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 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Rangers-Orioles
TEXAS: LHP Kason Gabbard will start the first game of Wednesday's scheduled doubleheader so he can maintain his usual pregame routine, manager Ron Washington said. ``(Gabbard) works on a routine. We don't know when that second game will start,'' Washington said. LHP John Rhienecker will pitch the nightcap. ... C Gerald Laird batted second for the first time this season Tuesday as Washington stacked his lineup against Baltimore LHP Erik Bedard with right-handed hitters. ``When you look at what else I got here, there wasn't nothing else I could do,'' Washington said. ... If they are not needed in relief Wednesday, RHPs Jamey Wright and Mike Wood would be candidates to start Saturday versus Seattle.
lks in 18 1-3 innings. ``He's got to throw strike one a whole lot more consistently,'' manager Dave Trembley said. ... Through their first 122 games, the Orioles outscored the opposition 554-553 but were eight games under .500.
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Athletics-Blue Jays
OAKLAND: Manager Bob Geren said RHP Esteban Loaiza will not be on a pitch count when he makes his season debut against Toronto on Wednesday afternoon. Loaiza missed the entire season to date because of neck and knee injuries, but has twice thrown more than 100 pitches in minor league rehab starts. ... Geren said INF Donnie Murphy is still bothered by a sore oblique muscle and cannot swing without pain, but is available to play defense. ... The Athletics have posted a team batting average of .268 on the road this season, fifth best in the American League. At home, however, the Athletics have hit an AL-low .236. .
TORONTO: Manager John Gibbons said he and general manager J.P. Ricciardi have started discussing September call-ups. No decisions have been made, but Gibbons said the Blue Jays will definitely add an extra catcher. ... Toronto relievers have worked 18 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings since Aug. 13, a span of seven games. In that time, they have allowed just six hits and three walks while striking out 13. ... As a staff, Toronto pitchers have recorded a major league-low 3.20 ERA since the All-Star break.
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Red Sox-Devil Rays
BOSTON: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is selling his 2005 Mercedes on eBay. After being informed the current bid price was $169,000, manager Terry Francona said ``pass'' when asked if might make a bid. ``Count me out,'' Francona said with a smile. ... Ortiz, who was rested Monday, was back in the starting lineup. ... LF Manny Ramirez might get a day off Wednesday. ``Probably,'' Francona said. ``He could use it.'' ... C Doug Mirabelli (strained right calf) is still wearing a boot and hasn't resumed baseball related activities.
TAMPA BAY: LHP Scott Kazmir has expressed some frustration with the Devil Rays looking to keep his pitch count down during the final weeks of the regular season. Manager Joe Maddon said the move is designed with a long term approach for both the team and Kazmir. ``Right now we totally believe it's the right thing to do,'' Maddon said. ... Tampa Bay is 2-1 against Boston RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is the Red Sox scheduled starter Wednesday. Dice-K allowed six runs and eight hits over six innings in his last outing against the Devil Rays on August 15. ``We were just working better at-bats,'' Maddon said. ``We were more patient I thought. Made him throw more strikes.''
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Indians-Tigers
CLEVELAND: Indians' DH Travis Hafner, who has been bothered by a hamstring injury, said it felt better after a day off Monday. ``I feel like I'm running closer to normal,'' he said. ``We'll see today after running the bases (in batting practice).'' . ... Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said that LHP Aaron Laffey would start on Saturday against Kansas City. Laffey, currently with Triple-A Buffalo, is 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts with Cleveland. His record in Buffalo is 9-3, with a 3.08 ERA.
DETROIT: RHP Joel Zumaya is available in the bullpen for Tuesday night's game against Cleveland after being out since May 3 because of a right middle finger sprain. The 22-year-old, second-year set-up man had surgery on May 10. ``I'm excited, man,'' Zumaya said. ``I'm really excited ... It's been a while.'' . ... 2B Placido Polanco also returned to the lineup on Tuesday night after missing the last six games with a viral infection that swept through the Tigers' clubhouse.
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Mariners-Twins
t inning of last night's game and have scored in the first in eight of their last 12.
