TEXAS: OF Kenny Lofton, who played for the Indians from 1992-96 and 1998-2001, didn't start against LHP C.C. Sabathia on Wednesday. He's hitting .143 (2-for-14) against lefties this year. ... The Rangers announced that their home rainout Tuesday against Seattle will be made up when the Mariners return to Texas for a series July 23-25. ... Manager Ron Washington said RHP Brandon McCarthy will be skipped over in the rotation. McCarthy has a 10.20 ERA in four starts. ... The Rangers entered Wednesday hitting .181 on the road and .272 at home. According to STATS Inc., the .091 difference is the largest between home and road averages in the majors this season. ... The Rangers hit three homers in their previous six games before Wednesday. In the six games before that, Texas totaled 14 homers.
CLEVELAND: Manager Eric Wedge said OF David Dellucci was available to pinch hit Wednesday. Dellucci had not played since straining his left calf Saturday. ... LHP Cliff Lee is expected to make one more rehab start in the minors Friday and rejoin the starting rotation next week. He strained an abdominal muscle in late February and has been on the DL. RHP Fausto Carmona is 1-1 in three starts in Lee's absence and is the likely candidate to go to Triple-A Buffalo. ... Cleveland's bullpen entered Wednesday with a 3.16 ERA in 17 games. After 17 games a year ago, the Indians' relief ERA was 5.61.
Red Sox-Orioles
BOSTON: Manager Terry Francona wanted to sit LF Manny Ramirez on Wednesday against Baltimore, but after Ramirez said he wanted to play, the manager relented. Ramirez entered batting .197 with two homers and nine RBIs. ... Alex Cora started at 2B Wednesday because of his .333 (7-for-21) average at Camden Yards and his .563 average against Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera. He homered in his first at-bat. ... OF Coco Crisp won't play Wednesday or Thursday because of an injury and will be re-evaluated when the team heads to New York on Friday. Francona said doctors are trying to determine if Crisp has a bruise or a strain of the left oblique. ... LHP Jon Lester is make his first rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. He had cancer treatment in the offseason.
BALTIMORE: 3B Mevin Mora was omitted from the starting lineup for the first time this season Wednesday night. Mora had played in all 20 games and was 3-for-25 against Curt Schilling. ... RHP Jaret Wright felt a minimum amount of soreness in his right arm Wednesday, one day after his rehabilitation assignment with Class A Frederick. Wright, who went on the DL with a sore shoulder, is expected to return Sunday in Cleveland. ... C Ramon Hernandez (oblique) also played with Frederick and hopes to be activated from the DL on Thursday.
KANSAS CITY: The Royals' bullpen entered Wednesday 1-7 with a 6.23 ERA. Four relievers are on the DL, including offseason acquisitions Octavio Dotel and John Bale. ... The Royals have led in seven of their 14 losses, including all five games of their recently completed five-game homestand (2-3).
a home run. ... A camera crew from the entertainment news show Extra was following Joe Mauer on Wednesday. Mauer will be part of an upcoming special on America's most eligible bachelors.
Tigers-White Sox
DETROIT: SS Carlos Guillen was not in the starting lineup due to weakness in a shoulder. Tigers manager Jim Leyland expects Guillen to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. ... The Tigers recent schedule took them from Detroit on Sunday to Anaheim for two games against the Angels, then to Chicago before they go home. ``It's not bad, it's stupid. It's not bad at all, private plane, good food, play cards, relax, a lot of room on the plane. It's not a matter of being bad, it's matter of being stupid scheduling,'' Leyland said. ... 1B Sean Casey got the night off from the starting lineup. Leyland gave Casey rest because of the travel day and cool temperatures in Chicago. ``He is another guy you have to watch in a short travel like that and coming back from good weather, make sure you don't do anything stupid,'' Leyland said. ... OF Marcus Thames has a bruise on a hand but was in the starting lineup.
