Notes from Thursday's games Print
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Thursday, 05 July 2007 14:55
MLB Headline News

 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Devil Rays-Red Sox
TAMPA BAY: The Devil Rays have had six losing streaks of at least 10 games since entering the majors in 1998. The franchise record is 15 games, from April 25-May 10, 2002. ... The Devil Rays signed 41st-round draft pick RHP Austin Hinkle, of Coastal Carolina. ... J.P. Howell allowed six runs while getting just two outs, ballooning his ERA from 5.19 to 6.62.
BOSTON: LHP Hideki Okajima was added to the AL All-Star roster as the winner of the Internet voting. ... 1B Kevin Youkilis was out of the starting lineup for the third time in four games with a strained hamstring. ... Coco Crisp's first-inning grand slam was the third for the Red Sox this season and the second of his career. He also hit one in 2004 for the Indians. ... The Red Sox signed first-round draft pick LHP Nick Hagadone along with eight international free agents.
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Twins-Yankees
MINNESOTA: RHP Kevin Slowey was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the loss. Slowey lasted just 3 2-3 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs. The Twins recalled LHP Carmen Cali from their top farm club. Minnesota used three relievers in the loss and needed another pitcher in the bullpen for its day-night doubleheader against the White Sox on Friday. Slowey wasn't scheduled to make another start before the All-Star break. ... 2B Luis Castillo rested for the second straight day. He has sore legs and a swollen left hand from being spiked. ``He's got a nice cut on there and it's swollen up in the knuckles,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said Thursday. ... 1B Justin Morneau hasn't homered in 12 consecutive games, tying a season high. The AL MVP needs one more for 100 for his career.
NEW YORK: An MRI on 3B Alex Rodriguez's strained left hamstring came back normal. The All-Star missed his first game of the season Thursday but could be back in the lineup Friday against the Angels. ... SS Derek Jeter turned in a great play to take a hit away from Jason Bartlett in the second. He gloved Bartlett's grounder in the hole and made a leaping throw to an outstretched Andy Phillips at first, nipping the speedy shortstop by a step. ... With Rodriguez out, Hideki Matsui batted fourth for the first time since June 12, 2005, at St. Louis.
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Indians-Tigers
CLEVELAND: Even in his worst start of the season, LHP C.C. Sabathia only walked one batter in the loss to Detroit. Sabathia has not issued more than one walk in a game since April 15 - a span of 16 starts. ... Sabathia is 2-1 against the Tigers this season, facing RHP Justin Verlander all three times. ... All-Star C Victor Martinez was 2-for-3 with his 15th homer, 22nd double and two RBIs, giving him 66 this season. In his last 33 games, Martinez is hitting .349 with seven homers and 25 RBIs. ... 3B Casey Blake was 1-for-3 with a double and a run. Since May 8, he is hitting .302 with nine homers and 32 RBIs.
DETROIT: Even before manager Jim Leyland knew whether RHP Jeremy Bonderman beat out four players on the Internet ballot for the final AL spot, he said he didn't like the process. ``I think it's silly if you want to know the truth,'' Leyland said. ``It's kind of a farce.'' ... The Tigers originally planned to invite the Boston Red Sox's All-Stars to join them on their private plane after Sunday's game, but they can't. ``We don't have room,'' Leyland said. ... OF Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-4 with his major league-leading 35th double.
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Orioles-White Sox
sion. ``You use whatever tool's available to you,'' said pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who occasionally turned to Don Sutton when he was in Atlanta. Mazzone said Cabrera's release point is inconsistent, which may explain his 6-9 record and 5.15 ERA. ... Trembley said LHP Erik Bedard, RHP Jeremy Guthrie and Cabrera will start the first three games after the break. The other two spots in the rotation are a bit unsettled. ... LHP Garrett Olson, who made his major league debut Wednesday, will not play in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday.
.95 ERA in 23 appearances. ... The White Sox agreed to terms with second-round draft pick RHP Nevin Griffith from Middleton H.S. in Tampa, Fla., and assigned him to their advanced rookie club.
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Angels-Rangers
LOS ANGELES: OF Juan Rivera has begun running in 90-foot intervals in his recovery from a broken lower left leg sustained playing winter ball. Manager Mike Scioscia expects Rivera to be available before the end of the regular season. Rivera is also throwing and hitting off a tee. ... RHP Kelvim Escobar, who was 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA when the All-Star teams were named Sunday, says he's not upset about being snubbed for next week's game. ``A lot of people say I should be there, but I don't feel bad,'' Rivera said. ``I understand the situation. There should be a guy from each team.'' RF Vladimir Guerrero was selected for his fifth All-Star start, his fourth straight since joining the Angels.
TEXAS: 1B Mark Teixeira, on the DL since June 9 with a strained left quadriceps, is expected to start a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Frisco next Wednesday or Thursday. ``Hopefully, we can get him going again,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``There is no timetable on it. I want him to get multiple games.'' ... CF Kenny Lofton, who has a sore left knee, wasn't in the starting lineup Thursday. Washington said it was a planned day off for the 40-year-old and that Lofton was available to play if needed.
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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cubs-Nationals
WASHINGTON: The Nationals signed top draft pick Ross Detwiler Thursday, a left-handed pitcher from Missouri State. He'll start with the Gulf Coast League Nationals and is expected to end up with Class A Potomac in the coming weeks. Team officials said there's a chance the 21-year-old could come to the majors later this season. ... Slumping OF Ryan Church will sit for a second straight day. ... 1B Dmitri Young is batting .392 in his last 31 games. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning homer Wednesday was his first in 15 games. He also hadn't driven in a run in 13 contests. ... Washington is 8-35 when its opponents score first. ... RHP Jason Bergmann, who started Thursday against the Cubs, is one of only two Nationals pitchers to pick off a runner this season.
