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MLB News and Notes September 4

MLB News and Notes September 4

Notes from Monday's games
September 3, 2007

SEATTLE: Manager John McLaren isn't sure when 1B Richie Sexson will be back in the lineup. Sexson left Thursday night's game against Cleveland because of tightness in his left hamstring and hasn't played since. ``We don't want him playing on one leg,'' McLaren said. ``We need to get this guy strong, get him back swinging the bat the way he's capable of doing.'' Ben Broussard started at first on Monday. ... RHP Felix Hernandez improved to 1-2 with a 4.82 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees. ... CF Ichiro Suzuki's solo drive in the third inning snapped a streak of 341 at_bats without a homer. His previous one was off Baltimore's Erik Bedard on June 4.

NEW YORK: 1B Andy Phillips has a broken right wrist and will have surgery Tuesday, most likely sidelining him for the rest of the season. Phillips was hit by a pitch during New York's 8-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Jason Giambi started at first against Seattle. ... RHP Roger Clemens dropped to 4-2 with a 3.29 ERA at Yankee Stadium this season. ... The Yankees are 33-19 since the All-Star break and 33-14 in their last 47 home games.

CLEVELAND: C.C. Sabathia has surpassed his career high in innings, with 211. He threw 210 innings in 2002, the only other season he logged 200-plus. ``My arm feels good. I'm ready to rock every fifth day.'' ... Manager Eric Wedge wasn't concerned by Cliff Lee's shaky inning in relief on Sunday. Lee gave up two hits, one walk and one run against the White Sox. ``You kind of have to give him a mulligan, because it's his first time,'' Wedge said. ``It wasn't a clean inning, but he got through it and we'll see how it is next time.'' Lee won 46 games as a starter from 2003 to 2005, but he was bothered by an abdominal injury this spring and struggled so badly when he returned he was sent to the minors. After being called back up over the weekend, Lee will be the primary long reliever in September. ... Grady Sizemore's consecutive games streak stretched to 333 games when he entered as a pinch-runner in the sixth. Wedge wanted to give him some rest for the stretch run.

MINNESOTA: Kevin Slowey will make one start on Tuesday to fill in the rotation following Friday's doubleheader and then head to the bullpen. One of the team's top pitching prospects, Slowey went 3-0 with a 5.84 ERA in seven starts this summer before being sent back down to Triple-A. ``Every start is pretty exciting. ... It'll be fun,'' Slowey said. ... Glen Perkins has a throwing session scheduled for Tuesday. The left-hander has been out since May because of soreness in his shoulder. ... The Twins had a pregame tribute to local law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and other rescue workers and offered them $1 tickets for the game. The team also donated $75,000 to various relief efforts in light of the interstate bridge collapse, floods and tornados that hit the region in August.

TORONTO: Matt Stairs doubled in the first inning, giving him nine hits in 10 games. All the hits were for extra bases. ... The Blue Jays' first four batters in the game hit the ball to RF J.D. Drew - a single, a double and two fly outs. The streak ended when Troy Glaus struck out. ... Toronto's three-game sweep of Seattle that ended Sunday was its first sweep since it won three straight at home over Texas from Aug. 3-5.

BOSTON: Reliever Mike Timlin is giving the cleats he wore in his 1,000th major league appearance on Friday night to the Hall of Fame. ... LF Manny Ramirez missed his sixth straight game with a strained muscle in his left side. Manager Terry Francona said his condition had improved but gave no timetable for his return. ... RHPs Tim Wakefield and Eric Gagne are expected to throw side sessions Tuesday. Wakefield, who missed one start because of a sore back, should make his scheduled start on Thursday at Baltimore, Francona said. Gagne, sidelined with a tender shoulder, should be ready to work out of the bullpen on Wednesday against Toronto.

BALTIMORE: RHP Jaret Wright (shoulder) struck out two during a perfect inning in a minor league rehab start for Double-A Bowie. Manager Dave Trembley said no decision has been made about Wright pitching for the Orioles before the season ends. If Wright does come back, Trembley doesn't expect him to be a starter. ... The Orioles are planning to bring up four or five players from the minors Tuesday. ... RHP Rob Bell, designated for assignment last Thursday, is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday if he clears waivers.

