MLB News and Notes September - 1

MLB News and Notes September - 1

Notes from Friday's games
August 31, 2007

KANSAS CITY: RHP Kyle Davies picked up his second win as a Royal in the first game of a doubleheader with the Twins on Friday. Davies is auditioning for a spot in the starting rotation next season, but tries not to look at it that way. ``I try to take it as I'm going out there to pitch today. And if I pitch well enough today, then we will worry about tomorrow tomorrow,'' he said. ``I don't take any competition into any of it, just the team I am competing against. That's it.'' ... The Royals have won seven of 12 games against Minnesota this season and four of the last five. ... Since June 1, the Royals are 41-38.

MINNESOTA: Look for the Twins to call up RHP Kevin Slowey, OF Lew Ford and INF Luis Rodriguez once rosters expand on Saturday. Slowey is scheduled to start Tuesday's game against Cleveland. The Twins also may call up one more pitcher, but the club also wants to allow Triple-A Rochester to chase a playoff spot. ... C Joe Mauer, out since Aug. 25 with a hamstring injury, did some throwing in the outfield between games, but probably won't play this weekend.


BALTIMORE: Dave Trembley was ejected for the first time in his major league managerial career for arguing with first base umpire Joe West after Jay Payton was tagged out trying to retreat to third base. Catcher Kevin Cash appeared to tag Payton with his glove while the ball was in his right hand. Trembley replaced Sam Perlozzo as manager on June 18. ... SS Miguel Tejada's homer in the fourth was his third in four games. ... The Orioles entered the series with a 27-23 record against AL East opponents, including Boston. They were 31-51 against the rest of the league.

BOSTON: RF J.D. Drew left the game in the top of the third with a contusion after fouling a pitch off the top of his right foot. He was replaced by Bobby Kielty, who had been sidelined with back spasms. ... LF Manny Ramirez missed his third straight game with a strained muscle in his left side. He underwent an MRI exam Friday, but manager Terry Francona said results hadn't been received. ``These types of things can be a week, they can be two weeks. You don't know'' how long Ramirez will be out, he said. ... He said the Red Sox would call up two or three players from the minors Saturday when major league rosters can be expanded.


TAMPA BAY: RHP Jay Witasick (strained right elbow) is expected to come off the DL on Saturday. Witasick, on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham, has been out since July 22. ... The Devil Rays, who own the worst record in the majors, had won six of seven. ``If you're really watching us, we're playing a better game,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``I think a lot of the attitude in a positive way is directly related to the better bullpen. No. 2 is the better defense.'' ... According to Stats, Inc., the Devil Rays have the toughest remaining schedule of any major league team, based on opponents' winning percentage. Their final 28 games include six against the Yankees, six against Boston, four against Seattle and three against the Los Angeles Angels. ... Maddon said he would play his regulars all series, then give some guys a rest next week against fourth-place Baltimore.

NEW YORK: Hideki Matsui was back in LF after serving as the DH for three straight games because of a sore right knee. Johnny Damon was the DH. The Yankees are 15-2 when Damon starts in left. ``I wanted to give him a day out of the outfield, and Matty said he was fine,'' manager Joe Torre said. ... RHP Jim Brower declined an outright assignment to the minors and chose to become a free agent. ... Torre said RHP Ian Kennedy probably will be on a pitch count of about 100 when he makes his major league debut Saturday against Tampa Bay. Triple-A pitching coach Dave Eiland will be added to New York's coaching staff. ``We'll get a reading from someone who knows him,'' Torre said. ... Jose Molina is slated to catch Kennedy on Saturday, giving Jorge Posada a breather. ... 1B Doug Mientkiewicz (broken right wrist), on a minor league rehab assignment, is expected to rejoin the team Saturday when active rosters expand to 40. Torre said the Yankees also plan to add an infielder and a pitcher, then maybe another pitcher later in the month. ... The makeup game Sept. 24 against Toronto was switched from a 7:05 p.m. start to 1:05 p.m. ... Rookie RHP Joba Chamberlain was suspended for two games and fined $1,000, a day after he threw consecutive 98-99 mph pitches over the head of Boston's Kevin Youkilis.


