Baseball Today April 30

Baseball Today April 30

Baseball Today

Seattle at Cleveland (7:05 p.m.) Cliff Lee is 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA after four outings for the Indians this season, compiling 29 strikeouts and only two walks in 31 2-3 innings. He tries to finish a spectacular month in style against the Mariners and fellow left-hander Jarrod Washburn.

STARS

- Joe Saunders, Angels, improved to 5-0 allowing four hits in eight innings in a 2-0 win over the Athletics.

- Garrett Olson, Orioles, took a shutout into the seventh inning and helped Baltimore beat Tampa Bay 7-4. - Jose Reyes, Mets, reached base six times in New York's 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Reyes had three walks, two singles and a triple.

SIDELINED

Alex Rodriguez is going on the 15-day disabled list with strained right quadriceps, leaving the New York Yankees without two of their most important players. Rodriguez joins injured catcher Jorge Posada on the DL. The Yankees are waiting for additional opinions on Posada's ailing throwing shoulder before determining whether he needs surgery. ... Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left the game Tuesday night against San Francisco in the first inning with strained left quadriceps. Tulowitzki, a late lineup addition after Jeff Baker was scratched due to a broken blood vessel that happened during pregame warmups, left after bending over to try to stop Aaron Rowand's single. Tulowitzki grimaced and grabbed his left hip and lower back area. He then walked gingerly off the field. ... Dodgers pitcher Jason Schmidt, recovering from shoulder surgery last June, threw 78 pitches in a bullpen session and may start a rehab assignment this week.

SUSPENSION OVER


Mike Cameron made an immediate impact with Milwaukee, once he had the chance. Cameron, debuting with the Brewers after serving a 25-game suspension for testing positive twice for a banned stimulant while with San Diego last season, had three hits - including a two-run single in the seventh that broke open the game - and the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 10-7.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Roy Halladay pitched his fourth straight complete game, but once again came up short. He allowed just one run in the ninth inning to Boston in a 1-0 loss. He allowed just three hits in the first eight innings before giving up two to the last two hitters. He also retired 16 batters on grounders.

SET TO RETURN

Scott Kazmir is expected to make his season debut for Tampa Bay on Sunday after missing more than a month with an elbow injury. Kazmir made his third rehabilitation start Monday, pitching for Triple-A Durham against Richmond. The left-hander allowed one run and three hits in five innings, striking out three and walking one.

UNDER THE WEATHER

Plate umpire Jerry Crawford left the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers and was taken to a hospital. The Cubs said Crawford wasn't feeling well and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. The team had no further information and a woman identifying herself as Crawford's nurse late Tuesday night said he ``wished to have no comment.'' Crawford, the crew chief, was seen talking with Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal and another umpire near the dugout before the top of the third inning. They then headed down the steps, and the teams were called off the field.

STELLAR DEBUT

Hard-throwing Max Scherzer, Arizona's 2006 first-round draft pick out of the University of Missouri, made an impressive major league debut in relief of starter Edgar Gonzalez. Scherzer retired all 13 Houston batters he faced, seven by strikeout, with a fastball that reached 98 mph on the Chase Field radar gun. It was the most strikeouts ever by an Arizona pitcher in his first big-league game. However, the Diamondbacks lost 6-4.

SPEAKING

``Have you ever seen me walk that many batters or throw that many balls?'' said Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets after he walked a career-high seven batters. He allowed four runs and three hits in his first appearance since leaving after five innings against Cincinnati April 18.

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Re: Baseball Today April 30

A-Rod out of Yanks' lineup; Posada's tests sent to Kremchek
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NEW YORK (AP) -Alex Rodriguez was sent for an MRI exam on his strained right quadriceps Tuesday, and the New York Yankees were waiting for three more opinions on Jorge Posada's injured throwing shoulder before determining whether the All-Star catcher needs surgery.

Rodriguez was out of New York's starting lineup against the Detroit Tigers and he left Yankee Stadium to have the scan.

''If he's not playing tonight, let's just do it to get more information,'' general manager Brian Cashman said.

The slugger was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of Monday night's 5-2 win at Cleveland. A-Rod said he felt a ''pull'' while running the bases.

Morgan Ensberg started in Rodriguez's place at third base Tuesday night.

''It might be two days, but I'm not under the impression that it's going to be long,'' manager Joe Girardi said.

The three-time AL MVP missed three games last week after injuring the leg, then returned for the four-game series at the Indians.

''I don't think he made it worse, and I don't think it's as bad as it was in the beginning, but it's not where we want it to be,'' Girardi said. ''He's going to get a day here. We'll see how he is tomorrow. He's not where he needs to be. We have to make sure that he doesn't get hurt seriously. ... We'll just take it slowly and try to be real smart about it.''

Posada, placed on the disabled list Monday for the first time in his career, was examined by orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. Girardi said the scans from those tests were being sent to Cincinnati Reds team physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek, a shoulder specialist.

Posada also was scheduled to be examined Tuesday night by Yankees physician Dr. Stuart Hershon, and on Thursday by New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek.

''Till all the doctors weigh in, I'm not going to guess and speculate. When they give me concrete information I'll be sure to share it,'' Posada said through club spokesman Jason Zillo.

Girardi said he remains optimistic that Posada won't need surgery, which would sideline the durable catcher for an extended period. For now, his injury has been termed a strained right shoulder.

''He had a good meeting with Andrews. The films are being sent to Kremchek and so we'll wait for that and we'll go from there,'' Girardi said.

The Yankees hope to get Kremchek's opinion in the next few days.