MINNESOTA: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said SS Jason Bartlett, out since Aug. 15 because of a strained left hamstring, should be available to play tomorrow. ``He feels really good and looks good, too,'' Gardenhire said. ... The Twins have pegged LHP Carmen Cali to replace Ramon Ortiz, who was traded to Colorado on Aug. 15, as the team's long reliever. Cali entered yesterday's 9-4 loss in the third inning and pitched 3 2-3 shutout innings. ``He kind of changed the pace of the game,'' Gardenhire said. ``That's what you hope for in that situation. Once Ortiz was traded, we decided that would be his role.'' ... 3B Tommy Watkins took extra fielding drills before Tuesday's game to work on his defensive positioning.
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Royals-White Sox
he batting order compared to .187 in other spots of the batting order.
CHICAGO: The White Sox placed INF Alex Cintron on the bereavement list and recalled OF Andy Gonzalez from Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. Cintron was also on the bereavement list April 22-26 and May 12-15. He is hitting .217 on the season with 14 RBIs. Gonzalez, who was optioned to Charlotte after Sunday's game, is hitting .223 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 41 games with the White Sox this season. ... Rookie 3B Josh Fields leads all AL rookies with 14 home runs in just 67 games, but Fields has struck out 87 times in 249 at-bats. ``I think he strikes out too much,'' said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. ``I think that comes with experience also. I think you see him strike out because he gets so deep in the counts. I think with experience and time it should come down.'' ... Guillen never expected to be 13 1/2 games out of first place in the AL Central. ``I would be shocked if you asked me this question on April 1. Nobody believed we would be in this situation on April 1. But we earned to be here, we played the way to be here and everybody needs to take the blame,'' Guillen said.
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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Padres-Mets
SAN DIEGO: The Padres pitching staff came into Friday night's game leading the majors with a 3.49 ERA and had allowed just 83 home runs. At that pace, San Diego would allow 109 homers for the season, the lowest total since World Series champion Atlanta allowed 107 in 1995. ... RHP Trevor Hoffman needed five strikeouts entering the night to reach 1,000 for his career. ... The Padres lead the majors with 17 shutouts this season, most for any team since the Dodgers had 17 in 2003. San Diego is two shy of the franchise record 19 shutouts set in 1985.
NEW YORK: To make room for 1B-OF Jeff Conine on the roster, the Mets optioned INF Anderson Hernandez to New Orleans. Conine at first was assigned the locker belonging to RHP Pedro Martinez, who is rehabbing from shoulder surgery, then moved across the room to Hernandez's vacated locker. ... Martinez pitched five innings in his third rehab start Monday night, allowing two unearned runs and one hit. ... OF Endy Chavez (hamstring) went 3-for-4 with three singles in his rehab game Monday night. ... Entering Tuesday night's game, LHP Billy Wagner had 998 career strikeouts. ... The Mets led the majors with 153 stolen bases before Friday night.
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Dodgers-Phillies
eberthal has only 60 at-bats this season and joked before the game he was hoping for a rainout because a doubleheader would be his only chance to play this series. Both players still follow the Phillies. ``He tailgates, I follow from a safe distance,'' Wolf said.
PHILADELPHIA: RHP Ryan Madson, out since late July with a strained right shoulder, holds out hope that he can return to the bullpen and help the Phillies make the playoffs. Madson (2-2, 3.05 ERA) suffered the same injury that sidelined closer Brett Myers for two months. ``I'd just like to come back and show them I'm at 100 percent before next year,'' Madson said. ``I want to show them that I'll be the same and they'll be able to rely on me again.'' ... All-Star 2B Chase Utley took some practice cuts for the first time since his right hand was struck by a pitch nearly a month ago. Utley split about 50-60 swings between his regular bat and a fungo bat, and hoped to take batting practice some time this week. He hopes to return next week. ... Manager Charlie Manuel said he might start using RHP Tom Gordon in back-to-back games.
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Braves-Reds
t spots. I've been missing over the middle (of the plate) and haven't had life on my fastball,'' he said. ... RHP Tanyon Sturtze was given his unconditional release. He had rotator cuff surgery May 23 last year, and the Braves signed him to a one-year deal hoping he could make a comeback. He hasn't pitched for them.
