MLB News and Notes August - 3

MLB News and Notes August - 3

Marlins' right-hander Johnson to have Tommy John surgery
August 2nd, 2007

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Florida Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson will undergo season-ending "Tommy John" surgery on Friday and will miss the remainder of the season.

Johnson, who is facing a recovery period of 12 to 18 months, made just four starts for Florida this year after tying for the team lead with 12 wins in 2006.

He was 0-3 with a 7.47 ERA in just 15 2/3 innings this season.

Johnson opened the season on the disabled list due to an irritated ulnar nerve. He was activated on June 18, but was ineffective in four starts before heading back to the DL on July 5 with what the team called a "right forearm strain."

Johnson then tossed three scoreless innings in a rehab assignment for Class A Jupiter on July 25, but had continued discomfort in the elbow. He was examined by team physician Dr. Dan Kanell on July 26, before a visit with renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews confirmed the need for ligament replacement surgery.

Johnson is the second Florida pitcher to undergo surgery in the past two months. Anibal Sanchez, who tossed a no-hitter last season, had a torn labrum in his right shoulder operated on in June.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 3

Notes from Thursday's games
August 2, 2007

BALTIMORE: RF Nick Markakis' error Thursday was his first since last Aug. 15, a span of 148 games. ... Jeremy Guthrie remained unbeaten in four starts. He allowed three runs on nine hits and a season-high four walks in 5 1-3 innings, striking out three. He is 5-0 with a 2.51 ERA on the road. ... Brian Roberts has a nine-game hitting streak.

BOSTON: LF Manny Ramirez drove in the 1,585th run of his career, passing Rogers Hornsby and Harmon Killebrew and moving into 32nd place. ... RF J.D. Drew was a late scratch from the Boston lineup and was replaced by Eric Hinske. Drew ran for Hinske in the seventh. ... The Red Sox shifted their rotation so Josh Beckett will start on Sunday and Curt Schilling will return from the DL on Monday. ... RHP Tim Wakefield has a decision in all 22 starts this season. Pitching on his 41st birthday, he earned his 150th win with Boston. ... Eric Gagne's No. 83 is the second-highest uniform number ever issued by the team. J.T. Snow wore No. 84 last year.


TEXAS: Eric Gagne's trade to Boston has left the Rangers without a closer, but not without candidates for the job. For now, manager Ron Washington will use a combination of LHP C.J. Wilson and RHP Joaquin Benoit to finish games. Wilson has gone 2-for-2 in save tries since Gagne was dealt. ``He has come in and pounded the strike zone,'' Washington said. Wilson hasn't given up a run in his last 10 outings (9 1-3 innings) with 12 strikeouts. ... The Rangers have been shut out six times. ... SS Michael Young went 2-for-4 with a double in Thursday's loss and is batting .443 (27-for-61) with seven RBIs in his last 14 games. ... Since starting the season 9-24 on the road, the Rangers are 12-11 away from Arlington, Texas.

CLEVELAND: Travis Hafner, stuck in a season-long slump, was rested Thursday as the Indians faced a left-handed starter. On Wednesday, Hafner was dropped to fifth in the batting order as manager Eric Wedge tried something new to shake his DH out of a funk. Hafner came into the series finale in a 6-for-43 slide and is batting just .223 since April 23. ``I just have not been as consistent as I need to be,'' said Hafner, who signed a $57 million contract extension last month. ``It's frustrating when you miss pitches that you know you should handle, pitches that I've handled in the past.'' ... OF Grady Sizemore found himself in a new location: the bench. With Hafner out, Wedge used Sizemore as his DH for the first time this season. ``It's different,'' Sizemore said. ``It's nothing I'm accustomed to. I tried to find ways to stay in the game. I went back and rode the bike so I wouldn't be pacing in the dugout.''