CHICAGO: Manager Ozzie Guillen, who has been openly harsh this week about his team's struggles, was asked if the White Sox can turn it around in 2008. ``I hope,'' he said. ``I don't think they're going to play worse than this. It's hard to play worse than we are right now. That's hard to do. We have some talent there. We have some equipment there.'' ... OF Scott Podsednik (strained right rib cage) is available for pinch-running duties, but Guillen would like to see him be able to hit before he returns to action. ... C Donny Lucy will be one of the players called up from Triple-A Charlotte when the rosters are expanded Saturday. A group of pitchers also will be recalled, but Guillen said that decision hasn't been made. ... Despite making three throwing errors in the third inning of Thursday night's loss to Texas, 3B Andy Gonzalez was back in the lineup Friday. ... 1B Paul Konerko got the day off. ... DH Jim Thome, five homers shy of 500 for his career, was greeted with boos by Cleveland fans still angry he left the Indians to sign with Philadelphia after the 2002 season.

CLEVELAND: 2B Josh Barfield came to Jacobs Field on Friday and saw something familiar on the lineup card: his name. Barfield, benched 14 games ago for rookie Asdrubal Cabrera, was back at second base and hitting ninth as the Indians opened a three-game series against the staggering White Sox. It was bad enough that Barfield lost his job, but then Cabrera became a huge spark for the Indians, who have gone 11-3 with him in the lineup. However, Barfield, who has been used almost exclusively as a pinch runner since being demoted, has handled his new role coming off the bench with class. ``He's been fantastic,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ``He has been a true pro throughout all of this and he has been a great teammate.'' Barfield made 110 starts at second before being replaced by the switch-hitting Cabrera. Barfield had just one RBI and was batting .143 (6-for-42) in his last 19 games before Wedge made the change. ... Wedge said he wouldn't worry about baseball's fashion police making an unexpected raid on Cleveland's dugout. That's what happened to Boston's Terry Francona on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium when an MLB security official checked to see if the Red Sox manager was wearing his uniform top under his pullover jacket. ``Which I always do,'' Wedge said, slightly rolling his eyes. ``Make sure that's on the record. Always.''


SEATTLE: 1B Richie Sexson (tight left hamstring) did not start Friday and is sidelined indefinitely. ``We're going to have to shut him down for a while and get him strong,'' manager John McLaren said. Ben Broussard started in Sexson's place Friday and is expected to get the bulk of the playing time while Sexson is out. ... 2B Jose Lopez missed his second straight game and was replaced by Jose Vidro. ``We just want him to sit back and think about a couple of things,'' McLaren said. Lopez is batting .224 since the All-Star break. ... The Mariners entered Friday having lost six straight, the major league-leading fourth time this season they have lost six consecutive games.

TORONTO:
General Manager J.P. Ricciardi said OF Vernon Wells will undergo an MRI exam following the season to determine whether he needs surgery on his sore left shoulder. Wells has been bothered by tightness for most of the season. ... Ricciardi said the Blue Jays will call up five players from the minors when rosters expand for September, with one due Saturday and the remaining four expected Tuesday once the minor league season concludes. ... LHP Gustavo Chacin is scheduled to have surgery in New York on Wednesday to repair a small tear in his rotator cuff and is expected to be ready in time for spring training, Ricciardi said. ... The Blue Jays have played an American League-high 45 one-run games this season, going 24-21.


TEXAS:
SS Matt West, whom the Rangers picked in the second round of the June draft out of Houston's Bellaire High School, was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. West, 18, had one game remaining with the Rangers' Arizona Rookie League club when the ban was handed down by the Office of the Commissioner. RHP Francisco Cruceta, 27, already served a 50-game suspension he received May 9 for the same offense while playing for the Rangers' Triple-A Oklahoma City team. ... Manager Ron Washington said that 3B Hank Blalock may be activated Saturday when major league rosters are expanded to 40 players. Blalock's season has been limited to 39 games because of a condition called ``thoracic outlet syndrome,'' which affects the nerves that pass through the shoulder into the neck. He had surgery May 21 to remove a rib, which helped alleviate the problem. Blalock should be healthy enough to start in a game sometime on the next road trip, which begins Sept. 11 in Detroit.

LOS ANGELES: RHP Bartolo Colon ``took another step forward,'' said manager Mike Scioscia, after allowing three runs and six hits over five innings in Thursday night's rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake. The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner is scheduled for one more tuneup next Wednesday (85-90 pitches) in one of Salt Lake's postseason games before he is activated. Colon hasn't pitched for the Angels since July 23, when he gave up four runs in the first inning and left with irritation in his elbow. ... DH/LF Juan Rivera is scheduled to be activated on Sunday after completing his minor league rehab assignment on Saturday. He has been out all season after breaking his left leg playing winter ball. ... RHP Steven Shell was outrighted to Salt Lake after clearing waivers, which will open a spot on the 40-man roster for another pitcher when the Angels expand their active roster on Saturday.