CINCINNATI: OF Norris Hopper led off the first with his 14th bunt single. ... LHP Phil Dumatrait was optioned to Triple-A Louisville a day after he gave up eight runs in two innings. The rookie gave up 13 runs in his last two starts, lasting a total of only four innings. ``For me, he's not ready to pitch here,'' interim manager Pete Mackanin said. ... The Reds replaced Dumatrait by calling up RHP Kirk Saarloos from Louisville. He had an 8.19 ERA in 29 games for Cincinnati. ``Apparently he's found his sinker again,'' Mackanin said. ... Mackanin isn't sure who will start Saturday's game against Philadelphia.
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Nationals-Astros
home runs (12), RBIs (45), runs (42) and multi-hit games (31). ``He was certainly playing well,'' Garner said. ``Hopefully, he can get back in there and do what he was doing.'' ... Garner expects RHP Roy Oswalt to miss only one start with a strained oblique muscle. ... RHP Juan Gutierrez will start Thursday's series finale against Washington. ... RHP Chris Sampson will make two rehab appearances at Triple-A Round Rock over the next week. Sampson has been on the disabled list since Aug. 1 with a sprained elbow. Garner said Sampson will pitch an inning on Thursday, then pitch again on Monday before the Astros evaluate his recovery.
WASHINGTON: LHP Micah Bowie tweaked a left groin injury that pushes back his recovery from a left hip injury that's had him on the disabled list since late June. ``It's going to delay his return,'' said Washington manager Manny Acta. ``He had the little setback and we're just going to have to wait until he's ready to go.'' Bowie was 4-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 28 games, including eight starts, this season. ... Acta said RHP Jason Bergmann will need at least one more minor-league start with Triple-A Columbus before he's cleared to return to the Nationals. Bergmann has been on the disabled list since July 25 with a left hamstring injury. He was 2-5 with a 4.56 ERA in 14 starts this season. Acta was hoping Bergmann would rejoin the Nationals by early September. ... RHP Jason Simontacchi is ``still very, very early'' in his rehab from right elbow tendinitis, Acta said. He is at the Nationals spring training complex in Viera, Fla. Simontacchi was 6-7 with a 6.37 ERA in 13 starts this season.
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Marlins-Cardinals
FLORIDA: The Marlins began a six-game trip with a 29-31 road record, much better than the team's 27-38 showing at home. ``It's just one of those stats,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``It's mind-boggling.'' ... RHP Ricky Nolasco (right elbow inflammation) was activated from the DL, where he had been retroactive to May 18, and optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. Gonzalez said it was likely Nolasco would be used as a starter in the minors. ... Josh Willingham needed one homer to give the Marlins four 20-homer players for the second straight season. No team has done it yet this year. ... C Miguel Olivo, who returned to the lineup on Monday after missing two games with a groin injury, was back on the bench. Gonzalez said he'd slowly try to work Olivo back into regular duty.
of 1,041 victories. ``The only way you can survive this game is to stay in the moment, the present,'' La Russa said. ``You don't really stop and think about that very much.'' ... La Russa expected closer Jason Isringhausen, who needed only 16 pitches in his first two-inning save since 2002 on Monday, to be available. ``He's had one-inning appearances when he threw 26 or 27 pitches,'' La Russa said. ``I'd be surprised if he has any kind of stiffness.'' ... Rick Ankiel started in LF for the second straight game after starting in RF his first six games. ``I like Rick in left, center and right,'' La Russa said.
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Pirates-Rockies
PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke (left elbow tendinitis) will throw a 35-40 pitch bullpen session on Wednesday. ... OF Chris Duffy (sprained left ankle) is experiencing discomfort in his left shoulder. ``We'll have an MRI on the shoulder tomorrow,'' manager Jim Tracy said. ``He only has discomfort throwing.'' ... Tracy is looking for ways to get INF Josh Phelps more playing time. ... 3B Matt Kata had no swelling in his left arm a day after being hit by a pitch by Brian Fuentes in the 11th inning of Monday's game.
COLORADO: Manager Clint Hurdle kept 3B Garrett Atkins and 2B Kaz Matsui out of the starting lineup Tuesday to let them get a breather and try to ignite the Rockies offense. ``Just trying to juggle the lineup offensively. See if we could put a powder keg out there,'' Hurdle said. Atkins was 2-for-16 in the previous four games while Matsui had been hitless in 14 at-bats, dropping his average from .300 to .287. ``It looks like he's a little tired right now,'' Hurdle said of Matsui. ``His offensive game isn't what it's been, and we'll give him a chance to get a blow and recharge his batteries.''
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