the first game.
   
CHICAGO: Mark Buehrle loaded a carton with CDs and other items in his locker before Friday's games, but the White Sox ace was still scheduled to start Saturday. So why was he packing? ``I had some extra stuff in here I need to get out of here,'' Buehrle said. ``You never know what's going to happen.'' The All-Star break and July 31 non-waiver trade deadline are approaching, and Buehrle's name has surfaced in trade speculation. His contract is up after the season. Although he and the White Sox have reportedly agreed on the length (four years) and financial terms ($56 million) of a potential extension, negotiations stalled when the White Sox refused to include a full no-trade clause. So the sight of Buehrle packing raised a few eyebrows, even though he said he was just bringing stuff home over the All-Star break. ``You can read whatever you want into it,'' he said. ``You can say I got traded now, and I'm just packing my stuff if you wanted to. I'm just getting extra stuff that I've been meaning to for a while.'' ... Manager Ozzie Guillen said RHP Jose Contreras is healthy, even though his statistics don't look too good. Contreras is 5-10 with a 5.19 ERA, and he allowed six runs in five innings during Wednesday's 9-6 loss to Baltimore. ... The White Sox placed reliever Mike MacDougal on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and activated right-hander Dewon Day (sore back).


BOSTON: 1B Jeff Bailey made his major league debut after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Pawtucket. The 28-year-old Bailey, in his 11th pro season, is an option as 1B Kevin Youkilis rests a strained hamstring. Youkilis was out of the lineup for the fourth time in five games. ``We're just trying to protect Youk,'' manager Terry Francona said. ... DH David Ortiz wasn't in the lineup, per Francona's plan. ``He's fine - it is just a day off,'' Francona said of his slugger, who has only one extra-base hit in his last 12 games. ... RHP Curt Schilling, on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, was not interested in talking about his health. ``I don't have time for that right now,'' he said before walking in the clubhouse.

DETROIT: OF Magglio Ordonez said he'll participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday night, then fellow All-Star Carlos Guillen joked about not being invited. ``I didn't make the lineup,'' the shortstop said. ``I got no pop. I'm not a BP hitter.'' ... When INF Neifi Perez was suspended for 25 games for testing positive for a stimulant, Detroit chose to purchase Ryan Raburn's contract from Triple-A Toledo because of his versatility. ``He can play center field. He can play second base and third base,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ... C Ivan Rodriguez was rested and is expected to play in the final two games of the series.


LOS ANGELES: Vladimir Guerrero will participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday in San Francisco. ... The Angels swept a three-game series at Yankee Stadium in late May. They are the only team to hold an edge over the Yankees - 58-52, going into Friday night's opener - since Joe Torre took over as New York's manager for the 1996 season. ... John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar are the first pair of Angels pitchers to win at least 10 games before the All-Star break since 1991, when Mark Langston and Chuck Finley did it. Lackey will start Saturday against Roger Clemens and the Yankees.

NEW YORK:
Johnny Damon started in left field for the first time since June 22, 2001, with Oakland. Melky Cabrera, who's been filling in for the banged-up Damon, took over in center field. ``I just want to leave Melky in center,'' manager Joe Torre said. Torre said he considered making the shift Thursday, but didn't want Damon to try it during a day game because of the tough glare from the sun. ``I'm sure left field is going to be a challenge for a little bit,'' Damon said. ``Melky has stepped up in center field. I understand.'' ... Andy Phillips was a late scratch because of a sore neck. Miguel Cairo started in his place at first base. ... Saturday is Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. Fittingly, Roger Clemens will start for the Yankees, less than a month before his 45th birthday.


CLEVELAND: C Victor Martinez made his 12th start of the season at first base and manager Eric Wedge said he would try to rest Martinez's legs by giving him another game at first base during the three-game series. The move also provided a rest for 1B Ryan Garko, who is nursing a sore elbow after being hit by a pitch from Detroit's Justin Verlander. Kelly Shoppach took over behind the plate. ... 2B Josh Barfield was rested and replaced by Mike Rouse. Barfield has played in 80 games this season, second on the team to OF Grady Sizemore (85). ... Indians pitchers entered play having allowed a major league-low 211 walks. San Diego pitchers have issued the second-fewest walks (223).

