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MLB News and Notes September 2

MLB News and Notes September 2

Notes from Saturday's games
September 1, 2007

KANSAS CITY: With Mike Sweeney back and available to DH, the Royals plan to use rookie Billy Butler a lot at first base over the final month. ``It will be interesting to see what he does offensively when he has something else to do, rather than just hit,'' manager Buddy Bell said. ``I think he considers himself somebody that can do more than DH.'' Butler is eager for the opportunity. ``I don't take things lightly. I have more pride than that in playing defense. So I go out there every day and do as much as I can to get better each day,'' he said. ... Sweeney had two more hits Saturday after ending Scott Baker's no-hitter in the ninth inning Friday night. He's batting .336 with 22 homers and 100 RBIs in 470 career at_bats against the Twins. This year, Sweeney is 11-for-20 with two homers and five RBIs against Minnesota.

MINNESOTA: Scott Baker was all smiles on Saturday morning, still reflecting on the perfect game he took into the ninth inning the night before. Baker said he doesn't watch the highlights on TV at night, and he's not much of a collector. But he said it would be nice to have some kind of memento from the game that his two young sons could appreciate later. Baker said he didn't wish for a different pitch against Mike Sweeney when the first hit finally came. ``I don't think there's anything you can do about it,'' Baker said. ``This game is so much about chance.'' ... The Twins brought up only IF Luis Rodriguez for their roster expansion for now, preferring to let Triple-A Rochester compete for the playoffs. OF Lew Ford got hurt, so his call-up was delayed. RHP Kevin Slowey will be recalled to start Tuesday's game.

TAMPA BAY: LF Carl Crawford extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He is batting .362 with four doubles, 10 RBIs and five stolen bases during the streak. ... Crawford has hit safely in 29 of his last 32 games, with 17 multihit efforts. ... RHP Jay Witasick was activated from the 15-day disabled list. He had been out since July 22 because of a right elbow strain. ``Right now the bullpen has been doing a really good job,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``He just makes us stronger.''

NEW YORK: RHP Ian Kennedy had about 20 friends and family members in attendance to see him win his major league debut. ``He just seemed very prepared to pitch this game,'' manager Joe Torre said. ``He was very poised. I was very impressed with him.'' Kennedy was the sixth pitcher to make his big league debut as a starter for the Yankees this season, the most for any club since the Philadelphia Phillies in 1935, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The Yankees said RHP Roger Clemens is expected to make his scheduled start Monday against Seattle's Felix Hernandez. Clemens has been bothered recently by blisters on his feet and possibly some elbow inflammation. ... SS Derek Jeter is 9-for-15 since ending an 0-for-14 slide Tuesday against Boston. He was hit in the back by a pitch from Juan Salas on Saturday. ... Johnny Damon got a day off.

SEATTLE: 1B Richie Sexson (left hamstring) is still sore and is likely to miss at least four more games. ``It's going to be a while,'' said manager John McLaren, adding that Sexson is ``very iffy'' for a three-game series against the New York Yankees that begins Monday. ``That might be pushing it.'' ... 2B Jose Lopez returned to the starting lineup after being held out the past two days for disciplinary reasons. ``He's doing the things we want him to do,'' McLaren said. ``We're not down on Jose. We just want his focus to be better.'' ... Ichiro Suzuki recorded his American League-leading 49th infield single in the first inning Saturday. ... The Mariners have lost a season-high eight straight games and are 24-25 since the All-Star break.

Gregg Zaun's seventh-inning home Saturday marked the first time in eight games that the Blue Jays have scored first. Toronto also held the opposition scoreless in the first inning for only the second time in nine games. ... 3B Troy Glaus is batting .391 (9-for-23) with seven RBIs in his past seven games. ... DH Frank Thomas went 3-for-4 Saturday, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games. He's batting .381 (16-for-42) over the course of the streak.

