MLB News and Notes August - 10

MLB News and Notes August - 10

Brewers Tony Graffanino to miss rest of season because of knee injury
August 9, 2007

MILWAUKEE (AP) -Brewers infielder Tony Graffanino will miss the rest of the season because of an injured right knee.
   
Graffanino came down awkwardly after leaping to catch a line drive in the first inning of Wednesday's game in Colorado. He underwent an MRI examination in Milwaukee on Thursday that revealed a torn ligament.

The Brewers will place him on the 15-day disabled list Friday, and he will undergo surgery at a later date.

Milwaukee will recall struggling second baseman Rickie Weeks from Triple-A Nashville to fill Graffanino's roster spot. Weeks, who was batting .212 when he was optioned on July 31, was 10-for-22 with three RBIs in six games at Nashville.

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Clemens suspended for 5 games
August 9, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Roger Clemens was suspended for five games Thursday and New York Yankees manager Joe Torre for one, the fallout from the Rocket hitting Toronto's Alex Rios with a pitch this week.

During a testy three-game series, the Blue Jays' Jesse Litsch threw behind Alex Rodriguez's legs in Monday's opener and Josh Towers hit A-Rod on his calf with a pitch in the third inning Tuesday.

The benches and bullpens emptied twice, but no punches were thrown. Clemens then hit Rios in the middle of his back in the seventh inning. Clemens and Torre immediately were ejected.

Clemens, Rodriguez and Torre were fined along with Yankees coaches Larry Bowa and Tony Pena, Toronto's Matt Stairs and Josh Towers, and Blue Jays coach Brian Butterfield.

Toronto's anger seemed to stem from the May 30 game, when Rodriguez yelled to distract third baseman Howie Clark during a late-inning popup.

Torre was suspended for one game in May after reliever Scott Proctor, then with the Yankees, threw an inside pitch to Seattle's Yuniesky Betancourt.

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Giants make deal with rival Dodgers, sending Sweeney to L.A.
August 9, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -The San Francisco Giants dealt pinch hitter deluxe Mark Sweeney to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, the first trade between the rivals in more than 20 years.
   
Sweeney had a pinch-hit single in the sixth inning of San Francisco's 3-1 loss to Washington on Thursday, his major league-leading 16th of the season and 155th of his career. Sweeney trails only Lenny Harris with 212 on the career list.

The last time the Giants and Dodgers made a trade, San Francisco sent catcher Alex Trevino to Los Angeles in December 1985 for outfielder Candy Maldonado.

The Dodgers, who trail Arizona by 4 1/2 games in the NL West heading into the Diamondbacks' night game against Pittsburgh on Thursday, received a player to be named.

Sweeney is 16-for-49 (.327) as a pinch-hitter this season and has 11 hits in his last 23 times up in the pinch. The Dodgers have struggled in that situation this season with their pinch-hitters batting just .235 (36-for-153).

``He's been around this game for a long time,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``You've got a club that is contending that wants one of the best pinch-hitters in the game. He should be flattered.''

Sweeney can also play first base and outfield for the Dodgers, who have struggled offensively. Los Angeles snapped a 28-inning scoreless streak earlier Thursday in a 5-4, 11-inning win over Cincinnati.

Sweeney's tenure in San Francisco will be remembered most for a link to a reported failed amphetamines test by Barry Bonds. The New York Daily News reported in January that Bonds failed an amphetamines test last season and initially attributed it to a substance he took from Sweeney's locker. Bonds later said he never got amphetamines from Sweeney.

Sweeney is in the final year of a $1.8 million, two-year contract. He is the second veteran player the Giants have traded in the past two weeks, following the deal of starter Matt Morris to Pittsburgh. With the Giants in last place in the NL West, more deals could be coming before the Aug. 31 trade deadline.

The Giants will call up outfielder Dan Ortmeier from Triple-A Fresno to take Sweeney's spot on the roster.

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Rockies put Hirsh on DL; make several other moves
August 9th, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies made a series of moves on Thursday, including putting pitcher Jason Hirsh on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right fibula.

The club also optioned catcher Alvin Colina to Triple-A Colorado Springs; transferred right-hander Rodrigo Lopez from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list; recalled infielder Clint Barmes from Colorado Springs; and purchased the contract of catcher Geronimo Gil.

Hirsh was struck in the right leg by a line drive from the Brewers' J.J. Hardy in his start on Tuesday versus Milwaukee. He remained in the game to earn the win, but X-rays afterwards revealed the fracture. Hirsh has a 5-7 record with a 4.81 ERA this season.

