Notes from Saturday's games Print
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Saturday, 21 July 2007 17:19
MLB Headline News

 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Mariners-Blue Jays
SEATTLE: 1B Richie Sexson struck out twice in a 1-0 loss to Toronto and has a team-high 69 strikeouts this season. Since the start of the 2006 season, Sexson has struck out 223 times, the fifth-highest total in the American League. Detroit's Curtis Granderson (263) has struck out most often. ... In two starts against Toronto this season, Jeff Weaver is 0-1 with a 1.13 ERA. Weaver is 2-7 with a 7.62 ERA against all other opponents. ... DH Jose Vidro, who went 2-for-4, owns a career .310 (524-for-1689) average in games played in Canada. Vidro spent his first eight seasons with Montreal.
TORONTO: OF Matt Stairs batted leadoff for the first time in his career and finished 0-for-4. Stairs, who broke in with Montreal in 1992, was playing in his 1,494th game. ... CF Vernon Wells batted fifth for the first time since May 30, 2005, at Seattle. Wells picked up his 1,027th hit and is one behind Damaso Garcia for seventh on Toronto's career list. ... 2B Aaron Hill, who drove in the only run in a 1-0 victory over Seattle, leads AL second basemen in RBIs (55) and doubles (28).
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Devil Rays-Yankees
TAMPA BAY: RHP Jason Hammel was sent down to Triple-A Durham after he allowed two runs and three hits over four innings during the Yankees' 7-3 victory in the first game of a doubleheader. It was the first start of the season for Hammel, who had made 10 relief appearances this year. ``I want to see him start,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``I see the confidence coming along. He could really take off.'' ... OF Carl Crawford sprained his left ankle beating out an infield single in the opener. X-rays were negative, and Crawford said he didn't think it was too serious. ``It didn't even really swell up,'' he said. ``It's just sore.'' ... The doubleheader was the 12th for Tampa Bay and first since Sept. 30, 2004. The Devil Rays have never swept a doubleheader.
not an easy at-bat for pitchers to get out,'' Torre said. ... LF Hideki Matsui had hit seven homers in his last 15 games before the second game of the doubleheader. ... 2B Robinson Cano extended his errorless streak to 55 games through the opener. It's the longest streak for a Yankees 2B since Mariano Duncan also went 55 games from July 27, 1996, to April 11, 1997, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
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White Sox-Red Sox
CHICAGO: Toby Hall was the catcher as A.J. Pierzynski rested after going 1-for-4 in Friday night's 10-3 loss to Boston. It was Hall's 16th start of the season. ... Josh Fields broke an 11 at-bat hitless streak with a second-inning double. ... Relievers allowed seven runs in two innings, making a bad season even worse. In the last 63 games, the bullpen has a 7.52 ERA. It entered the game at 7.20. ... Chicago was just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. ... Starting pitcher John Danks took his first loss since June 8.
... With David Ortiz out with a left shoulder strain, Manny Ramirez served as the DH for the fifth time this year. ... Boston is 21-8 in day games, 14-2 at Fenway Park.
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Royals-Tigers
KANSAS CITY: Rookie OF-DH Billy Butler was 9 when Mark Grudzielanek got his first major league hit in 1995. In Friday night's 10-2 win over Detroit, the two combined to go 8-for-10 with five RBIs and five runs scored. ... It is Negro Leagues weekend at Comerica Park, so the Royals wore the uniforms of the Kansas City Monarchs on Saturday.
DETROIT: LF Craig Monroe returned to the lineup after missing two games with a back injury. Because he has slumped this season, Monroe had lost his starting job to Marcus Thames. But Thames injured his hamstring on Wednesday and is on the disabled list. ``He's going to be a big key for us,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ``Especially with Marcus out.'' ... RF Magglio Ordonez was the DH, and Gary Sheffield played RF. Ordonez has a sore heel. CF Curtis Granderson and SS Carlos Guillen weren't in the starting lineup. ... Detroit wore the uniforms of the Detroit Stars as part of Negro Leagues weekend at Comerica Park.
