MLB News and Notes August - 16

MLB News and Notes August - 16

Notes from Wednesday's AL games
August 15, 2007

TAMPA BAY: Carlos Pena went 1-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs after slumping with three hits and 12 strikeouts in his previous 32 at_bats. ... Relievers Gary Glover, Dan Wheeler and Al Reyes each pitched for the second consecutive day - in that order - and combined to allow two runs in each game. ... Reyes needed 33 pitches to get through the ninth inning, 11 of them to Julio Lugo, who doubled. ... Akinori Iwamura is 7-for-18 in his career against Daisuke Matsuzaka, including 2-for-8 when they played in Japan.
   
BOSTON: Mike Lowell is 8-for-20 during his current five-game hitting streak. That includes two hits Wednesday and a tying homer in the ninth Tuesday. ... Mike Timlin pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings and has allowed a run in only one of his last 17 games. ... Matsuzaka allowed six runs, only the fifth time in 25 starts he's given up that many. ... Boston is 5-1 this season at Fenway Park against Tampa Bay, which hadn't beaten the Red Sox there since Sept. 27.


BALTIMORE:
LHP Erik Bedard struck out eight to run his major league-leading total to 207. He is the sixth Canadian-born pitcher to fan 200 or more in a season. Ferguson Jenkins (six times), Bob Emslie, Ryan Dempster, Russ Ford and Kirk McCaskill are the others. ... The Orioles are 18-13 since the All-Star break. ... DH Kevin Millar walked in the second inning and has reached base in 44 straight games.

NEW YORK:
RF Shelley Duncan's three-run homer in the ninth inning prevented the Yankees from being shut out on consecutive days at home for the first time since May 12-13, 1999, against the Angels, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The Yankees have lost four straight series against Baltimore for the first time since 1982. ... 3B Alex Rodriguez went 4-for-4 to match his season high for hits. ... The Yankees recalled relievers Edwar Ramirez and Sean Henn from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned Jeff Karstens and Jim Brower to their top farm club. Henn pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings and Ramirez struck out three in 2 1-3 scoreless innings against Baltimore.


MINNESOTA: RHP Ramon Ortiz was traded to Colorado for minor league INF Matt Macri, who was just promoted to Triple-A. Ortiz had red, moist eyes and seemed stunned as he said goodbye in the clubhouse late Wednesday afternoon, but he said ``I'm glad for the opportunity'' to possibly return to a starting role with the contending Rockies. Minnesota demoted him from its rotation in late May. ``Sad,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``We love this guy. He's very special.'' ... SS Jason Bartlett strained his left hamstring while beating out an infield single in the sixth inning. Gardenhire said Bartlett will likely go on the DL before Friday's game against Texas. ... OF Rondell White hit his first regular-season home run since Sept. 14, 2006. He also hit one in the AL division series against Oakland last October. He's just 16 games into a return from a calf strain that sidelined him for more than three months. ... 1B Justin Morneau is batting .179 with two RBIs and no walks in August. The AL MVP hasn't homered since July 23, a span of 20 games and 79 at_bats.

SEATTLE: Manager John McLaren said LHP Horacio Ramirez will remain in the rotation. Ramirez has allowed 24 hits and 17 earned runs in 14 innings over his last three starts. He is 7-4 despite a 7.38 ERA. The Mariners want him to adjust the speeds of his pitches - they have found that his fastballs and breaking balls are coming in at the same speeds. ... OF Raul Ibanez hit his sixth home run in nine games. He had six in 97 games before this. ... Seattle signed RHP Phillippe Aumont, the 11th overall choice in the June draft out of Canada, hours before the new deadline. The Mariners signed all 20 of their top picks.


