MLB News and Notes September 12

MLB News and Notes September 12

Astros acquire pitcher Dennis Sarfate from Milwaukee
September 11, 2007

HOUSTON (AP) -The Astros acquired pitcher Dennis Sarfate from the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday for cash.

The 26-year-old right-hander was 2-7 with four saves and a 4.52 ERA in 45 games, including one start, for Triple-A Nashville this year. He appeared in eight games for the Brewers in 2006, striking out 11 hitters in 8 1-3 innings. He posted no decisions and had a 4.32 ERA.

Sarfate was expected to join the Astros on Wednesday. To make room for Sarfate on the 40-man roster, the club designated right-hander Miguel Asencio for assignment.

Asencio, 26, was 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA in 28 games for Triple-A Round Rock this season. He also appeared in 10 games, starting nine, for Double-A Corpus Christi, finishing 1-3 with a 4.70 ERA.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 12

Cardinals OF Duncan out with hernia
September 11, 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) -St. Louis outfielder Chris Duncan will be sidelined for at least 10 days with a hernia that likely will need surgery, costing the Cardinals another player for their stretch run.

Third baseman Scott Rolen also had surgery Tuesday to clean out his left shoulder. Rolen, who throws right-handed, is expected to be ready for spring training. He went on the disabled list on Aug. 31 with the sore shoulder.

Duncan has been bothered by a sore groin for several months. He aggravated it while running the bases in the fifth inning of a 9-8 loss in Arizona on Saturday, and returned to St. Louis for an exam.

Dr. Michael Brunt concluded that he has a sports hernia. Duncan will rest for 10 days and see if the soreness diminishes. Surgery is likely at some point.

``A determination will be made whether to try resting him or go ahead and get it taken control of,'' manager Tony La Russa said.

The Cardinals also have lost Juan Encarnacion, whose left eye was hit by a foul ball on Aug. 31. Encarnacion's eye socket was crushed by the impact, threatening his career.

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Notes from Tuesday's games
September 11, 2007

MINNESOTA: OF-DH Jason Kubel, who was 4-for-8 with six RBIs batting second the past two games for the first time this season, was back in the second slot Tuesday. ``I've only been there for two days, but I've seen 80 percent better pitches,'' Kubel said. ``It takes pressure off you when you've got great hitters behind you.'' C Joe Mauer, CF Torii Hunter and 1B Justin Morneau hit 3-4-5 behind Kubel. ... RHP Loek Van Mil, who at 7-1 is the tallest player in professional baseball, is among the players the Twins are sending to the Florida Instructional League this fall. ... C Mike Redmond, who has not played on this road trip because of a sore finger, will see a hand specialist later this week in Minneapolis when the team returns home. ... The Twins are 14-10 in Wednesday games, their best record for any day.

KANSAS CITY: LHP Neal Musser broke his right little finger on his non-pitching hand after slugging a chair in the clubhouse after a poor relief appearance on Monday night. ``I guess the chair slammed into his hand,'' Royals manager Buddy Bell said. ``I just heard he punched a chair and I didn't want to hear anything after that. It's a mishap. We've all been there, some of us haven't had major problems, but Neal has. He won't be able to pitch the rest of the year. We're still deciding on whether or not he's going to stay or go home.'' ... The Royals activated LHP Jorge De La Rosa, who went on the disabled list Aug. 1 with an elbow strain. Bell said De La Rosa would be used in long relief. He made 22 starts and one relief appearance before the injury, going 8-11 with a 5.46 ERA. ... 3B Alex Gordon's 31 doubles is two shy of the Royals' rookie record. Kevin Seitzer had 33 in 1987 and Mark Quinn 33 in 2000.


DETROIT: LF Timo Perez had three hits in the first game of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader, and is now hitting .467 in 14 games since being recalled from Triple-A Toledo in late August. ``I like him because he just gets up there and swings,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ``Hitting like that might mean you get into some bad slumps, but right now, he's doing the job.'' ... C Ivan Rodriguez, 2B Placido Polanco and DH Gary Sheffield all got the first game of the doubleheader off, but all three were in the lineup for the nightcap. Sheffield's first-inning RBI single ended an 0-for-25 slump.

TEXAS:
The Rangers activated RHP Brandon McCarthy from the disabled list and he started the second game of the day-night doubleheader. McCarthy (shoulder) hadn't pitched since Aug. 10, and hadn't started against the Tigers since Sept. 27, 2005. ... The Rangers hit seven homers in the first game of the doubleheader, the fifth time in franchise history that they had hit that many in a game. They've hit eight twice, both in 2005. On May 21, they did it against Houston and matched the feat on June 30 against the Angels.