TAMPA BAY: 3B Akinori Iwamura said his bat, which was confiscated by umpires Saturday after a protest by New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, has not yet been returned from major league baseball officials. ... Manager Joe Maddon said the problem with DH-OF Jonny Gomes, who had just eight hits in his previous 50 at_bats, is not a mechanical one. ``It's about pitch selection to me,'' Maddon said. ``It's just the fact he has expanded the strike zone.''

KANSAS CITY: Tuesday's starter, RHP Billy Buckner, will be making his first major league start in his third game since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha Aug. 24. A second-round draft pick in 2004, the 24-year-old Buckner has pitched 7 2/3 innings with no decisions and a 1.17 earned run average. ... Mark Teahen, sidelined since straining his left forearm Aug. 18, returned from the disabled list and started in right field. He batted fifth instead of his customary third spot. 1B Ross Gload stayed in the three hole, and 3B Alex Gordon dropped from fifth to sixth. Shane Costa shifted from right field to left.

TEXAS: The team got home at 3:40 a.m. on Monday after a late-night road win over the Angels, and there was no batting practice on the field for the weary players. ... RHP Akinori Otsuka had a five-minute throwing session off flat ground in an effort to pitch in a game again this season. Otsuka has been out since July 19 because of right forearm irritation, and he said he felt no pain after throwing. Otsuka has been examined by several doctors and no surgery has been recommended. ... RHP Brandon McCarthy resumed his throwing program on Sunday and has another session on Tuesday. McCarthy has been on the DL since Aug. 15 due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade. He said there is no pain in the shoulder and wants to make at least one start before the end of the season. ... Hank Blalock, who hit a game-changing grand slam in Sunday night's 8-7 win over the Angels, was the DH again on Monday. He's still about 10 days away from playing 3B. Blalock, who was activated on Sept. 1, has been out since May 18 due to a shoulder injury.

OAKLAND: SS Bobby Crosby, who had been going to a hand therapist in Southern California for treatment on his broken left wrist, rejoined his teammates when they arrived at Angel Stadium for the start of a three-game series. It was in this same ballpark where he was struck by a pitch from reliever Justin Speier. The two have known each other since Crosby's rookie season - when Speier's father, Chris, was a coach with the Athletics. ``Justin called me in the clubhouse right away and told me it wasn't intentional - and I knew it wasn't,'' Crosby said. ``He felt bad about it. I've never had a player call me after something like that happened, and I don't know if other guys do that or not. So it shows he's a classy guy by doing that.'' ... INF Donnie Murphy, sidelined since Aug. 19 because of a strained ribcage muscle, came off the disabled list and LHP Dan Meyer was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. Meyer will pitch out of the bullpen and help fill in for LHP Jay Marshall, who left the club to attend his grandmother's funeral in St. Louis. ... The A's have used the DL 22 times, matching the most since the franchise moved from Kansas City to Oakland in 1968. They haven't had fewer than three on the DL at any time since opening day. ``It's been a highly unusual year, but we've battled through it and discovered a lot of players because of it,'' rookie manager Bob Geren said.

LOS ANGELES: Setup man Scot Shields, whose ERA since the All-Star break increased to 10.00 after he gave up a go-ahead grand slam by Texas' Hank Blalock on Sunday night, will not be available for several days in order to work on some mechanical issues. He is scheduled to throw about 20 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday. RHP Justin Speier will assume more of the load in the eighth inning, and manager Mike Scioscia feels he has enough power arms to bridge the gap to closer Francisco Rodriguez until Shields works out the bugs in his delivery. ``We're going to take him out of the loop for three or four days and then reinsert him in some situations where he can get his feet on the ground and bring some of the things he's going to work on into a game,'' said Scioscia, who insists Shields' arm isn't fatigued despite his 317 appearances and 498 2-3 innings pitched since the start of the 2003 season.

PHILADELPHIA: LHP Fabio Castro was recalled from Triple-A Ottawa. The team is expected to recall RHP Geoff Geary and RHP John Innis from Ottawa on Tuesday. Geary was sent to the minors last week. ... RF Shane Victorino may miss the three-game series in Atlanta with his strained right calf. Victorino says he may have tried to return too quickly from the disabled list after originally suffering the injury on July 30. He came off the DL on Aug. 22.