CHICAGO: By the end of Thursday's 13-9 win over New York, manager Ozzie Guillen was down to a spare catcher on his bench, having replaced three fielders already. DH Jim Thome left due to back spasms, 3B Alex Cintron had an upset stomach and Darin Erstad hurt himself when he fell down after hitting the ball on a fly out to center. He had leg cramps, and could play Friday in Detroit, as could Cintron. Guillen said Thome would rest. ``The bullpen did a tremendous job and I'm glad it ended when it did,'' Guillen said. ``I didn't have anybody left on the bench. ... Jermaine Dye, who had had two homers and two doubles for the first game of his career with four extra-base hits, has nine HRs since the All-Star break. He went 4-for-5 Thursday to raise his average since the break to .379. ... The White Sox bullpen, which entered Thursday with an ERA of 5.92, pitched 7 2-3 innings and allowed just one run. ... Chicago was outscored in the series 33-17.

NEW YORK: The Yankees hit .348 (39-for-112) in three games against the White Sox, and had 15 homers. ... Alex Rodriguez has been cheered wildly every time he came to the plate, even before he ended a career-long streak of 22 hitless at_bats with an RBI single in the second. ``The fans have been awesome,'' Rodriguez said. ... Wilson Betemit did Shelley Duncan one better. While Duncan homered three times in his first two games with the Yankees, Betemit did it in his first at bat. A day after making his debut at 3B in the ninth inning, Betemit started at SS in place of Derek Jeter, and homered his first time up. Naturally, he got a curtain call. ... C Jorge Posada was hurt in a collision at the plate with Danny Richar to end the eighth. He was removed for Jose Molina in the bottom half, but said he was fine and would most likely play Friday.


LOS ANGELES: IF Erick Aybar began an injury rehab assignment with Salt Lake. He played five innings and went 1-for-4 with an RBI. ... RHP Ervin Santana continues to progress with Salt Lake. He got the win Wednesday night despite allowing six runs on 13 hits in six innings, with seven strikeouts and one walk. ``I know his linescore doesn't look great but he has to get out there,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``He has to re-establish that command with his fastball and then fold his other pitches in. It's a process. It's less mechanical than a confidence issue with Ervin. He needs to work through things. It hasn't been easy for him but he knows why he's there.'' ... Scioscia said there's a kind of rivalry between the Angels and A's, though it's not as intense as some around baseball. ``For a long time they've carried the banner of our division,'' said Scioscia, a member of the World Champion 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers that beat the A's in five games. ``We've had some recent success but they always seem to be there at the end.''

OAKLAND:
3B Eric Chavez was out of the lineup for the 14th time in the last 17 days. But there may be some good news. Manager Bob Geren said Chavez hit in the cage and performed other ``baseball activities.'' ... RHP Esteban Loaiza started his third game for Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday night, tossing a three-hitter over 4 2-3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts in his best effort yet. He threw 61 pitches. ``He did OK,'' Geren said. ``He still has to build up his velocity and his pitch count.'' Loaiza is scheduled to pitch for the RiverCats on Monday against the Oklahoma RedHawks. ... Friday night's promotion in Sacramento is ``Bob Geren Bobblehead Day,'' to the first 3,000 fans. ... LHP Lenny DiNardo is currently on the first winning streak of his career having won two straight decisions. ... Former A's All-Star RHP Dave Stewart presented OF Mark Kotsay with a community service award, named after Stewart, in a pre-game ceremony.


ST. LOUIS: RHP Joel Pineiro threw a sideline session Thursday in Pittsburgh and assuming he experiences no following difficulties, is on track to make his St. Louis debut Saturday in Washington. Pineiro joined the Cardinals on Wednesday a day after being acquired from the Red Sox organization for a player to be named and cash. ... OF Skip Schumaker tied for the second-best average among all NL players for July (.435) - but he was optioned to Triple-A on the first day of August to make room for Pineiro. ... August got off to an inauspicious start for the Cardinals with a 15-1 loss Wednesday. But St. Louis has the league's top winning percentage for August (.606) since 2000.

