Notes from Wednesday's games, 2401503 Print
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Wednesday, 15 August 2007 17:05
MLB Headline News

 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Devil Rays-Red Sox
TAMPA BAY: Carlos Pena went 1-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs after slumping with three hits and 12 strikeouts in his previous 32 at-bats. ... Relievers Gary Glover, Dan Wheeler and Al Reyes each pitched for the second consecutive day - in that order - and combined to allow two runs in each game. ... Reyes needed 33 pitches to get through the ninth inning, 11 of them to Julio Lugo, who doubled. ... Akinori Iwamura is 7-for-18 in his career against Daisuke Matsuzaka, including 2-for-8 when they played in Japan.
since Sept. 27.
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Orioles-Yankees
BALTIMORE: LHP Erik Bedard struck out eight to run his major league-leading total to 207. He is the sixth Canadian-born pitcher to fan 200 or more in a season. Ferguson Jenkins (six times), Bob Emslie, Ryan Dempster, Russ Ford and Kirk McCaskill are the others. ... The Orioles are 18-13 since the All-Star break. ... DH Kevin Millar walked in the second inning and has reached base in 44 straight games.
NEW YORK: RF Shelley Duncan's three-run homer in the ninth inning prevented the Yankees from being shut out on consecutive days at home for the first time since May 12-13, 1999, against the Angels, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The Yankees have lost four straight series against Baltimore for the first time since 1982. ... 3B Alex Rodriguez went 4-for-4 to match his season high for hits. ... The Yankees recalled relievers Edwar Ramirez and Sean Henn from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned Jeff Karstens and Jim Brower to their top farm club. Henn pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings and Ramirez struck out three in 2 1-3 scoreless innings against Baltimore.
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Twins-Mariners
MINNESOTA: RHP Ramon Ortiz was traded to Colorado for minor league INF Matt Macri, who was just promoted to Triple-A. Ortiz had red, moist eyes and seemed stunned as he said goodbye in the clubhouse late Wednesday afternoon, but he said ``I'm glad for the opportunity'' to possibly return to a starting role with the contending Rockies. Minnesota demoted him from its rotation in late May. ``Sad,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``We love this guy. He's very special.'' ... SS Jason Bartlett strained his left hamstring while beating out an infield single in the sixth inning. Gardenhire said Bartlett will likely go on the DL before Friday's game against Texas. ... OF Rondell White hit his first regular-season home run since Sept. 14, 2006. He also hit one in the AL division series against Oakland last October. He's just 16 games into a return from a calf strain that sidelined him for more than three months. ... 1B Justin Morneau is batting .179 with two RBIs and no walks in August. The AL MVP hasn't homered since July 23, a span of 20 games and 79 at-bats.
SEATTLE: Manager John McLaren said LHP Horacio Ramirez will remain in the rotation. Ramirez has allowed 24 hits and 17 earned runs in 14 innings over his last three starts. He is 7-4 despite a 7.38 ERA. The Mariners want him to adjust the speeds of his pitches - they have found that his fastballs and breaking balls are coming in at the same speeds. ... OF Raul Ibanez hit his sixth home run in nine games. He had six in 97 games before this. ... Seattle signed RHP Phillippe Aumont, the 11th overall choice in the June draft out of Canada, hours before the new deadline. The Mariners signed all 20 of their top picks.
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Tigers-Indians
DETROIT: Manager Jim Leyland isn't worried about what kind of reception DH Gary Sheffield will get upon his return to Yankee Stadium on Thursday for the opener of a four-game series. ``He'll get whatever he wants,'' Leyland said. ``If he wants attention, he'll get it. If he doesn't want it, he won't get it.'' ... Leyland isn't intimidated about the trip to New York, but he is a bit wary of the Yankees' scary lineup, which has been on a roll lately. ``They are swinging the bats well and have made up a lot of ground the last couple weeks,'' he said. The Tigers will play eight games against the Yankees in 11 days. After the series in New York, Detroit goes home for three games with the Indians and four against New York. ... 1B Sean Casey was surprised to read that he was among several Tigers fighting the flu. ``I feel fine, but I saw in the paper where I was sick,'' Casey said. ``I have no idea where that came from.'' ... LHP Andrew Miller, out since Aug. 3 with a strained left hamstring, made a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo. He allowed five runs in the first inning on four hits and three walks. ... RHP Joel Zumaya, out since May 3 with a strained right middle finger, is also rehabbing at Toledo. ... Entering play, the Tigers had at least one extra-base hit in 80 consecutive games.