ATLANTA: The Braves observed a moment of silence before the game in memory of Danville coach Mel Roberts, who died Saturday at 64, one day after completing his 11th season in the organization. ... It wasn't a save situation, but Rafael Soriano looked strong in recording three straight outs in the ninth. ``He's throwing strikes and he's throwing hard,'' manager Bobby Cox said. ``He looks like a closer to me.'' Soriano took over the role when Bob Wickman was designated for assignment on Aug. 24.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said SS Hanley Ramirez told him his left shoulder did not ``pop out'' during an awkward swing in the first inning. Ramirez appeared to be in pain after he dropped his bat and winced during his follow through. He stayed in the game, though, and went 2-for-5 with two doubles. ... RHP Harvey Garcia went 1 2-3 innings and LHP Chris Sneddon pitched one inning in their major league debuts. Neither gave up a run. ``I know this is just another game for these guys, but this is something that I'll never forget,'' Sneddon said. ... The Marlins have lost six of seven on the road.

WASHINGTON: The Nationals are expected to add five players to their 40-man roster on Tuesday, including touted prospects LHP Ross Detwiler and OF Justin Maxwell. Detwiler, drafted sixth overall in June, went 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA in eight games (seven starts) at the Class-A and Rookie levels. Maxwell, the team's second pick in 2005, is the only minor league player with at least 25 doubles, 25 homers and 25 steals this season. Neither player is guaranteed much playing time, general manager Jim Bowden said, and Detwiler will not start. ``It will be a positive building experience in their development,'' Bowden said. LHP Arnie Munoz, OF Ryan Langerhans and RHP Jonathan Albaladejo also are expected to join the team.

NEW YORK: RHP Pedro Martinez became the 15th pitcher get 3,000 career strikeouts. He fanned Aaron Harang in the second inning to reach the mark, then saved the ball. Martinez hadn't thought about it much beforehand. ``The only reason I didn't really think about it was because I knew it would come,'' he said. ... Nolan Ryan holds the career strikeout record with 5,714. ... Martinez led the AL in strikeouts four times with Boston - 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002. ... RHP Orlando Hernandez, who had a cortisone shot in his sore right foot last week, will miss his scheduled start Friday against the Astros. RHP Mike Pelfrey is expected to start in his place. ``He's doing fine,'' manager Willie Randolph said. ``But we're going to skip one turn.'' ... LF Moises Alou extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 3-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk. Alou improved to 10-for-18 career against Harang with five homers.

CINCINNATI: RF Ken Griffey Jr. had a sacrifice fly in the first inning for the 1,695th RBI of his career, tying Cal Ripken for 17th. Reggie Jackson is next at 1,702. ... RH Aaron Harang, who was coming off a two-hit shutout against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, gave up 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings. The 10 hits matched his season high. ... After moving to within 6 1/2 games of first place in the NL Central, the Reds have lost six of eight, ending those thoughts of a late run. ... The Reds plan to call up RHP Todd Coffey, RHP Kirk Saarloos, RHP Brad Salmon, 1B Joey Votto, INF Buck Coats and C Ryan Hanigan from Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday.

HOUSTON: Interim manager Cecil Cooper has fond memories of his 11 seasons with the Brewers. ``It's great to be back in my city. I think about all those days, it was a lot of fun,'' he said Monday before the Astros played the Brewers. Cooper, in his first visit to Milwaukee as a manager, notched another warm memory when his team came back to beat the Brewers 9-7. ... RHP Brandon Backe is to make his first start Tuesday night since Aug. 18, when he hurt his elbow in a 3-2 loss in Milwaukee. He had been on the disabled list this season while recovering from elbow surgery.

MILWAUKEE: RHP Carlos Villanueva (6-3) is to make his second start of the season Tuesday. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville Saturday. ... OF Geoff Jenkins was removed from the game in the bottom of the fourth inning with a left foot bruise. He was hurt when he fouled a ball off his foot but managed to single in the at-bat. He was replaced by pinch-runner Bill Hall, who scored in the inning. X-rays were negative and Jenkins is day to day.

PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke, who had been under consideration for one of two vacant starting assignments on Wednesday and Thursday, instead will make a fourth rehab start on Thursday for State College. He's on the DL with elbow tendinitis. ... The Pirates recalled three pitchers from Triple-A Indianapolis, RHPs Bryan Bullington and John Van Benschoten and LHP Dave Davidson. Bullington, the first overall pick of the 2002 amateur draft, and Van Benschoten could be under consideration for the starting openings, while Davidson is a reliever. ... LHP Paul Maholm, originally set to pitch Monday, is still bothered by back soreness. ... Freddy Sanchez leads the NL with 71 hits since the All-Star break, is batting .400 (18-for-45) against the Cardinals, and has 23 RBIs in his last 17 games.

ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals are 6-19 in games started by RHP Kip Wells, and 4-15 in games started by Anthony Reyes, the two weak links on the pitching staff. Reyes was demoted to the bullpen on Sunday to make room for Mark Mulder and Mike Maroth in a six-man rotation and Wells lasted only 3 1-3 innings on Monday, his shortest start since June 14 at Kansas City when he lasted 1 1-3 innings. ... None of the starters were at their original positions after five innings as manager Tony La Russa emptied the bench. ... Reliever Kelvin Jimenez batted twice, walking in the sixth and striking out in the eighth. Jimenez allowed one hit in a 4 1-3 innings, the longest stint of his career, with two walks and a strikeout. ... The Cardinals have allowed double-digit runs in 17 games, the most for a season since 1993 when they also had 17. They haven't had 18 or more instances in a season in research dating to 1957.

SAN FRANCISCO: OF Barry Bonds was out of Monday's starting lineup but is scheduled to play the final two games of the Giants' three-game series at Coors Field. ``I told him I was going to go with some kids out there and give him a day,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ``He'll play the next two. It's a spot in the schedule where we can give him a break.'' ... LHP Noah Lowry's next start is still undecided, Bochy said, while RHP Tim Lincecum will start Tuesday's game.

COLORADO: Manager Clint Hurdle said the loss of RHP Aaron Cook (left abdominal strain) has forced the Rockies to search for help in the rotation. ``You find somebody else who can pick up the innings. We look internally. You're limited in your options. You continue to check the waiver wire on availability.'' ... RHP Taylor Buchholz (right elbow inflammation), who hasn't pitched since last Tuesday, threw off the mound Monday and said his elbow is feeling better. He is scheduled to have an MRI exam Tuesday and he said his rehab schedule will be determined after the results of the test.

LOS ANGELES: The Dodgers announced five September callups after Monday's 11-3 win. OF Delwyn Young, 2B Tony Abreu, SS Wilson Valdez, RHP Eric Hull and LHP Eric Stults will join the major league team. Stults will start on Wednesday against the Cubs, manager Grady Little said. ... OF Luis Gonzalez turned 40 on Monday and celebrated by going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Gonzalez, who is one of 21 active big leaguers who are at least 40 years old, needs 10 hits to reach 2,500 for his career. ... 3B Andy LaRoche went 1-for-5 with an RBI in his second game since being recalled on Sept. 2. LaRoche dealt with some back problems earlier in the year, but Little doesn't feel it will be an issue. ``He's 100 percent,'' Little said. ``We treat him like he's 100 percent. We have to watch him run around the bases a little bit but he's going to get the opportunity to show us what he can do.''

CHICAGO: Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he will make sure that he gives SS Ryan Theriot a day off this week. Theriot is batting .281 and has played in 125 games. SS Ronny Cedeno, who was called up on Saturday, will fill in for him at shortstop. ... C Jason Kendall is day to day with a swollen hand. He was hit by a pitch on Sunday and Piniella decided to hold him out on Monday. ``It's really puffy. He wanted to play to his credit. I think a day (off) or two, whatever it takes,'' Piniella said. ... RHP Steve Trachsel, who was acquired Friday in a trade, is to make his Cubs debut on Tuesday against the Dodgers. Piniella, is eager to see the right-hander, who replaced LHP Sean Marshall in the rotation for at least one start. ``I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch starting tomorrow. He's been throwing the ball well, according to our reports. People have watched him pitch. He's got experience. He's been through it, so he's going to be helpful, no question,'' said Piniella.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 4

SAN DIEGO: The Padres haven't announced a starter for Wednesday's series finale against San Diego. RHP Jake Peavy might start on three days' rest, but RHP Jack Cassel (0-0, 5.19 ERA in 2 games) is another possibility, manager Bud Black said. ... San Diego's staff has 18 shutouts, one shy of the franchise record, set in 1985. ... The Padres finish the season series against Arizona this week. ... RHP Chris Young faces the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. Young, who was on the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle, has not won since July 19. He's 0-2 with a 5.01 ERA in his last five starts, and one of the losses came Aug. 30 against Arizona in Petco Park.