Lopez was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 27 with a right flexor tendon strain. Barmes, meanwhile, will be in his second stint with Colorado this season. He batted just .100 (2-for-20) in 10 games with the Rockies before being shipped to the minors.

The Rockies also announced that July 27th's rainout with the Dodgers has been re-scheduled as part of a doubleheader on September 18 at Coors Field.

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Young comes off DL; Wells designated for assignment
August 9th, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres reinstated right- handed pitcher Chris Young from the 15-day disabled list, and designated left- handed veteran David Wells for assignment.

The 28-year-old Young suffered a strained oblique muscle on July 24 versus Colorado and has been out of action since. He is slated to start Thursday night when the Padres conclude a four-game series at St. Louis.

Young leads the league with a 1.82 earned run average and owns a 9-3 record over his 20 starts.

Wells, meanwhile, has apparently stepped on the mound in a San Diego Padres uniform for the last time, and very well may have made his last appearance as a major-leaguer.

Wells, who apparently is mulling retirement, is 5-8 with a 5.54 earned run average this season, and has allowed 26 earned runs in the last 16 2/3 innings. The lowlight came Monday, when the Cardinals ripped him for 11 hits and seven runs in four-plus innings.

The lefty has a career record of 235-156 with a 4.12 earned run average in a career that began in 1987 for the Toronto Blue Jays, and has included stints with Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox.

The Padres have 10 days to trade or release Wells.

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Spiezio put on restricted list
August 9th, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals put infielder Scott Spiezio on Major League Baseball's restricted list due to an apparent substance abuse problem.

Spiezio came forward to the team concerned about possible problems related to substances he was taking unbeknown to the club's medical staff. The team didn't specify which substance Spiezio has been taking.

"It speaks highly of Scott to come forward, admitting recognition of a potential problem. This allows the organization to provide him access to the appropriate resources for further evaluation and treatment," said team medical director, Dr. George Paletta.

It's not known when Spiezio will return to the team. He's hitting .272 with three homers and 27 RBI in 69 games this season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 10

Baseball Today - August 10
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Friday, Aug. 10

Boston at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EDT). Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Erik Bedard, the major league strikeout leader.

STARS

Thursday

-Rick Ankiel, Cardinals, hit a three-run home run to cap the former pitcher's debut as a major league outfielder in St. Louis' 5-0 victory over San Diego.

-Rafael Furcal, Dodgers, homered in the 11th inning to help Los Angeles snap a season-high six-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over Cincinnati.

-Carl Crawford, Devil Rays, had three hits, including a two-run homer, and a stolen base in Tampa Bay's 8-1 victory over Detroit.

-Chipper Jones, Braves, hit a three-run homer in Atlanta's 7-6 victory over the Mets.

WELCOME BACK

Failed pitcher Rick Ankiel hit a three-run home run to cap his debut as a major league outfielder in St. Louis' 5-0 victory over San Diego on Thursday night. Ankiel, who leads the Pacific Coast League with 32 homers for Triple-A Memphis, launched a 2-1 pitch from Doug Brocail over the right-field wall with an effortless swing to put the Cardinals ahead 5-0. The drive merited a standing ovation and a curtain call for the once-troubled left-hander, who quit pitching in spring training 2005 to begin the long climb back up the ladder as a 26-year-old minor league outfielder.

PLIGHT OF THE TIGER

Detroit lost 8-1 to Tampa Bay on Thursday to split a four-game series against the team with the worst record in the major leagues (44-70). The defending AL champion Tigers have dropped six of their last eight and are 11-17 since the All-Star break.

NO MORE DOUGHNUTS

The Dodgers snapped a 28-inning scoreless streak along with a season-high six-game skid in a 5-4 victory over Cincinnati on Thursday. Los Angeles, shut out in its previous three games, ended the scoreless streak in the first when Jeff Kent hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

SPEAKING

''Short of winning the World Series, it's the happiest I've seen our club. ... Next to striking out Inge, that's the happiest I've been in this uniform.'' - St. Louis manager Tony La Russa after former pitcher Rick Ankiel homered Thursday night in his debut as a major league outfielder.

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Notes from Thursday's games
August 9, 2007

TAMPA BAY: OF Carl Crawford extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fifth-inning homer Thursday at Detroit and stole his AL-leading 37th base in the first. He also went 3-for-4 to maintain his hold on the majors' best daytime batting average (.417). ... LHP Scott Kazmir had seven strikeouts Thursday and is 14 away from breaking his club record (174) set in 2005. ... Thursday's 8-1 win at Detroit gave the Devil Rays their first season-series win over a defending AL champion in club history. ... OF B.J. Upton is hitting .340 with seven homers and 23 RBIs since returning from the disabled list (quadriceps strain) July 13.

