MLB News and Notes August - 31

MLB News and Notes August - 31

Notes from Thursday's games
August 30, 2007

BOSTON: OF Bobby Kielty took about 50 swings in a batting cage and said he was feeling much better. His back has been bothering him since he crashed into the low fence at Fenway Park to make a terrific catch against the Angels on Aug. 19. ``I kept playing and it just got worse and worse and then it felt kind of unbearable the last couple days,'' Kielty said. ``Today, it's kind of back to normal.'' ... RHP Curt Schilling on the Yankees' three-game sweep of Boston: ``We got outpitched three days in a row, outpitched and outplayed.'' ... Schilling dropped to 5-1 in eight starts this season following a Red Sox loss, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... 3B Mike Lowell singled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He is batting .455 (20-for-44) with one homer and 12 RBIs during the streak.
   
NEW YORK: RHP Chien-Ming Wang improved to 5-4 with a 4.27 ERA in 10 career starts against Boston. ... RF Bobby Abreu picked up his 400th career double in the eighth inning. ... There was a pregame moment of silence to honor two Boston firefighters who died fighting a restaurant fire Wednesday night and two New York firefighters who died in a fire at a ground zero skyscraper earlier this month. ... SS Derek Jeter entered the series against Boston in an 0-for-12 skid but went 7-for-11 as the Yankees swept the Red Sox. He tied a season high with four hits in Thursday's 5-0 win.


DETROIT: In eight appearances in Kansas City, including seven starts, Jeremy Bonderman is 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA. In 19 games - 17 starts - lifetime against the Royals he's 9-5 with a 3.81 ERA. ... In the series, Magglio Ordonez went 7-for-13. His run scored on the homer Thursday was his 100th of the year, the fourth time in his career he's reached that mark. ... Curtis Granderson hit his 18th home run. All but two of the Tiger leadoff hitter's homers have been solo shots. ... The Tigers headed for Oakland and a three-game weekend series before returning to Detroit for an eight-game home stand.

KANSAS CITY: Both of rookie Billy Butler's two triples have come against the Tigers. ... Joey Gathright was voted by local media as the Royals' player of the month for August and RHP Brian Bannister was selected for his third straight pitcher of the month honor. Gathright had 29 hits and four stolen bases for the month while Bannister went 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in four starts. Bannister is the first to win the pitcher award in three consecutive months since Jeff Montgomery in July to September in 1997. ... The Royals will play a day-night doubleheader in Minneapolis on Friday, making up for the game that was suspended following the tragic collapse of the bridge over the Mississippi River on Aug. 2.


SEATTLE: Mike Hargrove, who stepped down as manager on July 1, attended Thursday's game. It was the first time he's seen the Mariners in person since resigning. Hargrove lives in Richfield, Ohio, which is about 20 miles from Cleveland. ... The Mariners are starting a 10-game road trip that takes them to Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Detroit. Thursday night's game with the Indians was the third of four makeups the teams have had to play since their four-game season-opening series was postponed by snow. The final game will be played as part of a doubleheader in Seattle on Sept. 26. ... 2B Jose Lopez, batting .224 since the All-Star break, was out of the lineup Thursday night. Jose Vidro started at second base. ... The Mariners will begin calling up players from Triple-A Tacoma when rosters can be expanded on Sept. 1. A few will be called up that day with the rest joining the team when Tacoma's season ends Monday. C Jeff Clement, their No. 1 draft pick in 2005, is one of the candidates. Other candidates are LHPs Ryan Feierabend, Jake Woods and John Parrish and OFs Jeremy Reed and Michael Morse.

CLEVELAND: OF David Dellucci, who has been sidelined since tearing his left hamstring on June 19, is expected to be out until mid-September. He hoped to be back early in the month, but reinjured the hamstring about 10 days ago during a running drill. Signed to a three-year, $11.5 million contract in December, the 33-year-old Dellucci has had a disappointing season. He was batting .234 with four home runs and 20 RBIs before the injury. ... Rookie RHP Jensen Lewis has impressed the Indians enough to be used as a setup man late in games. He pitched a perfect seventh inning in Wednesday's 4-3 win over Minnesota. ... LF Kenny Lofton and 3B Casey Blake didn't start Thursday. Jason Michaels started in left field against Seattle left-hander Horacio Ramirez while Chris Gomez played third base. ... Manager Eric Wedge said the Indians will call up an unspecified number of players from Triple-A Buffalo in the next few days. Among the candidates are LHPs Cliff Lee and Jeremy Sowers, RHPs Edward Mujica and Matt Miller and OF Ben Francisco.