HOUSTON: RHP Jason Jennings underwent successful surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow. Jennings should begin his rehab, which is expected to last six months, in the next 10 days. ... The Astros will have seven September call-ups. OF Josh Anderson will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. RHP Juan Gutierrez, OF Jason Lane, IF Cody Ransom, C Humberto Quintero and C J.R. Towels from Round Rock, and RHP Felipe Paulino from Double-A Corpus Christi will join the team in Milwaukee on Tuesday. ... RHP Brandon Backe will be activated from the disabled list Saturday and start Tuesday, nearly a year after he underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery. Backe, who was 3-2 with a 4.32 ERA in five rehab starts for Round Rock, said that he wasn't fully healed. ``I'm not totally over it,'' he said. ``I'm not totally healthy. Next year I should be at 100 percent and good to go.''

CHICAGO: Steve Trachsel's joining the Cubs for a second stint and will initially be part of what manager Lou Piniella calls a modified six-man rotation. Asked why he didn't just drop one of his current starters, Piniella didn't respond during his post-game news conference. But Friday was not a good time for Sean Marshall to have a shaky performance. ``It's up to the manager and the skipper what he wants to do,'' Marshall said, when asked about pitching well to stay in the rotation. He lasted just 3 2-3 innings. Marshall said he was a bit surprised to hear the Cubs had obtained another starter, but said he was looking forward to meeting Trachsel, the 15-year veteran. ``He's had a lot of years and it's going to be fun to pick his brain like we have other veteran guys,'' Marshall said. ... The Cubs will call up several players Saturday when rosters expand. Backup infielder Ronny Cedeno and catcher Geovany Soto are expected to be among the group, as will left-handed reliever Carmen Pignatiello. ... The Cubs ended August without a 20-homer player for the first time in a full regular season since 1992. Alfonso Soriano has 19.


PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies purchased the contract of RHP Kane Davis from Triple-A Ottawa, and optioned RHP Geoff Geary to the same club. Davis was surprised and pleased to return to the majors, figuring he would soon be heading home to West Virginia for deer-hunting season. ``I was getting geared up for that mentally,'' he said with a smile. ... By beating the New York Mets 11-10 Thursday, the Phillies improved to 11-20 in one-run games.

FLORIDA: RHP Henry Owens will wait at least six months to begin throwing after undergoing shoulder surgery Thursday. ... With two hits Wednesday, RF Jeremy Hermida hiked his average since the All-Star break to .353. ... The Marlins will wait for Triple-A Albuquerque's season to end before making September call-ups, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Among those called up will be three or four pitchers.


SAN FRANCISCO: OF Barry Bonds was not in the starting lineup Friday, but was scheduled to play Saturday. Manager Bruce Bochy said he wanted to use Thursday's travel day and Friday's game to give Bonds a two-day break. He wouldn't commit to any kind of schedule for his slugger for the remainder of the six-game road swing. ``If he feels good, he's going to be out there,'' Bochy said. ... RHP Tim Lincecum, who was scheduled to start Saturday night, will have his turn skipped to give him some extra rest. LHP Jonathan Sanchez will be recalled from Triple-A Fresno to make the start. Sanchez is 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA in 29 games with San Francisco this year. Bochy said Lincecum would take LHP Noah Lowry's Tuesday start. ... While Sanchez and OF Nate Schierholtz will join the Giants on Saturday from Fresno when rosters expand, Bochy said any other callups will be delayed until midweek, when minor league seasons end.

WASHINGTON: With his team back home after losing the last six games of a trip, manager Manny Acta called a closed-door meeting before Friday's game. ``It's just about staying focused,'' Acta said. ``And making sure that not everything that we've put into the season for 6 1/2 months goes down the drain in the last month of the season. This game is just like life - 'What have you done for me lately?''' The Nationals began the day 18 games under .500, matching their season worst. ... Acta filled out a lineup card on the night Barry Bonds broke the career home run record - and would have thrown the precious souvenir away if the clubhouse manager had not spoken up. ``He said, 'You want me to keep those or laminate them for you?' And I'm like, 'Ah, OK. Barry Bonds just broke the record.' Lineup cards, I have very few of those, my first game and now this one. I'm not a big collector.''