TORONTO:
OF Reed Johnson was activated from the 60-day disabled list and started in left field. Johnson batted second, behind OF Vernon Wells, who is hitting .341 with six home runs in 10 games as the leadoff hitter. OF Adam Lind was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Johnson, out since April 12 because of surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. ... 3B Troy Glaus, who left Wednesday's game after fouling a ball off his foot, will not play in the three-game series against Cleveland. Glaus has missed time with heel and hamstring pain this season. ... 1B Lyle Overbay (broken right hand) began a rehab assignment with Double-A New Hampshire. Overbay, who hasn't played since June 3, is expected to return following the All-Star break.


TAMPA BAY:
C Dioner Navarro was back with the team after a painful collision at first base with Boston pitcher Josh Beckett on Sunday that sent Navarro to the hospital. He took a blow to the jaw, and Beckett told reporters he feared Navarro's jaw was broken. ``Everything is fine. He just got me in the right spot. I got dizzy,'' Navarro said. ``Guys have been joking that it's a good thing I'm a baseball player and not a boxer.'' Raul Casanova was expected to catch the next two days and possibly on Sunday. ... Manager Joe Maddon said pitching coach Jim Hickey will probably rejoin the team on Saturday. He's been sidelined for almost two weeks after surgery to reattach the retina in his right eye.

KANSAS CITY: DH Mike Sweeney will be out at least a month following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday. ... The Royals activated 2B Mark Grudzielanek from the DL and put him in the lineup. OF Shane Costa was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. ... OF Reggie Sanders is expected to come off the DL shortly after the All-Star break. He's been out since May 3 with a left hamstring tear. ... The Royals' July 4 postgame fireworks show fizzled out because rain made some of the equipment wet, sending many fans heading for the exits feeling cheated. So everyone in attendance will get to turn in their ticket for any remaining game on the home schedule. The team and the fireworks company have apologized for the fiasco.


BALTIMORE: 3B Melvin Mora missed his fifth straight game with a bruised left instep but won't be placed on the 15-day DL. Mora isn't moving well enough to play in the field. Interim manager Dave Trembley is comfortable using Mora as a pinch hitter but not as a DH. Mora is expected back at full strength after the All-Star break. ... RHP Steve Trachsel is on schedule to begin throwing in the bullpen after the break. Trachsel is out with a strained gluteus muscle.

TEXAS:
RHP Vicente Padilla had another bullpen session and is scheduled for his first minor league rehab outings for Double-A Frisco on July 12 and 17. Manager Ron Washington said the earliest Padilla could rejoin the rotation is July 22 against Cleveland. Padilla, who began the season as the team's No. 2 starter, has been out since June 25 due to inflammation behind his right elbow. ... Bench coach Art Howe was suspended by the commissioner's office for Friday night's game and fined an undisclosed amount as punishment for an ejection on July 3. Third base coach Don Wakamatsu filled in for Howe as Washington's top adviser. Howe was tossed for arguing from the dugout with plate umpire John Hirschbeck.


SEATTLE: The Mariners activated RHP Chris Reitsma from the 15-day DL and designated righty Jason Davis for assignment. Reitsma has been on the disabled list twice since May 19 because of right elbow inflammation. He made two appearances between the stints before going back on the DL on June 11. ... OF Ichiro Suzuki hit safely in 53 of 56 games coming into Friday's game. Since Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak in 1941, only four other players (George Brett, Benito Santiago, Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter) have hit in at least 53 of 56 games, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. ... LHP Horacio Ramirez allowed one run, one hit and one walk in six innings of a rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. He will pitch again Tuesday in Peoria, Ariz.

