AMERICAN LEAGUE
White Sox-Angels
CHICAGO: Backup C Toby Hall, who dislocated his right shoulder in a spring training game on March 25, was examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Anaheim and given the green light to go on a minor league rehab assignment. ``The doctor said I was way ahead of schedule,'' Hall said. ``When it happened, they were thinking surgery. But in my mind, I was going to give it a good month and a half and see if it's a go.'' ... Darin Esrtad, who caught the final out of John Lackey's Game 7 World Series victory over San Francisco in 2002, singled his first two times up against his former Angels teammate and drove in a pair of runs in Chicago's 6-3 win. ``John's one of my best friends and we've been through a lot together. But once you get out there, it's competition,'' said Erstad, 9-for-19 with five RBIs in his first five games against the Angels.
LOS ANGELES: Former Angels pitcher Clyde Wright is thrilled to see all the posthumous attention that Bill Rigney, his first manager in the big leagues, is getting now that Mike Scioscia has broken Rigney's club record for victories. ``The biggest similarity is the respect they had for the game and how it's played. They play it fair, they play it hard, and both of them played to win,'' said Wright, who is currently a member of the Angels' speakers bureau and loves to tell stories of the team's formative years. ``Rigney always used to come to the mound wearing his watch. He'd pat the watch and say, `Listen, if you don't get someone out, we might not make last call.' One day he came out to take me out of the game. I asked him why and he said, `Well, I've still got all four of my infielders left, and you haven't gotten them hurt yet - but my outfielders are tired from running in the gaps.' ``
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Indians-Orioles
BIs in his last 17 games.
BALTIMORE: The Orioles hope to get at least five innings, maybe more, out of Brian Burres when the left-hander gets his first major league start Sunday. ``You don't expect him to go seven, but if something would go really, really right for us and his pitch count was down we might be able to do that,'' manager Sam Perlozzo said. ... Five Orioles relievers (Chad Bradford, Jamie Walker, Danys Baez, John Parrish and Chris Ray) are on a pace to break the club record of 76 appearances in a season. ... Melvin Mora (.234), Nick Markakis (.248) and Kevin Millar (.225) batted 6, 7 and 8 Saturday against Cleveland LHP Jeremy Sowers. ``Nick is a guy I feel should hit up at the top of the order. When he gets his stroke down, he hits lefties as well as righties,'' Perlozzo said. ``So we're just kind of mixing and matching until we get everyone going the way they're supposed to be going. Then I'll slot it back to where I think they belong.''
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Athletics-Devil Rays
cleared to resume all baseball activities. ... Shannon Stewart was moved from center to left field for Saturday's game after experiencing minor soreness in his ankle in Friday's game.
TAMPA BAY: OF Jonny Gomes wore a sombrero during batting practice in honor of Cinco de Mayo. ... Jorge Cantu made his second career start at first base. With LHP Joe Kennedy starting for Oakland, manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to give Cantu a shot. ... Maddon has not changed his plan of not using closer Al Reyes in more than two consecutive games. Reyes is coming off elbow ligament replacement surgery. ``That would be very selfish on my part to push him,'' said Maddon. Maddon did not rule out the possibility of changing the plan later in the season.
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Red Sox-Twins
fore, that if it's abused it will be taken away,'' Francona said. ``But it hasn't been. I don't think we need to be reactionary here because we've been diligent and respectful in how we've handled it in the past.''
MINNESOTA: RF Michael Cuddyer will miss at least the weekend because of his bruised back, but he told manager Ron Gardenhire that he believes he'll be ready to play again on Tuesday after a break in the schedule on Monday. Cuddyer was hurt when he tumbled running around second base in last Tuesday's game against the Devil Rays. ... C Mike Redmond, who replaced starter Joe Mauer when he was scratched before the game because of a sore thigh, turned 36 on Saturday. ... LHP Dennys Reyes, who was unavailable again Saturday due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder, was feeling better, Gardenhire said. ... Gardenhire had soreness underneath his left kneecap and might need minor surgery, but that wouldn't keep him out of any games. ``Just have to miss coming out and arguing,'' he joked.
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Tigers-Royals
ision,'' he said. ... Justin Verlander's 6-3 victory on Friday night was the Tigers' 17th quality start, third in the AL behind Cleveland and the Angels.
KANSAS CITY: Mike Sweeney made his first start at first base since Aug. 28, 2005. Manager Buddy Bell said he wanted to give left-handed hitter Ross Gload the day off against Tiger lefty Mike Maroth. ... The temperature Friday night was almost 50 degrees warmer than the last time the Tigers and Royals played in Kansas City, on the night of April 8. ... The Tigers will probably be happy to see Royals' starter Zack Greinke on Sunday. Greinke had the shortest stint of his career on April 16 when he lasted only 2-3 innings and allowed three hits - including Ivan Rodriguez's grand slam - and three walks.