ARIZONA: RHP Brandon Webb has lost both starts since his 42-inning shutout string ended Aug. 22, allowing 10 earned runs in 12 1-3 innings. ... Arizona sends its hottest pitcher, LHP Doug Davis, against San Diego on Tuesday night. Davis is 7-1 with a 3.79 ERA over his last 10 starts. ... OF Eric Byrnes homered and tripled for his 43d multihit game on Monday. His eight triples ties Orlando Hudson for the team lead. Byrnes is hitting .389 (7-for-18) in his career against San Diego's Greg Maddux.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 4

Rolen to undergo surgery, miss rest of season
September 3rd, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen will undergo surgery on his ailing left shoulder and miss the rest of the 2007 season.

According to the Cardinals' web site, Rolen will receive a "cleanout" in his shoulder rather than a major procedure. Recovery is expected to take at least six weeks.

Rolen had surgery on the same shoulder back in 2005, a procedure that limited him to just 56 games that year. He rebounded with a solid season in 2006, but experienced discomfort over parts of this season and batted .265 with eight homers and 58 RBI.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 4

Clemens to miss at least one start
September 3rd, 2007

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Roger Clemens is expected to miss at least one turn in the starting rotation for the New York Yankees due to a right elbow injury.

Clemens was touched for five runs on eight hits in just four innings on Monday in a 7-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Yankees manager Joe Torre said after the game that Clemens will have an MRI on his right elbow after feeling discomfort in the fourth inning.

"He went to get an MRI done, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to talk to him," Torre said of Clemens. "I think for safety's sake we're going to skip him one time, and hopefully that's all it is."

Clemens is 6-6 this season with a 4.45 ERA.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 4

Rockies starters Jason Hirsh, Aaron Cook out for the rest of the season

DENVER -- Colorado Rockies have lost right-handed starters Aaron Cook and Jason Hirsh for the remainder of the season.

Cook, the team's opening day starter, was shut down for the year when he re-injured his left abdomen in a rehab start Saturday night. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle made the announcement Sunday before the team's 4-3 win at Arizona.

Cook had not pitched since Aug. 10, and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 20. The Rockies had hoped to bring him back after a rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday, but he left the game after 27 pitches.

Cook was 8-7 with a 4.12 ERA. He was 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA after the All-Star break.

The 25-year-old Hirsh broke his right fibula when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Milwaukee's J.J. Hardy on Aug. 7. Hirsh shook it off and pitched six innings to get the win. The next day, X-rays showed a fracture in the right fibula, the thin bone on the outside of his lower leg. He went on the disabled list Aug. 9.

Hirsh said he had another X-ray on Tuesday that showed the leg was healing, but doctors and trainer Keith Dugger decided later that day for him to shut him down for the rest of 2007.

''The doc and Duggie talked and they felt there was not enough for me to get to where I need to be by the end of the year,'' Hirsh said.

Hirsh came to the Rockies in an offseason trade with Houston. He started 19 games this season, going 5-7 with a 4.81 ERA in 112 1-3 innings.

Hirsh said the decision to end his season was out of concern for his arm, not his leg.

''They're worried about me altering my mechanics and possibly injuring my arm,'' he said.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 4

Brewers acquire LHP King from Nationals
September 4, 2007

MILWAUKEE (AP) -Hoping to stabilize their struggling bullpen, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired left-hander Ray King from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday in exchange for a player to be named.

King was 1-1 with a 4.54 ERA in 55 appearances for the Nationals this season. The 33-year-old played for the Brewers from 2000-2002, and is expected to join the team on Wednesday.

``It was a shock,'' King said in a conference call. ``I watched the trade deadline come and go. Anytime you get a phone call from the general manager's secretary, it's not good.''

After giving up a three-run lead in the eighth inning of Monday's 9-7 loss to the Houston Astros, the Brewers have lost a major league-worst 15 games in which they have led by at least three runs.

Milwaukee also purchased the contract of catcher Mike Rivera from Triple-A Nashville, and transferred infielder Tony Graffanino to the 60-day disabled list.

The Brewers are in second place in the NL Central behind Chicago.

``It's a chance to go back to Milwaukee. They're a game-and-a-half out and compete to try and get in the playoffs,'' King said.

King, who played in the postseason in 2003 with Atlanta and 2004 with St. Louis, won't get a chance to play in October. The deadline for postseason rosters was Friday.

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