OAKLAND: Manager Bob Geren talked to AL All-Star manager Jim Leyland on Thursday to let him know Dan Haren would be available to start the All-Star game next week. Leyland told Geren that Haren, who leads the AL with a 2.20 ERA coming into Friday, was under consideration. ``I just told him our guy can go either one inning or two innings and he appreciated that,'' Geren said. ... Both Lenny DiNardo and Joe Kennedy will be available in relief Saturday when RHP Rich Harden makes his first start since April 15. Geren said the team will decide over the All-Star break which of the two lefties will stay in the rotation when the second half starts. ... Closer Huston Street threw 30 pitches from halfway up the mound as he works his way back from irritation in his right ulnar nerve. ... 3B Eric Chavez (stiff lower back) did not start for the second straight day but hopes to be in the lineup Saturday.

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Notes from Friday's NL games
July 6, 2007

CHICAGO:
The Cubs are trying for a fifth consecutive series victory this weekend in Pittsburgh. Despite winning 11 of 13 going into the series, manager Lou Piniella welcomes the All-Star break. ``We could use a break. I think every team in baseball could use a break,'' he said. ... Cliff Floyd, removed from Thursday's game in Washington with a sore right arm, will be used only as a pinch hitter until the break. ... The Cubs are carrying 14 position positions and 11 pitchers, but Piniella said that's likely to change next week. ``We need another right-handed bat,'' he said. ``We'll probably have to rearrange our roster a little after the break.'' ... As Piniella talked with reporters Friday, his office phone rang. When he answered, he looked up and said, ``My wife's giving me the lineup for the day.''

PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke won't throw for a couple of weeks as he waits for his aching left elbow to calm down. After tests conducted by the Pirates' doctors revealed irritation in his ulnar collateral ligament, Duke sought a second opinion Friday from orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. His findings were nearly the same, according to the Pirates. ... Rookie RHP John Van Benschoten faces the Cubs for the first time in his career Saturday.


MILWAUKEE: The Brewers placed OF Bill Hall on the 15-day disabled list Friday, a day after he sustained a high right ankle sprain leaping for a Ryan Doumit home run in Pittsburgh. ``It could be anywhere from two to six weeks - we just don't know,'' manager Ned Yost said. ``Hopefully, he's a quick healer.'' OF Tony Gwynn Jr. was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Hall's spot on the roster. ... 1B Prince Fielder, whose 27 homers lead the National League, will participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday as part of the All-Star game festivities in San Francisco. Fielder is the fifth Brewer to compete, following Greg Vaughn (1996), Jeromy Burnitz (1999), Richie Sexson (2002-03) and Carlos Lee (2005).

WASHINGTON: LHP Ross Detwiler, the sixth overall selection in last month's first-year player draft, signed a contract on Friday that includes a $2.15 million bonus. Detwiler, out of Missouri State, is the highest pick from this year's draft to sign and will report Saturday to the Gulf Coast League Nationals in Viera, Fla. ``You can't get up to the major leagues if you're not playing at all,'' he said. ``I didn't want to waste the 2007 season. I didn't' like sitting at home.'' ... Injured 1B Nick Johnson, who has missed the entire season while recovering from a broken right leg, will undergo a nerve test in New York during the All-Star break to determine the cause of persistent pain in his right hip. ``I don't want it to keep lingering on. ... I want to see why the pain in there,'' Johnson said.


ARIZONA: OF Jeff Salazar was happy to start his first game after being recalled Friday. ``It's better this way than sitting around for a couple of days ,'' said Salazar, who was recalled from Triple-A Tucson and started in right field. ``Then you can start thinking about things. I guess they want to catch you before you get into your own head.'' ... OF Carlos Quentin was optioned to Tucson to make room for Salazar. Quentin hit .210 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 66 games. ``We need to give Carlos a break,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ``He puts a lot of pressure on himself. We told him he's still our right fielder.'' ... Even though Mark Reynolds went 2-for-3 Thursday, 3B Chad Tracy returned to the starting lineup after getting Thursday off. ``It was difficult not to start Mark,'' Melvin admitted.

