Notes from Wednesday's games Print
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Wednesday, 29 August 2007 15:41
MLB Headline News

 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Blue Jays-Athletics
TORONTO: Despite the loss, the Blue Jays went 4-3 on their road trip to Oakland and Anaheim, their first winning trip since the opening week of the season. They have not swept a series of at least three games on the road since June 20-22, 2006, at Atlanta. ``It's frustrating,'' manager John Gibbons said. ``Extra innings on the road are always trying because they get the last at-bat.'' ... Matt Stairs tied the game with a pinch-hit home run with two outs in the ninth inning against Huston Street. It was his second pinch homer of the season and 12th in his career, trailing only Mark Sweeney's 15 among active players.
steban Loaiza was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers before the game, saving the A's more than $8 million in guaranteed salary through 2008. Oakland must figure out who will take Loaiza's place in the rotation Sunday against Detroit. RHP Colby Lewis was called up Wednesday and is under consideration. The A's can also call up additional players Saturday when the rosters expand to 40 players.
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Angels-Mariners
nt down. He is batting .500 (29-for-58) against them this season. Guerrero has 18 RBIs in his last 17 games.
SEATTLE: Even though his team just got swept to fall five games behind the Angels with 31 to play and have lost four games in the standings since Saturday, manager John McLaren said ``we are still in a good position. It wasn't a do-or-die series. We expect to do better, believe me.'' When asked if he liked the chances of his team, which entered the day with a one-game lead in the wild-card standings, OF Ichiro Suzuki said, ``Of course.'' ... Suzuki went 0-for-4 to end a nine-game hitting streak. He was 3-for-13 in the series. ... The Mariners have lost 19 of their last 26 games against the Angels dating to last season.
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Red Sox-Yankees
a said. ``There are days like today when you are glad to have Hinske.'' ... Lowell entered batting .500 (18-for-36) during his 10-game hitting streak. ... Jonathan Papelbon had fanned eight of his last nine batters, giving him 71 strikeouts in 46 2-3 innings.
latest chat because he had more time to explain the situation. Mussina still wasn't available for comment. ... Hideki Matsui, who has a sore right knee, was the DH again while Johnny Damon made another start in LF. Damon hit a two-run single in the second, extending his recent surge. The Yankees entered 13-2 this year when Damon starts in left. He came in batting .435 with 20 runs, three homers and 17 RBIs in those starts.
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Twins-Indians
' ... Gardenhire was miffed at the performance of LHP Glen Perkins on Tuesday in a rehab assignment at Double-A New Britain. Perkins, out since May 22 with a sore shoulder, allowed six runs and seven hits in three innings. ``He also didn't cover first base, failed to back up third,'' Gardenhire said. ``Pretty disappointing, and it doesn't bode well for him.'' ... LHP Dennys Reyes, who went on the DL because of a sore elbow Monday, is scheduled to throw on the side Friday.
2 with a homer and eight RBIs in 15 games - 13 of them starting at second. Cabrera hit a two-run homer in Cleveland's four-run, six-hit first inning against Santana.
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Devil Rays-Orioles
TAMPA BAY: OF Carl Crawford set a club record Wednesday with his 45th hit in August, breaking the team record for hits in a month. The old record was held by Aubrey Huff, who had 44 hits in August 2002. Crawford played in his club-record 801th game Wednesday; he broke Huff's club record of 799 games on Tuesday night. ... Tampa Bay entered Wednesday's game with 21 road wins, one more than it had all last season. ... The Devil Rays scored 52 runs over a five-game stretch ending Tuesday, helped considerably by their 15-run outburst Tuesday. Over the five games, Tampa Bay was batting .353 with 27 extra-base hits and a .452 mark with runners in scoring position.
innings.
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Tigers-Royals
DETROIT: LHP Kenny Rogers will throw a three-inning simulated game in Oakland on Friday. He's been on the DL since July 26 because of left elbow inflammation. When he'll rejoin the rotation is still not clear, but the Tigers will be watching closely in hopes that he may be getting close to offering help for the September playoff drive. ... OF Gorkys Hernandez of the Single-A West Michigan team was chosen MVP of the Midwest League. He's the first Tigers minor leaguer to earn such an honor since Robert Fick in 1997. ... OF Curtis Granderson is the 11th left-handed hitter in team history to get 70 extra-base hits in a season.
to the Elias Sports Bureau, it happened once before this year in a 14-inning game between Atlanta and Houston, but had not been seen in a nine-inning game since May 17, 1998 when Detroit beat Anaheim 4-3 while being out-hit 14-4.