PITTSBURGH: RHP Matt Morris was spotted with a Pirates media guide after joining his new teammates Thursday. ``I just wanted to brush up on my history, you know?'' Morris said with a laugh. Morris was traded from the Giants, one of the more veteran teams in the majors, to Pittsburgh, a roster spotted with players without much experience. ``I've never been traded before so just to pack up and get to a new team and meet everybody, it's been kind of overwhelming,'' Morris said. ``You get a little more comfortable once you get into the clubhouse and start meeting the guys.'' Morris is scheduled to make his Pirates debut Saturday. ... Manager Jim Tracy would not commit to who would hold onto the fifth starter spot now that Morris has joined the team. RHP Tony Armas had a solid outing Wednesday and LHP Shane Youman allowed three runs in five innings on Thursday, and Tracy indicated one would be removed from the rotation and join the bullpen.


CINCINNATI: LHP Phil Dumatrait was recalled from Triple-A Louisville and started Thursday night in his major league debut. He's the seventh player to make his first big league appearance with the Reds in 2007. ... INF Juan Castro will have season-ending reconstructive right elbow surgery Tuesday. Castro has a partially torn ligament. He hopes to be ready to play by spring training.

WASHINGTON:
RHP John Patterson played catch Thursday after returning from a trip to Toronto for some unorthodox treatment on a bothersome nerve in his pitching arm. ``I really just have one comment, and the comment is basically that I feel good. I feel great. It's the best I've felt in two years, and the treatment was a success,'' said Patterson, 1-5 with a 7.47 ERA. GM Jim Bowden said Patterson, on the DL since May 6, will head to Florida in the next week to continue his throwing program. ... 1B Nick Johnson, who hasn't played all season as he rehabs a broken right leg, worked out before Thursday's game. Manager Manny Acta said Johnson still has problems running. Asked whether he thinks Johnson will play in 2007, Bowden said: ``I can't answer that yet. I think he's making progress, and I know he's working hard.''


HOUSTON:
RF Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer in the third inning, the fourth straight game that he has homered. ... RHP Brandon Backe made his first rehab start - Thursday night for Double-A Corpus Christi - since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Sept. 7, 2006. ``He's looked good to me the whole while. His delivery looks good even though his control was off a little bit,'' manager Phil Garner said before his start. He hopes Backe can throw 30-40 pitches. Backe has a 19-14 career record with a 4.71 ERA. ... LHP Trever Miller has not allowed a run in his last 13 outings, a span of 10 1-3 innings. ... Before the game, Atlanta GM John Schuerholz and manager Bobby Cox presented a $3,000 check to Astros 2B Craig Biggio for his charity, ``Sunshine Kids.'' Biggio got his 3,000th hit earlier this season. ``We appreciate the way he played. We were glad to do it,'' said Schuerholz.

ATLANTA: The Braves, who released 1B Julio Franco on Wednesday, said they would like to have the 48-year-old him back in the organization as a coach or player-coach if another team does not pick him up. ... With the addition of 1B Mark Teixeira to the lineup, hitting fourth, manager Bobby Cox was asked how he liked his lineup. ``It's not going to go double figures (all the time). Some nights we're not going to score a bunch.'' Entering Thursday, the Braves had won three straight, scoring 38 runs. He also had 2B Kelly Johnson, a .297 hitter with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in 101 games. ``I like him leading off or hitting second, but that's how it goes,'' Cox said. LF Willie Harris led off and was hitting .327 with a team-high 16 steals. Edgar Renteria is the No. 2 hitter and he's hitting .337. ... RHP Tim Hudson has pitched nine times this season following an Atlanta loss and the Braves have gone 8-1. Hudson is 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA in those games.


NEW YORK: The Mets purchased the contract of RHP Brian Lawrence from Triple-A New Orleans. A few hours later he was the winning pitcher in New York's 12-4 victory over the Brewers in his first major league appearance since Sept. 29, 2005. ... New York sent down catcher Mike DiFelice, who was brought up from New Orleans on July 26. ... Damion Easley drove in two runs with an inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning. The ball got by diving centerfielder Bill Hall and ricocheted off the wall to allow him to circle the bases. It was his second inside-the-park homer. Asked if he was tired afterward, the 37-year-old said. ``Yeah. That's a long run.''