CINCINNATI: Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang will start the first two games of the Reds' four-game series at New York after the All-Star break, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday. Matt Belisle, Kyle Lohse and Homer Bailey will follow. ``You always want to go with your best guys and give them as many starts as you can,'' Mackanin said, adding that he wanted to avoid matching Bailey - who is slow to the plate - against the Mets' speed. ... LHP Bill Bray is scheduled to pitch two innings for Triple-A Louisville on Saturday. Bray has missed the entire season with injuries to his left index finger and shoulder. ... Mackanin said he plans to keep C Javier Valentin sharp by giving him at least three starts every week.


NEW YORK:
Mets' 23-year-old pitcher Mike Pelfrey hasn't fared well in his time in the majors this season, but manager Willie Randolph believes he'll figure things out. ``He's young,'' Randolph said. ``He's learning. He's got a long way to go. He's trying to find his way.'' He isn't concerned that too many early losses will hinder his development. ``I think he's tough enough that he sees this as a growing experience,'' Randolph said. ``He's a sharp kid, he just needs to settle in and trust his stuff.'' ... Mets prospect Lastings Milledge played for Double-A Binghamton Thursday night in his fourth game since spraining his right foot in a game with Triple-A New Orleans on April 23. He went 2-for-5 with a solo homer. ... Randolph celebrated his 53rd birthday on Friday.

HOUSTON:
Astros reliever Brad Lidge will not come off the disabled list before the All-Star break, manager Phil Garner said Friday. Lidge has been out since June 16 because of a pulled oblique muscle and was eligible to come off the DL last Saturday. Garner said the break should be a good time for him to ``see how he feels.'' He will likely make an appearance with Double-A Corpus Christi since Triple-A Round Rock will also be having its All-Star break. ... Garner said he doesn't think the Astros are in the market to give up any players as the trade deadline approaches. ``We're not in the mode of selling,'' Garner said. ``We're looking at ways to improve the team this year. We want to win. We want to win now.'' ... Several Astros players had difficulty getting to Minute Maid Park Friday due to heavy storms and flooding in the area. They all eventually made it, but some said it took hours to make the trip that normally takes just minutes.


SAN FRANCISCO: RHP Vinnie Chulk might stay on the bereavement list until after the All-Star break. He traveled to Florida earlier in the week to support his father through heart surgery. His dad came out of it OK, according to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, but Chulk could opt to stay with his family rather than join the team for its final three games before the break. ... LHP Jonathan Sanchez, nursing a rib cage strain on his left side, played light catch and felt no pain. He made 15 throws and plans to increase that Saturday. ... Backup C Eliezer Alfonzo, on the 60-day DL recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, hopes to begin some light running after the All-Star break. ... Injured RHP Russ Ortiz (strained forearm) threw a bullpen session Thursday and is slated to pitch another side Sunday, working in some of his off-speed stuff. He injured himself throwing a slider, so Sunday will be a good test.

ST. LOUIS:
Manager Tony La Russa said Albert Pujols' 19-game home run slump is a non-issue with him, and wonders why it's news given that Pujols was batting .312, tied for the team lead with 16 homers and had 51 RBIs. ``Actually it's one of those irritating things that gets brought up,'' La Russa said. ``Here is a guy who's been the most consistent producer he's been all year long and all of a sudden somebody points out a negative because of no home runs.'' ... UT Scott Spiezio, who hasn't played since June 26 because of an infection in his left index finger, was out of the lineup for the ninth straight game. But La Russa said Spiezio could see some action this weekend. ... Closer Jason Isringhausen had an 0.50 ERA, allowing one earned run in 18 innings in 16 home games, after picking up saves on Wednesday and Thursday. ... LHP Randy Flores had allowed 14 of 22 inherited runners to score, a number that La Russa said ``has got to be improved.''