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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Nationals-Dodgers
WASHINGTON: The Nationals, who began Wednesday tied for fourth in the NL East with Florida, haven't been higher than fourth since June 19, 2006. But they could have a say in who wins the division title and the wild card - their final 13 games are against the Mets and Phillies, who are a combined 15-8 against Washington. ... RHP Shawn Hill was charged with seven runs - six earned - and seven hits in his no-decision against the Dodgers. It was only the second time all season that he allowed more than two earned runs. In the other eight starts in which he had either a loss or a no-decision, his ERA was 2.52. ... Robert Fick's home run was one of only three he's hit in 278 at-bats with the Nationals, and his first since July 18, 2006. Fick started for the first time in 10 games. As a pinch-hitter this season, he is 1-for-19. The Nationals' batting coach is Lenny Harris, who holds the major league record for pinch-hits with 212.
LOS ANGELES: Before Wednesday's matinee, the Dodgers acknowledged former six-time Gold Glove 1B Wes Parker, who was named last week as the best at his position on Rawlings' all-time Gold Glove team. Parker, a career .267 hitter and the last Dodger to hit for the cycle on May 7, 1970, was pleased that his defensive accomplishments have stood the test of time. ``When I started at first base, I really was a specialist because I had a hard time hitting,'' Parker recalled. ``And just the fact that Walt Alston kept me in the lineup was a real tribute to what I was doing defensively. The writers used to go in his office after games and ask him: 'How could you keep putting Parker at first base? He's hit three homers a year at a power position.' And Walt would say: 'Wes saves me as many runs as most first baseman drive in.' It was what I did extremely well, and it kept me in the big leagues for the first five years.''
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Rockies-Giants
n the Rockies sometime this weekend in Phoenix.
SAN FRANCISCO: OF Randy Winn extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the ninth. Rajai Davis was the only Giant with more than one hit, going 2-for-4. ... RHP Tyler Walker pitched a scoreless eighth in his first appearance in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery on July 6, 2006. He was called up from Triple-A Fresno on Monday. ``It felt good,'' Walker said. ``I had a little bit of butterflies going early on. It was exhilarating for sure. After the first pitch I settled down and got the feel for it. I got my feet wet again.'' ... Dan Ortmeier made his seventh career start at 1B after playing OF for most of his career. ... 2B Ray Durham returned to San Francisco's starting lineup after recovering from a strained left hamstring injury that kept him from starting the team's previous three games.
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Braves-Marlins
nd start Saturday against the Mets, Cox said. James went on the DL Aug. 21 retroactive to the 17th. ``It really wasn't an injury - just kind of a dead arm,'' Cox said. ... The 11-inning loss Tuesday at Florida left Atlanta 4-9 in extra-inning games.
FLORIDA: RHP Byung-Hyun Kim will return to the rotation and start Saturday against Philadelphia, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Kim (7-6, 5.44 ERA) was waived by the Marlins this month, then re-signed with them as a free agent Saturday. Rookie RHP Daniel Barone (0-2, 8.31) will move to the bullpen. ... RHP Henry Owens will undergo shoulder surgery Thursday, the Marlins said. He was briefly the closer this season but has been on the disabled list since June 13. ... Hanley Ramirez led NL shortstops through Tuesday with 21 errors, but Gonzalez predicts improvement. ``He can cut that down tremendously,'' Gonzalez said.
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Reds-Pirates
CINCINNATI: INF Jeff Keppinger ranks second in the National League in hitting in August (.395) and since the All-Star break (.368). Keppinger, who has compiled all those statistics since he was recalled from Triple-A on July 7, was given a day off Wednesday by interim manager Pete Mackanin. ... Mackanin said that RHP Bronson Arroyo would start Sunday's game in St. Louis, but was not decided on who would start Saturday. The Reds' rotation is in flux, in part due to the doubleheader the team played Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
PITTSBURGH: Manager Jim Tracy set his rotation for the weekend series in Milwaukee: RHP Tony Armas Friday, LHP Shane Youman Saturday and LHP Tom Gorzelanny on Sunday. ... SS Jack Wilson is hopeful to return to the lineup Thursday after missing his past four starts with a bruised left shin. ... LHP Zach Duke, on the disabled list since June 29 with left elbow tightness, will make a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday and could make one more start before returning to the Pirates in September. ... When RHP Matt Capps earned saves in both ends of the doubleheader sweep of Cincinnati on Tuesday, it marked the first time a Pirates pitcher saved both games of a doubleheader since Kent Tekulve on July 22, 1979, against Atlanta.
