BALTIMORE: LHP Adam Loewen, who started Tuesday and gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings, is expected to have his arm examined soon. Loewen has had pain in his forearm, elbow and biceps. ... LF Jay Payton had an RBI double in the 3-2 loss, giving the Orioles a double in 26 of 28 games. ... DH Kevin Millar ended a six-game hitless streak with a single in the second, but hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded the next inning. ... SS Miguel Tejada was 2-for-4 and has hit safely in 16 of the last 17 games and 24 of 28 this season.
so successful in the matchup? ``He's really, really good,'' Trachsel said simply. ... 2B Placido Polanco went 0-for-4, going hitless for the first time in 14 home games this season. ... Detroit swept Baltimore in a three-game series for the first time since 1995.
White Sox-Mariners
CHICAGO: Paul Konerko's solo home run in the fourth inning was his 474th extra-base hit with the White Sox. That tied him with Nellie Fox and Minnie Minoso for fourth on Chicago's career list. Konerko was more concerned with the offense's malaise as the team waits for Jim Thome and Scott Podsednik to return from injuries. ``When it comes to hitting, it's tough because it's contagious both ways. We all know that,'' Konerko said. ``Right now, it's definitely the wrong way.'' ... Chicago's team batting average is .221, by far the worst in the major leagues. The club's leading hitter is Darin Erstad at .258. ``I told my coaches, 'Now, we have to coach. We have to be their friends,''' manager Ozzie Guillen said.
o Iguchi singled in the eighth inning. ``It was a good streak. I'm glad it's over,'' Sherrill said, relieved he wouldn't have to talk about it anymore. Sherrill hasn't allowed a run this season in 7 1-3 innings after he almost missed out on making the team because of an awful spring training. ... RHP J.J. Putz didn't record a save until April 23, and went most of the month without an opportunity. Now, he has a save in five of the Mariners' last seven wins. He leads the major leagues in saves since April 23. Putz has a scoreless streak of nine innings and has retired 10 of his last 12 batters.
Athletics-Red Sox
OAKLAND: OF Travis Buck was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a sore right wrist. His two-run homer in the ninth inning off Jonathan Papelbon tied Tuesday night's game at 4, and Oakland won 5-4 in 10 innings. ... OF Nick Swisher, who missed the previous six games with a strained left hamstring, was available to pinch hit. ``That's a good sign,'' manager Bob Geren said. ... Tuesday's win was Oakland's third of the season when it trailed after eight innings. It managed just four such victories last year. ... When closer Huston Street pitched one perfect inning Tuesday, it was his 50th straight outing without allowing a home run.
BOSTON: RF J.D. Drew returned to the lineup after missing one game with viral-like symptoms. ... Manager Terry Francona planned to avoid using Jonathan Papelbon on Wednesday night after the closer threw 35 pitches in one inning Tuesday. ... Boston became the last major league team to blow a save opportunity when Papelbon failed. ... Alex Cora started at 2B in place of struggling rookie Dustin Pedroia. Cora had two homers in his previous five games after hitting one in his previous 130. Pedroia was in a 5-for-48 slump.
Blue Jays-Indians
TORONTO: RHP Roy Halladay was named AL pitcher of the month for April after going 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA in six starts. He struck out 33 in 47 1-3 innings while pitching two complete games, including a 10-inning effort against Detroit on April 13. This is the third time in his career Halladay has won the award. ... RHP Dustin McGowan will be called up from Triple-A Syracuse to start Thursday's game. He'll take the rotation spot of LHP Gustavo Chacin, who was placed on the disabled list Monday with a sore shoulder. McGowan was 0-2 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts at Syracuse. ... An MRI of Chacin's shoulder performed Tuesday revealed only a strain. The earliest he can be activated is May 14, which means he'll miss at least three starts. Chacin is 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA in five starts.
CLEVELAND: General manager Mark Shapiro said the club is close to learning when the four home games postponed by snow last month against Seattle will be rescheduled. The Mariners will likely host one of the four, and there's a chance the others could be played elsewhere. ``We're trying to find the best possible result, and all the results include some kind of hardship for everybody involved,'' Shapiro said. ``I feel like we're making some headway. This is going to have to be in the hands of the people above the Indians and Mariners to tell us, now that they've got all the information.'' ... Manager Eric Wedge said once 3B Andy Marte has recovered from a hamstring strain he will rejoin the Indians. Marte was batting just .179 when he got hurt.
Twins-Devil Rays
ted to be ready for the start of the 2008 season.
TAMPA BAY: INF-OF Greg Norton, recovering from right knee surgery, leaves Thursday to begin a minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Montgomery. Manager Joe Maddon said the team wants Norton, who hit .296 with 17 homers in 98 games last season, to get about 30 at-bats before deciding when he'll be activated from the DL. ... 2B B.J. Upton committed his seventh error when he booted a ground ball Tuesday night, however Maddon said the Devil Rays are happy with the progress he's made at a new position. ``B.J.'s made very few physical mistakes,'' the manager said, adding that most of Upton's have been related to positioning. ``That's expected. ... Those mistakes will go away.''
..Torre said RHP Chien-Ming Wang is expected to pitch Saturday since the broken nail in his throwing hand doesn't appear to be bothering him.