LOS ANGELES: RF Vladimir Guerrero started as the designated hitter after missing the previous four games with an inflamed right triceps. Guerrero could return to the outfield within ``a handful of games,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``Right now it needs to calm down,'' Scioscia said. Guerrero homered in his second at-bat Tuesday. ... RHP Bartolo Colon is scheduled to start Friday against the Chicago White Sox, his first start since going on the 15-day DL on July 24 with an irritated right elbow. To make room in the rotation, RHP Ervin Santana will move to the bullpen.

BALTIMORE:
RHP Jeremy Guthrie's strained rib cage muscle showed improvement from Sunday, when he got hurt, but the Orioles still aren't sure if he can pitch again this season. Baltimore is more optimistic about getting Garrett Olson (strained forearm) back, but have scratched him from his scheduled start Friday. ... The Orioles' five-man rotation has only one pitcher from the opening day rotation, 15-game loser Daniel Cabrera. Newcomers to the rotation are Victor Santos, who made his Orioles debut Tuesday night, and Victor Zambrano, obtained from the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system last weekend.


NEW YORK:
SS Derek Jeter, who missed Sunday's game because of a sore right knee, returned to the lineup and said he was healthy enough to play on the artificial surface at Toronto's Rogers Centre. ... RHP Luis Vizcaino (sore shoulder) said his arm is feeling better but he was bothered by a stiff back, the result of sleeping badly. If he feels better, Vizcaino said he might throw in the bullpen before Wednesday's game. ... Manager Joe Torre said there will be no limitations on RHP Mike Mussina when he starts in place of Roger Clemens against Toronto on Wednesday. ``I don't think he's been away long enough for that to be a situation,'' said Torre, adding that 100 pitches was ``reasonable'' for Mussina, who has not started since Aug. 27 at Detroit. ... The teams marked the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in a pregame ceremony with New York and Toronto firefighters. U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins attended the game.

TORONTO: Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus had another MRI on his sore left heel and could miss the remainder of the season, general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. Glaus left Monday's game at Detroit after experiencing pain while going from first to third on a single and had been bothered for much of the season by plantar fasciitis in his left heel. ... OF Vernon Wells will undergo surgery within the next month to remove a cyst caused by a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He's expected to be healthy in time for spring training 2008. ... SS John McDonald agreed to a two-year, $3.8 million contract extension through the 2009 season. The 32-year-old McDonald is batting .252 with a career-high 16 doubles and 28 RBIs in 110 games. His .985 fielding percentage leads AL shortstops who have played 100 or more innings.


TAMPA BAY: Brendan Harris' second-inning homer was his 11th of the season, but his third in the last six games. ... Carlos Pena's fourth-inning homer was his 39th of the season and 13th in his last 22 games. ... The Devil Rays had not scored a run against Tim Wakefield in 20 innings before getting four in the second.

BOSTON: RHP Tim Wakefield had his shortest start due to ineffectiveness since 2001, though he had left other games because of injury and to rest for the playoffs. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings. ... Jacoby Ellsbury has hit in all 11 games since being called up from the minors. He homered in the third, his third homer in the majors after hitting just two in 436 minor league at_bats this season.


CLEVELAND: Manager Eric Wedge said he was worried about injuries during Monday night's rain-delayed victory when the infield at U.S. Cellular Field became a quagmire. The game was delayed for more than 2 hours after the seventh inning. ``You worry about guys getting hurt,'' Wedge said. ``At this time of the year, that's a big game and they did everything they could to get it in. I understand that.'' Kenny Lofton has given the Indians a solid veteran in the outfield. He batted .292 in his first 40 games since being acquired from Texas in late July. ``He's been a big boost for us in the 7-hole,'' Wedge said. ``Getting on base and driving in runs. ... He's been doing it in so many ways.'' ... Ryan Garko, who homered in the second inning, has been hit by a pitch 19 times this season, a club record.

CHICAGO:
Jim Thome is two homers shy of 500, and 334 of his homers came while he was with the Indians from 1991-2002. ... The White Sox have used 109 lineups this season. It's been a long season and a wet one. Chicago has had 10 games delayed by rain this season, and the White Sox have played four doubleheaders. ... Ten of Chicago's current 30 players began the season in Triple-A. ... Manager Ozzie Guillen had a 333-297 record when he got a contract extension Tuesday. He was six wins shy of tying Clarence Rowland for ninth place on the club's career wins list.