CLEVELAND: Indians manager Eric Wedge vented more frustration. He's now changed his lineup from top to bottom. One day after sticking Kenny Lofton in the leadoff spot, Wedge benched Josh Barfield, the Indians' No. 9 hitter who was in a 3-for-29 slump. Wedge has lost patience with the second baseman's inconsistency. Rookie Asdrubal Cabrera, who started the season at Double-A, took Barfield's spot in the field and lineup. Wedge intimated the move could be more than a temporary one if Cabrera produces. Asked if Barfield might be out for a few days, Wedge said, ``We've got Cabrera in there tonight,'' he said. ``I'll leave it at that.'' Barfield, who came over in a trade from San Diego in November, has played as well defensively as the Indians could have hoped, but he has struggled at the plate in his first season facing AL pitching. ``It's frustrating,'' he said. ``Everybody wants to do well and you know you can do better than this.'' ... Following Tuesday's 6-2 loss in 10 innings, Wedge questioned the Indians' toughness and said there were a few players ``feeling sorry for themselves. Enough is enough.'' Wedge's outburst was a change from his recent approach. Publicly, he has been very protective of his players, and while he didn't name names, Wedge was as pointed as he's been all season. ``I've seen some things that I'm not particularly happy with,'' he said.
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Angels-Blue Jays
LOS ANGELES: RHP Bartolo Colon (right elbow) threw 46 pitches in a bullpen session and reported no problems. ``He looked very good,'' pitching coach Mike Butcher said. Colon, who threw only fastballs and changeups, will throw 60 pitches in his next bullpen session. The Angels want Colon to pitch at least seven innings in a minor league start before returning to the rotation. ... Manager Mike Scioscia has still not decided on a starter for the second game of Friday's day-night doubleheader in Boston. John Lackey (15-6) will start the opener.
TORONTO: 3B Troy Glaus returned to the lineup following a two-game absence and revealed that he has been playing with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel to the base of the toes. Glaus, who wore new orthotics Wednesday, said the condition has led to heel and ankle soreness. Surgery will not be required, and offseason rest should cure the problem. ... Manager John Gibbons said OF Reed Johnson, who missed 76 games earlier this season following surgery to repair a herniated disk, is struggling to regain his quickness on the bases. Johnson has stolen four bases this season and has been caught once.
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Royals-Rangers
after playing in sweltering conditions in Texas. The temperature at gametime in Arlington was 99 degrees on Tuesday night. Next stop for the Royals is Oakland for a three-game weekend series. Temperatures after dark in the Bay Area have recently been in the low 60s.
TEXAS: 3B Hank Blalock took another step in his recovery from rib surgery when he made throws to first base during early infield practice for the first time since he went on the DL on May 18. Blalock, who has been taking batting practice, is throwing from the cut of the grass, and will make deeper throws in the next few days. If he continues to progress, he should be ready for a minor league rehab assignment in a little more than a week. ... With the emphasis on auditioning young players, RF-DH Sammy Sosa's at-bats have been limited recently. Manager Ron Washington said that beginning on Thursday, Sosa would start three of the next nine games.
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White Sox-Athletics
tied the major league mark of 41 straight batters retired. Jim Barr also set down 41 in a row for San Francisco in 1972. ... For now, RHP Gavin Floyd is going to stick with a relief role rather than continuing to bounce between the bullpen and the rotation. ``I don't want to play games with this kid,'' Guillen said. RHP Jose Contreras is scheduled to return to the rotation to start Friday at Seattle.
OAKLAND: DH Mike Piazza batted fifth for the first time all year. He has 44 starts in the cleanup hole and two in the third spot. ... RHP Esteban Loaiza will have one more rehab assignment as he recovers from knee surgery. He hasn't pitched in the majors all season also because of spasms in his upper back. Loaiza will pitch Friday at Portland for Triple-A Fresno - and he didn't seem thrilled after deeming himself ready to go Tuesday. ``Then I'll go to Portland,'' Loaiza said while walking to the clubhouse. Manager Bob Geren said Loaiza has had only three rehab outings, leaving him three short of the number of appearances most pitchers get during spring training. ``He'll pitch until he's ready,'' Geren said. ``We'd like to get him back where he was last year when he was pitcher of the month.'' ... With Loaiza no longer an option for Friday, LHP Dan Meyer is a likely candidate - though Geren said he was available out of the bullpen Wednesday.