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Blue Jays-Rangers
TORONTO: CF Vernon Wells was back in the lineup after missing the two previous games with flulike symptoms. ...3B Troy Glaus has been swinging a hot bat since returning from the DL on April 28. In his first six games after recovering from a left heel injury, Glaus was 9-for-24 with three homers, two doubles and eight RBIs. Glaus had a six-game streak with at least one RBI snapped in Friday night's loss at Texas.
TEXAS: Utility man Matt Kata continues to impress, but manager Ron Washington said that Kata will have a tough time playing his way into an everyday role. ``That's the kind of guy you want on your bench, somebody you can put into your lineup one or two times a week,'' Washington said. ``He made the team as an extra guy and we're not looking for more from him.''. ...Kata has already made starts this season at 2B, SS, 3B and LF. Kata had two outfield assists in an inning in a game against the New York Yankees earlier this week, tying a major league record, and went 4-for-9 at the plate over a three-game stretch. ...RHP Eric Gagne will throw another simulated game on Sunday, and if he reports no problems with his sore right hip, he'll probably be activated sometime next week
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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Nationals-Cubs
ight,'' Acta said. ... The eight walks issued by the Nationals were one shy of their season high. They walked nine batters in two different games this season, April 10 at Atlanta and April 21 at Florida.
CHICAGO: Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild missed the game for a family commitment. Bullpen coach Lester Strode handled some of his duties. ... Third base coach Mike Quade fielded plenty of phone calls after he was knocked down by baserunner Aramis Ramirez in Friday's game. The strange play was a hit on highlights shows. Ramirez, who had been on second, was watching an overthrow sail over first as he rounded third. After he started toward the plate, he ran right into Quade knocking him into the air and onto the ground. Neither was seriously injured. ``He went wide and I was in no man's land,'' Quade said ... Utility infielder Ronny Cedeno is apparently being sent to Triple-A Iowa to clear a roster spot for Angel Guzman, who will start Sunday's game against the Nationals. The move wasn't officially announced, but Cedeno was cleaning out his locker after Saturday's game. He declined comment. Cedeno, the Cubs' opening day shortstop in 2006, was hitting .097 in just 31 at-bats. Guzman began the season in the Cubs bullpen but had a 12.19 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Iowa. ... Alfonso Soriano extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an infield single in the eighth.
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Astros-Cardinals
HOUSTON: The combined four-hitter by rookie Matt Albers, who earned his fisrt career win, and two relievers was the team's first shutout of the season. ... Morgan Ensberg batted leadoff for the first time in his career and was 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice. Craig Biggio got a day off. ``I was a little surprised, but after seeing Biggio wasn't going to play there were only so many guys who could give it a shot,'' Ensberg said. ... Mark Loretta was 4-for-5 in a spot start at 2B and is batting .392 in 51 at-bats. ``I've had some balls falling in that I haven't been hitting that hard, so I get a couple of breaks and that always helps,'' Loretta said. ... Carlos Lee, who hit a three-run double in the fifth, has 23 RBIs in his last 21 games. He's 5-for-14 against the Cardinals with one home run and seven RBIs.
and give other guys a chance to pick us up,'' La Russa said. ... The 13-0 loss was the Cardinals' most lopsided in a shutout since a 14-0 setback to Pittsburgh on Aug. 20, 2003.
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Phillies-Giants
PHILADELPHIA: 1B Ryan Howard didn't start and Wes Helms played in his place while Chase Utley batted in the cleanup spot. Howard entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and flied out to Barry Bonds in LF to end the inning. ... Shane Victorino has stolen two bases in each of the first three games of this series, getting his 12th and 13th of the year Saturday. ... Pitcher Yoel Hernandez made his major league debut in the eighth a day after being called up and promptly gave up Pedro Feliz's sixth homer of the year, a three-run shot on the RHP's third offering. ... Aaron Rowand doubled in the eighth to reach base for the 26th straight game, the third-best streak in the National League.
s finale. ... C Bengie Molina got the day off and Eliezer Alfonzo earned his fourth start. Alfonzo had a three-run, go-ahead double in the seventh inning Friday and three hits Thursday after entering in the fifth inning. ... RHP Russ Ortiz, on the disabled list with an irritated nerve in his elbow, hopes to play some light catch as soon as Monday. ... The Giants sported their ``Gigantes'' jerseys in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. A fiesta of musicians in bright colors greeted fans before the game. ... Pitching coach Dave Righetti was ejected in the seventh by first-base umpire Jim Reynolds for arguing balls and strikes, the first time he's been tossed this season. ... RHP Scott Munter pitched the ninth and had a strikeout and a walk in his first appearance of the year, one day after being called up from Triple-A Fresno. He was then optioned back to Fresno after the game to make room for Tim Lincecum as he prepares to pitch in his big league debut Sunday. ``That's fine,'' said Munter, who knew the deal when he came up. ``My arm is feeling good. It's really good to throw again. I started off a little slow but once I got in my groove I felt everything was clicking. That's what I want to do.''