OAKLAND: RHP Rich Harden threw on the side and will pitch in a simulated game Thursday - and then every fifth day after that until a possible return Sept. 22 or 23 at Cleveland, manager Bob Geren said. If all goes well with Harden, who has been on his second DL stint because of strained shoulder since July 8, he also will start Sept. 29 against the Los Angeles Angels. ... 1B Daric Barton got a promotion to No. 2 in the lineup a day after his two-hit, two-walk major league debut. The prized prospect kept the ball from his first hit, a double, and then celebrated at the team hotel with family members who flew up from Southern California. The 22-year-old Barton said his new teammates showered him with beer after Monday night's game, summoning him back into the clubhouse while he was talking to his family by saying he was missing a team meeting. Geren said such moments have been the silver lining to a dark season full of injuries. ``With all the negativity of the injuries and the disabled list, to see a lot of these guys reach their goals and childhood dreams, that's really been fun to watch,'' Geren said.

SEATTLE: One night after LHP Horacio Ramirez allowed five runs in 1 2-3 innings in yet another poor start, manager John McLaren said Ramirez will start Saturday against Tampa Bay. Ramirez is 7-6 because of offensive support of about seven runs per game. His ERA is 6.80 after he allowed at least five runs for the seventh time in 19 starts. He has won just once in the last 30 days, a span of six outings. But as McLaren said, mindful his team had lost 14 of 16 entering Tuesday, ``Really, he's not struggling any more than other starters.'' ... 1B Richie Sexson had an MRI on the strained hamstring that kept him out for the ninth time in 11 games.


COLORADO: Manager Clint Hurdle said Denny Bautista will start Wednesday night. Bautista (2-1, 19.06 ERA) hasn't pitched in the majors since May 13. The right-hander had a 2.92 ERA in 51 relief appearances at Triple-A this season. ... A night after setting the NL rookie record for homers by a shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki extended it to 21 with a first-inning shot. ... The Rockies are still without 2B Kaz Matsui (strained right hamstring).

PHILADELPHIA:
Rookie Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 3.78) pitches on six days' rest Wednesday. He allowed just two runs in his last start, but the bullpen blew an 8-2 lead in a 9-8 loss at Atlanta last Wednesday. ... Chase Utley has shown no ill effects of the broken right hand that caused him to miss 28 games. He was batting .354 since returning and led the NL in average. ... Since July 2, Pat Burrell was hitting .337 with 20 homers and led the majors in slugging percentage (.698).


WASHINGTON: RHP Jesus Colome earned an unusual hold Monday night. He faced three hitters and did retire any of them, giving up a home run and single and hitting a batter. Florida's Cody Ross was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.

FLORIDA: With C Matt Treanor nursing a bruised knee, Paul Hoover was in the lineup for LHP Chris Seddon's first major league start. ``I didn't want to catch (Miguel) Olivo all the time,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``He's caught every game since Matt's been gone.'' Treanor was hurt Sept. 2.


MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee went without an extra-base hit for only the sixth time this season in losing 9-0 Monday night in Pittsburgh. ... Carlos Villanueva, a reliever most of the season, will make his fourth start of the season Sunday against Cincinnati despite being the losing pitcher Monday. ... Dave Bush can match his career high in victories (12, set last season) if he beats the Pirates on Wednesday.

PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke, the Pirates' opening day starter, and right-hander Salomon Torres, their closer when the season began, were activated off the disabled list Tuesday. Both had been out with elbow problems - Duke for three months, Torres for three weeks. ... The Pirates have six pinch-hit homers since Aug. 1. ... Tom Gorzelanny (14-7), who faces the Brewers on Wednesday, is 5-1 in his last seven starts. If he can win again, his 15 victories would be the most by a Pirates left-hander since John Smiley won 20 and Zane Smith won 16 in 1992.


ST. LOUIS: OF Chris Duncan will be sidelined for at least 10 days with a hernia that likely will need surgery. ... 3B Scott Rolen had surgery to clean out his left shoulder. Rolen, who throws right-handed, is expected to be ready for spring training. ... SS David Eckstein opened the game with a homer, the third time this season and the seventh in his career that he has led off with a homer. ... LH Mark Mulder gave up a solo homer and a grand slam to Adam Dunn in his first two at_bats. Dunn had been a career .238 hitter off Mulder, who made his second start in his comeback from shoulder surgery.

