|Notes from Thursday's games|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 26 April 2007 15:36|
TEXAS: OF Kenny Lofton, who turns age 40 next month, has hit .500 (8-for-16) over his last four games to put his season average at .286. He leads the AL with nine steals, in 10 attempts. But he doesn't expect to play until age 44 as his idol Rickey Henderson did. ``Oh, no, I can't imagine that,'' Lofton said. ``I'd like to get another chance to win a World Series, though.'' Lofton has been to the postseason with the Indians, Braves, Giants, Cubs, Yankees and Dodgers without winning a ring. ... RHP Akinori Otsuka worked a scoreless inning Thursday. He has not allowed a run in any of his nine appearances this season, covering 7 2-3 innings. ... 2B Ian Kinsler has hit .346 (9-for-26) with a homer and five RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
CLEVELAND: RHP Fernando Cabrera has struck out 15 and allowed only four hits and three walks in 10 2-3 scoreless innings over five relief outings. ``I just feel more comfortable this year, like it is 2005 again,'' Cabrera said. Two seasons ago, Cabrera compiled a 1.47 ERA and went 2-1 in 15 games for Cleveland after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo, where he was 6-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 30 games. Last year with the Indians, he was 3-3 with a 5.19 ERA. ``I tried to do too much last year, tried to throw every pitch just perfect,'' he said. ... The Indians have won six of seven series this season and are 10-3 against right-handed starters. ... DH Travis Hafner's seven intentional walks are tied with Phillies 1B Ryan Howard for the big-league lead. ... OF Shin-Soo Choo is hitting .333 (3-for-9) with four RBIs since being recalled from Buffalo on Monday.
ed runs in 13 innings during the two-game series for a 2.08 ERA. ... The last time Kansas City completed nine innings in a scoreless tie was July 18, 2001, against Seattle in a 2-0, 10-inning loss. ... Reliever Todd Wellemeyer lost for the first time since Aug. 6, 2006, also against Minnesota.
MINNESOTA: Luis Castillo has avoided the disabled list, but the second baseman has missed the last week. That's allowed raw but promising rookie Alexi Casilla to get some unexpected playing time. The Twins want Casilla to play every day, but manager Ron Gardenhire said Casilla could stick around for a while with a rash of injuries affecting their depth. ... Injuries are hitting the Twins hard, but catcher Mike Redmond wasn't going to be the next casualty. Hit on the left shoulder in the fourth inning of Thursday's game when Kansas City's Tony Pena Jr. accidentally hit him with his backswing, Redmond writhed in pain on the turf for a bit before composing himself and returning to the crouch. ``I don't come out of games, unless they carry me out,'' said Redmond, whose shoulder was wrapped in a huge ice pack afterward. ... Boof Bonser ended a string of seven consecutive starts in which he had allowed a home run.
SEATTLE: Richie Sexson hit an RBI double in the seventh that snapped an 0-for-20 streak. ... Manager Mike Hargrove hoped to stay away from rookie RHP Brandon Morrow, who pitched 3 1-3 innings Monday at Texas for his first major league win. But Morrow worked part of the eighth. The fifth overall pick in last year's draft out of California, Morrow never had a minor league win in eight games and never made a road trip in the minors. The former Golden Bear just completed his second major league road trip. ... With all the weather problems Seattle has faced, Hargrove is still trying to get his regulars enough at-bats. Jose Vidro seems locked in, getting three hits with an RBI double while extending his hitting streak to 10 games in the Mariners' third straight win.
steban Loaiza, recovering from a bulging disk in his neck, is still two to four weeks from being ready to pitch again for the A's. He felt good throwing from around 120 feet Wednesday.
TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon was quite graphic in his assessment of the Devil Rays' 9-1 and 11-3 losses to the Angels. ``Some days you're the windshield and some days you're the bug, and we happened to be the bug.'' he said. ... Tampa Bay has allowed a major league-worst 146 runs, and have committed 18 errors in their last 16 games. ... CF Rocco Baldelli bruised his right leg while making a diving attempt at Orlando Cabrera's two-run double. He will be evaluated on Friday, but Maddon expected him to sit out the opener of a three-game series at Oakland. ... Maddon, who spent 31 years in the Angels organization and six of them as Mike Scioscia's bench coach, is 2-9 against the Halos and 0-5 in Anaheim.