MILWAUKEE: Even after losing 12-4 Thursday to the Mets, 1B Prince Fielder isn't worried about the slumping Brewers. Asked what needs to be changed, Fielder said, ``I don't think anything. I think we're playing fine, we're playing hard. That's all you can do.'' The club has lost 10 of its last 14 games to allow Chicago to replace Milwaukee atop the Central Division. ... 3B Ryan Braun was named NL Player of the Month for July after hitting 11 home runs and driving in 24 runs. He took rookie honors for the month to become the first player to ever win both monthly accolades.


PHILADELPHIA: Pat Burrell was 3-for-4 with his second homer of the series and he's feasted on Cubs' pitching this season: 11-for-23 with two doubles, four homers and seven RBIs. ... RHP Kyle Lohse wanted to give the second inning a try in his Phillies' debut after being hit with a line drive in the first. Then his forearm began to swell. ``It just kept getting bigger and bigger. It was like a golf ball or half a baseball,'' he said. ... The Phils got good production from the lower half of their order. Batters 6-9 went 11-for-18 with three doubles, a homer and three RBIs with nine runs scored. ... Lohse became the 26th pitcher used by the Phillies this season, one shy of the club record set in 2000. ... The Phillies won the season series with the Cubs 4-3.

CHICAGO:
Rocky Cherry pitched a career-high 2 1-3 innings, allowing no runs and two hits and then was told after the game he was being optioned to Triple-A Iowa. His roster spot will be taken by RHP Kerry Wood, who will officially be activated off the DL before Friday's game. ... The Cubs' bullpen had thrown 21 2-3 innings of scoreless relief before Will Ohman gave up three runs in the ninth. ... Manager Lou Piniella is looking for some relief for his relievers, saying that his starters need to go longer into games. Sean Marshall lasted just 2 2-3 innings and Rich Hill didn't get out of the fifth on Wednesday night. ``We probably need Hill more than the other guys to kick it in and pitch deeper in these games,'' Piniella said. He said his bullpen is a bit spent with the Cubs in the middle of a stretch of 20 straight games without an off day.


ARIZONA: The D-Backs' top prospect, Justin Upton, was called up Thursday and made his big league debut when he came in to play right field in the eighth. He fouled out leading off the ninth. ... Upton, the No. 1 overall pick in the June 2005 draft, is scheduled to start in RF at Los Angeles on Friday. ... At 19 years, 342 days, he became the youngest player to appear in a game with the Diamondbacks. Edgar Gonzalez had been the youngest, at 20 years, 98 days on June 1, 2003.

SAN DIEGO: Wally Joyner arrived in San Diego at 1:30 a.m. Thursday after a 10-hour drive from Utah, got a little bit of sleep and then began his new job as the Padres' hitting coach. San Diego responded with four homers in the 11-0 win over Arizona. ``I haven't had an impact. I don't think the guys know I'm here yet,'' Joyner joked. ``As they started getting more hits, I got out farther and farther so people could see I was there. It's a great group of guys. I've known them with my time in spring training and I'm excited about having a chance to work with them.'' He replaced Merv Rettenmund, who was fired on Tuesday.


COLORADO: LHP Brian Fuentes (strained back) felt good following a bullpen session Wednesday in Denver and is scheduled for another session Saturday, manager Clint Hurdle said. ``That was a good step forward for him,'' Hurdle said. ... RHP Rodrigo Lopez (strained right flexor tendon) went on the DL Thursday, retroactive to July 27. ... Willy Taveras' three steals Wednesday were the most by a Colorado player since Juan Pierre had three on June 12, 2002. ... The 16 strikeouts by Rockies hitters were their most in a nine-inning game since they had 16 on May 22, 2003. The club record is 17.

FLORIDA: With an RBI single Wednesday, backup C Matt Treanor improved his average over his past 20 games to .375 (24-for-64). ``I don't want to be in the lineup just to be in the lineup,'' Treanor said. ``I want to contribute.'' ... The 16 strikeouts by Marlins pitchers were their most in a nine-inning game since July 21, 2002. The club record is 17.