NEW YORK: RHP Orlando Hernandez returned to New York with a sore tendon in his right foot following Thursday night's game in Philadelphia. Hernandez pitched three innings in his shortest outing of the season. Hernandez could be skipped in the rotation if RHP Pedro Martinez is able to make his first start on Monday. Martinez hopes to pitch Monday in Cincinnati after throwing a good bullpen outing Friday in Atlanta. ... LHP Tom Glavine received a pregame tribute to honor his 300th career win. The video tribute included highlights of Glavine's 15 full seasons in Atlanta, and he was given a warm ovation from Braves fans who normally greet him with a mix of boos and cheers.

ATLANTA: LHP Chuck James was expected to return from the DL and start against the Mets on Saturday. ``He's fine to go,'' manager Bobby Cox said. ``He feels real strong, so we're going with him.'' James went on the DL on Aug. 21 with tightness in the back of his pitching shoulder. ... The Braves scrapped their normal left-field platoon as hot-hitting Matt Diaz started against RHP John Maine. Diaz hit two homers in a 7-4 win over Florida on Wednesday night. Willie Harris is the normal starter against right-handers. Diaz has hit over .400 in August while Harris slumped to .215.


PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke is scheduled to make a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis Saturday, and could rejoin the Pirates rotation next week, manager Jim Tracy said. The team needs a starter Thursday at St. Louis, and Tracy said Duke was being considered. Duke has not pitched in the majors since June 29 due to tendinitis in his left elbow. He is 2-4 with a 5.98 ERA in 17 starts. ... Tracy said the team would call up about a half dozen players beginning Saturday when rosters are allowed to expand. He said the team would stagger the callups, and not all would be made on Saturday.

MILWAUKEE: LHP Manny Parra was placed on the 15-day DL with a chip fracture in his left thumb suffered while bunting Thursday night against the Chicago Cubs. It was the second starter placed on the DL this week after RHP Claudio Vargas was placed on the 15-day DL with a lower back strain. RHP Greg Aquino was recalled from Nashville to take Parra's spot on the roster. ... Manager Ned Yost said he was considering RHP Carlos Villanueva to fill Parra's rotation spot, which comes up Tuesday against Houston. Villanueva pitched in middle relief for the Brewers this year before being sent to Triple-A Nashville on Aug. 21 to pitch as a starter. Yost said he will rejoin the team Saturday when rosters expand.


CINCINNATI: The Reds used the same starting lineup in three straight games for only the second time this season. The other time was Aug. 16-18. ... Ken Griffey Jr. need one RBI to tie Cal Ripken Jr. (1,695) for 17th on the career list, and was tied with Eddie Murray for 15th (1,089) on the extra-base hit list. ... Interim manager Pete Mackanin was 31-21 since replacing Jerry Narron, (31-51). ... Brandon Phillips needed one more homer to tie Joe Morgan (27) for the franchise season record by a second baseman. ... Closer David Weathers had nine straight saves and hadn't allowed a run in his last nine appearances, covering 9 1-3 innings.

ST. LOUIS: At 64-66, the Cardinals were assured of entering September with a sub-.500 record for the first time since 1999, when they were 64-69. ... Miguel Cairo, who will be among the September minor league callups, arrived a day early on Friday before the Cardinals finalized a deal for Russell Branyan from the Phillies. Cairo, previously with the Cardinals from 2001-03, adds versatility to the bench. ``It's hard to think of a spot where I wouldn't play him, including catcher,'' manager Tony La Russa. ... C Kelly Stinnett, reinstated from the restricted list, will be among the September callups although he's not due to arrive until next week.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Royals activate Sweeney, purchase contract of right-hander Shiell, option right-hander Nunez
August 31, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Mike Sweeney was activated from the 60-day disabled list by the Kansas City Royals before the second game of a doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins on Friday.

Sweeney, on the disabled list since June 19, has missed 61 games this season with a right knee injury. Since signing a $55 million contract during spring training in 2002, the designated hitter and first baseman has missed significant time in every season besides 2005.

Sweeney was hitting .245 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 57 games before the injury.

To make room for Sweeney, the Royals optioned starting pitcher Kyle Davies to Double-A Wichita, but will likely recall him in time for his next start once major league rosters expand to 40 players on Saturday. Davies got the win in the first game of Friday's doubleheader.

Also between games, the Royals moved pitcher John Thompson from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list. Thompson has been out since July 15 with lower back spasms.

Before Friday's first game, the Royals purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Jason Shiell from Double-A Wichita.