DETROIT: Manager Jim Leyland isn't worried about what kind of reception DH Gary Sheffield will get upon his return to Yankee Stadium on Thursday for the opener of a four-game series. ``He'll get whatever he wants,'' Leyland said. ``If he wants attention, he'll get it. If he doesn't want it, he won't get it.'' ... Leyland isn't intimidated about the trip to New York, but he is a bit wary of the Yankees' scary lineup, which has been on a roll lately. ``They are swinging the bats well and have made up a lot of ground the last couple weeks,'' he said. The Tigers will play eight games against the Yankees in 11 days. After the series in New York, Detroit goes home for three games with the Indians and four against New York. ... 1B Sean Casey was surprised to read that he was among several Tigers fighting the flu. ``I feel fine, but I saw in the paper where I was sick,'' Casey said. ``I have no idea where that came from.'' ... LHP Andrew Miller, out since Aug. 3 with a strained left hamstring, made a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo. He allowed five runs in the first inning on four hits and three walks. ... RHP Joel Zumaya, out since May 3 with a strained right middle finger, is also rehabbing at Toledo. ... Entering play, the Tigers had at least one extra-base hit in 80 consecutive games.

CLEVELAND: Indians manager Eric Wedge vented more frustration. He's now changed his lineup from top to bottom. One day after sticking Kenny Lofton in the leadoff spot, Wedge benched Josh Barfield, the Indians' No. 9 hitter who was in a 3-for-29 slump. Wedge has lost patience with the second baseman's inconsistency. Rookie Asdrubal Cabrera, who started the season at Double-A, took Barfield's spot in the field and lineup. Wedge intimated the move could be more than a temporary one if Cabrera produces. Asked if Barfield might be out for a few days, Wedge said, ``We've got Cabrera in there tonight,'' he said. ``I'll leave it at that.'' Barfield, who came over in a trade from San Diego in November, has played as well defensively as the Indians could have hoped, but he has struggled at the plate in his first season facing AL pitching. ``It's frustrating,'' he said. ``Everybody wants to do well and you know you can do better than this.'' ... Following Tuesday's 6-2 loss in 10 innings, Wedge questioned the Indians' toughness and said there were a few players ``feeling sorry for themselves. Enough is enough.'' Wedge's outburst was a change from his recent approach. Publicly, he has been very protective of his players, and while he didn't name names, Wedge was as pointed as he's been all season. ``I've seen some things that I'm not particularly happy with,'' he said.


LOS ANGELES: RHP Bartolo Colon (right elbow) threw 46 pitches in a bullpen session and reported no problems. ``He looked very good,'' pitching coach Mike Butcher said. Colon, who threw only fastballs and changeups, will throw 60 pitches in his next bullpen session. The Angels want Colon to pitch at least seven innings in a minor league start before returning to the rotation. ... Manager Mike Scioscia has still not decided on a starter for the second game of Friday's day-night doubleheader in Boston. John Lackey (15-6) will start the opener.

TORONTO: 3B Troy Glaus returned to the lineup following a two-game absence and revealed that he has been playing with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel to the base of the toes. Glaus, who wore new orthotics Wednesday, said the condition has led to heel and ankle soreness. Surgery will not be required, and offseason rest should cure the problem. ... Manager John Gibbons said OF Reed Johnson, who missed 76 games earlier this season following surgery to repair a herniated disk, is struggling to regain his quickness on the bases. Johnson has stolen four bases this season and has been caught once.


KANSAITYS C: RHP David Riske's blown save on Tuesday night was the Royals' first since July 7, breaking a string of seven conversions in a row. Entering Wednesday night, the bullpen had converted 31 of 44 save situations, a vast improvement over last season when Kansas City relievers were 35-for-66. ... The Royals are ready to break out the long sleeves after playing in sweltering conditions in Texas. The temperature at gametime in Arlington was 99 degrees on Tuesday night. Next stop for the Royals is Oakland for a three-game weekend series. Temperatures after dark in the Bay Area have recently been in the low 60s.

TEXAS: 3B Hank Blalock took another step in his recovery from rib surgery when he made throws to first base during early infield practice for the first time since he went on the DL on May 18. Blalock, who has been taking batting practice, is throwing from the cut of the grass, and will make deeper throws in the next few days. If he continues to progress, he should be ready for a minor league rehab assignment in a little more than a week. ... With the emphasis on auditioning young players, RF-DH Sammy Sosa's at_bats have been limited recently. Manager Ron Washington said that beginning on Thursday, Sosa would start three of the next nine games.