DETROIT: 3B Brandon Inge left the team Thursday to return to his South Carolina home, where his wife was due to give birth to the couple's second child. ... OF Marcus Thames, recalled from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo early Thursday, went 2-for-4 against Tampa Bay in his first game since July 19. ... Thursday's paid attendance (38,789) pushed the Tigers past the 2-million mark for a record third straight season and the 10th time in club history.


MINNESOTA: Although he's held the Royals to three earned runs in 14 1-3 innings, Matt Garza is 0-2 lifetime in two starts against them. ... Michael Cuddyer's four strikeouts tied a career high. He also fanned four times against Baltimore on June 11, 2006. ... INF Brian Buscher had an MRI in Minneapolis which showed a localized abcess in his right leg, apparently caused when he fouled off a ball several days ago. Replacing him on the 25-man roster Thursday was INF Tommy Watkins, who batted .272 with eight home runs and 49 games for Triple-A Rochester this year.

KANSAS CITY: 1B Ryan Shealy has returned from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha and will be examined on Friday by team physician Dr. Steve Joyce. ... Thursday's 1-0 victory was Kansas City's fourth shutout this season and the third in the last 13 games. They've thrown four shutouts at home and catcher Jason LaRue, who rotates with John Buck, has caught every one of them. ... Joey Gathright was 0-for-2 and lost his seven-game hitting streak while Mark Teahen's single extended his to five in a row. ... Joakim Soria has held the Twins to two hits over six innings in five appearances against them.


SEATTLE: The Mariners acquired LHP John Parrish from Baltimore on Thursday for minor league OF Sebastian Boucher and a player to be named or cash. Parrish, a situational reliever, was 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 45 games. ... 1B Ben Broussard started at 1B Thursday, his first appearance since leaving the team Tuesday after his wife gave birth to a girl. ... Raul Ibanez started at DH for only the fifth time this season.

BALTIMORE: The Orioles sent utility infielder Chris Gomez to Cleveland and traded LHP John Parrish, moves that president of baseball operations said make the team younger. Gomez was claimed by waivers, and Parrish was obtained for minor league OF Sebastien Boucher and a player to named or cash. ... Baltimore recalled pitcher Jim Hoey from Triple-A Norfolk and selected the contract of outfielder Tike Redman from the same club. ... Manager Dave Trembley said Jay Gibbons' sore shoulder prevents him from playing the outfield. Gibbons hasn't started in the OF since July 29.


CLEVELAND: The Indians claimed INF Chris Gomez on trade waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. Gomez, 36, was batting .302 with a homer and 16 RBIs in 73 games for the Orioles. He has made starts at all four infield positions and is expected to join the Indians on Friday. ``He can play anywhere in the infield, a veteran guy with a lot of experience,'' Indians manager Eric Wedge said. The Indians will have to make a move with their 25-man roster when Gomez reports, probably Friday. ... The Indians sent Russell Branyan to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash Thursday. He'd been signed to a minor league deal Aug. 7. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts for Triple-A Buffalo Wednesday night and will not report to the Phillies big league team. ... The Indians outrighted infielder Mike Rouse to Triple-A Buffalo, released right-hander Fernando Cabrera, who'd been designated for assignment earlier, and assigned outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Gulf Coast League roster in Winter Haven, Fla.

CHICAGO: Closer Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect inning Wednesday and has now retired 35 consecutive batters, three off the AL record held by David Wells when he was with the Yankees in 1998. The major league record is 41 set by San Francisco's Jim Barr in 1972. ... Thanks to his two innings of relief - his first stint out of the bullpen in a a regular season game since 2003 - Jose Contreras won't get a start Sunday. John Danks, who was going to miss a turn to get some rest, will now go on that day against the Mariners. Contreras will get another shot to start in Seattle next week. He'd been bumped out of the rotation because of a poor run that saw the ace of the 2005 World Series winner lose seven straight starts. His victory Wednesday night was his first since June 18. ``I think Jose should be a starter,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said, adding that Contreras was OK with having his return to a starter's role delayed.


ATLANTA: Consecutive homers in the fifth inning by Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira marked the fourth time the Braves have hit back-to-back homers this season. The last time was July 13 when Andruw Jones and Brian McCann connected against Pittsburgh. ... Teixeira's home run gave him RBIs in six of the eight games he's played for Atlanta. ... Kelly Johnson had a triple and a single and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.