CINCINNATI: The Reds claimed C Alvin Colina off waivers from the Colorado Rockies. Colina, 26, hit five homers and drove in 35 runs for Triple-A Colorado Springs. He threw out 38 percent of runners trying to steal. ... The Reds also began an overhaul of their minor league system. The moves included firing Grant Griesser, their assistant director of player development, and field coordinator Tim Naehring. ... Interim manager Pete Mackanin started lefty-hitting Josh Hamilton in center field against LH Mark Mulder. Hamilton had never faced him. ``Now that Hamilton has had some time, I want to play him against lefties on a more consistent basis,'' Mackanin said. ... Adam Dunn hit his seventh career grand slam and a solo shot off Mulder, his fourth multihomer game of the season. Dunn reached 100 RBIs for the third time in his career.


CHICAGO: 2B Mark DeRosa was back in the starting lineup after taking a pitch off his left elbow in Monday's game. DeRosa has been hit by pitches six times this season, had to leave another game after an adverse reaction to medication and injured a ligament in his hand in another game ``that I didn't even know existed,'' DeRosa joked. ``It's been a weird year,'' he said. ... Manager Lou Piniella arrived at Minute Maid Park clean-shaven after finding a barber shop in Houston shortly after the Cubs arrived. Piniella had a beard growing the past few days. ``I got a good shave and a trim,'' he said. ``I'm ready to go.''

HOUSTON: RHP Brandon Backe made his second start after sitting out most of the season following Tommy John surgery. Manager Cecil Cooper and pitching coach Dave Wallace were watching him closely. ``We will monitor him as he goes along,'' Cooper said. ``Every half-inning, Dave Wallace will go down and talk to him and make sure he's OK. Physically, he's fine. We just have to make sure he stays that way.'' ... The Astros lost eight of their first 12 games after Cooper became the manager on Aug. 27. Team owner Drayton McLane suggested when Cooper was hired that Houston's final 30 games amounted to an audition for him after Phil Garner was fired. The Astros had 19 games left, starting with Tuesday's game. ``We definitely have to play a little better than we've played,'' Cooper said.


ATLANTA: 3B Chipper Jones was out of the lineup again with a strained muscle on his right side. He was a late scratch before Monday night's 3-2 loss to the Mets after he hurt himself during batting practice. The team said he is day to day. ... CF Andruw Jones also was a late scratch Monday with the flu, but was back in the lineup for Tuesday's game. He didn't look too good though, wearing a hooded sweat shirt and coughing periodically in the clubhouse before the game. ... C Clint Sammons' contract was purchased from Double-A Mississippi.

NEW YORK:
The Mets wore hats from eight New York City departments who sustained losses in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and a firefighter sang the national anthem on the sixth anniversary. Both teams observed a moment of silence before the game. ... LF Moises Alou singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.


ARIZONA: The Diamondbacks will skip rookie RHP Micah Owings' next turn in the rotation. He is winless in his last four starts and has dropped two straight decisions, and Arizona wants to keep its other starters on normal rest after Thursday's off day. ``We'll give Micah a little distance,'' manager Bob Melvin said. Owings could come out of the bullpen in the meantime. ``He handles it fine but he doesn't like it,'' Melvin said. ... Melvin held off from starting OF Jeff Salazar, who had a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth inning of Monday's 5-3 win. Salazar is still nursing a tender left ankle.

SAN FRANCISCO: Manager Bruce Bochy wants to give closer Brad Hennessey a couple of days off. Hennessey has blown three of his last five save chances, allowing Salazar's homer Monday night. Bochy will go to Brian Wilson or Tyler Walker in the ninth inning. ``Hennessey probably needs a little break,'' Bochy said. ``Ideally, we'll give him a couple of days off and a chance to freshen up.'' ... RHP Randy Messenger, recovering from surgery on his non-throwing hand to insert a pin into one of two broken bones, is likely to be activated from the DL on Wednesday. ``He is ready to go,'' Bochy said.


SAN DIEGO: The Padres opened a stretch of 20 games in 20 days Tuesday to complete the regular season. ... OF Scott Hairston, who came off the 15-day DL Saturday, was available to pinch hit Tuesday and could return to the lineup in three or four days. ... The Padres haven't chosen a starter for Saturday's game against San Francisco. The candidates are RHP Jack Cassel or RHP Brett Tomko.

LOS ANGELES: The Dodgers said they will surpass last year's franchise record for paid attendance of 3.75 million. Through 69 games, the team averaged 47,432, tops in the NL. ... C Russell Martin is batting .303 with five homers and 14 RBI since Aug. 1. He caught his 131st game of the season Tuesday.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 12

Angels' Gary Matthews Jr. sprains ankle
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BALTIMORE -- Los Angeles Angels center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. will be sidelined for at least five games after spraining his ankle Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles.