CHICAGO: Closer Bobby Jenks was available to pitch after being held out Tuesday night, a day after tweaking his right ankle while walking his dog at home during Monday's off day. ``I talked to him and asked him for sure he was ready to go and he said yes,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``I have confidence it's not a lie. I told him hopefully we'll score a lot of runs and we don't have to use you and give you another day.'' On Sunday, Jenks broke David Wells' AL record and tied the major league mark of 41 straight batters retired. Jim Barr also set down 41 in a row for San Francisco in 1972. ... For now, RHP Gavin Floyd is going to stick with a relief role rather than continuing to bounce between the bullpen and the rotation. ``I don't want to play games with this kid,'' Guillen said. RHP Jose Contreras is scheduled to return to the rotation to start Friday at Seattle.

OAKLAND: DH Mike Piazza batted fifth for the first time all year. He has 44 starts in the cleanup hole and two in the third spot. ... RHP Esteban Loaiza will have one more rehab assignment as he recovers from knee surgery. He hasn't pitched in the majors all season also because of spasms in his upper back. Loaiza will pitch Friday at Portland for Triple-A Fresno - and he didn't seem thrilled after deeming himself ready to go Tuesday. ``Then I'll go to Portland,'' Loaiza said while walking to the clubhouse. Manager Bob Geren said Loaiza has had only three rehab outings, leaving him three short of the number of appearances most pitchers get during spring training. ``He'll pitch until he's ready,'' Geren said. ``We'd like to get him back where he was last year when he was pitcher of the month.'' ... With Loaiza no longer an option for Friday, LHP Dan Meyer is a likely candidate - though Geren said he was available out of the bullpen Wednesday.

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Notes from Wednesday's NL games
August 15, 2007

NEW YORK: C Ramon Castro (lower back discomfort) may be ready to start again in another day or two. ... OF Endy Chavez (strained left hamstring) could be ready for a rehabilitation assignment within a week. He has been out since early June. ... RHP Brian Lawrence, who starts Thursday against the Pirates, is 3-1 with a 4.56 ERA in four career starts in PNC Park. ... Manager Willie Randolph shifted his batting order for the Pittsburgh series, moving 3B David Wright into the third spot and putting Carlos Beltran fourth. Randolph said the move may get Wright an extra at-bat during a game, and puts him into position to run more often.

PITTSBURGH: CF Chris Duffy, out since late June with a badly sprained ankle, may be ready to play Friday for Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League. He has been rehabilitating at the Pirates' spring complex there. LHP Zach Duke (left elbow tendinitis), shifted from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list Tuesday, may be ready to pitch for Bradenton by the middle of next week. ... RHP Masumi Kuwata cleaned out his locker at PNC Park on Wednesday. He was designated for assignment after a five-run inning Monday against San Francisco jumped his ERA to 9.43. The 39-year-old Kuwata has been offered a spot at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he began the season, but has not decided if he will accept it.


ARIZONA: Manager Bob Melvin said INF Augie Ojeda's pitching debut Tuesday lifted the team's spirits at the end of a 14-5 loss at Florida. Ojeda retired the side in order in the eighth on eight pitches. ``His ERA is pretty respectable,'' Melvin said. ... With three hits Tuesday, INF Mark Reynolds hiked his average in night games to .304. His day-game average is .208.

FLORIDA: LHP Dontrelle Willis beat out an infield hit to shortstop Tuesday night with a headfirst slide. ``I started to smell the base hit and went for the belly flop,'' Willis said. ... Through Tuesday, 70 of Josh Willingham's 76 RBIs had come against right-handers.


PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies placed RHP Adam Eaton on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The move is retroactive to Aug. 11. Eaton is 9-8 with a 6.36 ERA, but over his last four starts, he's allowed 16 runs in 12 2-3 innings. ... LHP Mike Zagurski was recalled from Triple-A Ottawa and is scheduled to report Thursday for the Phillies' game in Washington. Eaton had been scheduled to start on Friday in Pittsburgh, but RHP J.D. Durbin will instead make his fifth start for Philadelphia. Durbin is 4-2 with a 4.14 ERA in 10 games. Zagurski is 0-0 with a 2.00 ERA in seven games with Ottawa.

WASHINGTON: Manager Manny Acta spent a half-hour hitting groundballs to 3B Ryan Zimmerman before Wednesday's game. Zimmerman committed his 18th error on Tuesday, a two-base throwing error that led to a decisive three-run Philadelphia rally. Zimmerman made 15 errors last year, his rookie season. ... RHP Jon Rauch, who leads the major leagues with 65 appearances, insists he's not tired. ``I want to pitch a lot,'' he said. Rauch was tied for second in the majors with 85 appearances in 2006. ... 1B Dmitri Young started his second consecutive game after missing four straight with a tight left hamstring.