NEW YORK: David Wright reached 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases for the second straight season. It's the 16th time a player has had a 20-20 season for the Mets. Batting coach Howard Johnson and Darryl Strawberry each did it five times. ... Shawn Green went 0-for-3 and had his nine-game hitting streak snapped. ... The attendance of 52,425 was the 21st crowd over 50,000 at Shea Stadium this year, extending the franchise record.


LOS ANGELES: Trying to shake up an offense that had been shut out three consecutive times and four in the last five games, manager Grady Little had CF Juan Pierre batting seventh for the first time this season. Pierre batted either first or second in his other 109 starts. The shuffling paid off. The Dodgers pushed across a run in the first inning to snap their scoreless streak at 28 innings. ... Rookie OF Delwyn Young had a career-high four hits in his second major league start before leaving with cramps in both calves after legging out a double. ... C Russell Martin went 3-for-6, his seventh three-hit game of the season.

CINCINNATI: OF Jason Ellison said he was glad to be back in the National League after being claimed off waivers from Seattle on Wednesday. ``It was pretty limited in Seattle,'' said Ellison, traded by San Francisco to the Mariners on April 1. ``It was a situation in Seattle where there just were guys playing ahead of me.'' ... RHP Todd Coffey was optioned to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Ellison. Coffey had a 10.61 ERA in 10 appearances since the All-Star break. ``He needs to go down there and build up his confidence and improve his command,'' manager Pete Mackanin said. ... Jeff Keppinger made his first career start in left field, giving Adam Dunn a rest.


WASHINGTON: RHP Shawn Hill, on the DL since May because of left shoulder and right elbow problems, was scheduled to make a rehab start at Triple-A Columbus on Thursday night and could be ready to join the Nationals' rotation next week. ... 1B Dmitri Young had a scheduled day off but was unavailable to pinch hit because of tightness in his hamstring. He was expected to be able to play Friday in Arizona.

SAN FRANCISCO: OF Dave Roberts left in the first inning with a bruised right knee after sliding into the shin guard of catcher Jesus Flores. Roberts was scheduled to undergo an MRI later Thursday, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would have to wait for the results before deciding if the team needed to make a move. ... After the game, the Giants traded Mark Sweeney to the Dodgers for a player to be named in the first deal between the rivals since 1985. ... Bochy said it won't be odd going up against RHP Matt Morris on Friday for the first time since the Giants traded him to Pittsburgh on July 31. ``It happens so much. To be honest, I haven't even thought about it,'' Bochy said. ``It's just part of baseball.''


FLORIDA: LF Josh Willingham returned to the lineup for the first time since Saturday after his second episode with kidney stones. ``He seems to think he's OK,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``If he calls time and runs out of the batter's box, we'll know something's wrong.'' ... CF Alejandro De Aza batted second in only his second game since missing four months with an ankle injury. ``It gives us good speed at the top, and makes us a little more dangerous in the middle,'' Gonzalez said.

PHILADELPHIA: Setup man Tom Gordon, who hasn't pitched on consecutive days since returning from the disabled list, is getting to the point where he might do that again. ``He's definitely getting to a place where he can be turned loose and see if he can go back-to-back days,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ... Manuel, in the final year of his contract, isn't ready to campaign publicly for an extension. Asked if this is his best managing job because the Phillies are in contention despite several key injuries, Manuel said: ``I don't want to talk about it. We have 49 games to go. It's not about me. It's about us winning. That's how I look at it.''


SAN DIEGO: LHP Wilfredo Ledezma will make his first start since Sept. 29, 2006, on Friday, taking David Wells' spot in the rotation. Wells, designated for assignment Thursday, had been scheduled to pitch on Saturday. That spot will be filled by RHP Justin Germano, bumped back a day to allow a minor thumb injury more time to heal. ... OF Milton Bradley (right hamstring) missed his sixth straight start. Bradley walked as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of a 2-1 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday. ... RF Brian Giles, still bothered by a tender right ankle sprained on Aug. 1, was not in the lineup.

ST. LOUIS:
Manager Tony La Russa said former pitcher Rick Ankiel, recalled on Thursday, got a warm reception when he entered the clubhouse as a major league outfielder. ``He paid a lot of dues, so he's got a nice, tough exterior that's going to carry him a long ways,'' La Russa said. ... The Cardinals had outscored opponents 82-33 in their 12 wins since the All-Star break and 119-31 in their 14 losses. ... Albert Pujols needed one homer for No. 275.