X-rays were negative, and a team spokesman said Matthews will be sidelined for the remainder of the road trip, which includes two more games in Baltimore and a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.

With two outs in the top of the third inning, Matthews hurt his right ankle when he slid into second base on a ground ball to shortstop. Miguel Tejada threw to first - not second - on the play. Matthews left the game.

Matthews is batting .257 with 18 homers and 17 stolen bases

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 12

Chipper Jones out with strained muscle; Andruw Jones back in lineup for Atlanta
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- Chipper Jones was out of the Atlanta Braves' lineup again Tuesday night with a strained muscle on his right side.

Jones was a late scratch before Monday night's 3-2 loss to the New York Mets after he hurt himself during batting practice. The team said he is day to day.

Jones' absence makes things difficult for Atlanta, which began the day five games back of NL wild card-leading San Diego. The star third baseman is batting .330 with 25 home runs, 39 doubles and 87 RBIs.

Andruw Jones also was a late scratch Monday with the flu, but he was back in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Mets. He didn't look too good though, wearing a hooded sweat shirt and coughing periodically in the clubhouse before the game.

Andruw Jones was hitting .223 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs.

Atlanta also purchased the contract of catcher Clint Sammons from Double-A Mississippi.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 12

Baseball Today - September 12
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Colorado at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EDT). Jeff Francis tries for his 16th win in a matchup of NL wild card- playoff contenders.

STARS Tuesday

-Adam Dunn, Reds, hit a grand slam and a solo homer to lead Cincinnati over St. Louis 7-2.

-Marlon Byrd, Rangers, hit a pair of homers to help Texas defeat Detroit 13-6 in the first game of a doubleheader.

-Matt Holliday, Rockies, hit two home runs in an 8-2 victory over Philadelphia.

-Vladimir Guerrero, Angels, hit two homers in a 10-5 win over Baltimore.

-Hanley Ramirez, Marlins, homered twice to lead Florida over Washington 13-8.

-Luke Scott, Astros, tripled home the winning run in the 11th inning to lift Houston over the Chicago Cubs 5-4.

SURGING YANKS

Jason Giambi hit a grand slam, Jorge Posada added a solo homer and the New York Yankees beat Toronto 9-2 on Tuesday for their sixth straight victory. New York, which moved a season-high 20 games over .500, has won 10 of its last 13 and leads Detroit by four games in the AL wild-card race.

BACK WITH A VENGEANCE

Vladimir Guerrero returned from a four-game absence and hit two home runs, leading the Los Angeles Angels past Baltimore 10-5 on Tuesday. The star right fielder had been out because of an inflamed right triceps. It was Guerrero's 33rd career multihomer game, the fourth this season. He needs one more home run to reach 25 for a 10th consecutive year.

RED SOX RALLY

Mike Lowell had four hits and Kevin Youkilis hit a bases-loaded triple during a six-run sixth inning on Tuesday as Boston came back from a seven-run deficit to beat Tampa Bay 16-10. The Red Sox fell behind 8-1 in the fourth after Tim Wakefield was tagged by a team he has dominated throughout his career. The win was Boston's biggest comeback victory since 2000.

FUTILITY

The Los Angeles Angels defeated Baltimore 10-5 on Tuesday to hand the Orioles their 17th loss in 20 games. The Orioles have been outscored 178-89 in that span. Victor Santos made his Baltimore debut and took the loss, becoming the 25th pitcher used by the Orioles this year, breaking the club record of 24 set in 2006.

STRUGGLING

Scott Baker beat Kansas City for the third time this season, pitching Minnesota to a 6-3 victory on Tuesday that extended the Royals' losing streak to seven games. Kansas City stranded 13 runners in equaling their longest losing streak of the season.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Juan Uribe hit his 17th and 18th homers of the season but the Chicago White Sox were defeated by Cleveland 8-3 on Tuesday. ... Justin Maxwell hit a pinch-hit grand slam - his first major league hit - for Washington in a 13-8 loss to Florida. ... Carlos Pena hit his 39th homer - his 13th in his last 22 games - in Tampa Bay's 16-10 loss to Boston.

SPEAKING

''When you make 20, you have to be seriously considering playing in October.'' - Yankees manager Joe Torre, on his team defeating Toronto 9-2 on Tuesday to move a season-high 20 games over .500. New York is leading the AL wild-card race by four games over Detroit.

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