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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Mets-Pirates
NEW YORK: C Ramon Castro (lower back discomfort) may be ready to start again in another day or two. ... OF Endy Chavez (strained left hamstring) could be ready for a rehabilitation assignment within a week. He has been out since early June. ... RHP Brian Lawrence, who starts Thursday against the Pirates, is 3-1 with a 4.56 ERA in four career starts in PNC Park. ... Manager Willie Randolph shifted his batting order for the Pittsburgh series, moving 3B David Wright into the third spot and putting Carlos Beltran fourth. Randolph said the move may get Wright an extra at-bat during a game, and puts him into position to run more often.
PITTSBURGH: CF Chris Duffy, out since late June with a badly sprained ankle, may be ready to play Friday for Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League. He has been rehabilitating at the Pirates' spring complex there. LHP Zach Duke (left elbow tendinitis), shifted from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list Tuesday, may be ready to pitch for Bradenton by the middle of next week. ... RHP Masumi Kuwata cleaned out his locker at PNC Park on Wednesday. He was designated for assignment after a five-run inning Monday against San Francisco jumped his ERA to 9.43. The 39-year-old Kuwata has been offered a spot at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he began the season, but has not decided if he will accept it.
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Diamondbacks-Marlins
ARIZONA: Manager Bob Melvin said INF Augie Ojeda's pitching debut Tuesday lifted the team's spirits at the end of a 14-5 loss at Florida. Ojeda retired the side in order in the eighth on eight pitches. ``His ERA is pretty respectable,'' Melvin said. ... With three hits Tuesday, INF Mark Reynolds hiked his average in night games to .304. His day-game average is .208.
FLORIDA: LHP Dontrelle Willis beat out an infield hit to shortstop Tuesday night with a headfirst slide. ``I started to smell the base hit and went for the belly flop,'' Willis said. ... Through Tuesday, 70 of Josh Willingham's 76 RBIs had come against right-handers.
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Phillies-Nationals
PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies placed RHP Adam Eaton on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The move is retroactive to Aug. 11. Eaton is 9-8 with a 6.36 ERA, but over his last four starts, he's allowed 16 runs in 12 2-3 innings. ... LHP Mike Zagurski was recalled from Triple-A Ottawa and is scheduled to report Thursday for the Phillies' game in Washington. Eaton had been scheduled to start on Friday in Pittsburgh, but RHP J.D. Durbin will instead make his fifth start for Philadelphia. Durbin is 4-2 with a 4.14 ERA in 10 games. Zagurski is 0-0 with a 2.00 ERA in seven games with Ottawa.
WASHINGTON: Manager Manny Acta spent a half-hour hitting groundballs to 3B Ryan Zimmerman before Wednesday's game. Zimmerman committed his 18th error on Tuesday, a two-base throwing error that led to a decisive three-run Philadelphia rally. Zimmerman made 15 errors last year, his rookie season. ... RHP Jon Rauch, who leads the major leagues with 65 appearances, insists he's not tired. ``I want to pitch a lot,'' he said. Rauch was tied for second in the majors with 85 appearances in 2006. ... 1B Dmitri Young started his second consecutive game after missing four straight with a tight left hamstring.
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Giants-Braves
SAN FRANCISCO: Barry Bonds hit home run No. 759 off Atlanta's Tim Hudson in the sixth inning Wednesday night. ... RHP Randy Messenger sustained a broken left hand during batting practice when struck by a line drive. He went on the 15-day DL after the game. ... Before Messenger was hurt, manager Bruce Bochy was considering whether to go back to a 12-man pitching staff on Friday. The Giants, who played a doubleheader in Pittsburgh on Monday, are carrying 13 pitchers. ... Bochy said he may go with a six-man rotation after the rosters expand in September. ``Give everyone an extra day,'' he said. ... The Giants signed their other two first-round draft picks, No. 10 overall selection Madison Bumgarner and No. 29 Wendell Fairley. San Francisco previously signed its other first-round pick, No. 22 Tim Alderson, and had 45 of its 52 selections - including the top 29 - under contract ahead of a midnight deadline for reaching deals.
