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MLB News and Notes August - 18

MLB News and Notes August - 18

Giants activate Aurilia; Lincecum to bereavement list
August 17th, 2007

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants activated infielder Rich Aurilia prior to their game against the Florida Marlins Friday night, and placed righthander Tim Lincecum on the bereavement list.

Aurilia, a 13-year veteran, is hitting .253 with four home runs and 23 RBI on the season. He had been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

Lincecum, who is 7-3 with a 3.95 ERA in his first big league tour, was placed on the bereavement list for undisclosed reasons. He went five innings for the win in his last start Wednesday against the Braves.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 18

BoSox place Mirabelli on 15-day DL
August 17th, 2007

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox placed catcher Doug Mirabelli on the 15-day disabled list Friday after the veteran left the team's opener of a day-night doubleheader against the LA Angels of Anaheim with a strained right calf.

Mirabelli ripped an RBI double as part of a six-run first inning for Boston, but pulled up after rounding third and eventually limped home on a double by Alex Cora.

Jason Varitek replaced Mirabelli behind the plate as the Red Sox won the game, 8-4.

In corresponding roster moves, Boston recalled outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury from Triple-A Pawtucket and purchased the contract of catcher Kevin Cash.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 18

Oakland's Kotsay placed on 15-day DL
August 17th, 2007

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics placed outfielder Mark Kotsay on the 15-day disabled list Friday with lower back spasms.

Kotsay's move is retroactive to August 15 and this will be his second stint on the disabled list this season. He missed the first two months of the campaign after having microdiscectomy surgery on his lower back.

In 56 games this season, Kotsay is hitting just .214 with one home run and 20 runs batted in.

To take Kotsay's spot on the roster, the A's selected the contract of outfielder Jeff DaVanon from Triple-A Sacramento.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 18

Notes from Friday's games
August 17, 2007

LOS ANGELES: The Angels recalled RHP Ervin Santana from Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday and optioned INF Matt Brown to the minors. Santana had a perfect game for 4 1-3 innings before J.D. Drew singled on a a blooper to right. ... C Ryan Budde recorded his first major league hit, a line drive off Julio Lugo's glove in the fifth. ... Casey Kotchman singled in the second inning of the first game to snap an 0-for-13 skid.

BOSTON: The Red Sox purchased the contract of RHP Clay Buchholz from Triple-A Pawtucket (IL). They also traded OF Wily Mo Pena and cash considerations to Washington for a player to be named, and placed C Doug Mirabelli from the 15-day DL. OF Jacoby Ellsbury and C Kevin Cash were called up from Pawtucket (IL). ... Buchholz was the sixth player to make his major league debut for the Red Sox this season. ... OF Manny Ramirez was hit by a pitch twice in the first game, the second time in his career he has been hit twice in a game.

DETROIT: All-Star 2B Placido Polanco was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game because of the flu that has hit several Tigers players. ... RF Magglio Ordonez came in batting .304 with 18 homers and 62 RBIs in 70 career games against the Yankees. ... The Tigers entered with at least one extra-base hit in 82 straight games. Detroit led AL teams with 438 extra-base hits, and CF Curtis Granderson was tied for the league lead with 65.

NEW YORK: Melky Cabrera was rested and Johnny Damon started in CF. Jason Giambi was the DH. ... Yankees manager Joe Torre said he wanted to avoid using RHP Mariano Rivera to give the star closer consecutive days off. Rivera struggled in his past two outings, blowing a save and taking a loss. He and the Yankees have said his arm is healthy.

BALTIMORE: RHP Chris Ray is expected to miss the entire 2008 season after having major surgery on his right elbow. Dr. James Andrews performed the Tommy John procedure Thursday in Birmingham, Ala., also removing a bone spur. ``Right now, I think we have to assume he won't be around for 2008,'' Orioles president Andy MacPhail said. ... Manager Dave Trembley said Danys Baez (0-5, 6.02) will take over the closer role. ... INF Freddie Bynum (strained left hamstring) will wrap up a minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Frederick this weekend and is expected to rejoin the Orioles in time for Monday night's game against Texas.

TORONTO: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said newly promoted INF Russ Adams will be used at second and third base and will get to play sometime in this weekend's series against Baltimore. ``Russ has done a lot of good things here,'' Gibbons said. ``We think he's going to help us.'' ... Toronto pitchers began play Friday with a major league-low 3.37 ERA in August. ... DH Frank Thomas has at least one RBI in 11 of his past 12 home games. Thomas has 1623 career RBIs and is three away from tying Tony Perez for 22nd spot on the career list.