SAN FRANCISCO: Barry Bonds hit home run No. 759 off Atlanta's Tim Hudson in the sixth inning Wednesday night. ... RHP Randy Messenger sustained a bruised left hand during batting practice. He was taken for X-rays as a precaution. ... Before Messenger was hurt, manager Bruce Bochy was considering whether to go back to a 12-man pitching staff on Friday. The Giants, who played a doubleheader in Pittsburgh on Monday, are carrying 13 pitchers. ... Bochy said he may go with a six-man rotation after the rosters expand in September. ``Give everyone an extra day,'' he said. ... The Giants signed their other two first-round draft picks, No. 10 overall selection Madison Bumgarner and No. 29 Wendell Fairley. San Francisco previously signed its other first-round pick, No. 22 Tim Alderson, and had 45 of its 52 selections - including the top 29 - under contract ahead of a midnight deadline for reaching deals.

ATLANTA: CF Andruw Jones tried a cortisone shot, but that didn't relieve the pain in his ailing left elbow. Now, he figures it will take the offseason to fully recover. ``I just feel it,'' he said. ``I shot it, (but) I still feel it.'' ... SS Edgar Renteria said he's ``doing good'' in his recovery from a sprained right ankle, though he may not be ready to come off the 15-day disabled list when he's eligible on Saturday. ... The Braves have done just fine with rookie Yunel Escobar at shortstop. He was hitting .330 with 19 RBIs. ``He's done an unbelievable job filling in for Renteria,'' OF Matt Diaz said. ``It's going to be sick when we get Edgar back.'' ... David Justice will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame before Friday's game against Arizona. Justice's homer in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series provided the only run in the clinching victory over the Cleveland Indians. He played the Braves from 1989-96.


CINCINNATI: The Reds have yet to name a starter for Saturday in Milwaukee, but interim manager Pete Mackanin said that RHP Victor Santos will likely get the nod. ``It's probably going to be Santos, unless I have to use him (Wednesday),'' Mackanin said. ... IF Jeff Keppinger went 2-for-4 Tuesday while driving in a run and scoring a run - even though he was almost scratched from the lineup. ``He threw up yesterday before the game,'' Mackanin said. ``He was heaving. I didn't know if he was going to be able to play.'' ... OF Josh Hamilton went 3-for-5 Tuesday in his first start since coming off of the DL on Aug. 12 with a sprained right wrist. ``I thought Hamilton looked like he didn't miss a beat,'' Mackanin said. ``He looked pretty good. He had some good two-strike at_bats.''

CHICAGO: OF Alfonso Soriano, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right quad strain, says the pain has subsided but he still has not started running. Soriano hopes to begin running next week and plans to be activated in early September. ... Cubs manager Lou Piniella dismissed reports that RHP Carlos Zambrano has a sore arm. ``I haven't heard anything. I really haven't. It would be news to me,'' he said. ``I think I would know something. I just talked to him inside and he didn't mention anything.'' In a rare performance on Tuesday night, Zambrano pitched seven innings without a strikeout and lower than normal velocity. ``That's what's surprising, because he usually gets his share of (strikeouts),'' Piniella said.


ST. LOUIS: RHP Joel Pineiro made his third straight start Wednesday after being acquired from Boston on July 31. The Cardinals are counting on Pineiro as they charge into the pennant race. ``It's a big day for him and us,'' La Russa said before the game. ... CF Jim Edmonds, activated from the 15-day disabled list July 19, had three RBIs and matched a career-high with four hits in Tuesday night's 12-4 victory. ``He's got more life in his legs,'' La Russa said. ``His timing is better at the plate.'' ... RHP Adam Wainwright makes his team-leading 24th start and first appearance this season against Milwaukee on Wednesday in the conclusion of a three-game series. ... OF Juan Encarnacion (sore left knee) was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game. Rick Ankiel again started in his place.