DETROIT: LHP Kenny Rogers, out for the second time this season with an elbow injury, was set to throw a bullpen session Sunday after pitching three innings in a simulated game Friday. ``We'll play it by ear on how he feels whether he can pitch next week,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ... No. 9 hitter Timo Perez had three hits, scored twice and stole his first base. ... The Tigers recalled RHPs Yorman Bazardo and Jose Capellan and IFs Mike Hessman and Omar Infante from Triple-A Toledo. ... Justin Verlander struck out 10, the third time this year he's fanned 10 or more batters.

OAKLAND: The A's re-signed free agent C Adam Melhuse, bringing back their former backup catcher for the season's final month. Oakland traded Melhuse to Texas on June 9, then the Rangers designated him for assignment Aug. 23 before releasing him. To make roster room for Melhuse, the A's transferred 3B Eric Chavez to the 60-day disabled list, one day after the club announced he would be out for the remainder of the season and have surgery on his right shoulder Sept. 10 to repair a torn labrum. Oakland also called up LHP Dallas Braden, who was scheduled to start the series finale Sunday. ... Nick Swisher snapped an 0-for-13 stretch with a double in the third, while Shannon Stewart ended an 0-for-12 funk with his fifth-inning single.

The Orioles added three players Saturday when rosters could be expanded beyond 25 players. They were Garrett Olson, Saturday night's starting pitcher, right-hander Rocky Cherry and infielder Scott Moore. Cherry and Moore were obtained Friday from the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Steve Trachsel. ... Friday's 9-8 win in the series opener was the 104th game of their first 133 in which the Orioles led. But they were just 59-74. ... The Orioles finished August with a 9-19 record after breaking a nine-game losing streak Friday. They were 15-10 in July.

Mike Lowell extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a lined single to left field in the third inning. ... Boston recalled six players from Triple-A Pawtucket, including Saturday night's starting pitcher, Clay Buchholz. The others were relievers Bryan Corey and Craig Breslow, outfielders Brandon Moss and Jacoby Ellsbury and infielder Royce Clayton. The Red Sox also transferred reliever Brendan Donnelly from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. ... Dustin Pedroia's two doubles Friday night gave him 31, tying him for third most ever by a Red Sox rookie infielder.

CHICAGO: The White Sox called C Donny Lucy from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday. Lucy was the only position player called up on the first day rosters are allowed to be expanded. Manager Ozzie Guillen said that the addition of Lucy will allow him to pinch run for Cs A.J. Pierzynski and Toby Hall more often. Lucy was batting .255 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 106 games at Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham. ... IF Alex Cintron was reinstated from the restricted list. He was placed on the bereavement list on Aug. 21 and moved to the restricted list on Aug. 28. Cintron is hitting .217 with 14 RBIs in 58 games. ... OF Luis Terrero was activated from the disabled list, where he had been since July 24 with a strained left groin. He's batting .224 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 48 games. ... Guillen said an unspecified number of pitchers would be called up from Charlotte on Tuesday.

CLEVELAND: LHP Cliff Lee, RHP Mike Koplove and OF Ben Francisco were recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday. The contract of IF Luis Rivas was purchased from Buffalo. Lee, who will be used out of the bullpen, was sent down on July 27 after going 5-8 with a 6.38 ERA in 16 starts with the Indians. He was 1-3 with a 3.51 ERA in eight starts at Buffalo. ... Koplove begins his second stint with the Indians this season. He had no record and a 4.50 ERA in three games. ... Francisco has been with the Indians on two previous occasions this season. He batted .273 with three homers and seven RBIs in 17 games. ... Rivas has spent the entire season at Buffalo, where he hit .263 with 11 homers, 43 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. ... The Indians will call up two or three more players from Buffalo when the Bisons' season ends. LHP Jeremy Sowers, RHPs Edward Mujica and Matt Miller and 3B Andy Marte are among the candidates.