CLEVELAND: DH Travis Hafner (hamstring and knee) was out of the starting lineup Friday because manager Eric Wedge wanted him to have two consecutive days off. The Indians had an off day Thursday. Hafner jogged before the game and was expected to start Saturday. ... OF Trot Nixon has experienced flu-like symptoms since Tuesday, but is available off the bench. ... 2B Josh Barfield has lost his starting spot to rookie Asdrubal Cabrera. Barfield has struggled since the All-Star break, going 9-for-71 in his previous 29 games.

TAMPA BAY: CF Rocco Baldelli, out since May 16 with a strained left hamstring, is expected to start a minor league rehab assignment early next week. Manager Joe Maddon said a formal schedule will be announced Saturday. ... Maddon and executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman plan to discuss potential September player callups Monday. Tampa Bay will likely bring up just a few players from the minors when rosters can expand on Sept. 1. ... The Devil Rays said RHP Jeff Niemann, taken fourth overall in the 2004 amateur draft, remains on target to start next Tuesday for Triple-A Durham. The highly regarded prospect has been out since July 31 with right shoulder fatigue.

TEXAS: Manager Ron Washington reminisced with several players from the 1987 Twins in town for a 20-year reunion of their World Series championship. Washington was in spring training with the Twins that year, but was one of the last players cut and wound up in Baltimore. ``I should have made it,'' Washington said with a smile. ``I may not have been in there in body, but I was there in spirit. I was happy for them.'' ... 3B Hank Blalock, who is still recovering from rib surgery, took grounders again and threw across the diamond, but not all the way to first base. Washington said if all goes well, Blalock will start throwing all the way to first base on Saturday. ``It was a very good day for Blalock,'' Washington said.

MINNESOTA: DH/OF Jason Kubel took batting practice on Friday and is feeling better after straining his oblique at Los Angeles against the Angels last Saturday. ``He's swinging OK,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``At first he was a little bit tentative, but the more swings he took, the better he did.'' He was available to pinch hit and could be back in the outfield in the next few days, Gardenhire said. ... After anticipating earlier in the week that SS Jason Bartlett would have to go to the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Gardenhire said Bartlett was feeling better and may not need a stint on the DL after all. ``We'll just have to wait and see,'' Gardenhire said.

KANSAS CITY: Buddy Bell said he'd still like to manage again, but that family took priority in his decision to step down after this season. ``I'm not burnt out or anything,'' he said. ``We've made a lot of progress. We still have a ways to go. Sometimes I look out on the field and we have 13 or 14 years of total experience. You're going to see some mistakes, but they are fun to be around.'' Bell will remain as a special adviser to GM Dayton Moore, though he'll spend most of his time in Cincinnati. ... The Royals are 12 games ahead of last year's pace. ... OF Emil Brown entered play hitless in 12 at bats. ``He hasn't gotten the consistent at bats he needs,'' Bell said. ``We've got to get guys enough playing time to get into a rhythm.'' ... The Royals claimed LHP Paul Mildren off waivers from the Florida Marlins, put him on the 40-man roster and assigned him to Triple-A Omaha. Mildren, an Australia native, was 37-44 with a 4.24 ERA in six seasons in the Marlins' organization. He made two appearances with the Marlins in spring training.

OAKLAND: The A's are hoping that rest will help OF Mark Kotsay recover from lower back spasms. Kotsay went on the DL and will not travel with the team to Toronto and Tampa Bay. ``He'll do his best to rest and get him back to 100 percent,'' manager Bob Geren said. Kotsay has a history of back problems dating to his days with the San Diego Padres. He had surgery on March 8. ... OF Jeff DaVanon is back in the majors two weeks after his release from the Arizona Diamondbacks. DaVanon was signed by the A's, the team which originally drafted him in 1995, to a minor league contract a week ago. He was recalled when Kotsay went on the DL. ``He's had some good years in the major leagues,'' Geren said. ... OF Travis Buck will likely get most of the playing time in center with Kotsay out. ... RHP Rich Harden is throwing from 125 feet (up from 70 feet) on flat ground as he rehabs a strained right shoulder in Arizona. ``He's throwing just about every day,'' Geren said. ``It's all been positive.''