TAMPA BAY: RHP Grant Balfour, acquired from Milwaukee July 27, recorded his first win as a Devil Ray on Wednesday at Baltimore by pitching two scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Through Wednesday, nine of his 12 appearances were scoreless, including eight of the last nine, and he had 18 strikeouts in 14 innings. ``I'm definitely seeing a power arm,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``I've been impressed.'' ... This week's series win vs. Baltimore was Tampa Bay's first on the road since June 8-10 at Florida. ... OF B.J. Upton entered Thursday hitting .388 (12-for-31) with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs since moving into the cleanup spot.

BALTIMORE: The Orioles fortified their overworked bullpen Thursday by recalling Jon Leicester from Triple-A Norfolk and designating RHP Rob Bell for assignment. Bell pitched Wednesday, and the Orioles desperately needed someone to pitch long relief after exhausting the bullpen during an eight-game losing streak. ... 3B Melvin Mora grounded into his team-high 20th double play in the first inning Thursday. ... RHP Jeremy Guthrie started a run of three straight rookie starters for Baltimore. Guthrie pitched Thursday vs. Tampa Bay, Radhames Liz will work Friday in Boston, followed by Garrett Olson on Saturday.


CHICAGO: OF Scott Podsednik (strained ribcage muscle) was not in the starting lineup for the eighth straight game. He hurt himself Aug. 21 against the Kansas City Royals. Podsednik missed three weeks in July with the same injury. ... LHP Mark Buehrle, who will start Friday against the Cleveland Indians, is 0-2 with a 6.45 ERA in his last four starts. His ERA has climbed from 3.07 to 3.50 in that span.

TEXAS: The Rangers allowed five hits in their 11-inning win Wednesday night. It was just the fifth time in club history Texas allowed five or fewer hits in a contest that lasted at least 11 innings. ... Texas clinched their fifth straight winning homestand Wednesday. The last time that happened was in 1998. The Rangers won just four homestands last season.


NEW YORK: RHP Pedro Martinez will throw a bullpen session in Atlanta on Friday. A determination of his next start will be made after that. ... The Mets are a major league-best 28-15 in the first game of series. ... 3B David Wright needs six homers to become the third Mets player to have 30 home runs and 30 steals in a season. Howard Johnson (1997, '89, and '91) and Darryl Strawberry (1987) are the others to do it. ... Orlando Hernandez pitched three innings in his shortest outing of the season. It was just the third time in 23 starts El Duque didn't last at least five innings. Hernandez has won five straight decisions and the Mets were 9-0 in his previous nine starts before losing 11-10 to the Phillies.

PHILADELPHIA: RHP Freddy Garcia had season-ending shoulder surgery, nearly three months after throwing his last pitch. Garcia earned $10 million to go 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA. ... RF Shane Victorino was out of the lineup again in favor of the hot-hitting Jayson Werth. ... LF Pat Burrell is batting .360 (59-for-164) since July 2, raising his average from .201 to .270. He has 16 of his 24 homers since July 2, and has earned the support of fans who booed him in pregame introductions on opening day.


ST. LOUIS: RHP Joel Pineiro singled and scored the Cardinals' only run on Thursday. Pineiro played for Seattle from 2000-06 and Boston this season before he was traded to St. Louis on July 31. His single to left was his first hit of the season and third of his career. ``The guys have been ragging me a little bit,'' Pineiro said. ``I just go up there hacking and hopefully, the ball will be in play. I got lucky.'' ... The Cardinals start a three-game series with Cincinnati on Friday. St. Louis has won two out of three in all three previous series with the Reds this season.

HOUSTON: 1B Lance Berkman went 6-for-12 in the three-game series against St. Louis. After struggling for the first four months of the season, he's batting .408 (29-for-71) in 19 games since Aug. 11. ... RHP Chad Qualls pitched a scoreless inning in relief on Thursday and has an 0.88 ERA with 29 strikeouts in his last 27 appearances. ... RHP Brad Lidge has recorded all 14 of his saves since the All-Star break. ... The Astros open a three-game series with Chicago on Friday at Wrigley Field. Houston was swept by the Cubs in Chicago between July 13-15.


CINCINNATI: The Reds remain unsettled on a pitcher for Saturday in St. Louis, an indication they'll make another minor league callup like they did by bringing up RHP Tom Shearn to start and win Sunday against Florida. Shearn will start again Friday, in St. Louis. ... Minor league OF Buck Coats was acquired from the Cubs for a player to be named or cash. Coats, who was hitting .303 with 11 homers, 59 RBIs and 18 stolen bases at Triple-A Iowa, was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

PITTSBURGH: SS Jack Wilson remained out of the lineup Thursday with a shin injury. He hasn't played since being hurt Saturday in Houston. ... LHP Zach Duke, sidelined for two months with elbow irritation, begins a rehabilitation assignment Saturday in Indianapolis. The Pirates won't decide when he will return until they evaluate his pitching there. Duke said it wasn't until his final start Monday at Bradenton that he could cut loose with the ball. ... After being home for only three days, the Pirates return to the road Friday for a three-game series in Milwaukee followed by four games in St. Louis. The Pirates are home for only 12 of their remaining 29 games.