PHILADELPHIA: RHP Tom Gordon will make his second appearance Monday on a rehab assignment at Single-A Clearwater. ``He had good velocity Thursday,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ... Manuel planned to use C Carlos Ruiz on either Saturday or Sunday. ``It's because of what Chris Coste has done,'' Manuel said. ``Chris has handled our pitchers well and swung the bat well.'' ... Manuel watched Wednesday's Rockies-New York Mets game when Colorado had 17 runs and 20 hits. ``I thought Colorado was using regular balls and the Mets were hitting the humidor balls,'' he said.

COLORADO: 2B Jamey Carroll has been cleared to play after spraining his right wrist before Tuesday's game with the Mets. ``I could have used him in some capacity on Wednesday,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ... The Rockies have been on a roller coaster emotionally, winning once on a 10-game road trip before sweeping a three-game home series from the Mets. ``It was a really bad trip, really bad and we followed it up with one our better series,'' Hurdle said. ``You can let yourself get too low or too high in this game.'' ... OF Cory Sullivan and his wife Bresee became parents for the first time.


FLORIDA: 2B Dan Uggla will be inducted into the Class-A Lancaster JetHawks' Hall of Fame on Aug. 18, joining Dodgers CF Juan Pierre - a 2004 inductee. Uggla will be presented with his Hall of Fame plaque in front of the Marlins' dugout before Saturday night's game at Dodger Stadium by the family he lived with while he played there. The presentation will be videotaped and played at the actual induction ceremony. ... Entering Friday night's game at Los Angeles, the bullpen had allowed one unearned run in 11 innings and totaled 14 strikeouts over the previous four games. RHP Justin Miller has given up one run in 11 2-3 innings over his last 12 appearances, and has retired his first batter in 22 of 24 outings.

LOS ANGELES:
The Dodgers signed 42-year-old RHP Roberto Hernandez to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. The 17-year veteran, who was 3-1 with 6.23 ERA in 28 games this season with Cleveland, was designated for assignment on June 20 and placed on waivers eight days later for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. ... LHP Joe Beimel returned to the clubhouse and was cleared to pitch after being hospitalized for two days with heart palpitations. ``They don't know what caused it. They think it was something electrical that happened in there,'' Beimel said. ``I found out a cousin of mine had it two weeks ago, and they had to shock his heart to get it back to normal. That's what I ended up having. They gave me medication, but it didn't work. I can't say I really that scared about it, just because the doctors told me what it was.'' ... RHP Brad Penny should be good to go in next Tuesday's All-Star game after working up a callus that led to a water blister in Thursday's start. ``They feel like he'll be fine,'' manager Grady Little said. ``They're treating it and they'll have it well under control. It's something that may cut him back from two innings to one inning in an All-Star situation. We would recommend he didn't pitch if we thought it would affect anything after the break, but we don't feel that way about this.''


ATLANTA: The Braves placed pitcher John Smoltz on the 15-day DL after an MRI found inflammation - but apparently no structural damage - in his right shoulder. The move was retroactive to July 3 and he'll be eligible to be activated on July 18. He will miss Tuesday's All-Star game in San Francisco. ... LHP 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, is scheduled to start in Smoltz's place against the Padres on Saturday, when he'll make his big league debut. Reyes is from Riverside, Calif. ``I met his parents in Los Angeles,'' manager Bobby Cox said. ``I knew we were considering this but I couldn't tell them for sure. The kid's really doing well.'' ... Cox loves coming to San Diego's Petco Park. ``Oh man, what's better, this ballpark or the weather?'' Cox said. ``I'd take that combination. It's really nice, boy oh boy.''

SAN DIEGO: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, mired in a 4-for-47 slump since June 23, got the night off and was replaced by Geoff Blum. Gonzalez will more than likely be back in the lineup for Saturday afternoon's game. Gonzalez's average has dropped from .294 to .265. ... Relief pitcher Doug Brocail (strained gluteus) was eligible to come off the DL, but will get at least one more day. ... OF Milton Bradley, on the DL with an oblique strain, continues to hit from both sides of the plate in batting practice. Manager Bud Black said there's a chance Bradley could be activated before the All-Star break.

