Notes from Tuesday's games Print
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Tuesday, 14 August 2007 15:13
MLB Headline News

Devil Rays-Red Sox
TAMPA BAY: The Devil Rays have the worst record in baseball and face a tough 10-game homestand starting Friday with three games against both Cleveland and Boston and four against Oakland. ... When Scott Kazmir struck out Mike Lowell to end the first inning, it was his 539th strikeout. That's 10th all-time for pitchers before the age of 24. He had been tied with C.C. Sabathia of Cleveland. ... Rookie RHP Andy Sonnanstine, who starts Wednesday in the series finale, has lost eight straight decisions since winning his second start of the year.
n California, an operation that usually takes at least 12 months to come back from.
DETROIT: Tigers DH Gary Sheffield isn't sweating his upcoming return to New York. Sheffield recently criticized Yankees manager Joe Torre, accusing him of playing favorites and treating black and white players in the Yankees clubhouse differently. ``I'm not even focused on that,'' said Sheffield, who was traded by the Yankees in November. ``Right now I'm focused on Cleveland.'' Sheffield knows there will be plenty of attention on his comeback. ``I'll deal with whatever I have to deal with. It's not like I haven't had to deal with it before. I've played in every environment you can think.'' ... RHP Jair Jurrjens will be called up from Double-A Erie to make his major league debut Wednesday against the Indians. The 21-year-old Jurrjens was 7-5 with a 3.20 ERA at Erie. He has never pitched at Triple-A. ... RHP Joel Zumuya (middle finger strain) retired two of the three batters he faced on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Toledo against Norfolk on Monday night, throwing 18 pitches. He's scheduled to pitch again for Toledo on Wednesday.
CLEVELAND: Kenny Lofton's back on top with the Indians. Looking to spark his slumbering offense, manager Eric Wedge moved Lofton into the leadoff spot for Tuesday's opener and moved Grady Sizemore, the club's No. 1 hitter for the past few years, down to third. ``It's something that we talked about even prior to this stretch that we're going through,'' said Wedge, whose team is just 7-13 since July 23. ``We felt like this was the right time to do it.'' Sizemore, one of baseball's best leadoff hitters, had not been out of the top spot since May 14, 2005. He hit a two-run homer in the first off Jeremy Bonderman. ... Manager Eric Wedge said he never considered benching Jhonny Peralta for his baserunning blunder in Sunday's loss to the New York Yankees. Down 4-0, the Indians loaded the bases in the seventh inning with nobody out, but Peralta was picked off first by starter Andy Pettitte. The out sabotaged a potential big inning for the Indians. Wedge bristled at the idea of yanking Peralta. ``Why would you do that?'' he said. ``To prove what? That's not the way I operate and that's not the way anybody with any feel for the game should operate. You shouldn't penalize somebody or show somebody up or embarrass somebody because they made a mistake. ``You handle it in the appropriate manner. I just think that (benching Peralta) is very reactionary and silly.''
54 on-base percentage. ... LHP Erik Bedard is slated to get the ball for the series finale Wednesday afternoon. He is 8-0 in his last 11 starts and hasn't lost since June 10 against Colorado. He also leads the majors with 199 strikeouts.
NEW YORK: The Yankees and their top draft pick, North Carolina State right-hander Andrew Brackman, were trying to negotiate a deal by Wednesday's midnight deadline. Brackman is represented by Scott Boras. ... Manager Joe Torre said INF Wilson Betemit would start at second base Wednesday and Robinson Cano would get a day off. ... CF Melky Cabrera made a great running catch near the wall in center to take a hit away from Corey Patterson in the fourth inning Tuesday. Patterson ended up with a sacrifice fly. ... The Yankees mourned the loss of Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto, who had pneumonia and died in his sleep late Monday night. They observed a moment of silence before Tuesday night's game and will wear Rizzuto's No. 10 on their left sleeves for the rest of the season.
Angels-Blue Jays
LOS ANGELES: RHP Bartolo Colon (right elbow) will throw a bullpen session in Toronto on Wednesday and, if all goes well, could soon be ready for a minor league rehabilitation assignment. ... C Mike Napoli (right hamstring) took part in agility drills before Tuesday's game and will take part in running drills for the second time within the next couple of days. Manager Mike Scioscia said no decision has been made on whether Napoli will require a minor league rehab assignment. ... Scioscia said OF Garret Anderson and OF Vladimir Guerrero will each get a day at DH during the current three-game series in Toronto. ... The Angels have yet to name their starter for the first game of Friday's doubleheader at Boston, but Scioscia said RHP Ervin Santana is a candidate. Santana was demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake after starting the season 5-11 with a 6.22 ERA. He is 2-1 with a 5.01 ERA in five starts at Triple-A.