MILWAUKEE: Ben Sheets reported no problems Thursday the day after he returned to the Brewers' rotation for his first start in six weeks. He allowed a run and six hits in six innings to spark Milwaukee's 6-1 win Wednesday night. ``I feel fine,'' said Sheets, who'd been sidelined by a sprained finger on his pitching hand and a blister problem. ``The blister didn't bother me at all. The curve ball felt a little weird coming out of my hand. It was a little different with the finger.'' ... Corey Hart needs two more homers to become the fifth player in franchise history to have 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in the same season. The other four are Tommy Harper, Robin Yount, Jeromy Burnitz and Marquis Grissom. ... Entering play Thursday night, the Brewers had the worst record in the NL Central since the All-Star break at 17-27. Cincinnati's 25-20 was tops. The Cubs were 23-21.

CHICAGO: Manager Lou Piniella said he liked Carlos Zambrano's response to his comments after Zambrano finished August winless. After Wednesday's loss to Milwaukee, Piniella said he was waiting to see the Zambrano that won 9 of 11 starts in June and July. ``He will see the same Zambrano,'' Zambrano said after the game. Zambrano has failed for five starts to get his 15th win and had another one rained out. ``We need Carlos to step it up and win his share of games,'' Piniella reiterated Thursday. ``Obviously we need everybody else to do their jobs, but yeah he's the ace of our staff and with that comes more expectations.'' ... Left-hander Clay Rapada, who made his major league debut with the Cubs this season and spent most of the year with Triple-A Iowa, was claimed off waivers by the Tigers. That finishes off the Aug. 23 trade with Detroit in which the Cubs got outfielder Craig Monroe and a cash consideration. ... Told that football coaches give motivational speeches to their teams, Piniella was asked what he could do to get the Cubs to play better against left-handers (12-20 before Thursday night). ``They play once a week,'' Piniella answered. ``If I gave speeches every day, people would be hiding in the bathroom.''


ARIZONA: Despite three straight losses at San Diego that have dropped the Diamondbacks out of first place in the NL West, manager Bob Melvin says he remains calm and confident. ``There is no panic,'' he said. ``We all know there is a job to be done, we'll come out and do it, and move on.'' Arizona, which has the NL's best record at 27-17 since the All-Star break, has dropped seven of its last 10 games, allowing the Padres to make up five games in the standings since Aug. 19. The Diamondbacks will be home on Friday for a three-game series against Colorado, then face the Padres for three games starting Monday. ... The Diamondbacks have been swept in a four-games series six times in their history, the last at San Francisco in July 2003.

SAN DIEGO: The Padres will call up rookie RHP Jack Cassel from Triple-A Portland to start Friday's game against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. Padres manager Bud Black said he didn't want to upset the chemistry of his bullpen by having one of its members to start the game. Cassel was already scheduled to be called up from the minors on Saturday, Black said. Ironically, Cassel will pitch against the man who previously pitched in that rotation spot this season - David Wells. The Padres designated the left-hander for assignment on Aug. 8. Since his departure, the Padres have struggled to find a consistent starter in Wells' spot. Cassel made his major-league debut on Aug. 10 at Cincinnati. He allowed two runs on two hits in three innings of relief work. Cassel was in line for the win before the bullpen gave up the lead. He was sent back down to Portland the next day. ... C Michael Barrett (concussion-like symptoms) is expected to be activated on Saturday. ... 2B Geoff Blum was reunited with his glove after losing it in Cincinnati nearly two weeks ago. Blum received a package in the San Diego locker room before Thursday's game. As he opened the package, Blum yelled as he pulled his glove out. The glove was sent by a doctor in Cincinnati with no explanation.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 31

Baseball Today - August 31
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Friday, Aug. 31

Baltimore at Boston (7:05 p.m. EDT). Tim Wakefield (16-10) has a decision in all 26 of his starts this season for the Red Sox.

STARS Thursday

- Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks, had a career-high five RBI to lead Arizona over the San Diego Padres 8-7.

- Robinson Cano, Yankees, homered twice to help the New York Yankees get past the Boston Red Sox 5-0.

- Pat Burrell and Chase Utley, Phillies. Burrell hit a pair of homers and Utley drove in the winning run in the ninth inning to lift Philadelphia over the New York Mets 11-10.