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Mariners activate Reitsma, designate Davis
July 6, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Seattle Mariners activated right-hander Chris Reitsma from the 15-disabled list Friday and designated righty Jason Davis for assignment.

Reitsma has been on the disabled list twice since May 19 because of right elbow inflammation. He made two appearances between the stints before going back on the DL on June 11.

Reitsma had pitched well before the injury with an 0-1 record and 2.87 ERA through his first 15 outings. He gave up seven runs in three innings in three outings after that has a 5.79 ERA for the season. He will be slotted back into the setup role for the Mariners.

``He's a veteran. He can throw the breaking ball behind in the count,'' manager John McLaren said. ``He has closed before so I think it's a good role for him.''

Davis was 2-0 with a 6.31 ERA in 16 relief appearances since being acquired from Cleveland on May 13. The Mariners cut ties with him because they wanted to keep three lefties in the bullpen.

The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or send Davis to the minors. McLaren hopes they will be able to keep the 6-foot-6 pitcher in the organization.

``He's a kid with a high ceiling,'' McLaren said. ``Like I told him, my experience has been that tall pitchers take longer to come with so many moving parts and so many things that can break down. I think he will figure it out one day and be a productive major league pitcher. He has a really good arm.''

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A's activate Calero from DL, option Braden to minors
July 6, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Oakland Athletics activated right-hander Kiko Calero from the 15-day disabled list Friday and optioned lefty Dallas Braden to Triple-A Sacramento.

Calero had been sidelined since June 17 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. He is 1-4 with a 6.39 ERA in 31 relief appearances with the A's this year.

Braden made three relief appearances since being recalled from Sacramento on June 25, allowing two runs in four innings. He is 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA in seven games overall with the A's this season.

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Blue Jays activate Johnson, demote Lind.
July 6, 2007

TORONTO (AP)-The Toronto Blue Jays activated outfielder Reed Johnson from the 60-day disabled list before Friday's game against Cleveland and optioned outfielder Adam Lind to Triple-A Syracuse.

Johnson has been sidelined since April 12 after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

The 30-year-od Johnson set career highs in seven offensive categories last season, including average (.319) and home runs (12).

``He's going to give us a boost,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ``He always has.''

Toronto's projected leadoff hitter at the start of the season, Johnson batted in the two hole Friday, behind center fielder Vernon Wells. Wells is batting .341 with six homers in 10 games batting leadoff.

The 23-year-old Lind batted .230 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs in 73 games while Johnson was injured.

``He did a nice job for us,'' Gibbons said. ``Right now he needs to go down and play some more.''

Third baseman Troy Glaus, who left Wednesday's game after fouling a ball off his left foot, will not play this weekend, the Blue Jays said. Glaus, who has missed time this season with heel and hamstring soreness, will get seven consecutive days off if he rests through the all-star break.

``The doc said a week off should do him wonders,'' Gibbons said.

John McDonald and Howie Clark will split time at third base in Glaus' absence.

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Fuentes to miss All-Star game with arm injury
July 7, 2007

DENVER (AP) -Brian Fuentes, who lost his job as Colorado's closer after blowing four straight saves, will miss the All-Star game because of a strained back muscle.

Fuentes said he felt discomfort in the left latissimus dorsi after some mop-up work at Houston on Sunday and was extra sore after his scoreless inning of work Tuesday night against the New York Mets at Coors Field.

``I thought I'd give it a day and I came back the next day and it was still sore,'' Fuentes said Friday night. ``So, we're just day-to-day right now.''

He said the injury wasn't related to his poor performance on the Rockies' trip.

``No, it had nothing to do with that,'' he said.

Fuentes, who saved 20 of his first 22 games, won't be available until sometime after the All-Star break. He said he'll still make the trip to San Francisco for the All-Star game.