Scioscia said. ``We need a little infield depth, so we turned to Brandon.'' ... RHP Bartolo Colon's 11 strikeouts represented his highest total since June 4, 2005, when he fanned 11 in six innings of a 13-6 victory at Boston. ... For the fourth time in seven games on this homestand, Los Angeles gave its starting pitcher a lead of seven or more runs to work with before the other team got on the board. ... All six of Vladimir Guerrero's home runs have come at Angel Stadium. Last season, 19 of his 33 homers were on the road.
TORONTO: CF Vernon Wells got three hits and scored once in the first five innings, giving him seven hits in his last two games and eight runs in his past three. ... C Gregg Zaun had surgery on his broken right thumb and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. Zaun, who had surgery in Baltimore to insert two small screws in his hand, was hurt when he was hit by a foul ball Tuesday night at Boston. Jason Phillips started behind the plate for Toronto, and Sal Fasano was called up from Triple-A Syracuse. To make room for Fasano on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated infielder John Hattig for assignment.
NEW YORK: RHP Mike Mussina, on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is slated to make a rehab start Friday for Double-A Trenton at Harrisburg - weather permitting. Mussina could be back with the Yankees next week. New York was waiting to determine Mussina's status before deciding on a pitching rotation for next week's series at Texas. ... RHP Jeff Karstens will start Saturday against Boston instead of LHP Kei Igawa, who will be skipped for at least one turn in the rotation. ... SS Derek Jeter was a late scratch from the lineup because of a sore left thigh. He was hit on the leg by a pitch Tuesday at Tampa Bay. ... Yankees manager Joe Torre said Wednesday's rainout gave his overworked bullpen a much-needed rest. ``Those guys down there, I think they have ringing in their ears from all the times the phone keeps ringing down there,'' Torre said.
rivalry''. ... With his two RBIs Wednesday, OF Manny Ramirez now has 67 RBIs at Camden Yards, the most by any opposing player.
BALTIMORE: The Orioles activated C Ramon Hernandez was activated from the 15-day disabled list. He had been sidelined since opening day with a strained muscle in his rib cage. To make room on the roster, the Orioles designated C Alberto Castillo for assignment. ... DH Jay Gibbons was hitless in his first three at-bats Thursday to extend his slump to 0-for-15. ... Kevin Millar did not start Thursday. He started the day in a 3-for-24 skid and two hits shy of 1,000 for his career.
HOUSTON: Before this week, the Astros hadn't been swept in a three-game series in Pittsburgh since July 4-6, 2003. ... Morgan Ensberg, 0-for-7 while stranding 10 runners during the 4-3, 16-inning loss in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, walked as a pinch hitter Thursday. The Astros were 5-for-26 with runners in scoring position during the final two games of the Pirates' three-game sweep. ... The Astros have followed up a five-game winning streak by losing six in a row. Manager Phil Garner said, ``That's not a good formula.''
PITTSBURGH: With the Pirates' bullpen depleted by the 16-inning game against Houston on Wednesday night, Tony Armas pitched into the sixth inning Thursday after being roughed up in his first two starts. After allowing 14 runs and 15 hits in 6 2-3 innings during his first two starts, he limited Houston to one run and six hits in five-plus innings. He has never allowed six or more runs in three consecutive major league starts. ... All the Pirates players will wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on Friday night. The Pirates planned to wear the jerseys on Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, but their doubleheader against the Giants was rained out. ... 2B Freddy Sanchez was back in the lineup, going 0-for-3 after sitting out with a minor eye problem Wednesday night. Last year's NL batting champion, slowed for most of spring training by a knee injury, is hitting .235.
, a flyout by Javier Valentin, Dunn's groundout and a flyout by Scott Hatteberg.