TORONTO: 3B Troy Glaus missed his second straight game Monday because of a sore left ankle and left the team to be examined by doctors. Hector Luna started in Glaus' place. ... Blue Jays pitchers have recorded a major league-low 3.40 ERA since the all-star break. ... The Blue Jays lead the American League with 256 doubles this season and have hit at least one double in each of their past 20 games, the longest current streak in the AL. Toronto's club record for consecutive games with a double is 31, set in 2004.
A Omaha on Wednesday night. Duckworth has been under a 45-50 pitch limit and has been brought along slowly after landing on the 15-day DL on June 14 due to a left rib cage strain. Duckworth figures to have two more rehab starts with the goal of adding him to the Royals' rotation by the end of the month.
TEXAS: As of Tuesday night, the team still hadn't signed three draft picks: RHP Blake Beavan (17th overall selection), OF Julio Borbon (35th) and RHP Neil Ramirez (44th). GM Jon Daniels expressed optimism that Beavan would be signed. ... LHP Kason Gabbard said he'll be able to make his scheduled start Friday night in Minnesota. Gabbard was forced to leave his last start in the second inning last Friday night due to left forearm stiffness. Gabbard has already had four arm surgeries during his career, so there was natural concern that the injury could be serious. Gabbard skipped a throwing session on Tuesday but insisted he'll be ready to take his turn in the rotation. ...RHP Vicente Padilla is on schedule to return to the rotation on Wednesday night against Kansas City. Padilla has been on the 15-day DL since June 25 with right triceps irritation. ...RHP Kameron Loe is also on track to rejoin the rotation after his final minor league rehab start on Monday night. Loe, out since Aug. 4 because of back stiffness, is penciled in to start Saturday night against Minnesota.
NEW YORK: OF Marlon Anderson was taken off the bereavement list in time for the start of a three-game series against the Pirates, with utilityman David Newhan optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. ... C Ramon Castro is bothered by a stiff back, but said it's possible he could catch if a long game or an injury left the team shorthanded. ``If they need me today or whatever, if something happened, I'll be there. ... I think it's going to be quick,'' Castro said ... Time for some ballot-stuffing by Mets fans: the beloved Mr. Met is one of 12 nominees for the Mascot Hall of Fame. Votes will be counted through Sept. 6 at the hall's Web site.
rocess. Hopefully sometime soon we'll be able to get him back full-time.''
ARIZONA: LHP Doug Davis, scheduled to start Wednesday at Florida, is 4-0 over his past six starts with an ERA of 2.66. ... SS Stephen Drew, batting .217 against left-handers, was held out of the lineup Tuesday against Florida's Dontrelle Willis.
FLORIDA: Alfredo Amezaga lost his starting job in CF last week when rookie Alejandro De Aza came off the disabled list. ``Alfredo may be more valuable coming off the bench,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``We're a better team. He's a weapon, and he's so versatile.'' ... NL batting leader Hanley Ramirez began the week batting .367 in the leadoff spot and .296 in other spots. ... Tuesday's game began a stretch where Florida is scheduled play 16 days in a row. ... RHP Sergio Mitre, scheduled to face Arizona on Wednesday, is 0-3 with a 13.17 ERA in four games against the Diamondbacks.
e debut. ... Manager Charlie Manuel said he was unsure if RHP Adam Eaton would make his scheduled start on Friday. In his last three starts, Eaton has allowed 16 runs in 12 2-3 innings.
WASHINGTON: Washington signed LHP Josh Smoker, the 31st pick in June's draft. Smoker, who was 13-0 with a 1.24 ERA with Calhoun (Ga.) High School in 2007, will report to the Rookie League GCL Nationals on Saturday. ``Josh is a pretty remarkable left-handed pitcher,'' Jim Bowden, the Nationals' General Manager said. ``He's a dominating left-handed pitcher. We were very pleased he was still there when we selected.'' ... 1B Dmitri Young, who missed the last four games due to tightness in his left hamstring, started. ... RHP Shawn Hill, who missed more than three months because of soreness in his right elbow, was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list to start the game.