CHICAGO: DH Jim Thome missed his second straight game with a sore muscle in his right ribcage. Thome said before the game he should be back shortly, but couldn't put an exact timetable on it. ``From yesterday's treatment to this morning's, it was night and day on the difference how I felt,'' said Thome, who took some swings in the batting cages on Wednesday. Thome has 10 hits in his last 19 at-bats. ... RF Jermaine Dye did not start Wednesday night because of a sore lower back. Dye expected to be back in the lineup on Thursday.
Devil Rays-Angels
TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon returned to his former workplace, Angel Stadium, where he served as Mike Scioscia's bench coach for six seasons and spent 31 uninterrupted years with that organization. Last season, his first as a big league skipper, Maddon was ejected from two games against the Angels - once by Doug Eddings in St. Petersburg, the other time by Marty Foster in Anaheim. ``I've taken some anger management courses,'' Maddon joked. ``They've got all those rocks out there in the outfield here, so it's psychologically impacted me in a negative way. But I intend to play nine (innings). Every game we play the Angels this year, I want to go nine. That's one of my short-term goals. I think our game is the best officiated out of all of them, but sometimes you've just got to vent frustration and protect the players.''
LOS ANGELES: Jered Weaver, 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in his first two starts, threw his regular bullpen session Wednesday and felt confident he has worked out his problems. ``I was looking at some tape, and I saw I was drifting forward a little bit too much, so I was just trying to stay back over the rubber,'' said Weaver, whose season was delayed because of biceps tendinitis. ``Everything went well in the bullpen. I'm just going through a dead-arm stage that I've got to battle through because I started a little bit later, but I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand a little bit stronger today, so we'll see what happens next time.'' ... The Angels' relief corps entered Wednesday having allowed 30 earned runs over the previous 12 games, a 7.57 ERA during that stretch.
SEATTLE: RHP Felix Hernandez threw for 20 minutes on Wednesday and reported no problems in his right forearm. The Mariners' 21-year-old ace, who was placed on the 15-day DL Monday in a move retroactive to April 19, is on course to return to Seattle's rotation next week and is slated to start May 4 against the Yankees in New York. ``It's fine,'' said Hernandez after his brief workout, which included throwing from 120 feet under the watch of manager Mike Hargrove and pitching coach Rafael Chaves. ``I'd say it's coming along well.'' ... The Mariners went 14 games before getting their first save Monday against Anaheim.
OAKLAND: 1B-OF Nick Swisher's injured left hamstring kept him out of the starting lineup Wednesday but isn't expected to land him on the DL. ``When he's ready to play, he's back in there,'' Oakland manager Bob Geren said. Swisher strained his hamstring and rolled his right ankle rounding third base Tuesday in Baltimore and is day to day. ... OF Danny Putnam, called up from Double-A Midland on Monday, started in center in Swisher's absence... Backup C Adam Melhuse was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for 1B Dan Johnson, who was activated from the 15-day DL. ... OF Bobby Kielty (calf) was available for pinch hitting but likely won't start until Oakland's series against Tampa Bay beginning Friday. ... RHP Esteban Loaiza, who has been on the DL since April 1 with spasms in his right shoulder, was cleared to resume throwing but no timetable for his return was given.
COLORADO: Matt Holliday extended his hitting streak to nine games with two singles. He is batting .480 (24-for-50) over the last 13 games. ... Josh Fogg beat the Mets for the first time in his sixth career start against New York. He was 0-3 with a 6.58 ERA in five previous starts against the Mets. ... Jeff Baker's eighth-inning single ended an 0-for-17 slump.
NEW YORK: Shawn Green's sixth-inning double was his 1,900th career hit. Green has at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games and is hitting .390 over that stretch with six doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. ... Mets had a season-high six doubles. ... Carlos Delgado went 0-for-4 and his batting average dipped to .193.