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Angels-Twins
LOS ANGELES: The Angels entered on a 13-game homerless drought spanning 123 innings. It was the longest such streak for the franchise since an 18-gamer in 1976. ... On the bright side, the Angels had won 122 in a row when leading after eight innings, the longest current streak in the majors. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia on the possibility of the Angels being active in the trade market before the deadline: ``Same philosophy we've had over the last eight years - if there is someone out there who will get us better, we'll do it.'' ... Saturday's game also marked the 16th anniversary of former Angel and Twin Rod Carew's induction into the Hall of Fame.
MINNESOTA: More bad luck for OF Rondell White, who has been on the disabled list nearly all season with calf and hamstring problems. His latest rehab start was postponed by rain. ``Rondell was yelling in the dugout, 'Why me?''' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire joked. ``He talked to Torii (Hunter) and said he's ready.'' No date has been set for White's return. ... Backup C Mike Redmond injured one of his knuckles during an at-bat on Thursday and his availability was limited. Redmond did not take batting practice on Saturday, and Gardenhire said if the catcher wasn't feeling better by Sunday, he might have to consider making a roster move. ... Relief pitcher Ramon Ortiz hadn't appeared in a game since July 6, and Gardenhire said he would try hard in the next few days to get him some work.
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Indians-Rangers
CLEVELAND: Saturday was 3B Casey Blake's turn for a day off during the team's stretch of games on 17 consecutive days. Mike Rouse, who had filled in for SS Jhonny Peralta on Friday, started at 3B. ... 1B Ryan Garko was in the lineup and feeling no ill effects to his left quadriceps following a collision with Rangers OF Marlon Byrd in the ninth inning Friday. ... Manager Eric Wedge praised RHP Fausto Carmona, who was 1-10 last season but on Friday earned his 12th win of 2007. ``His rhythm and tempo are better, and he's done a good job learning on the job. He gained a lot of toughness last year, too,'' Wedge said.
TEXAS: CF Kenny Lofton was not in the starting lineup after fouling a ball off his right big toe Friday night. X-rays were negative, but Lofton was limping and in pain before Saturday night's game. Marlon Byrd started in CF and 2B Ramon Vazquez was the leadoff batter for the first time this season. ... Former Utah Jazz center Greg Ostertag and his sister, Amy, played in the 13th annual Rangers organ donor softball game on a nearby field. Five years ago, Greg Ostertag, who lives in the Dallas area, donated a kidney to his sister. Former Dallas Cowboys Ron Springs and Everson Walls were on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Rangers game. Walls donated a kidney to Springs, his ailing former Cowboys teammate, earlier this year.
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Orioles-Athletics
BALTIMORE: INF Brandon Fahey's first visit to the Oakland Coliseum came as a fan of the San Francisco Giants during the 1989 World Series. The son of former Giants coach Bill Fahey, who also spent 12 years as a catcher in the major leagues, Brandon remembers sitting in the second deck behind the third base dugout for the first two games. Fahey served as an unofficial clubhouse attendant during that time. ``My brother and I would go to Candlestick Park and work out before the game,'' he said. ``Once the game started it was too cold so we'd go stay in the locker room and help with the laundry.'' ... RHP Jeremy Guthrie's only previous appearance in Oakland came in a three-inning relief stint last year with the Cleveland Indians. Guthrie pitched at nearby Stanford. ... After Sunday's series finale, the Orioles have one road trip remaining outside the AL East, visiting the Texas Rangers from Sept. 20-23.
OAKLAND: OF Nick Swisher was out of the starting lineup one night after bruising his right shoulder when he slammed into the fence while chasing Brian Roberts' two-run double. Swisher said he doesn't expect to miss much more than a game or two. ... 3B Eric Chavez returned to the lineup after missing four games with tightness in his lower back. He had homered three times in his previous five games. ... LHP Dallas Braden, Sunday's starter, is in his fourth stint with the A's this season. After winning his major league debut at Baltimore on April 24, he has lost four straight decisions.
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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Diamondbacks-Cubs
ARIZONA: Reliever Juan Cruz pitched three hitless innings in his longest outing since Sept. 7, 2005 against Seattle. ... Arizona starter Micah Owings only made it through four innings on Saturday because of a high pitch count. He allowed two runs and four hits. He struck out three and walked three, throwing 95 pitches. ``He actually battled today. Obviously with, you know, the pitch count where it was after only four innings its tough to send him back out there. But it didn't get out of hand. He really didn't have his good command at all today,'' said Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin. ... Closer Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save. He is second in the National League in saves behind the Brewers Francisco Cordero, who has 30.
will be free to pitch in the seventh and eighth innings. So it will help our short people with (Carlos) Marmol included,'' said Piniella. ... Dempster pitched for the first time on Saturday since going on the disabled because of a strained oblique. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation. ... Reliever Kerry Wood gave up one run in one inning in a rehab appearance in the Arizona rookie league.