Chris Stewart made his first start behind the plate for New York against the Tigers, one day after being called up from the minors.

Still hoping to avoid season-ending surgery, reliever Brian Bruney went for a third opinion on his injured right foot and was waiting for the results. Bruney is on the 15-day DL.

The Yankees also optioned reliever Chris Britton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalled right-hander Edwar Ramirez from their top farm club.

Ramirez pitched in one game for the Yankees earlier this season, throwing 2 1-3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and a walk.

''He gives us a different look, and he's got the great changeup,'' Girardi said.

Britton was recalled from Triple-A on Friday but did not appear in a game with New York.

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Re: Baseball Today April 30

Garko benched as Indians seek more offense
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CLEVELAND (AP) -Slumping Indians first baseman Ryan Garko was benched Tuesday night against Seattle in an effort to get Cleveland's sagging offense in gear.

Garko, in an 0-for-23 slump that sent his average plummeting to .227, was only part of the shuffle. Casey Blake moved to first base from third, where Andy Marte got the start. Designated hitter Travis Hafner remained in the lineup despite a 7-for-47 (.149) slide.

''We'll give Ryan a day off, a little mental and physical break,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ''He arguably was our most consistent hitter early, but he's been trying to do a little too much of late.

''Hafner is grinding right now, but we've got to let him work his way out of it.''

Hafner has appeared tentative at the plate, hitting just .219 with three homers and a team-high 26 strikeouts. Combined with a disappointing 2007 season in which his average tumbled 41 points to .267 and his homers dropped from 42 to 24, the big left-hander's troubles are more of a concern.

''This has been prolonged,'' Wedge said. ''You see short spurts where he's the hitter we know he is, but not consistently. He's got tremendous upside and it's our job to get him going.''

Hafner said he's not pressing, is healthy and confident he will again become one of the AL's most feared sluggers.

''I'm staying positive,'' he said. ''I feel as good physically now as I have my whole career. My bat speed is not a problem. If you take a bad swing, it's probably not going to look like you have good bat speed.''

Expected to be one of the American League's most productive teams, the Indians have struggled throughout April and opened a three-game set against the Mariners ranked next-to-last in batting average (.247), 12th in slugging percentage (.369) and 10th in homers (20).

The return of center fielder Grady Sizemore to the leadoff spot Tuesday after missing two games with a sprained right ankle could help. But Sizemore hasn't been producing, either, batting just .266 with two homers.

The only regulars in Cleveland's lineup hitting above their career averages are left fielder David Dellucci at a modest .268 and catcher Victor Martinez at .365, though his numbers are a bit misleading. He has no homers, four doubles and just nine RBIs after batting .301 with 25 homers, 40 doubles and 114 RBIs to help the Indians win the AL Central a year ago.

''Individuals need to step up their game offensively,'' Wedge said.

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Re: Baseball Today April 30

Red hot Phillies small home fave vs. Padres
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The Philadelphia Phillies appear to have found their offensive rhythm. The San Diego Padres are still looking for theirs.

The Phillies go for their eighth win in 10 games on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park as they continue their three-game series against the Padres, who have dropped 11 of 13. Philadelphia is priced at -111 with an over/under of 10 runs.

Philadelphia (15-12) is averaging 5.67 runs and batting .275 during its 7-2 stretch, which has guaranteed the club its first winning April since 2003.

The Phillies, who led the NL with 5.51 runs per game while winning their first division title in 14 years in 2007, were in the middle of the road in scoring (4.44) and batting average (.251) during their mediocre 8-10 start.

The slumping Padres (10-17) would take those numbers in a heartbeat. They're 29th in the majors in scoring (3.26) and last in batting average (.225), and have particularly struggled lately, hitting .177 during a 2-11 stretch since April 16.

Padres outfielder Scott Hairston wasn't helping, going 2-for-37 before breaking out of that slump with two homers on Tuesday. He had three of San Diego's seven hits in the 7-4 loss to Philadelphia.

"It was nice to get at-bats like that and good to be out there and feel like you're making a difference," Hairston told the Padres' official Web site. "As a team, we're going through our ups and downs. I think everything will change. The season is too long to get down."

That's a lesson already learned by the Phillies, who have made their surge despite being without reigning NL MVP Jimmy Rollins, out of the starting lineup since April 8. Though Rollins is expected to miss at least another week, Philadelphia welcomed back outfielder Shane Victorino on Tuesday after a two-week stint on the disabled list with a strained left calf.

"We got Shane back and, hopefully, Jimmy will be back soon," outfielder Jayson Werth told the Phillies' official Web site. "Like last year, we have a team which has been through it. We're a confident team and we're going to keep pushing through like we did last season."

Philadelphia will try to continue its offensive surge against San Diego's Chris Young (1-2, 3.77 ERA).

The 6-foot-10 right-hander was 9-3 with a 1.82 ERA through 20 starts last season before going on the disabled list in July with a strained left oblique. Since he was activated, he's just 1-7 with a 5.20 ERA in 15 starts.

The Padres have dropped Young's last four outings, and he's 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA in those appearances. However, he delivered his best start of the year on Thursday, holding San Francisco to one run and two hits while striking out 10 in seven innings of a 1-0 loss.

"That was his best command and velocity," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Young is 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies. He has struck out 12 and allowed only seven hits in 12 1-3 innings in those games.

He'll match up against Philadelphia left-hander Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.05), who's also coming off one of his best starts of the season. The 45-year-old allowed only one run in six innings of Philadelphia's 3-1 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday.

Moyer is 7-6 with a 4.41 ERA in 16 career starts against the Padres.

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