SAN FRANCISCO: 2B Ray Durham (back tightness), INF Rich Aurilia (right hamstring strain) and 1B Ryan Klesko (sore lower back) all were held out of the starting lineup after sustaining the injuries on Wednesday. C Bengie Molina also sat out to rest. Manager Bruce Bochy hopes some of his beat-up players will return for Friday's series opener at San Diego. ... RHP Russ Ortiz is scheduled to leave Friday for his rehab start Saturday at Triple-A Fresno. He will go 75-80 pitches. The Giants haven't announced their starter for Saturday's game against the Padres, because the club must make a roster move to call up the starter. ... When the Dodgers' Mark Hendrickson and Giants rookie Tim Lincecum pitched for their clubs Wednesday night, it marked a former Washington State pitcher in Hendrickson and a Washington Husky in Lincecum. Both are natives of the state. ``It was the Apple Cup,'' Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said with a smile.

LOS ANGELES: 2B Jeff Kent sat out his third straight game Thursday because of a strained hamstring. Manager Grady Little was doubtful about playing Kent on Friday when the Dodgers open a three-game series at San Diego. ``We're not going to put him back out there until there's no chance of re-injury,'' he said. ... RHP Scott Proctor made his debut in the seventh inning Wednesday night, tossing one pitch a day after being traded by the New York Yankees. ``We'll give him one more than one pitch before we judge him,'' Little said, smiling. ... 3B Nomar Garciaparra's two-run homer Wednesday gave him 54 RBIs, most in the NL among players with five homers or less and second-most in the majors behind Texas' Michael Young (58).

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 3

Baseball Today - August 3
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Arizona at L.A. Dodgers (10:40 p.m. EDT). The NL West-leading Diamondbacks open a key series against the second-place Dodgers.

STARS

Thursday

-Jermaine Dye, White Sox, homered twice and doubled twice, including a go-ahead drive that led the Chicago White Sox to a 13-9 victory over the New York Yankees.

- Jake Peavy and Morgan Ensberg, Padres. Peavy struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings to pass 1,000 for his career and Ensberg hit two two-run homers in an 11-0 rout of Arizona.

-Jayson Werth, Phillies, had three hits and four RBIs to help beat the Chicago Cubs 10-6.

-Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, had three hits and drove in three runs, powering Washington past Cincinnati 7-3.

-David Wright, Mets, had four hits - including a home run - and New York beat Milwaukee 12-4.

-Jason Jennings, Astros, came through with a pinch-hit, two-out RBI single in the 14th inning to give Houston a 12-11 win over Atlanta.

GAME ON

This weekend's four-game series between Cleveland and Minnesota will be played as scheduled at the Metrodome, despite the fatal freeway bridge collapse near downtown on Wednesday night. The Twins postponed Thursday afternoon's game against Kansas City because of the disaster that occurred about a half-mile from the stadium.

CRAZY EIGHTS

The Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees each scored eight runs in the second inning of the White Sox's 13-9 win on Thursday. It was only the second time in major league history both teams scored eight or more in an inning. The first was on May 8, 2004, when visiting Detroit got eight and Texas had 10 in the fifth inning of the Rangers' 16-15, 10-inning win. The 16 runs combined were a record for a second inning, two more than the previous mark.

SNAPPED

Jake Westbrook ended the longest winless stretch of his career just in time for slumping Cleveland, who stopped a four-game losing skid with a 5-0 victory over Texas on Thursday. Westbrook (2-6) picked up his first win since April 27 - a span of nine starts - by allowing five hits in six innings. ... After going 30 games without a homer, Vladimir Guerrero hit two in consecutive at-bats in the Los Angeles Angels' 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Guerrero ended the longest power dry spell of his career, which lasted 125 at-bats, with two tremendous shots into the bleachers in left-center field off Chad Gaudin. His last home run was on June 23, against Pittsburgh, but he won the Home Run Derby on July 9 as part of the All-Star game festivities.