Right-hander Leo Nunez was optioned to Wichita to make room. Nunez was 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA in seven games, six of them starts. Right-hander Brandon Duckworth (left rib cage strain) is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list and start Saturday's game. Duckworth has been out since mid-June.

Shiell spent three days on the roster in July, but never made an appearance. He spent most of his time this season with Triple-A Omaha. The 30-year-old had stints with San Diego in 2002, Boston in 2003 and Atlanta in 2006.

After Thursday's game against Detroit, Kansas City recalled first baseman Ryan Shealy (strained left hamstring) from Omaha and placed him on the 60-day disabled list to save a spot on the 40-man roster.

The Royals were scheduled to play the Twins twice on Friday, the first game a makeup from Aug. 2, the day after the fatal freeway bridge collapse near downtown Minneapolis.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Phillies' Hamels to remain idle another week or more with sore elbow
August 31, 2007

MIAMI (AP) -The return of Cole Hamels to the Philadelphia Phillies' rotation has been postponed at least a week.

The All-Star left-hander was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday at Florida when he felt elbow discomfort during a bullpen session. He has been on the disabled list because of a strained elbow since Aug. 22, and his most recent game was Aug. 16.

Hamels won't throw for six days, and it might be two weeks before he rejoins the rotation, he said Friday.

``I'd like to make the sure the discomfort I feel is at a minimum,'' Hamels said. ``If I didn't do anything for a month, I'd be healed, but we've got to play. It's something that's never going to fully heal until the offseason. So it's just a matter of trying to go out there.''

An earlier MRI exam showed no structural or ligament damage. Hamels began a six-day regimen of anti-inflammatory medication Friday.

``From there they're going to see how I feel, and I'll start throwing again and try again,'' he said.

Said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.: ``We don't believe this to be anything long-term.''

Hamels is 14-5 with a 3.50 ERA. The Phillies have surged without him, cutting their deficit in the NL East to two games by sweeping a four-game series this week from the division-leading New York Mets.

Hamels cut short a bullpen session Thursday, throwing 25 pitches instead of 45 as planned. He said he felt discomfort when he extended his arm on fastballs.

``It was hindering me from pitching with my proper mechanics,'' he said. ``It was changing my delivery, and obviously that's not going to help.''

Hamels, 23, has thrown 167 1-3 innings this season, the most in his professional career. Adam Eaton (9-8, 6.23 ERA) will start in his place Sunday against the last-place Marlins.

The Phillies have been plagued by injuries all season. Right-hander Freddy Garcia had shoulder surgery Thursday, nearly three months after he threw his last pitch of the season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Mark Mulder could rejoin Cardinals rotation next week
August 31, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -Mark Mulder could rejoin the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation next week, a little more than one year after shoulder surgery.

The left-hander, coming back from an operation on Sept. 13 last year to repair a torn rotator cuff, was to make his fourth rehab start for Triple-A Memphis on Friday night.

St. Louis, 2 1/2 games back in the NL Central going into Friday night, is in the midst of playing its final 35 games in a 34-day stretch with no days off. Using six starters would allow the team to give some extra rest to fatigued pitchers such as Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper, a pair of converted relievers.

Mulder could be slotted in Wednesday or Thursday at home against the Pirates.

``There's a possibility if he keeps moving forward, he could pitch in that Pittsburgh series,'' Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. ``He's not here yet, so let's let him take his assignment, because he may need another one. I don't want to put any pressure on him.''

The 30-year-old Mulder threw about 60 pitches in his third rehab start, and La Russa said the plan called for him to increase to 75-80 on Friday.

Mulder was 6-7 with a 7.14 ERA in 17 starts last year and had two stints on the disabled list. He was a 21-game winner for Oakland in 2001 and was 16-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 2005, his first year with the Cardinals.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Cardinals place Rolen on DL, acquire Branyan from Phillies
August 31, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -The St. Louis Cardinals, preparing to play the final month without Scott Rolen, acquired Russell Branyan from the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday for a player to be named.

Rolen, troubled much of the season by his surgically repaired left shoulder, was examined Friday in Cincinnati by Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek, who repaired the slugger's torn labrum in August 2005.

Even before learning results of the exam, manager Tony La Russa feared another operation would be recommended to clean up scar tissue, ending Rolen's season.

``He was quoted as saying 'end of the wick,''' La Russa said. ``What does that mean? He's had enough, so I'm not optimistic.

``He's been dealing with it for a long time.''

