KANSAS CITY: The Royals tied a major league record by allowing grand slams in three consecutive games, the latest by the Tigers' Ivan Rodriguez on Monday. Baltimore's Nick Markakis hit a grand slam against Kansas City on Friday, and Chris Gomez did it on Saturday. The previous team to do it was last year's Houston Astros. ... The Royals lost their first four series of the season.
DETROIT: 3B Brandon Inge wasn't in the starting lineup because of the flu, which has been going through the Tigers' clubhouse. Neifi Perez played third. ... First base coach Andy Van Slyke also has the flu and wasn't at the ballpark. ... RHP Jose Mesa has a groin strain and won't pitch until Friday at the earliest ... Utilityman Omar Infante was in the lineup for his second start of the season, his first in center this year.
one pitch from all three of 'em.''
NEW YORK: LF Hideki Matsui (strained left hamstring) took batting practice and worked out at the team's complex in Tampa, Fla. He is expected to begin playing rehab games for Class-A Tampa on Friday and could return to the Yankees' lineup Monday, when he is eligible to come off the disabled list. ... RHP Chien-Ming Wang (strained right hamstring) played catch and participated in fielding drills in Tampa. He is scheduled to throw 70-75 pitches Thursday night in a rehab start for Class-A Tampa and could join the Yankees' rotation next Tuesday night at Tampa Bay. ... The Yankees need a starting pitcher for Saturday at Boston. RHP Jeff Karstens (right elbow tendinitis) is ``definitely a possibility'' to come off the DL and start that game, manager Joe Torre said. Karstens played catch Tuesday in Tampa. Torre said 20-year-old prospect Phil Hughes, who is at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, won't be considered. ``We're in no hurry to move him,'' Torre said. ... Torre expects RHP Mike Mussina (strained left hamstring) to return before RHP Carl Pavano (right forearm tightness) because Mussina will be able to keep throwing while he's out. Both pitchers were placed on the DL Sunday.
Red Sox-Blue Jays
BOSTON: Manager Terry Francona said he'll try to use all his position players during the three-game series in Toronto that ends Thursday. He's trying to protect his players from turf injuries. ``It's a good opportunity to make sure everybody plays a game,'' he said. ... RHP Julian Tavarez, who hasn't pitched since April 7 because of rainouts, is to start Thursday's finale. Tavarez threw to hitters during early batting practice on Monday ``just to take the edge off,'' Francona said. ... Wily Mo Pena made his second straight start, giving J.D. Drew a rest in right.
TORONTO: OF Reed Johnson had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. He's expected to be out until July. ... INF Ryan Roberts joined the team Tuesday after being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to take the place of 3B Troy Glaus, on the 15-day DL with a sore left heel. ... The Blue Jays entered play Tuesday leading the major leagues in batting average (.294) and extra-base hits (52).
Orioles-Devil Rays
lozzo made it sound like Friday was a more likely option. ``I think it's almost ready,'' Hernandez said. ... OF Corey Patterson, on bereavement leave following the death of his grandfather, could return in time to play Wednesday.
TAMPA BAY: RHP Jae Kuk Ryu, who allowed all three batters he faced to reach base during the seventh inning in Monday night's 9-7 loss to Baltimore, will get additional chances to win a spot as a setup man. ``We have to define our bullpen,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``He'll get another chance, absolutely. I have not lost confidence in him.'' ... Tampa Bay lost for the first time ever at home Monday after holding a six-run lead. It was the Devil Rays' 731st home contest.
Rangers-White Sox
three short of the club record for homers in April. ... Before Tuesday night's game, 3B Hank Blalock was 1-for-12 with five strikeouts in his last two games. ... Texas was hitting .204 in its last four games and made six errors in its last two games.