MILWAUKEE: Brewers manager Ned Yost said he would give struggling starter Chris Capuano one more chance to regain his command, against Cincinnati on Sunday. The Brewers have lost the last 15 games Capuano has started, a streak that includes 10 losses and five no-decisions. Yost said the losing streak is ``more than enough,'' but wanted to give the former All-Star another shot. ``It's worth the gamble, one more time,'' Yost said. ... Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said injured starter Ben Sheets is expected to throw one more bullpen session before going to the Brewers' training complex in Phoenix to throw a simulated game next week. Barring a setback, Sheets is then expected to make a minor league rehab start. ... The Brewers recalled OF Gabe Gross from Triple-A Nashville and designated RHP Chris Spurling for assignment on Wednesday. Gross was expected to bat leadoff for the Brewers, but didn't make it to the ballpark in time and was replaced by Corey Hart. ... 3B Ryan Braun was in the cleanup spot and 1B Prince Fielder batted third as the two switched places in the batting order for a second consecutive game.


COLORADO: Rockies starting pitchers have had three of their six shortest outings in the last five games. LHP Jeff Francis was the latest when he matched the shortest start of his career by lasting just 3 1-3 innings Tuesday night. Francis tied his career high with six walks, including five in the Padres' six-run second inning. The bullpen has picked up the starters by allowing just six earned runs in 50 2-3 innings (1.07 ERA) since July 31. ... 1B Todd Helton, who has played his entire career with the Rockies, appreciates still being in a pennant race this late in the season. ``It's been really a lot of fun,'' said Helton, who broke in with Colorado in 1997. ``It's different. Now you win and you go out with a smile on your face. ... Now they mean something.''

SAN DIEGO: The Padres search for starting pitching continues as RHP Clay Hensley is slated to be recalled from Triple-A Portland to start Thursday against Colorado. The start was scheduled originally for LHP Wilfredo Ledezma, who replaced LHP David Wells in the rotation last week. But after Ledezma lasted just 2 1-3 innings in his only start with the Padres on Friday at Cincinnati, the decision was made to go back to Hensley, who gave up Barry Bonds' 755th home run on Aug. 4 before he was sent to Portland the next day. Wells was designated for assignment Thursday. ... RHP Trevor Hoffman is one save away from his 12th 30-save season, which would extend his major league record. Hoffman, the career saves leader with 511, blew his last opportunity on Friday at Cincinnati for his third blown save in 32 opportunities.


HOUSTON: When the Astros complete their four-game series in Los Angeles on Thursday, they will head to San Diego and see an old friend - Morgan Ensberg, whom general manager Tim Purpura traded to the Padres on July 31. Ensberg already has hit three home runs since changing teams. ``Sometimes I think a change of scenery is good for some people, because it kind of rejuvenates you and energizes you. And he's from the San Diego area, so he's excited to be home and have an opportunity to play there,'' Craig Biggio said. ``Morgan had some really good years with us and was a part of that year when we went to the World Series. It's always weird at first when you've played with somebody for five or six years and then you're competing against him.''

LOS ANGELES: RHP Roberto Hernandez, who entered Wednesday one appearance away from becoming the 12th pitcher to appear in 1,000 big league games, realizes now that he couldn't have reached that milestone had former manager Gene Lamont and pitching coach Jackie Brown not converted him into a reliever with the 1992 White Sox due to a glut of starting pitchers. ``The way I took it, I wasn't happy because I'd been a starter all my life up to that point and I had a starter's mentality,'' Hernandez recalled. ``But being a reliever has prolonged my career because I haven't pitched as many innings as I would have as a starter. So it was a blessing in disguise.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 16

Giants' Messenger lands on DL
August 15th, 2007

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - San Francisco Giants reliever Randy Messenger injured his left hand during batting practice on Wednesday, breaking a bone in the process. The club placed the 26-year-old righty on the 15-day disabled list after its 6-3 loss to Atlanta.

A corresponding roster move will be made Thursday.

Messenger, who was acquired from the Florida Marlins in May in exchange for reliever Armando Benitez, is 1-4 with a 2.62 earned run average in 53 appearances this season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 16

Diamondbacks sign RHP Parker
August 15th, 2007

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks signed right-handed pitcher Jarrod Parker, their first round pick in June's draft.

The 18-year-old Parker, drafted out of Norwell High School in Bluffton, Indiana, was taken ninth overall.