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Giants-Brewers
SAN FRANCISCO: RHP Tim Lincecum did not allow the Milwaukee Brewers to get past first base in pitching eight shutout innings Saturday, and only has given up one run in 14 1-3 innings over his last two starts. ``I was just feeding off my last start,'' Lincecum said of his outing Saturday. The Giants went 3-6 in Lincecum's first nine starts, but are 4-1 in his last five. ... Omar Vizquel played his 2,512th game at shortstop Saturday, moving past Ozzie Smith into second on the all-time list in games played at shortstop. Luis Aparicio is first with 2,583.
team's last nine games. ... LHP Brian Shouse pitched two scoreless innings of relief Saturday and has not allowed a run in his last 15 innings.
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Rockies-Nationals
COLORADO: The team announced it acquired LHP Sean Thompson on Thursday on a waiver claim from the Kansas City Royals. Thompson was added to the 40-man roster and was assigned to Double-A Tulsa, where he started on Friday. He took the loss after surrendering seven runs on eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. ... 2B Jamey Carroll, a former Washington National, is 11-for-25 at RFK Stadium since being sold to the Rockies in February 2006. ... After winning four straight decisions to start the season, RHP Rodrigo Lopez is 1-3 with a 6.41 ERA in his last five starts.
WASHINGTON: 1B Dmitri Young did not start Saturday for the second straight game because of a bruised left heel. He pinch-hit in the seventh, though, and is considered day-to-day. ... LHP Billy Traber will get another start, manager Manny Acta said. Traber (2-1, 4.20 ERA) took the loss as a fill-in starter on Friday against Colorado after allowing two runs, one earned, and three hits in four innings. Because the Nationals don't play Monday, Traber likely won't start until next weekend's series against the New York Mets. ... C Brian Schneider went 2-for-3 with a double to break out of a 4-for-42 (.095) slump.
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Reds-Marlins
CINCINNATI: SS Alex Gonzalez was transferred to the restricted list. Gonzalez has been on the bereavement list since July 14 due to an illness in his family. He missed four games from April 13-16 for the same issue. ... LHP Eddie Guardado, who had Tommy John elbow surgery and has been battling lower back stiffness, threw live batting practice and 15 extra pitches in the bullpen on Friday. He said he experienced no pain. ... OF Josh Hamilton (sprained right wrist) will be examined in one week by hand specialist Dr. Andrew Markiewitz. ... INF Juan Castro (sprained right elbow) is to be examined on Monday by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek.
rookie, is dealing with a stiff lower back. He played catch on Friday but manager Fredi Gonzalez will wait until Sunday before determining if he can play. ... OF Cody Ross, reinstated from the 60-day DL (hamstring strain) on Thursday, started in center for Florida on Saturday.
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Astros-Pirates
HOUSTON: RHP Roy Oswalt probably won't know until Sunday at the earliest if he can make his next scheduled start, Wednesday against the Dodgers in Houston. Oswalt began feeling pain in his rib cage during the fifth inning of a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Friday night, but stayed in until the seventh. Manager Phil Garner said, ``He realized he couldn't get the ball to the outside part of the plate.'' ... C Brad Ausmus got considerable kidding from teammates for his struggle to locate Brad Lidge's errant pitch on the final play Friday night in Pittsburgh. The pitch, a third strike to Freddy Sanchez, bounced past Ausmus and struck umpire Joe West. Ausmus failed on his first attempt to pick up the ball but did so in time to tag the plate for a game-ending force out, a moment before Rajai Davis would have scored the tying run. Garner said, ``Those guys were all over him because, normally, Brad's so cool.'' ... Garner will adjust his planned lineup for Sunday, now that the Pirates have switched off RHP John Van Benschoten to start LHP Shane Youman.
PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke, who hasn't pitched since June 28 because of left elbow pain, will start light throwing Monday at the Pirates' spring training complex in Bradenton, Fla. Duke was told by multiple doctors he doesn't need surgery, but his return to the team is uncertain. ... OF Chris Duffy (sprained left ankle) no longer needs a protective boot and is walking on a treadmill, but isn't ready to hit in a cage. ... Manager Jim Tracy said there's no timetable for SS Cesar Izturis to make his first start since being acquired Thursday in a trade with the Cubs. It's possible Izturis could start Sunday against Houston.
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Mets-Dodgers
NEW YORK: Hall of Famer Frank Robinson visited with manager Willie Randolph in the clubhouse before the game. Their relationship goes back to spring training 1975, when Randolph was a rookie with Pittsburgh and Robinson was beginning his first season as a player-manager with the Cleveland Indians. ``The night that I got the (Mets job), it was just weird how the phone rang and it was Frank Robinson,'' Randolph recalled. ``He knew nothing about it, but he probably heard the rumors. So it was kind of neat that he was one of the first guys who called to congratulate me. I was always kind of in awe of him when I was young. But when I got a chance to talk to him and get to know him, he's really a great guy. He's got a tremendous amount of baseball knowledge, but we don't really talk about strategy. We just talk about life.''
LOS ANGELES: With his 8-6 win over the Mets, RHP Brad Penny became the first starting pitcher to open a season 12-1 for the Dodgers since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. The only other pitcher to start a season 12-1 for the Dodgers since the exodus from Brooklyn was reliever Phil (The Vulture) Reagan, who won 14 of his 15 decisions in 1966. Penny's only loss was a 9-1 interleague drubbing by the Angels on May 18 in Anaheim, Calif. ... Penny hit a booming double off the center field fence and scored the Dodgers' first run after falling behind 4-0. But FOX TV's national audience missed Penny's fourth double of the season because the network had cut away to Milwaukee to show Barry Bonds' second at-bat of the afternoon. Penny is batting .263 and has a 2.42 ERA. The last Dodgers pitcher to have a higher batting average than ERA at the end of a season was LHP Fernando Valenzuela, who hit .250 with a 2.48 ERA as a rookie during the strike-interrupted 1981 campaign.
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Cardinals-Braves
nd of 2000 and traded him for J.D. Drew 3 1/2 years later. ``Those are a lot of the guys I came up with. It's special to pitch against them.'' ... The night before his first career start against Atlanta, Wainwright received a call from Braves ace John Smoltz. ``He called to wish me luck,'' Wainwright said. ``He's one of my role models.'' ... The Cardinals agreed to contract terms with INF Pete Kozma, the No. 18 overall pick in June's baseball draft. ... Before Friday, St. Louis had lost eight straight games when opponents score first. ... Beginning with the 1996 season, the Cardinals have had winning records in Atlanta twice. ... LF Chris Duncan doubled and hit a two-run homer in his first two at-bats, raising his July to .429 (18-for-42), third-best in the NL for players with a minimum of 50 at-bats.
d five earned runs with two blown saves in his last 3 1-3 innings, but Cox isn't worried. ``Not really. He's throwing awfully hard,'' Cox said. ``It's location. The same old thing. When the pitcher gets hit a little bit, it's generally location.'' ... When RF Jeff Francoeur walked in the sixth inning on Friday, it gave him 23 this season, the same number he had all of last year.
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Phillies-Padres
PHILADELPHIA: LHP Jamie Moyer has recruited his friend, Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, to help with efforts to open Camp Erin-San Diego, which would be one of the latest in a number of camps for children dealing with the loss of a parent. ``They do such good work,'' Hoffman said about Moyer and his wife, Karen, who founded the Camp Erin concept through The Moyer Foundation. There are currently eight Camp Erins around the country, and Moyer said plans are to open 30 more so that there's one in each big league city. There are currently Camp Erins in three big league cites - Seattle, Phoenix and Philadelphia.
SAN DIEGO: Tony Gwynn unveiled a statue of himself Saturday evening at the Park at the Park beyond the outfield wall at Petco Park. Gwynn, who spent his entire 20-year big league career with the Padres, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next Sunday, along with Cal Ripken Jr. ... 2B Marcus Giles was back in the lineup after he got three days off to work on his hitting. Giles was dropped from second in the order to eighth. ``It takes a little pressure off Marcus,'' Manager Bud Black said. ``I think he's been grinding somewhat the last month or so.'' Giles is batting just .191 since May 7 and .237 overall.
 

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