``I wouldn't miss that for anything,'' said Fuentes, who was named to his third straight All-Star game in balloting that concluded before his bad stretch of games cost him his closer job.

Yet, he said he didn't want to push things and endanger his recovery.

``I'll just take more of a cautious route. What happens here is a little more important than the All-Star game. Not that it's not important, but we've got to look toward the second half and get me 100 percent more so than maybe pushing me a little bit just to pitch in the All-Star game,'' Fuentes said.

Fuentes expects to regain his role as the Rockies' closer after the break.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 7

Padres activate Bradley
July 7, 2007

SAN DIEGO (AP) -Milton Bradley was discussing his pending debut with the San Diego Padres when fellow outfielder Mike Cameron walked into the clubhouse and hollered, ``M.B. in the building!''

The Padres are hoping for a spark from Bradley, who was activated Saturday from his fourth trip to the disabled list this season.

Bradley started in left field and batted fifth Saturday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves.

``I just want to get acclimated and become part of this team and get out there and play,'' Bradley said. ``Guys have been asking when I'm going to get out there. I just get out there and do something.''

Bradley, known as much for his volatile behavior as his baseball skills, was obtained June 29 from Oakland, along with cash, in exchange for minor league pitcher Andrew Brown. He joined the Padres two days later in Los Angeles, but was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left oblique. The move was retroactive to June 21, the day the A's cut ties with him by designating him for assignment.

The Padres monitored the switch-hitter's progress in batting practice through the week. Bradley had no problems batting right-handed, but was a little tentative batting left-handed.

``As the week wore on, the discomfort lessened to the point where he felt as though he was ready to play,'' manager Bud Black said. ``In these situations where really the player truly knows how he feels, I told Milton to be as honest with me as possible and he goes, 'I will be.' Last night after batting practice we spoke in my office and he said, 'I'm ready. Let's go.'''

Limited to 65 at_bats this season with the A's, Bradley was hitting .292 with two homers and seven RBIs going into Saturday.

``He's shown in his career that he's an offensive force,'' Black said. ``He has power, he has speed. I think he does have an intensity through his at_bats that I think is going to help our club. He's a guy that has hit in the middle of the order and he's going to hit in the middle of our order, and we think that he's going to be productive.''

Bradley said the oblique strain is ``probably going to be something that I'm going to feel for the next month or so. I've dealt with the same thing last year.''

Cameron thinks the addition of Bradley will be good for the Padres, who have struggled offensively.

``We've got to give him some time to get settled, get comfortable,'' Cameron said. ``Some guys take a little bit, some guys don't. Hopefully he gets comfortable and just let him do his thing.''

While with Los Angeles, Bradley was suspended for the final five games of the 2004 season when he slammed a plastic bottle at the feet of a fan in the box seats in the right field corner at Dodger Stadium after someone threw it on the field. Nobody was injured.

In 2005, he accused Dodgers teammate Jeff Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players.

To make room for Bradley, the Padres put left fielder Terrmel Sledge on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 28, with a sprained right thumb. Sledge was hurt diving for a ball at San Francisco on June 27.

San Diego also activated right-handed reliever Doug Brocail, who had been on the DL with a strained left gluteus. To make room, left-hander Justin Hampson was optioned to Triple-A Portland.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 7

Reds put Castro on DL
July 7th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Reds placed infielder Juan Castro on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with a sprained right elbow. The move is retroactive to July 6.

Castro is batting just .180 with five RBI in 52 games this season.

Also, the team optioned right-hander Marcus McBeth to Triple-A Louisville and designated pitcher Ricky Stone for assignment.

To fill the roster spots, the team recalled right-hander Kirk Saarloos and infielder Jeff Keppinger from Louisville and activated right-hander Jared Burton from the 15-day DL.

Saarloos is 0-4 with a 7.04 ERA in 22 games with Cincinnati this season. Keppinger had two singles in eight at-bats with the Reds, while Burton, who was sidelined since June 12 with back spasms, is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA in 8 2/3 innings over 11 appearances.

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