ATLANTA: CF Andruw Jones tried a cortisone shot, but that didn't relieve the pain in his ailing left elbow. Now, he figures it will take the offseason to fully recover. ``I just feel it,'' he said. ``I shot it, (but) I still feel it.'' ... SS Edgar Renteria said he's ``doing good'' in his recovery from a sprained right ankle, though he may not be ready to come off the 15-day disabled list when he's eligible on Saturday. ... The Braves have done just fine with rookie Yunel Escobar at shortstop. He was hitting .330 with 19 RBIs. ``He's done an unbelievable job filling in for Renteria,'' OF Matt Diaz said. ``It's going to be sick when we get Edgar back.'' ... David Justice will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame before Friday's game against Arizona. Justice's homer in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series provided the only run in the clinching victory over the Cleveland Indians. He played the Braves from 1989-96.
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Reds-Cubs
first start since coming off of the DL on Aug. 12 with a sprained right wrist. ``I thought Hamilton looked like he didn't miss a beat,'' Mackanin said. ``He looked pretty good. He had some good two-strike at-bats.''
CHICAGO: OF Alfonso Soriano, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right quad strain, says the pain has subsided but he still has not started running. Soriano hopes to begin running next week and plans to be activated in early September. ... Cubs manager Lou Piniella dismissed reports that RHP Carlos Zambrano has a sore arm. ``I haven't heard anything. I really haven't. It would be news to me,'' he said. ``I think I would know something. I just talked to him inside and he didn't mention anything.'' In a rare performance on Tuesday night, Zambrano pitched seven innings without a strikeout and lower than normal velocity. ``That's what's surprising, because he usually gets his share of (strikeouts),'' Piniella said.
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Cardinals-Brewers
sa said. ``His timing is better at the plate.'' ... RHP Adam Wainwright makes his team-leading 24th start and first appearance this season against Milwaukee on Wednesday in the conclusion of a three-game series. ... OF Juan Encarnacion (sore left knee) was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game. Rick Ankiel again started in his place.
ing order for a second consecutive game.
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Rockies-Padres
COLORADO: Rockies starting pitchers have had three of their six shortest outings in the last five games. LHP Jeff Francis was the latest when he matched the shortest start of his career by lasting just 3 1-3 innings Tuesday night. Francis tied his career high with six walks, including five in the Padres' six-run second inning. The bullpen has picked up the starters by allowing just six earned runs in 50 2-3 innings (1.07 ERA) since July 31. ... 1B Todd Helton, who has played his entire career with the Rockies, appreciates still being in a pennant race this late in the season. ``It's been really a lot of fun,'' said Helton, who broke in with Colorado in 1997. ``It's different. Now you win and you go out with a smile on your face. ... Now they mean something.''
man is one save away from his 12th 30-save season, which would extend his major league record. Hoffman, the career saves leader with 511, blew his last opportunity on Friday at Cincinnati for his third blown save in 32 opportunities.
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Astros-Dodgers
HOUSTON: When the Astros complete their four-game series in Los Angeles on Thursday, they will head to San Diego and see an old friend - Morgan Ensberg, whom general manager Tim Purpura traded to the Padres on July 31. Ensberg already has hit three home runs since changing teams. ``Sometimes I think a change of scenery is good for some people, because it kind of rejuvenates you and energizes you. And he's from the San Diego area, so he's excited to be home and have an opportunity to play there,'' Craig Biggio said. ``Morgan had some really good years with us and was a part of that year when we went to the World Series. It's always weird at first when you've played with somebody for five or six years and then you're competing against him.''
LOS ANGELES: RHP Roberto Hernandez, who entered Wednesday one appearance away from becoming the 12th pitcher to appear in 1,000 big league games, realizes now that he couldn't have reached that milestone had former manager Gene Lamont and pitching coach Jackie Brown not converted him into a reliever with the 1992 White Sox due to a glut of starting pitchers. ``The way I took it, I wasn't happy because I'd been a starter all my life up to that point and I had a starter's mentality,'' Hernandez recalled. ``But being a reliever has prolonged my career because I haven't pitched as many innings as I would have as a starter. So it was a blessing in disguise.''
 

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