Winn and Dave Roberts, against Atlanta starter John Smoltz. ``Barry's good to go and we're facing Smoltz,'' Bochy said. ``That's a tough match-up for a young kid.''
ATLANTA: The Braves returned home to find Atlanta still in the grips of a brutal heat wave. The temperature was 96 degrees at the start of the game, and it was expected to be near 100 the next two days. Manager Bobby Cox said he would keep an eye on all his players, especially the catchers. ``They have all that gear on and they have to do a lot back there,'' he said. ``You've really got to watch 'em. They can have some heat-related problems.'' ... For now, CF Andruw Jones has decided to play through the pain of his ailing left elbow. Asked whether he underwent an MRI to determine a possible cause during Monday's off day, Jones shook his head. ``I don't feel like it,'' he said.
laced on the 15-day disabled list because of a concussion suffered in a home plate collision Sunday with the Padres' Mike Cameron. Mackanin said he saw Ross on Monday and he was feeling better. But the team couldn't take any chances after Ross seemed disoriented Sunday. Mackanin said Cameron's play was a clean hit. ... There is still no timetable for the return of INF Pedro Lopez from the DL. He suffered a broken cheekbone when he was hit by a pitch from Milwaukee's Matt Wise on July 25. He doesn't need surgery. ``He's still got soreness in his face,'' Mackanin. Lopez is also experiencing some dizziness when he exerts himself.
is 1B Derrek Lee, who was 4-for-27 on the road trip. Piniella said he and batting coach Gerald Perry had studied tapes and found a mechanical flaw dealing with Lee's hip. ... Closer Ryan Dempster said he'll still take the approach that he's going to finish games, although manager Lou Piniella said last week he'll also use Bob Howry and Carlos Marmol in that role. Piniella said he has an understanding with Dempster, who needs more work and hasn't been as sharp since coming off the DL with an oblique strain.
ST. LOUIS: LHP Mark Mulder will likely make a minor-league rehab start Thursday, although team officials were unsure what team he would pitch for. Mulder has missed 116 games as a result of shoulder surgery. ... Kip Wells was the No. 8 batter Tuesday night, the 10th straight game manager Tony La Russa used a pitcher in that spot. ... After Wells gave up three runs in the first inning, the Cardinals have been outscored 84-40 in the opening inning. The runs are the fewest scored in the first inning by any team in the National League.
is wore replica uniforms commemorating the 1982 World Series between the franchises. The Brewers honored members of their 1982 team in a ceremony before the game.
HOUSTON: Retiring 2B Craig Biggio will play at Dodger Stadium for the final time Thursday night, and the Dodgers are planning to salute him in a pregame ceremony. His best game at Chavez Ravine was on Sept. 14, 1989. He hit his first career grand slam against John Wetteland that day and added a two-run homer off Jeff Fischer to help teammate Mike Scott become a 20-game winner for the first time - and mathematically eliminate the defending World Series champion Dodgers from the NL West race. ``Dodger Stadium has been here forever, it seems, so you just appreciate the fact that you had the opportunity to play in one of the greatest ballparks in the history of the game,'' said Biggio, who has 96 hits, nine home runs and a .264 average there. ``Some ballparks you go to like this one are unique and special to me because they take me back to the beginning of my career, and I love that part of it. But one thing I won't miss is the long walk from home plate to the dugout after you strike out. It was the walk from hell. I mean, you ask anybody who's ever played here. It was the worst. It was a good 40-50 yards. You're still mad from striking out, then everybody behind the dugout is ragging on you and you can't get back to the dugout quick enough.''
LOS ANGELES: 2B Nomar Garciaparra was placed on the 15-day DL because of a strained left calf and LHP Eric Hull was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... A familiar face returned to Dodger Stadium to broadcast the Astros series for Houston's Spanish-language radio network: Rene Cardenas spent 21 seasons calling Dodgers games in Spanish on radio - including the 1959 and 1988 championship seasons, and the Fernando Valenzuela years when ``Fernandomania'' was the buzz word at Chavez Ravine. ``I was trembling yesterday when I walked from the bus to the stadium,'' said Cardenas, who came out of retirement to fill in for color analyst Adrian Chavarria for the final six weeks of the season. ``I left my heart here, and now that I'm back here I am the happiest guy in the major leagues. I miss Peter O'Malley and Vin Scully immensely, and I miss other people who used to be here who made my life so happy in those years.''

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