MILWAUKEE: C Johnny Estrada was back in the lineup after missing Tuesday's 4-1 win over Chicago with a left knee contusion. Estrada was injured after colliding with 1B Prince Fielder on Monday and was still feeling the effects on Wednesday. ``It's all right,'' Estrada said. ``Just a little sore.'' ... SS J.J. Hardy missed a ground ball for an error, opening the door for five unearned runs. ``I slipped a little bit and I ended up getting an in between hop,'' Hardy said. ``So I attacked it. That's when it went off my glove.'' The weather was a factor in a game delayed by rain 71 minutes. ``It was bad weather. It's good to get these out of the way,'' Hardy said. ... The Brewers bullpen yielded 10 runs over the last two games, five of them unearned Wednesday. ... Fielder finished the three-game series 5-for-15 with three homers.
``I've got to start playing people who are hitting and swinging the bat,'' manager Lou Piniella said. It could mean more bench time for Cesar Izturis and Ronny Cedeno. ... It took Derrek Lee 21 games to get his first homer. It's his longest drought to begin a season in which he's been on the opening day roster. His prevoius longest was 10 games in 2003 when he was with Florida. ... Winning pitcher Ted Lilly was able to joke about his second major league hit and first since 1999 when he was with Montreal. ``When guys talk about going into a slump, I don't think they know what I've been through,'' he said.
ATLANTA: Manager Bobby Cox on the latest performance Tuesday by Mark Redman, who allowed six runs in three innings, hiking his ERA to 10.13: ``Nobody got hurt.'' ... OF Ryan Langerhans went into Wednesday's game 1-for-30 since opening day. ... RF Jeff Francoeur's streak of RBIs in six consecutive plate appearances, which ended Tuesday, was the longest in the major leagues since Kevin Millar's streak of six straight in 2003.
FLORIDA: SS Hanley Ramirez batted third Wednesday for the first time in his career. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he decided to shake up the lineup against Braves RHP Tim Hudson, and Ramirez will be back in the leadoff spot Friday. ``He may be a No. 3 hitter in the future,'' Gonzalez said. ``Before we do that, we need a leadoff hitter.'' ... LHP Dontrelle Willis, a new father, rejoined the team after missing one game and brought cigars. ... RHPs Ricky Nolasco (elbow) and Sergio Mitre (finger) begin rehabilitation assignments by pitching Thursday for Single-A Jupiter. RHP Jorge Julio (calf) begins a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Marlins. ... RHP Wes Obermueller, recalled last week from Triple-A Albuquerque, will make his second start Sunday at Philadelphia.
HOUSTON: RHP Jason Jennings, on the disabled list since April 16 with a sore elbow, threw 25 pitches off a mound Wednesday. ... A day after the Astros were limited to three singles by Pirates LHP Paul Maholm, rain showers prevented them from taking batting practice outdoors at PNC Park. Manager Phil Garner made sure they hit in the indoor cages. Garner joked, ``We're gonna hit for about seven hours.'' ... RHP Woody Williams received an anti-inflammatory shot in his right elbow, a day after giving up nine hits in seven innings while losing to Pittsburgh 3-0. Williams had not complained previously of any elbow pain. Garner said, ``He's been a little tender, but he says he feels good.''
PITTSBURGH: Manager Jim Tracy is encouraged by his team's improved play on the road, with seven victories in 13 games. A year ago, the Pirates lost 13 of their first 14 and 16 of their first 18 road games. The downside is it took them five games to win for the first time at home. Last season, the Pirates were 43-38 at home but 25-47 on the road. ... With left-handers opposing the Pirates on Thursday and Friday, Brad Eldred figures to make four consecutive starts in RF. OF Xavier Nady (hamstring) is expected to be out until at least Friday. Tracy said of the 275-pound Eldred, ``Every time the guy walks up there, he's a threat. You see that guy standing in the box and you make a bad pitch that he gets a hold of, there's a real, real good chance it's going to go a long way.''
WASHINGTON: The Nationals extended their NL record for most games played to begin a season without scoring a run in the first inning to 21. ... RHP Shawn Hill, who has only one win despite not allowing more than two earned runs in his four outings, starts the series finale Thursday. Hill recently was bothered by a strained left shoulder, but feels fine. ... CF Nook Logan (foot) and SS Christian Guzman (hamstring) are expected to return soon.