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Padres-Marlins
SAN DIEGO: RHP Jake Peavy, who's struck out 26 batters in 14 innings over his last two starts - and gone 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA in those outings - makes his seventh start of the season for the Padres on Sunday. Peavy's 46 strikeouts this season are tied for the major-league lead entering Saturday with Baltimore's Erik Bedard. ... 1B Adrian Gonzalez and RF Brian Giles are the only Padres to start all 30 games at the same position this season. ... RHP Greg Maddux's five strikeouts Friday night moved him within one of Ferguson Jenkins for 11th on the all-time list. Jenkins fanned 3,192 in his career.
FLORIDA: The Marlins' decision to option OF Eric Reed to Triple-A Albuquerque - a move that allowed them to reinstate Saturday's starter, RHP Sergio Mitre - gave them 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster. Most teams carry 11 or 12 pitchers. ``We play 17 days straight. ... It was best for us,'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ... Some players were jolted when fighter jets buzzed the stadium during pregame stretching. It was part of the annual Air and Sea Show in South Florida. ``Scared me,'' 2B Dan Uggla said. ... LHP Scott Olsen starts on Sunday, looking for his fourth win of the season. He didn't get win No. 4 last year until June 4.
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Dodgers-Braves
. ``I would never say never, but I would not expect that would happen,'' Little said. ``Those guys are too valuable for us in the roles that they have.'' Betemit is hitting only .146 against right-handers, down from his .281 mark last season. ``We're looking for anything we can do to get him going,'' Little said. ``We haven't found the key yet. He hasn't found the key yet.''
ATLANTA: Since his promotion from Triple-A Richmond last Sunday, Willie Harris is starting to show he can be more of a utility player. Harris, also an infielder, has moved into the share of the left-field platoon formerly held by Ryan Langerhans. Harris, who started Saturday night, had two hits Friday night to boost his batting average to .455. He hit .362 in 17 games at Richmond. ... Manager Bobby Cox said he hasn't decided on a starting pitcher for Tuesday night against San Diego. The rotation spot was left open when LHP Mark Redman was placed on the disabled list. LHP Oscar Villarreal could start if not needed in relief before Tuesday.
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Pirates-Brewers
RBI. ``We are trying to incorporate him into this situation as best as we possibly can,'' Tracy said. ``When a guy is swinging the bat like he's swinging it, and we're struggling like we've been struggling collectively offensively, it almost behooves you to try to find a place for him somewhere.'' Tracy said Doumit stayed positive despite his April demotion. ``It's great to see,'' Tracy said, ``because this guy, as we move forward through the course of this season, is going to be a very useful piece to our club.'' ... RHP Tony Armas, Sunday's starter, is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers. ... Friday's 10-0 loss marked the first time this season Pittsburgh was held to just singles (six).
inning guy.'' ... The Brewers have not lost consecutive games since their three-game losing streak April 4-7. ... Sunday's game against Pittsburgh marks the end of a stretch of 22 games where Milwaukee has played just NL Central teams.
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Rockies-Reds
COLORADO: The start of the game was delayed by rain for 61 minutes. ... RHP Aaron Cook had a few hundred fans in the stands for his start Saturday. Cook grew up in nearby Hamilton, Ohio, where he lives in the offseason. It was his second career start in Cincinnati. ... Manager Clint Hurdle is impressed with the recent work by reliever Denny Bautista, who improved to 2-0 on Friday night by overpowering the Reds with 98 mph fastballs in one inning of relief. ``That was as good as I've ever seen him pitch in a major league game,'' Hurdle said.
CINCINNATI: Cornerback Leon Hall, the Cincinnati Bengals' first-round draft pick, threw a ceremonial pitch before the game. Hall, a left-hander, stood at the front edge of the mound and threw one high but down the middle to catcher Javier Valentin. ... Ryan Freel batted leadoff Saturday, a day after manager Jerry Narron experimented with having 1B Scott Hatteberg bat first. Hatteberg was moved to No. 2 in the lineup, a more accustomed spot. ... OF Ken Griffey Jr. tried to make a backhand stop on Matt Holliday's single in the first inning, and missed the ball, which rolled to the wall for an error while Holliday went to third. It was Griffey's fourth error in 21 games in his new position.
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