CHICAGO: Manager Lou Piniella rested 1B Derek Lee and 2B Mark DeRosa on Thursday against the Nationals. Piniella offered LF Alfonso Soriano the day off, but Soriano asked to play against his former team. ... Following the All-Star break, Piniella said the Cubs will again carry a 12-man pitching staff. ... Piniella offered praise for Ken Griffey Jr., one of his former players, who has had a strong first half. ``I'm happy for Junior. (Hes) healthy and swinging the bat really well,'' Piniella said. ``It'll give us someone to pitch around in Cincinnati.''
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Giants-Reds
SAN FRANCISCO: INF Luis Figueroa cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Fresno. He was designated for assignment Saturday when the Giants activated OF Fred Lewis from the disabled list. ... Lewis was in the starting lineup for a second straight game, playing center. Lewis became the first San Francisco rookie to hit two grand slams in a season on Wednesday. He said he got a lot of text messages from friends about the feat. ... The Giants had unusual background music when they came to bat in the first inning. A riverboat docked outside the ballpark loudly played calliope music for the first three batters. Plate umpire Gary Darling checked with the Reds' dugout, but was told that the club had nothing to do with it. By the time Barry Bonds came to bat, the riverboat was on its way and the music had stopped.
being too off-the-wall,'' Mackanin said. ``Whatever they've been trying hasn't been working.'' The Reds have the worst record in the majors. ... RHP Bronson Arroyo's solo homer in the second inning off Matt Morris was the third of his career. He hit two last season, both off the Cubs' Glendon Rusch.
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Brewers-Pirates
BREWERS: 1B Prince Fielder was given a planned day off Thursday, missing a game for the first time this season. He started 82 of the Brewers' first 84 games and appeared in the other two. Fielder leads the NL with 27 homers, but hasn't homered since June 25. He is 5-for-22 (.227) on Milwaukee's 10-game road trip, which wraps up with three games in Washington starting Friday. ... SS J.J. Hardy returned after sitting out two games with a stomach virus and had two hits. He could have played Wednesday, but manager Ned Yost chose to rest him a day. ... Because the Brewers have four days off at the All-Star break, rather than the normal three, Yost plans a workout July 12 before the start of a three-game home series against Colorado on July 13.
ned to Triple-A Indianapolis. ... The Pirates played a club record 11th consecutive game without an error while beating Milwaukee 6-3 on Thursday. Their 106 consecutive innings without an error are a franchise record.
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Diamondbacks-Cardinals
ARIZONA: Manager Bob Melvin believes Randy Johnson, on the DL for the third time this year due to a back injury, has no intention of retiring. The 43-year-old Johnson needs 16 wins for 300 and Melvin adds, ``The fact of the matter is he loves to pitch.'' Even if he needs another operation? ``We've talked a little bit about it and I know at times he's not particularly opposed to having it again.'' ... C Miguel Montero started for the third straight game after going 3-for-8 with a home run the previous two. Melvin said Montero is becoming more confident directing a veteran staff, but stopped short of saying Montero had seized the No. 1 job ahead of Chris Snyder. ``Chris does a terrific job back there, too,'' Melvin said. ``Both of these guys have the ability to do it behind the plate and do it offensively.'' ... RHP Edgar Gonzalez, the odd man out in the rotation, will be in the bullpen until the All-Star break. He could have started on Sunday, but the Diamondbacks were impressed with 22-year-old Yusmeiro Petit, who pitched into the sixth subbing for Johnson.
ST. LOUIS: Manager Tony La Russa didn't seem particularly interested in talking about Barry Bonds' quest for the career home run record coming to St. Louis for a three-game series starting Friday. ``Just try to win the game,'' La Russa said. ``When he plays he's in the way of us winning the game, so you've got to deal with it. I want the Cardinals to win and whatever happens, happens.'' Four active Cardinals pitchers are on Bonds' homer list: Kip Wells (2), Ryan Franklin, Jason Isringhausen and Russ Springer. ... SS David Eckstein, on the DL since June 14 with a lower back injury, said he's shooting for the first game after the All-Star break as his return. Eckstein had been aiming to return early this week but had a setback and needed three pain-killing shots in his back. ... Skip Schumaker is 5-for-25 as a pinch hitter, but has singled in his last two trips. ... The Cardinals have an eight-game winning streak on July 4 by a combined score of 64-26.
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Mets-Astros
' ... Adjusting for Paul Lo Duca's two-game suspension, the Mets called up 19-year veteran catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr. from Triple-A New Orleans. Alomar was hitting .323 in New Orleans with four homers and 29 RBIs in 38 games. Randolph has no reservations about putting the six-time All-Star behind the plate, either. ``He still knows how to receive and how to call a game,'' Randolph said. ``Backup catchers are hard to come by. It's a nice luxury to have those guys.''
HOUSTON: RHP Roy Oswalt backed into his third All-Star appearance on Thursday when John Smoltz dropped out of the game with a shoulder injury. Smoltz was one of five NL starting pitchers elected through the player ballot. Oswalt (7-5, 3.52 ERA) was next on the list. He was scheduled to start Sunday's series finale agianst New York and said a brief appearance in the All-Star Game could be ideal. ``It's a bullpen day anyway,'' Oswalt said. ``It's actually better that maybe I throw than have four days off.'' ... Rookie center fielder Hunter Pence passed 250 at-bats last weekend and now officially qualifies as one of the NL's leading hitters. Entering Thursday's game, Pence was batting .346, second only to Colorado's Matt Holliday (.352). Pence's .598 slugging percentage was third, trailing only Prince Fielder (.604) and Barry Bonds (.614).
 

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