PHILADELPHIA: Cole Hamels (2-0, 2.57) takes the mound Thursday coming off a career-best 15-strikeout performance in his first complete game last Saturday. ... Five starters entered Wednesday night's game hitting .300 or better. The three batting under that mark were reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard (.207), All-Star Chase Utley (.250) and three-time All-Star Jimmy Rollins (.298). ... Aaron Rowand extended his hitting streak to 13 games, tying his career-best with the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
CINCINNATI: Ken Griffey Jr. has the ball from his 564th home run, which broke a tie with Reggie Jackson for 10th place on the career list. U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Chris Franks, of Tryon, N.C., gave the ball to Griffey just for the chance to meet him. Griffey gave the 22-year-old Franks, who has visited 16 ballparks the last two years, an autographed ball and bat and also gave Franks' friend an autographed bat. Griffey needs five homers to catch Rafael Palmeiro for ninth place. ``My dad wasn't a home run hitter and sons usually pattern their games after their dads,'' Griffey said. ``From day one he said 'You're going to be bigger and stronger than me and you're going to hit a lot of home runs. Yeah right, dad. Sometimes father does know best.'' ... SS Alex Gonzalez had no homers and four RBIs before tying career bests with two homers, four hits and five RBIs on Tuesday. ``Everybody talks about his defense all the time,'' manager Jerry Narron said. ``I really believe he's capable of having a good year offensively.''
ST. LOUIS: RHP Chris Carpenter played catch for the second straight day, a positive sign in his recovery from an elbow injury that has sidelined him since the opener. After prior activity, the elbow has been swollen the next day. ... RHP Brad Thompson gave up two runs on five hits in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 10-3 loss to the Reds, hiking his ERA to 5.54 in 11 games. ``I'm concerned,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ``He has been erratic. He'll throw a good breaking ball and roll the next one. He's going to have to get it right.'' ... Triple-A Memphis was rained out on Tuesday, keeping OF Juan Encarnacion waiting for his second rehab game. Manager Tony La Russa anticipates that Encarnacion, coming off wrist surgery, will prefer a short stint before joining the team. ... 1B Albert Pujols was in the lineup despite battling a minor leg injury.
in the baseball Hall of Fame. ... LHP David Wells (1-1) said he didn't have his best stuff in a 10-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night, the 231st of his career. ``Everything I threw looked like a meatball,'' said Wells, who gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings. ``A win's a win, and I'll take it, no question.''
ARIZONA: RHP Micah Owings, on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, threw a bullpen session Wednesday. He is scheduled to start in a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Tucson April 28, manager Bob Melvin said. ... RHP Juan Cruz, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained triceps, played catch from 75 feet on Wednesday. His return remains uncertain. ... RHP Livan Hernandez faces the Padres in the finale of a three-game series Thursday night in Chase Field. In his last start, San Diego raked Hernandez for seven earned runs and eight hits in five innings April 19.
against Dodgers LHP Randy Wolf. ``He's still been getting some quality at-bats pinch hitting. He's been keeping himself sharp,'' Bochy said. ``Still, it's nice to get in there and get three or four at-bats, get your timing a little bit.'' ... The game featured a couple of Pepperdine alumni. LHP Noah Lowry faced Wolf, who pitched for the Waves from 1995-97. Lowry played there from 2000-01.
LOS ANGELES: LHP Hong-Chih Kuo had been scheduled to throw a simulated game Wednesday but it was pushed back because of a blister on his left hand. ... OF Matt Kemp will resume his minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday. It was interrupted last week because of pain in his right shoulder. He'll be joined by RHP Yhency Brazoban, who is expected to pitch there Friday. ... Ramon Martinez made his ninth start of the season and fourth at 3B Wednesday. ... Former Dodger great Maury Wills, who works with the team on baserunning, likes what he sees from C Russell Martin. ``I like the way he goes in to break up the double play; he's very physical that way,'' Wills said. ``Baserunning is about getting the most out of what you have, knowing what to do, knowing how many outs there are, where the outfielders are playing before the ball is hit, how to tag the bag and not depending on the coach to tell you everything to do.''

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