CHICAGO:
Manager Lou Piniella was waiting for the results of tests done on the right wrist of 3B Aramis Ramirez. ``I don't know anything except that it isn't serious,'' Pinella said about Ramirez, who flew back to Chicago to see a hand specialist. ``We could have him back for the weekend.'' ... OF Matt Murton made his 21st start of the season. ``Matt hit the ball well in Houston,'' Pinella said. Murton was 4-for-9 in that series. ... Pinella expressed disappointment in his team's offense that produced only five runs in the three games in Houston. ``That's not going to get it done,'' Pinella said. ``We have to have five or six runs a game.''

COLORADO: One day after leaving a game with back spasms, 1B Todd Helton was out of the starting lineup. ``Todd needed a day off,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ... 1B Jeff Baker, a .218 hitter with only 119 at_bats, got the start for Helton. ``In all fairness to Jeff, we haven't gotten him enough at_bats,'' Hurdle said. ... Hurdle wouldn't reveal his choice to replace injured RHP Jason Hirsh as Sunday's starter. Hirsh was placed on the 15-day DL with a broken right leg. ... Colorado will play the July 27 game rained out against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 18 as part of a split doubleheader.


PITTSBURGH: The Pirates entered with at least one extra-base hit in 66 consecutive games, their longest such streak since a 71-game run in 2005. ... Pittsburgh had homered in eight of nine games. ... 1B Adam LaRoche had his seventh career four-hit game Wednesday night. His previous four-hit game was nearly a year ago, on Aug. 30, 2006, with Atlanta. ... 3B Cesar Izturis batted leadoff for the third time in seven games.

ARIZONA: The Diamondbacks were a National League-best 17-8 since the All-Star break and had won six of their past seven series. ... CF Chris Young entered hitting .318 (41-for-129) with eight runs, 10 walks, seven doubles, a triple and eight homers when leading off an inning. ... 1B Tony Clark got a rare start in place of Conor Jackson against right-hander Ian Snell. ... C Chris Snyder had driven in a run in five straight games, including his career-high 10th home run Wednesday.

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Tribe options Laffey back to Triple-A Buffalo
August 10th, 2007

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians optioned starting pitcher Aaron Laffey to Triple-A Buffalo, one-day after the young left-hander picked up his first major league win.

On Thursday, the 22-year-old Laffey gave up four runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings in his second career start as Cleveland edged the White Sox, 7-5.

In his major league debut August 4 against Minnesota, Laffey, who started the season with Double-A Akron, was saddled with the loss after yielding three runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings.

The Indians will add infielder Chris Gomez to the 25-man roster prior to their game Friday night against the New York Yankees.

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Rangers place Hairston on DL; recall OF Murphy
August 10th, 2007

Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers placed outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a back injury.

The move is retroactive to Wednesday.

Hairston is hitting just .195 in 65 games for the Rangers this season with three home runs and 13 RBI.

To take his spot on the roster, the Rangers recalled outfielder David Murphy from Triple-A Oklahoma.

Murphy, acquired in the July 31 trade that saw Eric Gagne go to the Red Sox, will be making his Rangers debut.

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Padres place P Brocail on bereavement list, OF Hairston on DL
August 10th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres made a number of roster moves on Friday, placing pitcher Doug Brocail on the bereavement list and outfielder Scott Hairston on the 15-day disabled list.

San Diego also purchased the contract of pitcher Jack Cassel from Triple-A Portland and recalled pitcher Joe Thatcher from the same club.

The 40-year-old Brocail is 4-1 with a 3.96 ERA in 43 relief appearances for the Padres this season. Over parts of 13 major league seasons, Brocail has a 43-43 record with seven saves and 4.08 ERA in 510 games (42 starts) with San Diego (1992-1994, 2006-07), Houston (1995-96), Detroit (1997-2000) and Texas (2004-05).

Hairston suffered a strained left oblique muscle in the sixth inning of San Diego's game against St. Louis on Thursday. In eleven games with the Padres, the 27-year-old Hairston, acquired on July 27 from Arizona, has hit .400 (8- for-20) with a double, triple, three home runs and seven RBI.

Hairston's brother, Rangers outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr., was also placed on the disabled list Friday.

Cassel is 7-11 with a 3.54 ERA in 24 games for Portland this season, including 21 starts. The left-handed Thatcher, acquired in a July 25 trade with Milwaukee, will be making his second stint with San Diego.

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