MLB News and Notes July - 22

MLB News and Notes July - 22

Baseball Today
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Sunday, July 22

Seattle at Toronto (1:07 p.m. EDT). Hard-throwing 21-year-old Felix Hernandez (6-5) takes on Toronto ace and former AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay (10-4).

STARS Saturday

-Marlon Byrd, Rangers, matched a career high with five RBIs to lead Texas to an 8-5 victory over the Indians.

-Tim Lincecum, Giants, gave up four hits and struck out eight in eight innings to win his third straight decision, 8-0 over Milwaukee.

-Brandon Inge, Tigers, hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to give Detroit a 10-8 win over Kansas City.

DODGER DOZEN

Brad Penny became the first Dodgers starter to open a season 12-1 since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Penny won his seventh straight decision Saturday, allowing four runs - three earned - and six hits in 6 1-3 innings in the 8-6 victory over the Mets. The only other pitcher to start 12-1 for the club since it left Brooklyn was reliever Phil Regan, who won 14 of his 15 decisions in 1966.

FINISHING BLOW

Brandon Inge's two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th gave Detroit a 10-8 win over Kansas City on Saturday night. Inge lined reliever Joakim Soria's first pitch over the left-field fence for his 12th homer of the season.

PEN PALS

Three Arizona relievers tossed five hitless innings to help Arizona edge the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Saturday. Juan Cruz (4-1) went three innings to earn the win, Tony Pena worked the eighth and Jose Valverde got the final three outs for his 29th save in 32 chances. ... Relievers Saul Rivera, Luis Ayala and Chad Cordero retired the final seven batters to preserve a three-hitter for starter Mike Bacsik and help Washington get past Colorado 3-0.

UNLIKELY HEROES

Andy Phillips hit a two-run single and Shelley Duncan followed with his first major league homer to cap a five-run sixth inning and help the New York Yankees beat Tampa Bay 7-3 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader Saturday.

SPEAKING

''It was a good game for seven innings. Once again the bullpen gave it up.'' - Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin, after Florida blew Saturday night's game open with an eight-run eighth inning. Cincinnati used four pitchers in the inning and lost 11-1.

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Yankees acquire C Jose Molina from Angels for minor league reliever
July 21, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Looking to bolster their bench, the New York Yankees acquired catcher Jose Molina from the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night for minor league reliever Jeff Kennard.

Molina, a defensive specialist, was batting .228 with no homers and 10 RBIs in 123 at_bats for the AL West-leading Angels, who have a surplus of catchers.

Mike Napoli returned to their lineup Friday night after missing nearly three weeks with a sprained ankle. They also like 24-year-old Jeff Mathis.

Kennard was 1-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 31 relief appearances at Double-A Trenton. The right-hander was selected in the 40th round of the 2000 draft.

The Yankees, hoping to climb back into the AL East race, were seeking a better backup for All-Star catcher Jorge Posada. Wil Nieves began the day batting .138 with no home runs and six RBIs in 58 at_bats.

The deal comes 10 days before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Molina is one of three brothers who are all major league catchers. Bengie Molina plays for the San Francisco Giants, and Yadier Molina for the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Boston DH sidelined with shoulder injury
July 21, 2007

BOSTON (AP) -David Ortiz was out of Boston's starting lineup Saturday because of a left shoulder strain that is not considered serious.

An MRI taken Saturday showed that the designated hitter, injured while diving into second base Friday night, suffered no structural damage. He was thrown out trying to stretch a single in Boston's 10-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Ortiz had played in 90 of the Red Sox previous 96 games before beginning Saturday's game against Chicago on the bench. He was listed as day-to-day.

Manny Ramirez served as designated hitter and Wily Mo Pena took Ramirez's place in left field.

Manager Terry Francona said Ortiz's condition was what the club expected Friday night.

``We thought he'd show up today and he'd be stiff and sore,'' Francona said. ``He was tested for strength and everything turned out pretty good.''

Francona, who had been ejected in the first inning, joked that he felt the impact when the 230-pound Ortiz hit the ground.

``I was on the couch in my office,'' Francona said. ``I almost fell off the couch.''

Earlier this month, Ortiz said he has been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee since the middle of last season. He said he hasn't needed surgery because the knee is not inflamed.

This season, he is hitting .321 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs.

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Astros' Oswalt to miss 1 start with injury
July 22, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Astros ace Roy Oswalt will miss his scheduled start Wednesday against the Dodgers because of soreness in his upper chest that developed Friday night in Pittsburgh.

Oswalt threw his usual between-starts bullpen session Sunday, but still felt some discomfort in cartilage located between his sternum and rib cage. He is scheduled to start again July 31 in Atlanta, meaning he would go 11 days between starts.

``If all goes well, I don't think Roy will need more than one start,'' manager Phil Garner said Sunday. ``Roy felt it a little bit today. It was a little bit better, but it's probably better this way.''

Oswalt (9-6, 3.80 ERA) leads the Astros in victories and was named to the NL All-Star team earlier this month as an injury substitute for Atlanta's John Smoltz, but did not pitch.

Despite initially feeling pain during the fifth inning Friday, Oswalt pitched into the seventh inning of Houston's 2-1 win against the Pirates. Oswalt's 107th career victory moved him past Nolan Ryan and tied him with J.R. Richard for fourth place in club history. Oswalt was a 20-game winner in 2004 and 2005 and is 64-36 over the last four seasons.

With Oswalt out, Matt Albers (2-4) will start Wednesday against Los Angeles in Houston.

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