The Cardinals placed Rolen on the 15-day disabled list and added Branyan on the deadline day for postseason rosters. La Russa added Branyan to a short list of possible third base replacements for the seven-time Gold Glover, topped by rookie Brendan Ryan and also including utilityman Miguel Cairo, among the September callups from Triple-A Memphis.

Cairo arrived on Friday, a day early, before the Branyan trade was finalized.

``None of them are going to be Scott Rolen, but I think they'll do OK,'' La Russa said.

Rolen was batting .265 with eight homers and 58 RBIs, greatly decreased power numbers after hitting 22 homers last year and 34 in 2004. His usually impeccable fielding had suffered lately, with four errors coming in a three-game stretch last week.

``I think lately, he's felt like it's bothered his throwing some,'' La Russa said. ``Before that, he was having another outstanding year.''

Branyan, who was expected to join the Cardinals during Friday night's game against the Reds after driving from Nashville, is a .229 career hitter with 120 homers and 298 RBIs. He hit a career-high 24 homers with the Indians and Reds in 2002.

Branyan batted a combined .198 with nine homers and 24 RBIs this year for the Phillies and Padres. He was released by the Padres on July 28, signed with Cleveland on Aug. 7, then was traded to Philadelphia two days later.

Branyan hit a pair of homers for the Phillies, including a two-run pinch-hit drive on Aug. 14 at Washington to win 3-2. He had a two-homer game against the Cardinals for the Padres on May 11.

During his career, Branyan has played at third base, first base and outfield, although La Russa indicated he'd use his newest player as a pinch hitter and occasional starter at third.

Cairo signed a minor league contract with St. Louis on Aug. 19, 12 days after being designated for assignment by the New York Yankees and two days after being released. He batted .252 with 10 RBIs in 54 games with the Yankees this year.

Cairo previously was with the Cardinals from 2001-03, and had a successful playoff run as the stand-in third baseman after Rolen first injured his shoulder in an '01 basepath collision with Arizona's Alex Cintron.

``It's kind of cool to be back,'' Cairo said. ``I spent 2 1/2 years here and I was hoping it came through.''

Cairo was let go by the Yankees to make room for Jason Giambi, who was activated off the 15-day disabled list.

``They had to have that roster spot and I was the player out, but that's part of the game,'' Cairo said. ``I had a good run there and I really had fun.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Baseball Today - September 1
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, Sept. 1

L.A. Dodgers at San Diego (10:05 p.m. EDT). Derek Lowe faces NL strikeout-leader Jake Peavy in a key NL West matchup.

STARS Friday

-Scott Baker, Twins, allowed one hit and struck out nine in a 5-0 victory over Kansas City.

-Hunter Pence, Astros, homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs in Houston's 6-1 victory over Chicago.

-Carlos Pena and Andy Sonnanstine, Devil Rays. Pena homered twice and Sonnanstine allowed two hits in eight innings in a 9-1 win at New York.

-Yovani Gallardo, Brewers, gave up two runs in seven innings and hit his second home run of the season in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh.

SO CLOSE

Scott Baker came within three outs of a perfect game and two outs of a no-hitter, falling short of history but leading the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals 5-0 in the second game of a doubleheader Friday night. Baker entered the ninth inning with a chance for just the 18th perfect game in major league history. Baker then walked John Buck and allowed a single to pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney. The 25-year-old right-hander recovered to get the one-hitter, struck out a career-high nine and threw 111 pitches in just his second complete game in 44 major league starts.

TRADE

The Cardinals, acquired power-hitting Russell Branyan from the Phillies on Friday for a player to be named. Branyan is a .229 hitter with 120 homers and 298 RBIs. He hit a career-high 24 homers with the Indians and Reds in 2002. Branyan batted a combined .198 with nine homers and 24 RBIs this year for the Phillies and Padres.

SUSPENDED

Yankees rookie sensation Joba Chamberlain was suspended for two games and fined $1,000 Friday, a day after he threw two 98-99 mph pitches over the head of Boston's Kevin Youkilis. Chamberlain missed Friday night's game against Tampa Bay and was to sit out again on Saturday. Chamberlain has thrown 11 1-3 scoreless innings in the majors, striking out 17, walking four and allowing just five hits.

COMEBACKE KID

Houston right-hander Brandon Backe is to start Tuesday in his first appearance in almost a year following elbow ligament replacement surgery. Backe's first start of 2007 will come in Milwaukee and will be three days shy of a year since his elbow was operated on last Sept. 7. He hasn't appeared in a major league game since Aug. 18, 2006, at Milwaukee. Backe is 19-14 with a 4.71 ERA in his big league career.