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Mets-Phillies
NEW YORK: SS Jose Reyes, who leads the league in stolen bases, was caught stealing in the first inning. He reached on a bunt, the first time in the series he was on base. ... 3B David Wright hit his 24th home run. ... Mets manager Willie Randolph was still undecided about who would pitch on Saturday. He suggested the Mets could go bullpen-by-committee.
e disabled list and pitch Sunday at Florida. Manuel hadn't decided who will get bumped from the rotation. ... When the Phillies rallied in the eighth to tie the Mets on Tuesday, then won it in the 10th, it tied them for the major league lead with 38 comeback wins this season. ... SS Jimmy Rollins hit his 24th career leadoff homer.
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Brewers-Cubs
Hart to center and put Gabe Gross in right.
CHICAGO: General manager Jim Hendry said the Cubs will probably call up three or four players when rosters expand Saturday and then add several more once Triple-A Iowa has finished its season Sept. 4. He said lefty reliever Carmen Pignatiello, just sent down Monday when Alfonso Soriano was activated off the DL, will rejoin the team. Veteran reliever Will Ohman, who was sent down and then went to have shoulder examined after the demotion, could also be called up, as could catcher Geovani Soto and infielder Eric Patterson, both of whom have experience with the Cubs this season. Hendry said the Cubs will probably end up with a roster of 32 to 34 players for the final month ... OF Angel Pagan, recovering from a bout of colitis, will go on a rehab assignment at one of the Cubs' minor league affiliates this weekend. ... Manager Lou Piniella said he might substitute defensively for Alfonso Soriano in the late innings for several days. Soriano just came off the DL on Monday after missing three weeks with a quad injury and Piniella wants to make sure his legs don't get tired out early in his comeback.
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Cardinals-Astros
ST. LOUIS: 3B Scott Rolen will sit out the rest of the Houston series after another flareup in his nagging left shoulder. Manager Tony La Russa said two recent cortisone shots haven't reduced the pain. ``He's really feeling like he's going backwards,'' La Russa said. ``We'll get back (to St. Louis) on Friday and we'll see where we stand.'' Rolen's shoulder problems go back two seasons. He had surgery in May 2005 and has had off-and-on problems ever since. ``He was going to try and hang in as long as he could,'' La Russa said. ``We'll have to find something at home to make it better.'' ... 1B Albert Pujols won his first Gold Glove in 2006 and La Russa said he deserves another one. Pujols snagged a sharp grounder in Tuesday's game, threw to second, then raced back to first to catch the relay and complete an inning-ending double play. ``He's made plays virtually every night,'' La Russa said. ``A lot of them have come at critical times. He's really played well.'' ... Baseball goes in cycles and La Russa said it's the NL Central's time to struggle. ``Every year, there's a division where somebody doesn't play lights out,'' he said. ``I'm just thankful that we're a .500 club and we've still got a shot.''
HOUSTON: As promised, interim manager Cecil Cooper tinkered with the batting order on his second day on the job. Cooper took over when Phil Garner was fired on Monday. Cooper had Hunter Pence leading off and moved 2B Craig Biggio out of the top spot for only the fourth time in his 98 starts this season. Pence is batting .321 with eight stolen bases; Biggio is hitting only .252 with four steals. ``Hunter's a guy with some speed,'' Cooper said. ``We're going to try to create some things.'' ... General manager Tim Purpura, also fired on Monday, took criticism for trading CF Willy Taveras and two pitchers to Colorado for Jason Jennings in the last offseason. Taveras was the Astros' top base stealer over the past two years. Without him this season, the Astros have only 52 steals, third-worst in the NL. Cooper vowed that he would be more aggressive than Garner was at sending runners. ``The speed we do have, we've got to try to get a lot of steals,'' he said. ``That will be the plan.''
 

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