PEAVY'S PUNCHOUTS

Jake Peavy struck out 10 in San Diego's 11-0 win over Arizona on Thursday to become the second Padre to reach the 1,000-strikeout plateau. Peavy (1,004) joined Andy Benes (1,036) after reaching double digits in strikeouts for the fifth time this season and the 20th time in his career. The right-hander (11-5) leads the NL with 154 strikeouts.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Corey Hart homered twice and drove in three runs, but Milwaukee lost 12-4 to the Mets.

SPEAKING

''You put up an 8-spot and they come right back and put up an 8-spot. It's weird.'' - Chicago slugger Jermaine Dye after the White Sox and Yankees scored eight runs each in the highest-scoring second inning in major league history. Dye homered twice and doubled twice, including a go-ahead drive that led Chicago to a 13-9 victory Thursday.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 3

Phillies Rod Barajas goes on 15-day DL with groin injury
August 3, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Philadelphia Phillies placed backup catcher Rod Barajas on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a groin strain.

Barajas, 31, signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Phillies in the offseason, but has served primarily as the backup to the younger Carlos Ruiz. Chris Coste, who was recalled from the minors in June, has seen increased playing time at catcher.

Barajas has hit .214 in 43 games this season.

The Phillies called up right-hander Clay Condrey from Triple-A Ottawa to replace Barajas on the roster and transferred right-hander Francisco Rosario to the 60-day disabled list.

Barajas is the 13th Philly to spend time on the disabled list this season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 3

Braves option Reyes to Triple-A Richmond, recall Cormier
August 3, 2007

ATLANTA (AP) -The Atlanta Braves optioned rookie left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes to Triple-A Richmond and recalled right-hander Lance Cormier from the team following Thursday night's 12-11, 14-inning loss to the Houston Astros.
   
Reyes made five starts and was 0-1 with an 8.72 ERA. He gave up four hits and five runs in three innings Thursday night.

Cormier, who was 4-5 with a 4.89 ERA in 29 games with the Braves last season, opened this year on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right triceps. He was 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA in two starts over 7 2-3 innings with Atlanta earlier this season.

He was 5-3 with a 3.63 ERA for Richmond, Double-A Mississippi and Single-A Rome this season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 3

Cubs activate Wood
August 3rd, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs activated right-handed pitcher Kerry Wood from the 60-day disabled list Friday.

The 30-year old Wood recently completed a minor league rehabilitation stint that saw him pitch in Mesa (Arizona Rookie League), Peoria (Midwest), and Tennessee (Southern). In his eight appearances, he went 1-1 with a 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings pitched.

He is expected to be used primarily out of the bullpen for the Cubs.

Wood was initially placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season because of tendinitis in his right shoulder. On May 15, Chicago transferred him to the 60-day disabled list.

Originally a first round pick of the Cubs in 1995, Wood was at one point a centerpiece of Chicago's starting rotation. But since going 8-9 in 22 starts in 2004, he has appeared in only 25 games due to a variety of injuries.

For his career, the Irving, Texas, native has compiled a 71-56 record and a 3.68 ERA. His 1,229 career strikeouts rank fifth on the Cubs' all-time list. From 1998 to 2003, Wood won at least 12 games four times, was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1998, and an All-Star in 2003.

On May 6, 1998, the then-rookie right-hander tied a Major League record by striking out 20 hitters in a shutout victory over the Houston Astros.

To make room for Wood, the Cubs optioned relief pitcher Rocky Cherry to Triple-A Iowa and transferred right-handed pitcher Angel Guzman to the 60-day disabled list in the process.

Cherry, a 27-year old rookie, was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 relief appearances with the Cubs. He was optioned to Iowa of the Pacific Coast League after Thursday's loss to Philadelphia.

Guzman was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 6, retroactive to June 2, because of a right elbow strain. In three starts and twelve total outings with the Cubs this season, he was 0-1 with a 3.56 ERA.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 3

Perez banned 80 games for 3rd positive test
Associated Press

Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended for 80 games Friday after testing positive for a third time for a banned stimulant.

Perez was suspended for 25 games on July 6 when he tested positive for a second time. Under baseball's labor contract, a player who tests positive for the first time is sent for counseling.

Perez has been the only player suspended by baseball for stimulants since baseball banned them before the 2006 season.

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