Notes from Friday's games Print
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Friday, 20 April 2007 15:14
MLB Headline News

 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Yankees-Red Sox
NEW YORK: C Jorge Posada left the game after doubling in the top of the fourth and was replaced in the bottom half by Wil Nieves. Nieves threw out J.D. Drew when he tried to steal second. ... 3B Alex Rodriguez, who homered in the fourth, has more homers in April than eight teams. He has hit safely in all 15 games, with an extra-base hit in 14 games.
er Gary DiSarcina to manage their Single-A team in Lowell.
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White Sox-Tigers
CHICAGO: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says that Darrin Erstad is a far better CF and overall player than he thought. ``I never realized how good he is out there,'' the manager said. ``He knows how to play the game. He knows what the team needs.'' Erstad signed with Chicago as a free agent after playing the first 11 seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Angels franchise. ... Guillen joked about Tigers' SS Carlos Guillen: ``He's got the last name and he's Venezuelan. That's all you need.''
DETROIT: The Tigers placed RHP Jose Mesa on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled right groin on Friday. The veteran reliever is 0-1 with a 20.25 ERA in four appearances, covering 2 2-3 innings this season. To replace Mesa on the roster, Detroit recalled RHP Aquilino Lopez from its Triple-A affiliate in Toledo. He has four saves and hasn't allowed a run in seven appearances (6 1-3 innings). Lopez doesn't have a decision.
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Blue Jays-Orioles
TORONTO: OF Vernon Wells was given the night off Friday so manager John Gibbons could get another left-handed bat into the lineup against Orioles RHP Daniel Cabrera. Wells, who entered the weekend hitting .246, has 23 career homers against Baltimore. ... Gibbons was accompanied by more than a dozen players on a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Wounded Warrior program. ``Its humbling and it puts things into perspective,'' Gibbons said. ... Fridays game against the Orioles is the fourth in a stretch of 10 straight against AL East opponents, the second-longest such run of the season.
BALTIMORE: The Orioles activated OF Jay Payton from the 15-day disabled list Friday and optioned OF Jon Knott to Triple-A Norfolk. Payton, who was sidelined since March with a strained left hamstring, was not in the starting lineup. ... C Ramon Hernandez (strained rib cage muscle) took batting practice and could come off the DL this weekend. ... The Orioles wore Virginia Tech wristbands Friday night as a tribute to the 32 people killed by a gunman at the school earlier this week.
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Indians-Devil Rays
ided.'' ... 3B Andy Marte, who didn't play last two games after starting the season 6-for-31, was back in the lineup.
TAMPA BAY: The virus which has impacted the Devil Rays over the past couple weeks with flulike symptoms has now affected most of the roster over the stretch. RHP Brian Stokes has been added to the list. Manager Joe Maddon, who has avoided the illness thus far, said only a few players including OF Carl Crawford and LHP Scott Kazmir, have not come down with it. ``It's just everywhere,'' Maddon said. It's been common for players and coaches to lose 7-to-10 pounds while being ill. ... DH Jonny Gomes, who lost his starting role, was the DH for third time this season. ``He's handle the situation like a true pro,'' Maddon said. ``He hasn't complained one second.''
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Athletics-Rangers
team plans to have 1B Dan Johnson (torn labrum, left hip) begin an injury-rehab assignment Monday at Triple-A Sacramento.
season on Saturday night, replacing injured RHP Jamey Wright (right shoulder inflammation) as the No. 5 starter. Washington said Loe will get at least three starts while Wright recovers.
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Twins-Royals
MINNESOTA: DH Rondell White, on the DL since April 10 with a strained right calf, did not do well when he tried to run Monday. ``It didn't go great for him'' said manager Ron Gardenhire. ``He's still having some issues. He's a little frustrated right now. Just have to continue working. It will be a few more days for him.'' ... 2B Luis Castillo was out of the lineup after tweaking a muscle in his leg on Sunday. ``They said day-to-day. That's where we're at with him,'' said Gardenhire. ``Whether it leads to (the DL), I don't know. In an emergency, I'm sure he could go out and play.''
ell said. ``I kind of like the way it is. It's getting tougher, to be honest.''
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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cardinals-Cubs
ST. LOUIS: 3B Scott Rolen was back in the lineup after sitting out the previous two games because of food poisoning. ``I guess he told (head trainer Barry Weinberg) on the plane that he could go today,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ``I didn't really want to write him in there until I saw him.'' Rolen confirmed that he was feeling better and joked: ``My demise is complete.'' Rolen went 0-for-4, dropping his batting average to .196. ... OF Chris Duncan got the start against LHP Ted Lilly despite past difficulties against lefties and went 1-for-4. The 6-foot-5 left-hander batted .170 with two homers and three RBI in 47 at-bats against southpaws in 2006, but La Russa doesn't put much value in Duncan's statistics. ``In his minor league career, whatever the numbers were, he was always a tough out (against left-handers),'' La Russa said. ... OF Jim Edmonds went 1-for-3 including his first triple since September 25, 2005, against Milwaukee.