CHICAGO: LF Scott Podsednik strained an adductor muscle during an off-day workout and could be out for an extended period of time. ``It's unfortunate because Pods was playing pretty good,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said of his leadoff hitter who was batting .303.``Hopefully when it's time to come off the DL, he is ready to roll and not miss another game.'' An MRI exam showed that there was no tear but a moderate to severe sprain. ``The way he was playing, it's a shame,'' Guillen said. ``I don't know how a player has a day off and can be hurt on a day off.'' Darin Erstad moved into Podsednik's leadoff spot and Rob Mackowiak played left field Tuesday night. ... Offense was supposed to be Chicago's strong suit but entering play Tuesday night the White Sox were last in the AL with a .222 average and 38 runs in 11 games. ... The average game temperature for the White Sox in the early season has been 45 degrees, including 37 for five home games. That went up a bit Tuesday night, when it was 48 at the first pitch.
PITTSBURGH: 2B Jose Castillo, who got a spot start when Freddy Sanchez was scratched with a sore left wrist, made two dazzling defensive stops. He snared Albert Pujols' liner up the middle in the first, doubling So Taguchi off first base, and robbed pinch hitter Skip Schumaker on a smash up the middle to start the sixth, finishing it with a throw to first off his knees. ... 1B Adam LaRoche's fielding error in the ninth inning Wednesday was his first in 50 games. ... The Pirates' sixth win was their first that did not include a save by Salomon Torres.
ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals' last 1-6 home start was in their pennant-winning 2004 season. The 1969 team opened with seven straight home losses. ``We're not stinking up the joint, but we're not at the level we need to be,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ... OF Juan Encarnacion has been hitting in the cage at extended spring training and could get some game action later this week. He's been out following complications from offseason wrist surgery. ... La Russa said Adam Wainwright may have tipped his pitches on Adam LaRoche's three-run home run in the third. ``The way that at-bat went it almost looked like he knew what was coming,'' La Russa said. ``Which makes you wonder how that's true, but that's for another time.''
SAN DIEGO: RHP Greg Maddux looked like he was headed toward a win in his first game against the Cubs since they traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the July 31 deadline last year. He had a 3-1 lead but gave up two runs in the fifth and did not figure in the decision. ``It was probably one of the easiest days to pitch because it's kind of hard to hit a homer,'' he said. ``Balls were slick, but other than that you'd love to pitch in this every time out, to be honest with you.'' ... The Padres bullpen took over in the sixth and did not allow a hit until Ryan Theriot singled with two outs in the 13th. Padres relievers are 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA this season. ... With 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff struggles have created some opportunities for Russell Banyan. Kouzmanoff started Tuesday and was 0-for-3 with a walk, lowering his batting average to .135. Branyan, batting .385, entered the game in the 10th inning and walked in his only plate appearance. He got thrown out at the plate by center fielder Felix Pie. ``We thought (Kouzmanoff) would get the majority of the playing time in April,'' manager Bud Black said. ``We wanted to get him acclimated and comfortable in the big leagues. At the same time, we want to give Russell some playing time and at-bats.'' ... Adrian Gonzalez now has five four-hit games after going 4-for-7 on Tuesday. The four hits are a career-high.
CHICAGO: Pie's major-league debut certainly was a memorable one. He had an RBI double to left-center off Greg Maddux and scored in the fifth inning. He unleashed a perfect throw home in the 10th to nail Branyan, who was trying to score from second on a single by Brian Giles. ``I was playing a little in,'' Pie said. ``I see the guy hit the ball. I'm running in. I'm trying to throw a good throw.'' The Cubs called up Pie, a top prospect, from Triple-A because Alfonso Soriano is expected to miss about a week with a strained left hamstring. ``We saw that in spring training; the question remained whether he could hit at the big-league level with consistency and that's what we're going to find out,'' manager Lou Piniella said. ... After giving up Geoff Blum's go-ahead hit in the 14th, LHP Will Ohman told reporters: ``I hope this is will be the last time I get to talk to you guys because when I do my job right, you ignore me.'' Ohman is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA. ... Derrek Lee's tied a career-high with two stolen bases.
uld be suited to almost any role on a pitching staff. ``He could be anything you wanted him to be. He's got the stuff,'' Cox said. ``We got him to be a premier setup guy, eventual closer.'' The Braves acquired Soriano and LHP Mike Gonzalez during the offseason to pitch in front of closer Bob Wickman. ``It's great to have three aces down there,'' Cox said.
er,'' Bowden said. ``We're not going to rush these guys.''