"We are excited to add another quality prospect to our system," said Josh Byrnes, Diamondbacks' Senior Vice President and General Manager. "Our area scout Mike Daughtry did a fantastic job scouting Jarrod and developing a relationship with the family. We look forward to introducing Jarrod sometime next week."

Parker finished this past season 12-0 with a 0.10 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 70 innings, leading Norwell High School to a 35-0 record and the Indiana Class 3A state championship title.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 16

Rockies acquire Ramon Ortiz from Twins
August 15th, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies acquired right-handed pitcher Ramon Ortiz from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for infielder Matt Macri.

The 34-year-old Ortiz has compiled a 4-4 record with a 5.14 ERA in 28 games (10 starts) this season for the Twins. He began the season as a starter, but was then transferred to the bullpen following his start on May 26 against Toronto.

Ortiz won 16 games for the Angels in 2003 and has an 83-80 mark with a 4.87 ERA since starting his major league career with the same team in 1999. He pitched for Cincinnati in 2005 and for Washington in 2006.

Macri has split the season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs. He combined to hit .310 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI in 82 games between the two clubs.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 16

Rockies place OF Taveras on DL
August 15th, 2007

San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies placed outfielder Willy Taveras on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained right groin.

Taveras is hitting .311 with two home runs and 22 RBI in 91 games for the Rockies this season. He leads the major leagues with 33 bunt hits and 49 infield hits this year.

To take his place on the roster, the Rockies recalled pitcher Ramon Ramirez. Ramirez will be in his third stint with Colorado this season and is 2-2 with an 8.82 earned run average in 21 relief appearances.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 16

Phillies place Eaton on DL
August 15th, 2007

Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies placed struggling righthander Adam Eaton on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with right shoulder inflammation.

In the first year of a three-year, $24.5 million contract, Eaton is 9-8 with a 6.36 earned run average for the Phillies this season, the worst among qualifying pitchers. He holds a 7.98 ERA in his previous ten outings and was in danger of losing his spot in the starting rotation.

The Phillies will start righthander J.D. Durbin in Eaton's spot on Friday in Pittsburgh. Durbin is 4-2 with a 5.73 ERA in 11 appearances -- including four starts -- this season. His last appearance came on August 11, when he tossed 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in the team's 7-5 loss to Atlanta.

Lefthander Mike Zagurski was recalled from Triple-A Ottawa to take Eaton's spot on the roster.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 16

Baseball Today - August 16
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Thursday, Aug. 16

Detroit at N.Y. Yankees (7:05 p.m. EDT). Justin Verlander faces off against Mike Mussina, who has won his last four starts.

STARS Wednesday

-Torii Hunter, Twins, hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and a grand slam in the ninth, leading Minnesota over Seattle 6-1.

-Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff, Orioles. Tejada hit a tiebreaking double in the 10th inning and Huff added a two-run homer to lift Baltimore over the New York Yankees 6-3.

-Fausto Carmona, Indians, allowed two runs in eight innings and struck out a career-high 10 in Cleveland's 5-2 win over Detroit.

-Tim Redding, Nationals, drove in two runs and limited Philadelphia to two runs and three hits in six-plus innings to lead Washington to a 4-2 victory over the Phillies.

-Russell Martin, Dodgers, hit two homers to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Houston 6-3.

BONDS

Barry Bonds hit career homer No. 759 in San Francisco's 6-3 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday. A week after breaking Hank Aaron's record, the new home run king extended it just across the street from where the Hammer went past Babe Ruth with No. 715.

STRUGGLING

The St. Louis Cardinals closed to within 3 1/2 games of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers with an 8-3 win on Wednesday. Rookie Yovani Gallardo, who went 4-0 in his first seven starts after being called up in June, gave up seven runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings and has now lost his last two. The Brewers haven't had a starting pitcher record a victory since Gallardo's win over Philadelphia on Aug. 3, and Milwaukee starters are 1-8 with a 7.64 ERA in their past 16 games.

BOOKENDS

The New York Mets did all of their scoring in the first and ninth innings, scoring five runs in each frame, in a 10-8 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Moises Alou hit a two-run homer in the first inning and is 17-for-46 (.370) with six homers and 14 RBIs in his last 12 games.