HOUSTON: OF Josh Anderson, recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, joined the Astros on Saturday. Houston will call up six more players when the minor league seasons end Tuesday and interim manager Cecil Cooper said they should be ready to play. ``They're going to get a chance. We're not calling them up for show,'' Cooper said. ``We've got to find out on some of these guys. ... In '08 some of these people can help.'' . ... RHP Chris Sampson, who just came off the disabled list (sprained right elbow), worked two innings, giving up four hits and a run on Derrek Lee's homer. ``I just wanted to focus in on the first outing coming in and throwing strikes, which I did. A couple of strikes weren't exactly where I wanted them on the plate. One I got away with, one I didn't,'' Sampson said. ... The Astros dropped to 3-2 under interim manager Cooper.

CHICAGO: Reliever Will Ohman, saying he ``really messed up,'' apologized for his actions after he was demoted to the minors Aug. 7. The left-handed reliever was recalled Saturday. When he was sent down, Ohman said he had a sore shoulder, that the medical staff was aware of it and he was never listed as unavailable to pitch. He had an MRI that showed some irritation in his AC joint. But his comments that insinuated the medical staff wasn't doing its job didn't sit well with some of his teammates. ``In no way was I trying to theoretically throw someone under the bus or anything like. So from the heart I just wanted to apologize to those that I did upset,'' Ohman said. Ohman said he talked with trainer Mark O'Neal and the incident is over and done with. Manager Lou Piniella said there was nothing for him to clear up. He said he would welcome Ohman back, see how he was throwing and expect him to get left-handed hitters out. ... Ryan Dempster has converted 12 straight saves chances.

NEW YORK: RHP Mike Pelfrey was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans and started the game against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. ... On Sunday the Mets will start ex-Brave Tom Glavine against John Smoltz, former teammates for 15 years. It will be the fourth time this season and fifth overall they have started against each other. Smoltz is 3-0 and Glavine is 0-2. ... RHP Orlando Hernandez was expected back Saturday after getting a cortisone shot for a sore tendon in his right foot in New York. He pitched three innings on Thursday against Philadelphia in his shortest outing of the season. ... The Mets also recalled RHP Philip Humber and purchased the contract of LHP Willie Collazo from New Orleans.

ATLANTA: SS Yunel Escobar was scratched from the starting lineup. He was hit by a pitch in the left elbow on Friday night and it was swollen and sore on Saturday. He was hitting .331 with 3 home runs and 24 RBI. He was replaced by Chris Woodward. ... LHP Chuck James was activated from the 15-day DL and started against the Mets on Saturday. James went on the DL on Aug. 21, retroactive to Aug. 17, because of tightness in the back of his pitching shoulder. ...1B Mark Teixeira had his 11-game hitting streak end Friday night. During the streak he went 12-for-29 (.414) with three homers and 11 RBIs. ... RF Jeff Francoeur started his 300th consecutive game on Saturday. He leads the majors with 18 assists.

PHILADELPHIA: C Rod Barrajas and RHP Francisco Rosario were reinstated from the disabled list before Saturday's game. LHP Mike Zagurski, sidelined because of a right hamstring strain, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. ... RHP Kane Davis became the 28th pitcher the Phillies have used this season with his appearance Friday night. If his two scoreless innings against the Marlins is an indication, Davis could become a valuable asset in September. ``That's the best breaking ball I've seen him throw,'' said manager Charlie Manuel, who also managed Davis in Cleveland in 2000. ``When he's getting over it like that, his fastball is better. With an effort like that, he'll get more chances to pitch.'' Davis' appearance on Friday was his first with a major league club since 2005. The Phillies purchased his contract from Triple-A Ottawa earlier in the day. The 28 pitchers used set a team record, breaking the previous mark of 27 in 2000. ... During their recent series in Philadelphia, the Mets asked the commissioner's office to look into whether the Phillies might be stealing signs with a center-field camera or something. Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for discipline, traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday and found nothing suspicious. The Phillies swept four games from New York, pulling within two games of the NL East leaders Thursday.