ST. LOUIS: Braden Looper allowed two earned runs in six innings, keeping the Cardinals' starting rotation on a roll despite the loss. Redbird starters have allowed earned runs in just seven of their last 68 innings pitched and have a 2.68 ERA in their last 15 games. ... The wind was blowing in at only 8 mph to start the game, but it had an effect. Albert Pujols' homer just barely went out and he thought he hit it well enough for it to land 10 or 15 rows deep. He also said Jacque Jones would not have been able to make a spectacular catch of Brendan Ryan's long drive to center without the wind. ``That's either out or off the wall,'' Pujols said. ``He wouldn't catch that ball.'' ... Former Cardinals starter Jason Marquis, who's won 10 games for the Cubs, came to the Cardinals dugout area before the game to greet some of his former teammates. Pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel gave him a big hug. Ankiel drew a walk as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. ... Juan Encarnacion returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a sore knee. Batting cleanup, he went 0-for-4.

CHICAGO: Mark DeRosa's reward for going 5-for-5 Thursday - the first five-hit game of his career - was a spot on the bench. Mike Fontenot played second and Daryle Ward right field, so DeRosa got the day off Friday. ... Jacque Jones has three of his five homers this season in the last seven games. He leads the Cubs in batting since the All-Star break with a .360 average. He is hitting .276 for the season. ... Ryan Dempster got his first save since July 24 at St. Louis. In the last 23 games, the Cubs have had only two save opportunities ... Starter Rich Hill was startled at one point by loud jets practicing maneuvers for an air show above Lake Michigan. They were buzzing with a deafening roar near Wrigley Field. ``Whatever it was, I wasn't expecting it,'' Hill said. ``I thought flyovers went before the game.'' ... Piniella played down his rivalry with Tony La Russa. Both were born in Tampa, Fla., and are longtime friends. ``I like beating him the same way he likes beating me. But it doesn't go any further than that. I could leave here and go out and have a nice dinner with him after the ballgame whether we win or we lose.''

SAN FRANCISCO: In the clubhouse before Friday's game, LF Barry Bonds and some of his teammates watched the telecast of a Little League World Series game between Walpole, Mass., and Hamilton, Ohio. The Giants cheered when Michael Rando made a leaping catch at the center-field wall to end the game and give Walpole a 3-2 win. ... Manager Bruce Bochy, who grew up in Melbourne, Fla., expected 30 to 40 friends and relatives to attend his team's weekend series in Miami.

FLORIDA: C Miguel Olivo was held out of the starting lineup Friday because of a groin strain, and his status is day-to-day. Matt Treanor started, with LF Josh Willingham and 1B Mike Jacobs on standby as emergency catchers. ... LHP Renyel Pinto, who is on the disabled list because of a strained shoulder, will start throwing Saturday. ... The Marlins have two vacancies on their 40-man roster. OF Eric Reed was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque, and LHP Paul Mildren was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals. ... Jacobs, a left-handed hitter, began the weekend batting .375 against lefties and .229 against right-handers.

NEW YORK: SS Jose Reyes, who stole his 60th base Thursday night, is the first infielder to nab 60 or more in three straight seasons since the modern stolen base rule came into effect in 1898, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Kenny Lofton (1992-94) is the last outfielder to get 60 in three consecutive seasons. ... 1B Carlos Delgado (hyperextended left knee) remained out of the lineup Friday but was available to pinch hit ``in an emergency,'' according to manager Willie Randolph.

LF Wily Mo Pena, acquired in a trade with the Red Sox, will platoon with Ryan Church in left field once he arrives on Saturday. Pena has 67 homers - as well as 436 strikeouts - in 459 games over six seasons with Cincinnati and Boston. ``We don't score a lot of runs,'' GM Jim Bowden said. ``We don't have a lot of depth at the higher levels right now, and he's 25 years old with power. It was an opportunity we couldn't turn down.'' The Nationals are last in baseball with 82 homers this season. ... The Nationals will make a corresponding roster move to make room for Pena once he arrives Saturday. ... RHP John Patterson, trying to recover from a nerve problem in his throwing arm, will pitch live batting practice Sunday at the Nationals complex in Florida.

PHILADELPHIA: 2B Chase Utley is making progress in his rehab from the broken right hand which landed him on the disabled list July 27. He is not swinging a bat yet, and will be re-examined Monday. ... OF Shane Victorino, on the disabled list since July 31 because of a right calf strain, is accompanying the team while it plays this weekend in Pittsburgh and manager Charlie Manuel said it was possible he could return to action next week. ... SS Jimmy Rollins has started each of the Phillies' 121 games this season at shortstop. ``I would give him a day off if I thought I could get away with it,'' Manuel said. ``He's pretty special to us. He takes care of himself throughout the season. He knows how to pace himself.''