STREAKS

Tim Hudson allowed three runs in eight innings to win his eighth straight decision in Atlanta's 6-3 victory over San Francisco on Wednesday. ... Shaun Marcum allowed one run on four hits and won his fifth straight start in Toronto's 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. ... Doug Davis picked up the win in Arizona's 9-6 victory over Florida and has now won his last five decisions. ... Jarrod Washburn surrendered two runs - one earned - in seven-plus innings, but still lost his fourth consecutive decision as Seattle fell to Minnesota 6-1.

SNAPPED

Texas reliever C.J. Wilson had his scoreless streak of 16 2-3 innings end in the ninth inning of the Rangers' 4-3 win over Kansas City on Wednesday. Wilson picked up his sixth save despite allowing two runs. ... Andy Sonnanstine ended an eight-game losing streak in Tampa Bay's 6-5 win over Boston. He hadn't won since June 10.

SPEAKING

''Maybe in Little League.'' - Toronto hurler Shaun Marcum, on how long it's been since he's enjoyed a run of success like his current run of five straigt wins. Marcum, who picked up the win in Toronto's 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, is 9-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 18 starts since joining the rotation on May 13. He has not lost since July 18.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 16

Brewers slugger Fielder appealing three-game suspension
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MILWAUKEE -- Prince Fielder is appealing the three-game suspension that was handed down by the commissioner's office Wednesday, allowing him to remain in the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup until his appeal is heard.

Fielder was suspended and fined an undisclosed amount for ''inappropriate and aggressive conduct'' during a confrontation with plate umpire Wally Bell on Sunday, when the Brewers lost 6-4 at Houston. The first baseman was ejected after arguing a called third strike and had to be restrained by bench coach Dale Sveum.

Fielder said he didn't think he made contact with Bell during the confrontation.

''We're both over 250 pounds, so if our stomachs touch, that's going to happen,'' Fielder said.

Brewers manager Ned Yost, who eventually stepped in to separate Fielder from the umpire on Sunday, said it was possible that Fielder might have shoved him into Bell as Fielder was arguing the call.

''I think that was part of it,'' Yost said. ''But I don't remember it myself.''

Fielder was in the Brewers' lineup for Wednesday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, and it is unclear when his appeal will be heard.

Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said the appeal date depends on the availability of Major League Baseball executive vice president of administration John McHale, who hears player appeals, and officials with the MLB Players Association charged with preparing appeals. The team does not play an official role in the appeal, Ash said.

Fielder said that Bell's continuation of the argument after Fielder had turned to walk away might have set him off.

''I was kind of done talking and I was walking away,'' Fielder said. ''Maybe him coming at me a little bit, maybe, I think that's what caused it most of all.''

Fielder said the incident was out of character for him, as he rarely talks back to umpires.

''When I do it, it's nothing personal - because I never argue with them, that's my point,'' Fielder said.

And when he does argue, Yost figures Fielder has a reason.

''If Prince is complaining about a call, I'm about 99 percent sure that (the umpire) missed it,'' Yost said.

The Brewers began the day in first place in the NL Central, but are only 1 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs and would prefer not to be without their young slugger for three critical games.

Fielder, the starting first baseman for the NL in the All-Star game last month, is having a breakout season at the plate. A leading candidate for MVP, he entered the day leading the league with 37 home runs. He was batting .288 with 89 RBIs and a .618 slugging percentage, second in the league to Florida's Miguel Cabrera (.619).

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Giambi escapes punishment from baseball
August 16, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -Jason Giambi won't be disciplined by commissioner Bud Selig after the New York Yankees slugger had a ``frank and candid'' meeting with baseball's steroids investigator.

Selig said Wednesday that Giambi's cooperation with former Sen. George Mitchell and the player's charitable work persuaded him not to take further action.

``He's doing a lot of public-service work, and I think that's terribly important,'' Selig said on the second and final day of an owners meeting. ``He was, I thought, very frank and candid with Sen. Mitchell, at least that was the senator's conclusion. Given everything, this is an appropriate decision.''

Giambi has acknowledged a ``personal history regarding steroids.'' He agreed to speak with Mitchell last month after Selig threatened to discipline him if he refused to cooperate.

A former American League MVP, Giambi missed more than two months this season with torn tissue in his left foot. He's batting .270 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 51 games.

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