FLORIDA: LF Josh Willingham was scratched from Saturday's starting lineup. Willingham left Friday's game in the third inning because of a stiff lower back. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Willingham could return Sunday. Todd Linden replaced Willingham and the Marlins inserted RF Jeremy Hermida into the third spot in the batting order and moved 3B Miguel Cabrera, who usually hits third, to cleanup. Hermida normally hits in the bottom of the order. ... 2B Dan Uggla, who jammed his right thumb sliding into second base after stretching a single into a double, was in the starting lineup. ... The Marlins recalled RHP Logan Kensing from Triple-A Albuquerque. Kensing underwent ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow on Aug. 31, 2006. He had seven rehabilitation assignments in Double-A and Class A before joining Albuquerque, where Kensing appeared in eight games (0-1, 4.00).

PITTSBURGH: LHP Tom Gorzelanny will start in Sunday's series finale against Milwaukee. Gorzelanny is 13-7 this season with a 3.50 ERA, and owns a career record of 2-0 against the Brewers with a 2.49 ERA in four career appearances, three of which were starts. ... The Pirates finished August with a 17-13 record, their best single month since May of 2004, when they went 17-10. ... The Pirates also set the team record for home runs in a month with 45 in August. The record was 43 set in August of 1947. ... Entering Saturday, the Pirates had won eight of their last 11 games on the road. They have won their last three road series, dating back to early August. ... LHP Zach Duke is scheduled to make his third rehab start tonight with triple-A Indianapolis. He is expected to throw 70-75 pitches tonight.

RHP Jeff Suppan is scheduled to start in Sunday's series finale. Suppan, who played for Pittsburgh in 2003, has a career 9-3 record against his old team with a 3.97 ERA. He is 2-0 with a 4.32 ERA this season in three starts against his former team. The 9-18 record the Brewers had in August is the worst record in any month this season. ... With Saturday's crowd, the Brewers will eclipse last season's total attendance of 2,335,643. That was the second-highest attendance total in team history, before tonight's milestone. ... With his next home run, Prince Fielder will become the fourth Brewer to hit 40 homers in a season. Richie Sexson, who did it twice, Gorman Thomas and Ben Ogilvie are the others. ... The Brewers own the best home record in the National League entering play on Saturday.

SAN FRANCISCO: RHP Randy Messenger, on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 16 because of a fractured bone in his left hand, threw off a mound Saturday without complications. Messenger is still wearing a cast on his left hand. ``As soon as we get in him a workable cast or contraption where he can catch a ball, we'll be ready to go,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ... OF Nate Schierholtz, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday when rosters expanded, probably won't get a start before Monday in Denver because Bochy wants to play OF Randy Winn, who started Saturday after getting Friday off. ``We'll use him off the bench for a couple of days, then try to get him in as much as we can,'' Bochy said.

LHP Matt Chico, recalled after Friday's game to make a start Sunday, is eager to show off a new delivery with a shorter stride. The mechanical flaw was detected in video sessions with pitching coach Randy St. Claire and Chico worked on it in two starts after being sent to Triple-A Columbus on Aug. 17. ``I still feel like I'm not using my legs, which in reality I am,'' Chico said. ``The shorter stride is probably the biggest thing, because it keeps me going forward instead of side to side.'' ... Manager Manny Acta has been impressed by the play of OF Wily Mo Pena in left field, a position he played sparingly in Boston. ... Former Georgetown basketball star Jeff Green took batting practice with the Nationals before Saturday's game. Green was the fifth overall pick in June's NBA draft by Boston, then was dealt to Seattle.

Brandon Phillips was 1-for-4 Friday night, ending a seven-game run with two or more hits, going 16-for-30 in that span. It's the longest multihit streak of his career. ... LHP Phil Dumatrait was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to make the start, and RHP Marcus McBeth is the other September callup so far. More callups are anticipated. ... Norris Hopper had a league-leading .382 average since the All-Star break, and Jeff Keppinger was third at .367.