PITTSBURGH: Masumi Kuwata was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis but elected not to report. The 39-year-old Kuwata was a star in Japan in his prime and signed with the Pirates last winter as a minor league free agent. He was designated for assignment Tuesday and was officially placed on the minor league restricted list Friday. General manager Dave Littlefield said Kuwata wanted to go home to be with his family and determine whether to continue his baseball career. Littlefield said the Pirates were open to offering him a job within the organization should his playing career be over. ... Manager Jim Tracy said that LHP Shane Youman was available for bullpen duty this weekend and that, for now, RHP Tony Armas would remain in the rotation as the fifth starter. ... SS Jack Wilson did not start Friday, a night after leaving the game early because of an asthma attack. He is out indefinitely. ... OF Chris Duffy, on the disabled list since June 29 because of a sprained left knee, made his rehabilitation debut for the team's Bradenton affiliate in the Florida Gulf Coast League. ... LHP Zach Duke, on the disabled list since June 29 with tightness in his left elbow, will pitch for Bradenton on Wednesday.

ARIZONA: The Diamondbacks plan to call up RHP Yusmeiro Petit from Triple-A Tucson to start Sunday's series finale. Petit was acquired from Florida late in spring training and already has two stints with the Diamondbacks this season. He is 2-3 with a 4.23 ERA in seven starts.

Manager Bob Melvin likes what he's seen out of Petit in his limited time in the majors. In fact, Arizona took Petit's potential into account when Byung-Hyun Kim was designated for assignment earlier in the week. ``That's why we probably pulled the plug a little bit quicker on Kim, is that we have a guy that's been pitching pretty well for us,'' Melvin said. Petit will go against John Smoltz (10-6).

ATLANTA: Considering the way things have gone for Andruw Jones, the Braves are looking for any sign of hope. The center fielder, mired in a season-long slump, managed two hits Thursday and had a two-run homer taken away on a leaping catch by San Francisco's Rajai Davis for the final out. ``I got a couple of pitches to hit,'' Jones said. ``I was just trying to keep working on stuff.'' Jones went into Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks hitting just .215, though he did have 21 homers and 76 RBIs. Manager Bobby Cox is encouraged by what he's seen in recent days. He suggested that Jones keep his head back, move deeper in the box and get more off the plate - changes that seem to be having an impact. ``He's starting to come around,'' Cox said.

CINCINNATI: RHP Elizardo Ramirez is on his way to Milwaukee from Triple-A Louisville for his second stint with the Reds this August. He is the scheduled starter in Saturday's game. Ramirez was 3-3 with a 3.75 era this season with Louisville, and made a two-inning relief appearance against Washington on August 1. It will be his first big-league start since August 12, 2006, at Philadelphia. A subsequent roster move will be made before the game. ... C David Ross has been cleared by doctors to begin light physical activity. Ross has been on the disabled list since suffering a concussion on July 19. ... SS Alex Gonzalez, who is batting .262 in 91 games, is home with his ill 10-month-old son, Johan. He went on the bereavement list Wednesday for the third time this season. There is no timetable for his return.

MILWAUKEE: Manager Ned Yost put SS J.J. Hardy back into the No. 8 slot in the lineup Friday night after batting second in the Brewers' 8-0 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday. ... INF Joe Dillon, called up from Triple-A Nashville on July 31, made his second consecutive start at 2B while OF Gabe Gross, recalled Wednesday from Nashville, led off for the second straight night. ... RHP Chris Spurling, designated for assignment when Gross was recalled, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Nashville. He was 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 38 appearances. ... RHP Claudio Vargas starts for Milwaukee on Saturday. He had a no-decision in his last outing, a 6-4 loss at Houston last Sunday. The Brewers are 0-3 in Vargas' last three starts. ... The Brewers held a 45-minute meeting instead of their usual 20-minute session before a series opener.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 18

Konerko leaves White Sox for weekend after death of grandmother

SEATTLE -- Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko will miss this weekend's series at Seattle following the death of his grandmother.

Konerko flew back to his native Providence, R.I., to be with his family. Rather than fly back to Seattle on Sunday, manager Ozzie Guillen told Konerko to meet the team Monday in Chicago.

''He had to go all the way to Rhode Island,'' Guillen said. ''I said, 'No, man. You're not going to have enough time. I'm not going to use you Sunday morning, so it's not worth it.'''

Guillen said Darin Erstad would play first base while Konerko is gone.

Konerko is batting .267 with 23 home runs and 67 RBIs in 115 games. He recorded 30 homers and 100 RBIs for the third consecutive season last year, but hasn't homered in 44 at-bats since going deep on Aug. 2 against the New York Yankees.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 18

Baseball Today - August 18


Sunday, Aug. 19

St. Louis at Chicago Cubs (8:10 p.m. EDT). Carlos Zambrano (14-9, 3.86 ERA) starts for the Cubs for the first time since signing a five-year contract extension.



-Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks, gave up two hits in his third straight shutout to lead Arizona past Atlanta 4-0.

-Lance Berkman, Astros, hit two home runs to push Houston past San Diego 3-1.

-Jason Giambi, Yankees, homered twice to help New York defeat Detroit 6-1.

-Brian Bannister, Royals, pitched a four-hitter for his first career complete game and Kansas City downed Oakland 9-2.

-Barry Zito, Giants, allowed one hit and struck out eight in seven innings to help San Francisco top Florida 3-0.


Brandon Webb pitched his third straight shutout and stretched his scoreless streak to 42 innings, tossing a two-hitter to lead Arizona past Atlanta 4-0 on Friday. Webb became the first pitcher since Orel Hershiser in 1988 to go at least 40 innings without giving up a run and just the 21st pitcher in baseball history to reach that level of stinginess. Nineteen years ago, Hershiser was with the Dodgers when he set the record of 59 straight scoreless innings.


Facing a franchise he has beaten more than any other, Tom Glavine picked up win No. 301 by allowing one run over seven innings on Friday to help the New York Mets defeat Washington 6-2. Glavine beat the former Montreal Expos for the 33rd time, including the sixth time since the team moved to the nation's capital in 2005. He moved into sole possession of 21st place on the career wins list, ahead of Lefty Grove and Early Wynn.


Clay Buchholz gave Boston six strong innings in his major league debut to pace an 8-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. In the nightcap, the Red Sox scored four runs in the eighth inning to take the lead but Eric Gagne allowed an RBI single to Orlando Cabrera and a go-ahead two-run double to Vladimir Guerrero in the ninth as the Angels came back to win 7-5 and earn a split. John Lackey failed to win his 16th game in the afternoon, and Josh Beckett did the same in the nightcap.


Nick Punto scored on a wild pitch with nobody out in the 10th inning to lift Minnesota over Texas 2-1 on Friday. Marlon Byrd misplayed a shallow fly ball off the bat of Punto, allowing him to stretch a single into a triple. Reliever Jamey Wright then bounced a pitch at the plate that got past catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Punto dashed home to end the game.


Kevin Millar was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of Baltimore's 5-2 loss to Toronto on Friday and has now reached base safely in 45 straight games. It's the longest streak by an Oriole since Cal Ripken Jr. reached in 46 straight in 1998. ... Andy Pettite allowed one run in eight innings to win his fourth straight start in the New York Yankees' 6-1 victory over Detroit. ... J.D. Durbin allowed three runs and four hits in six innings to win his fourth consecutive start in Philadelphia's 11-8 victory over Pittsburgh. ... Jose Contreras gave up five runs in seven innings and lost his eighth consecutive start in the Chicago White Sox's 5-4 loss to Seattle.


''Just two more shutouts? Oh, I should have that no problem. It's in the back pocket.'' - Arizona ace Brandon Webb, joking about going for the record of 59 straight scoreless innings. Webb tossed his third straight shutout, extending his scoreless streak to 42 innings in the Diamondbacks' 4-0 win over Atlanta on Friday.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 18

White Sox agree to terms with Dye
August 18th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox agreed to terms Saturday with outfielder Jermaine Dye on a two-year, $22 million contract extension through the 2009 season with a mutual option for 2010.

Dye will receive $9.5 million in 2008 and $11.5 million in 2009. The mutual option will pay $12 million for the 2010 season with a $1 million buyout.

Dye, 33, has a team-high 24 home runs and has hit .245 with 62 RBI in 104 games for the White Sox this season.

A 12-year veteran with Atlanta (1996), Kansas City (1997-2001), Oakland (2001-04) and the White Sox (2005-07), Dye has hit .274 with 260 home runs and 879 RBI in 1,434 major league games.

His best season came in 2006, when he captured the Silver Slugger Award, batting .315 with 44 homers and 120 RBI.

Dye was in the final year of a three-year contract that will earn him $7 million this season. He is also the second potential free agent to be locked up by Chicago, which agreed to a four-year, $56 million extension with left- hander Mark Buehrle just before the All-Star break.

The White Sox still have to make decisions on shortstop Juan Uribe, on whom the club holds a $5 million buyout option for 2008, as well as outfielder Darin Erstad, with a $3.5 million club option or a $250,000 buyout.

The Sox saved more than $2 million from their payroll this season by dealing Tadahito Iguchi to Philadelphia and Rob Mackowiak to San Diego.

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