NEW YORK: The Mets reworked their starting rotation due to consecutive rainouts. John Maine now follows Tom Glavine and will pitch at Florida on Wednesday. Orlando Hernandez, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez follow in that order. Perez pitches on nine days' rest Saturday. ... Moises Alou's first homer with the Mets was a two-run shot off Freddy Garcia in the second inning. ... David Wright extending his career-best hitting streak to 24 games, tying the franchise record. Hubie Brooks in 1984 and Mike Piazza in 1999 also had 24-game hitting streaks for the Mets.
PHILADELPHIA: The consecutive rainouts Monday and Tuesday were the first time the Phillies were postponed two straight games since Sept. 24-25, 1998 at Florida. The last time it happened at home was May 19-20, 1987. ... The Phillies will hold their Jackie Robinson Day celebrations on April 23 for the makeup game against the Astros. ... Adam Eaton (1-1, 6.94) takes the mound in Washington on Wednesday after a strong outing last week at Shea Stadium. ... Despite leading the NL in homers with six going into the game against the Mets, Jimmy Rollins joked that he isn't a home-run hitter. ``I'm a ground-ball, singles hitter,'' he said.
MILWAUKEE: The Brewers have doubled in each of their first 13 games, the third-longest streak to open a season in franchise history. The 1994 team doubled in each of the first 18 games, setting the record. ... RHP Dave Bush doubled home a pair of runs in the second inning. It was Bush's fourth career double. ... Milwaukee completed its first winning road trip of more than three games since August 2005. The Brewers were 27-54 on the road last season, second-worst in the NL. Only Pittsburgh had a worse road winning percentage.
CINCINNATI: Ryan Freel played 3B for the first time since July 8. He started at third base nine times last season. Manager Jerry Narron moved him from CF to the infield for at least one day to get OF Josh Hamilton in the lineup. ... SS Alex Gonzalez came off the bereavement list. Gonzalez left the team last Thursday because his infant son was ill in Venezuela. ... INF Enrique Cruz was designated for assignment. Cruz was called up to fill in while Gonzalez was gone. ... RH reliever Jared Burton was sent to Triple-A Louisville on a rehabilitation assignment. Burton strained his left hamstring while running in the outfield on April 7, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list a day later.
FLORIDA: Center fielder Alejandro De Aza is still not ready to play because of his sore right ankle. De Aza has been limited to pinch-hitting duties. ``He has taken batting practice the last couple of days,'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``He tried to run a couple of sprints in the outfield today, but he's still slowed. It's still day-to-day.'' Gonzalez said he hopes De Aza doesn't have to go on the disabled list and that he'll wait a few more days before making a decision.
HOUSTON: Astros pitcher Chris Sampson, who was bothered by a tight calf muscle in his last start, said he's ready for his scheduled start on Wednesday. ``I'm feeling good enough to pitch,'' he said. ``I probably am not going to be able to do a record time sprint or anything like that, but I'll be fine pitching.'' Sampson said he didn't feel any pain when he threw a bullpen on Monday. ... The Astros honored Jackie Robinson in a pregame ceremony that featured Robinson's daughter Sharon Robinson. Former Houston pitcher J.R. Richard threw out the first pitch as part of the festivities.
ed Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week after winning both his starts while tossing 12 scoreless innings.
COLORADO: The Rockies are still awaiting the results from an MRI exam taken on 2B Kaz Matsui, who went on the 15-day DL with back spasms. ... C Yorvit Torrealba started in place of rookie Chris Iannetta, who's been struggling at the plate. ... Manager Clint Hurdle refused to blame the cold weather for Colorado's dearth of home runs - just six in the Rockies' first 13 games. ``The home runs come in cycles. We will hit some home runs,'' he said. ``We have seen some pretty good pitchers already. We haven't swung the bat as well as we will and you have to give some of the credit to the pitching we've seen.''

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