STREAKING

Philadelphia beat Florida 9-2 on Friday night to extend their winning streak to a season-best six games. ... Cleveland beat the White Sox 8-5 Friday night for their season-high seventh straight win.

SNAPPED

The Mets snapped a five-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Braves on Friday night. ... Baltimore snapped a nine-game losing streak after beating Boston 9-8 on Friday night. It was the first time the Orioles won since announcing manager Dave Trembley would return next season.

SLUMPING

Seattle lost to Toronto 7-5 on Friday night. The Mariners have lost seven straight. ... San Francisco beat Washington 3-2, extended the Nationals' skid to seven games. ... The White Sox lost to Cleveland 8-5 Friday night, losing their 10th straight on the road for the first time since 1977.

SPEAKING

''It's been so long since I had a hit in the big leagues I was going to ask him for the ball.''- Kansas City's Mike Sweeney after singled off of Scott Baker to break up his no-hitter. Sweeney, activated from the disabled list between games, pinch hit and blooped a two-seam fastball to left-center for his first hit since June 16 in the Royals 5-0 loss to Minnesota.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Oakland's Buck, Chavez and Kotsay out for rest of 2007
ASSOCIATED PRESS

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics lost three players for the remainder of the season Friday - six-time Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez, center fielder Mark Kotsay and rookie outfielder Travis Buck.

Chavez will undergo surgery on his troublesome right shoulder on Wednesday to repair his labrum, then doctors turn their focus to his back problems. Chavez has been bothered by shoulder problems for about two years and he debated having an operation after the 2005 season. But he has been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with lower back spasms.

''At this point in the season, we felt like getting him started on something he needed to give him maximum time to get ready for next year, to get him strong and healthy,'' manager Bob Geren said before the A's opened a weekend series with the Detroit Tigers. ''It didn't look like he was going to play the rest of the year.''

Buck also will have an operation Sept. 10 to tighten a loose ligament in his right elbow, to be performed by noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum. He has been on the disabled list since Aug. 20 with a strained left hamstring. Earlier this year, he was on the DL from June 28 to July 14 with a sprained right thumb.

''Despite the desires of all three players to get back on the field in 2007, we, as an organization, feel it is important for them to begin the healing process and to break the cycle of injuries that have plagued the A's in 2007,'' general manager Billy Beane said. ''What is most important for Eric, Mark and Travis is that they start to look forward to a healthy 2008.''

The 29-year-old Chavez has won six straight AL Gold Gloves, despite playing much of last season with pain in his forearms and was limited to 137 games because of various injuries.

He batted a career-low .240 this season with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs. In 2006, he hit .241, second worst among all AL qualifiers, and his 100 strikeouts were his third most in parts of nine big league seasons. He still hit 22 home runs to reach the 20-homer mark for the seventh straight year, but his 72 RBIs were his fewest during that span.

He committed six errors this year, one more than last year - after making 15 in 2005. He is one of just six third basemen in major league history to win six or more Gold Gloves, and one of three to do so in the AL, joining Brooks Robinson (16) and Buddy Bell (6).

Kotsay began the 2007 campaign on the DL following back surgery March 8 during spring training. He returned June 1, then was sidelined again Aug. 17 with lower back spasms. He batted .214 with one home run and 20 RBIs.

Kotsay will wait until the soreness in his back subsides before he begins a strengthening program and rehabilitation. He hopes to get a head start adding strength to his back - something he couldn't physically do in the past few offseasons - will help him be fully healthy to play a complete season in 2008 and participate in all of spring training.

''You've got to look forward and how this will get me strong and playing from the beginning of next year,'' Kotsay said. ''For me, I'll accept the fact this was a terrible year and move forward.''

Buck, the team's opening day right fielder, hit .288 with seven homers and 34 RBIs.

''As much as I want to play and they want me to play, this is the right move,'' Buck said.

The A's have used an Oakland-record and a majors-leading 51 players this season and have used the disabled list 22 times, tying an Oakland record set in 1992. The 22 players on the DL have combined to miss 1,039 games this season. Nine players are currently on the DL.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Diamondbacks call up 5 players from minors; activate Quentin from DL
September 1, 2007

PHOENIX (AP) -The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled five players from the minors and also activated outfielder Carlos Quentin, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 2 with a right hamstring injury.