ON THEIR HEELS

Chien-Ming Wang allowed one hit in seven innings to lead the New York Yankees past Boston 5-0 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the AL East leaders and close within five games of first place. The Yankees outscored the Red Sox 14-6 in the series and outhit them 30-13. ... Chase Utley drove in the game-winning run in the ninth inning and Philadelphia rallied past the New York Mets 11-10 to complete a four-game sweep and move within two games of the NL East leaders. It was the Phillies' first four-game sweep over any team since Sept. 4-7, 2003, at old Veterans Stadium.

FUTILITY

The Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the bumbling Chicago White Sox with a 5-1 victory Thursday night. Chicago made four errors in one inning and lost for the 16th time in 19 games - hours after manager Ozzie Guillen reiterated how frustrated he is with his team. ... Tampa Bay completed their first road sweep in more than two years with an 8-6 victory over Baltimore that extended the Orioles' losing streak to nine games. For Baltimore, the game marked the completion of the the worst 10-game homestand in Orioles history, surpassing a 2-8 mark in September 1987. The Orioles have been outscored 98-38 during the skid.

STREAKS

Kenny Lofton drew a bases-loaded walk from Rick White to force home the winning run in the ninth inning, and the Cleveland Indians beat the slumping Seattle Mariners 6-5 Thursday night for their sixth straight victory.

ON THE SKIDS

Milwaukee's Chris Capuano (5-12) suffered his franchise-record 12th straight loss while making his second relief appearance of the season in a 5-4 loss to the Cubs on Thursday night. He made 23 starts in the rotation and began the season 5-0, but is 0-12 in his last 16 appearances.

SNAPPED

Jeremy Bonderman went seven innings and gave up six hits and one run to snap his personal six-game losing streak in Detroit's 6-1 win over Kansas City on Thursday. He struck out three and did not walk a batter to get his first win since July 13.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 31

Orioles shake up bullpen: Lechester up, Bell out
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles fortified their overworked bullpen Thursday by recalling Jon Leicester from Triple-A Norfolk and designating right-hander Rob Bell for assignment.

Leicester made one appearance for the Orioles earlier this season, allowing four earned runs in 1 2-3 innings against Boston on May 12. He went 3-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 13 games with Norfolk.

Bell pitched two innings Wednesday and took the loss in a 12-inning game against Tampa Bay. The Orioles weren't happy about the prospect of losing him, but desperately needed someone to pitch long relief after exhausting the bullpen during an eight-game losing streak.

''Obviously we're in need of a multiple-inning type guy out of the bullpen. That's why he's here,'' manager Dave Trembley said of Leicester. ''It's something that we thought we had to do.''

The move means the Orioles could lose Bell if he's claimed by another club.

''We're hoping that he clears waivers in three days. If he does that, we'd certainly like to add him to the roster for September,'' Trembley said.

Bell appeared in 21 games for the Orioles, going 3-3 with a 6.49 ERA.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 31

Cubs acquire Trachsel from O's
August 31st, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs have acquired pitcher Steve Trachsel from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for pitcher Rocky Cherry and infielder Scott Moore.

Trachsel, 36, was 6-8 with a 4.48 earned run average in 25 starts for the Orioles this season. He returns to the team which made him an eighth-round choice in the 1991 draft, and has compiled a 140-151 record with a 4.29 ERA in 406 career games over 15 seasons with the Cubs, Devil Rays, Blue Jays, Mets and Orioles.

The deliberate right-hander is perhaps best-known for surrendering Mark McGwire's then-record-breaking 62nd home run on September 8, 1998. He is expected to be added to the Cubs' roster this weekend.

Cherry, a 28-year-old right-hander, was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 appearances with the Cubs this season. He also posted a 2-0 record with a 4.59 ERA in 43 games with Triple-A Iowa.

Moore, just 23, has spent most of this season with Iowa and has batted .233 with two homers and five RBI in 18 games over the last two years with the Cubs.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 31

Cards acquire Branyan from Phils
August 31st, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals acquired infielder/outfielder Russell Branyan from the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday in exchange for a player-to-be-named later.

This will be the fourth team this season for Branyan, who began the season with San Diego before he was released on July 28. Cleveland signed him on August 7, but he played in just one game for the Indians' Triple-A club in Buffalo before he was traded to Philadelphia on August 9.

Branyan is batting a combined .198 with nine home runs and 24 RBI this season. In his brief stint with Philadelphia Branyan hit two home runs, including a pinch-hit two-run shot on August 14 that lifted the Phillies to a 3-2 win over Washington.

The 31-year-old is a lifetime .229 hitter with 120 home runs and 298 RBI in 695 games over 10 seasons with Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, San Diego and Philadelphia.

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