CHICAGO CUBS: Aramis Ramirez has hit in 12 straight games this season and 18 overall dating back to last season, stretching to Sept. 23. ... Seven of the Cubs' 10 losses this season have been by two or fewer runs. ... The Cubs have scored only five runs this season with Ted Lilly on the mound. ... Manager Lou Piniella, still experimenting with combinations, put Cliff Floyd in the second slot in the lineup and had Jacque Jones in center field. Piniella said earlier that he expected to have a read on his team after a tenth of the season - or 16 games. The Cubs are 6-10 in that first stretch. Now he wants to find a lineup that works and get the team's cold bats going. ``We'll settle on set lineups. I'm not going to be switching around all summer, I can tell you that,'' he said. ``We'll get it down specifically to what we want and go from there.''
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Nationals-Marlins
WASHINGTON: The Nationals have been outscored 20-0 in the first inning this season. ... The last Nationals player to hit a grand slam was Alfonso Soriano, on June 4, 2006, or 121 games ago, the longest drought in MLB.
, 2002.
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Braves-Mets
ATLANTA: Reliever Mike Gonzalez (tender left elbow) could pitch Sunday. He had an MRI exam on Thursday and reported no major problems. ... RHP Lance Cormier (strained right triceps) is expected to throw two or three innings for Class-A Rome on Sunday as he begins an injury rehab assignment. ... 3B Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer in the first inning. He entered Friday's game with a .331 batting average, 36 homers and 110 RBIs in 166 career games against the Mets. Jones turns 35 on Tuesday.
NEW YORK: C Paul Lo Duca confronted a New York tabloid reporter before the game Friday night, apparently upset with the paper's coverage. ``Stay out of my life,'' he yelled. It wasn't immediately clear what angered him. INF Julio Franco and a member of the Mets media relations department stood between Lo Duca and the reporter until Lo Duca left the area. Lo Duca also was upset last summer when the tabloids reported about him gambling on horse races and his personal life. ... Manager Willie Randolph wore No. 42 and the Mets honored Jackie Robinson before the game. The team originally was scheduled to pay tribute to Robinson on Sunday - the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking major league baseball's color barrier - but its game against the Washington Nationals was rained out.
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Phillies-Reds
PHILADELPHIA: 1B Ryan Howard was out of the lineup Friday, getting a second consecutive day to rest his sore left leg. Howard sprained a ligament just below the knee while running out a grounder on Wednesday. Manager Charlie Manuel expects the reigning NL MVP to be back in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday. ... Wes Helms started in Howard's spot on Friday, a day after Greg Dobbs filled in at first base. ... Manuel plans to keep RHP Brett Myers in the bullpen. Myers, who was the opening day starter, was demoted to the bullpen on Wednesday after he went 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in three starts. Manuel said Myers could close games when Tom Gordon isn't available.
CINCINNATI: The Reds gave away Ryan Freel ``dirty'' shirts - jerseys with fake dirt on the chest, a tribute to his headfirst style of play. ... Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the lineup for the second straight day because of illness. Josh Hamilton started in right field. ... C Chad Moeller cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Louisville. He was designated for assignment on Wednesday, after the Reds decided to keep two catchers instead of three. ... INF Jeff Keppinger, who broke the right finger on his right hand during spring training, was sent to Class A Sarasota to start a rehabilitation assignment.
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Astros-Brewers
HOUSTON: Astros manager Phil Garner said pitcher Fernando Nieve has a right to be upset that he wasn't called up when pitcher Jason Jennings went on the disabled list with a sore elbow April 16. The Astros brought up Matt Albers instead because Nieve hadn't looked sharp in Triple A, Garner said. But he said the Astros expect Nieve to be mainstay in Houston in the future. Albers made his first start of the season Friday against the Brewers. ... Reliever Brad Lidge picked up his first win of the season Thursday and has tossed three scoreless innings over his last four appearances after being taken out of the closing role after just two relief appearances this season. ``He's going to get back in that role,'' said Garner.
the ball up,'' he said. ``I'll be alright.'' ... Brewers' front office staff traded places with the team's game operations staff Friday night, working as ticket takers, janitors and concessions stand vendors.
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Padres-Rockies
SAN DIEGO: The quick start of 3B Russell Branyan hasn't surprised Bud Black, but the manager said it could easily be better still. ``Russell has hit the ball hard where he hasn't found holes. ... RF Brian Giles and Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd have a long history when both were in Cleveland's minor league system. ``Dan did a lot for me,'' Giles said. ``He had something to do with my career.''
COLORADO: RHP Taylor Buchholz gets injured Rodrigo Lopez's start on Monday against the New York Mets. ``He's earned it,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``He's done well when we've needed him long relief.'' ... Despite being limited to a run by Mark Hendrickson and three Los Angeles relievers on Thursday, Hurdle said he sees the offense coming alive. ... INF Jeff Baker was still in stunned by his error in the third inning Thursday that cost the Rockies two runs. ``That was tough hop with top spin galore,'' Baker said of Wilson Betemit's bouncer that he booted.
 

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