Among the callups are pitchers Dana Eveland, Bill Murphy and Jailen Peguero along with utilityman Robbie Hammock and infielder Emilio Bonifacio.

Eveland was scheduled to start Saturday night's game here against Colorado, his first start for the Diamondbacks and his third appearance for Arizona this season.

He was 1-0 with a 1.95 ERA in nine games for Triple-A Tucson.

Murphy, a lefthander, was 3-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 54 games for Tucson this season, including nine starts.

He will be making his major-league debut along with Bonifacio, who appeared in 131 games for Double-A Mobile and hit .285 with two homers, 40 RBIs and a Southern League-best 41 stolen bases.

Hammock began the season with the Diamondbacks and hit .237 in 28 games. He had a .329 batting average with four homers in 66 games for Tucson.

Peguero had an 8.38 ERA in 11 games for Arizona this season before going 6-2 with a 1.89 ERA in 53 games for Tucson.

Quentin hit .208 with five homers and 28 RBIs in 71 games for the Diamondbacks before his injury.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Braves add Julio Franco, 2 others to roster
August 31, 2007

ATLANTA (AP) -The Atlanta Braves will call up 49-year-old first baseman Julio Franco and two other minor leaguers when the rosters expand Saturday.

The team also will promote reliever Royce Ring and catcher Brayan Pena from Triple-A Richmond.

Ring, a left-hander, was acquired from San Diego on July 31 for two relievers - Wil Ledezma and Will Startup. He was 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA in 15 games at Richmond.

Pena was hitting .302 with the Braves' top farm club.

Franco was released on Aug. 1 and assigned to Class-A Rome on Aug. 6 after he cleared waivers.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Royals bring Duckworth back from DL
September 1st, 2007

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals reinstated pitcher Brandon Duckworth from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, in time to make his start against the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.

Duckworth is 2-3 with a 2.94 ERA in 18 games for the Royals this season.

The club also recalled pitcher Neal Musser from Triple-A Omaha. Musser has no record and a 4.87 ERA in 13 appearances for Kansas City in 2007.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Encarnacion to miss remainder of season
September 1st, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Juan Encarnacion will miss the remainder of the season because of a serious eye injury.

Encarnacion was struck in the eye by a foul ball while in the on-deck circle during Friday's game against Cincinnati. He was taken to a hospital for further evaluation and tests revealed multiple fractures of his left eye socket.

The Cardinals released a statement Saturday saying that Encarnacion will remain hospitalized for "continued observation, evaluation and treatment."

Encarnacion will finish the 2007 campaign with nine home runs, 47 runs batted in and a batting average of .283.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Athletics recall P Braden, sign C Melhuse
September 1st, 2007

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics Saturday recalled pitcher Dallas Braden from Triple-A Sacramento and signed free agent catcher Adam Melhuse.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the club transferred Eric Chavez to the 60-day disabled list.

Braden, who will start Sunday against Detroit, is 1-7 with a 6.32 ERA in 13 games, 10 of which were starts, over four stints with Oakland this season. He won his major league debut on April 24 at Baltimore, but proceeded to drop seven straight.

The left-hander was a combined 3-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 13 starts at Triple-A Sacramento and Double-A Midland. He threw back-to-back complete games in his last two minor league starts, including a three-hit shutout with a Sacramento- record 17 strikeouts Monday against Colorado Springs.

Melhuse was on Oakland's Opening Day roster and hit .231 in 12 games before getting traded for cash considerations on June 9 to Texas, for which he appeared in 23 games and hit .206 with a homer and seven RBI before getting designated for assignment on August 23 and released the following day.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

Marlins recall P Kensing
September 1st, 2007

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Florida Marlins recalled pitcher Logan Kensing from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday.

Kensing returns to the majors exactly one year and one day after he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Kensing was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list August 8 before he was optioned to Albuquerque.

In 37 relief appearances for Florida in 2006, Kensing went 1-3 with one save and a 4.54 earned run average.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September - 1

White Sox reinstate Cintron, Terrero
September 1st, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox Saturday reinstated infielder Alex Cintron from the restricted list and activated outfielder Luis Terrero from the 15-day disabled list.

Cintron, who is hitting .217 over 58 games with 14 runs batted in, has been sidelined since August 21 when he was placed on the bereavement list prior to moving to the restricted list on August 28.

Terrero, who was placed on the DL on July 24 with a strained left groin, has a .224 average with 10 RBI over 48 games this season.

Also, Chicago purchased the contract of catcher Donny Lucy from Triple-A Charlotte.

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