ST. LOUIS: 3B Scott Rolen rejoined the team on Saturday after getting a second opinion on his twice surgically-repaired left shoulder from Reds team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek. Rolen said a season-ending operation to clean up scar tissue will be scheduled soon. Rolen said the operation, awaiting the green light from GM Walt Jocketty, would sideline him 6-8 weeks. ``Something has to be done, no question,'' Rolen said. ``Until it's done, it's futile.'' ... Miguel Cairo, among the September callups, started at second Saturday night. Cairo previously played for the Cardinals from 2001-03. ``That's his favorite position, and this is his first time playing for us in a long time, so why not put him where he has the most experience?'' manager Tony La Russa said. ... Other callups were RHPs Andy Cavazos and Kelvin Jimenez and OF Skip Schumaker, and LHP Mike Maroth (elbow) was activated from the DL. La Russa said Maroth would be under consideration for a starting spot in the final month. Struggling Anthony Reyes is the most likely candidate to get bumped after getting only three outs on Friday night.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 2

COLORADO: OF Willy Taveras and INF/OF Jeff Baker were activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday. Baker had been on the DL since Aug. 11, when he suffered a mild concussion. Taveras was on the DL since Aug. 15 because of a strained right groin. ... 1B Joe Koshansky's contract was purchased from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Koshansky will be making his major league debut. ... RHP Josh Fogg (7-9) is scheduled to start in the series finale Sunday. Fogg is 5-1 lifetime against Arizona.

ARIZONA: 1B Conor Jackson, who left Friday's game after being struck in the wrist by a line drive, was not in the lineup Saturday, but manager Bob Melvin said Jackson is OK. X-rays were negative. ... 3B Mark Reynolds, who left Friday's game after being hit by a pitch on the left elbow, was back in the lineup. ... RHP Brandon Webb (14-9) is scheduled to start Sunday. Arizona is 18-10 in Webb's previous starts.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 2

Pedro Martinez off DL, will start Monday

ATLANTA -- New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez, recovering from rotator cuff surgery, will make his first start of the season on Monday at Cincinnati.

He will be opposed by Aaron Harang.

Martinez did a great job throwing 53 pitches in a Friday night bullpen session making the Mets' decision to activate him easy. The three-time Cy Young winner underwent surgery last Oct. 5.

''I'm happy to say he's going to take the ball for us Monday in Cincinnati,'' Mets manager Willie Rudolph said Saturday before a game against the Atlanta Braves. ''It's great to have him back in the fold.''

Randolph said Martinez threw ''crisp, nice and free'' and said the throws appeared to be ''effortless coming out of his hand.''

Martinez hasn't pitched for New York this season but has made four rehab starts, including Monday night when he gave up an unearned run and five hits in six innings for the St. Lucie Mets against the Palm Beach Cardinals in a Class A Florida State League game.

Martinez said he will be limited to 75 pitches and no more than 35 pitches in one inning.

''I had to agree to that. I know it's for my own good. It's best for the team, too,'' Martinez said. ''I can't be too greedy. I can't go out there with high expectations.''

The activation of Martinez came at a good time for the Mets. Right-hander Orlando Hernandez was hit hard in Thursday's 11-10 loss to Philadelphia and has been bothered by a sore tendon in his right foot. He flew back to New York and had a cortisone shot in the foot. He was expected to return to the team Saturday and his status was day-to-day, the team said.

Martinez said he was not concerned that he has not reached his normal velocity in the minor league games.

''The better you feel, the more you want to push it. I don't want to fall into that trap,'' said Martinez.

''Pedro's a pitcher, man. Great pitchers execute their pitches,'' said Rudolph.

The bullpen session came after the Mets were coming off a four-game sweep by the Philadelphia Phillies. They had lost five in a row before beating Atlanta 7-1 on Friday night.

The Mets, who led the division by seven games on Aug. 25, were only two games ahead of the Phillies and 5 1/2 ahead of the Braves entering Saturday's games.

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