ST. LOUIS: RHP Brad Thompson threw 1 2-3 innings of hitless relief. He has been scuffling, allowing five runs and nine hits in five innings in his previous four outings. ... Adam Kennedy is 10-for-23 with five RBIs against Reds starter Kyle Lohse, including two doubles and an RBI on Thursday. ... The last 15 games, the bullpen has a 1.95 ERA. ... OF Juan Encarnacion was 1-for-8 with an RBI for Double-A Springfield in the first two games of a rehab assignment from offseason wrist surgery. ... SS David Eckstein has struck out once in 86 at-bats, best in the majors. He got a day off Thursday.
WASHINGTON: Matt Chico (1-2, 6.38 ERA) takes the mound against the New York Mets against Oliver Perez in a matchup of left-handers on Friday night. ... C Brian Schneider has a team-high 12 RBIs despite batting eighth and hitting just .188. ... Shawn Hill lowered his ERA to 2.76. Jason Bergmann (3.27) is the only other starter with an ERA under six runs. ... Chad Cordero bounced back from consecutive blown saves last week to record his second of the season.
PHILADELPHIA: Freddy Garcia (1-1, 4.66 ERA) makes his third start for the Phillies in the opener of a three-game series against Florida on Friday night. ... 2B Chase Utley was hit by pitch for a league-leading eighth time. ... RHP Ryan Madson hasn't allowed a run in his last five appearances, spanning 7 2-3 innings. ... The much-maligned bullpen has posted a 1.63 ERA in the last eight games. However, the relievers have blown three saves this season, including two by closer Tom Gordon.
SAN DIEGO: Manager Bud Black says it's ``highly likely'' that C Josh Bard will be activated when he becomes eligible Friday. Black watched Bard play in an extended spring training game on Thursday. Bard has been on the 15-day DL since April 12 because of a left groin strain. ... Black watched replays of the walk that ended Jake Peavy's strikeout streak at nine Wednesday. He said Arizona's Eric Byrnes' check swing that was called a ball and the following pitch that resulted in ball four were ``very close.'' Peavy would have tied the major league record of 10 consecutive strikeouts had he fanned Byrnes. ... The game winning two-run homer by Arizona's Stephen Drew with two outs Thursday was just the second walkoff homer allowed by closer Trevor Hoffman in eight seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
ARIZONA: General manager Josh Byrnes sounded pessimistic about last year's first-round draft pick Max Scherzer, who signed with the independent Fort Worth Cats last week. Byrnes said he hasn't talked recently with Scherzer's agent Scott Boras, but hopes the two sides can talk in May. If unsigned, Scherzer - the 11th pick overall last season - could be eligible for the June draft. ... SS Stephen Drew's walkoff home run was the first time in 11 games Arizona won a game after trailing after eight innings. The Diamondbacks were 1-66 when trailing after eight innings last season. ... Arizona was 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the San Diego series after going 1-for-20 while being swept in three games by the Giants in San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO: INF Rich Aurilia can expect more starts at shortstop and second base this season, manager Bruce Bochy said. He got the day off Thursday after starting at shortstop Wednesday. Aurilia was 2-for-8 with a run scored and an RBI in the first two games against the Dodgers. ... The Giants' 10-2 record of late has coincided with Aurilia moving to third in the lineup and OF Barry Bonds hitting cleanup. ... Bonds leads the NL with a homer every 7.43 at-bats in his pursuit of Hank Aaron's career record. ... Bonds hit a three-run drive - his 741st homer - in the Giants' victory Wednesday, giving him 64 career homers against the Dodgers, the second-most against any opponent.
LOS ANGELES: LHP Hong-Chih Kuo threw a simulated game Thursday, a day after a blister had kept him from doing so. He'll join OF Matt Kemp (right shoulder) and RHP Yhency Brazoban (Tommy John surgery) for a rehab stint at Triple-A Las Vegas. ... 3B Wilson Betemit was moved up to seventh from eighth in the batting order. He's hitting .122 after 20 games. ``We need to get him going,'' Little said. ... 1B Nomar Garciaparra was seeking to avoid the bobblehead jinx Thursday night when his likeness was given out to fans. Cesar Izturis in 2005 is the only Dodger to get a hit when his bobblehead was given away. Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff, Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca were a combined 0-for-15 on their nights.