TEXAS: Starting Thursday night, manager Ron Washington will once again flash hit and take signs to his hitters from the dugout. Washington began the season giving signals to his hitters, then backed off last weekend in Toronto at the players' request. But a series of poor at-bats has convinced Washington that his slumping batters need guidance. Texas entered Wednesday night with a team batting average of .230, 13th in the AL. ``We have to have a little more discipline, a little more patience, that's all,'' Washington said. ``We're chasing balls out of the zone. I had them thinking too much. Until we start to develop that discipline, I'm going to take that part of the game over again.'' . ... RHP Eric Gagne has another bullpen session set for Thursday as he continues his rehab from a pulled muscle in the hip area. Gagne is eligible to come off the 15-day DL next Tuesday. ... RHP Jamey Wright threw off flat ground with no problems. He was placed on the 15-day DL on April 13 due to right shoulder inflammation
LOS ANGELES: Infielder Maicer Izturis and left fielder Garrett Anderson were out of the starting lineup again. Anderson has a sore right hip flexor and Izturis is bothered with a sore right hamstring. ``We're going to look at it in a couple of days,'' said manager Mike Scioscia. ``They're getting better, but it's moving slowly.'' Anderson will be revaluated over the weekend in California but a decision on putting him on the DL is ``three or four days away,'' the manager said. ``We hope Izzy will be able to play tonight or tomorrow night.'' ... In his first 15 appearances, Justin Speier stranded all 13 runners he inherited.
KANSAS CITY: It's a good thing for J.D. Butler there were no traffic cops on alert between Kansas City International Airport and Kauffman Stadium Tuesday evening. The minute his son, Billy, called with the news he'd been called up to the big leagues, J.D. jumped onto an airplane and flew to KC from Jacksonville, Fla. He got to the airport, about 25 miles away, a few minutes after 7 p.m. and got to his seat in Kauffman Stadium just in time to see his son get his first major league hit in his first at-bat. ``It meant a lot that he made it here,'' said Butler, who was 2-for-4. ... RHP Luke Hudson turned 29 on Wednesday.
CHICAGO: Alfonso Soriano had a breakout series in Pittsburgh with eight hits and his first two homers of the season. It was exactly what manager Lou Piniella has waited to see from the hitter who homered 46 times for Washington last season. Piniella said, ``This is exactly what we envisioned. He's driving the ball and getting better at-bats. When that leadoff hitter starts getting on base with consistency, that's a catalyst.'' ... Derrek Lee, the NL's leading hitter with a .415 average, also thinks the Cubs' offense is coming around with 25 runs scored in four games. Lee said, ``We showed signs of it in St. Louis last weekend, and it looks like we're getting on track.''
PITTSBURGH: Manager Jim Tracy is showing frustration with an offense that has flashed only occasional signs of becoming consistent and productive. The Pirates were limited to four hits in losing 7-1 to the Cubs on Wednesday, and they couldn't hold a three-run lead in their 8-6 loss in the suspended game that was completed before the regularly scheduled game. Tracy said, ``We know we're a better offensive team than we've been through 26 games.'' ... Tracy has tried moving the slumping Adam LaRoche (.133) up and down the order, even hitting him in the seventh spot where he was most productive for Atlanta last season. Tracy doesn't especially want to rest LaRoche, saying the first baseman can't turn himself around when he's on the bench.
ST. LOUIS: After the Cardinals lost their fifth straight, RHP Anthony Reyes said, ``We're not going to go on like this all season. These guys are professionals, and everyone works hard on the team. It's just one of those things we have to go through right now.'' ... 1B Albert Pujols went 3-for-4 with three singles and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He is hitting .405 during the streak (17-for-42). ``Everybody knows the organization, we pull through,'' he said. ``I think the best thing is, you have a great group of guys here. It's not like you've got guys who don't care about what we're going through.''... SS David Eckstein batted in the 8th spot for the second consecutive game. He went 0-for-4 and was 1-for-3 with a walk Tuesday night.
rdy extended his career-high best hitting streak to 13 games.
FLORIDA: The Marlins are 24-17 at Shea Stadium since the start of 2003. No opposing team at Shea has more wins in that span. ... The 6-through-9 batters combined to go 1-for-14 with nine strikeouts on Wednesday. ... The team fell to 13-14. The Marlins last had a winning record on April 15 (7-6). ... 3B Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-3 with a first-inning RBI single Wednesday and has hit in eight straight games. ... RHP Anibal Sanchez took David Wright's line drive off his right knee in the first inning and fell to the turf in pain. He was helped off the field by trainers but stayed in the game. ``I didn't feel anything in the second or third innings,'' he said. ``That wasn't a problem. I just went on.'' Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he expects Sanchez will be fine to pitch his next turn in the rotation.
'' said Reyes. ... 2B Ruben Gotay made his first National League start at second base on Wednesday and went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Gotay, who was hitting .256 with two homers and 13 RBIs for Triple-A New Orleans, was called up April 30 to replace injured 2B Jose Valentin. Randolph said he expects Damion Easley to get most of the playing time at second while Valentin is out. ... LHP Oliver Perez had two singles for his fourth career multi-hit game.
uggling at the plate right now, but what are you going to do? You've just got to battle through it,'' Melvin said. ... LHP Doug Davis has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his six starts. ``We re-upped him for three more years, so we're expecting big things out of him,'' Melvin said.
LOS ANGELES: The Dodgers won the final two games of the Arizona series by 2-1 decisions after losing the opener 9-1. They have scored only six runs in their last 31 innings and have left the bases loaded five times in their last 20 innings. ... RHP Takashi Saito has converted all eight save opportunities, after setting a Dodgers rookie record last year with 24 saves. ``We can't say enough about him. I mean, he was in my opinion the MVP for us last year,'' pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. ``He went from not making the team to being one of our most valuable players. Whether it's realistic to repeat those numbers, we'll find out. But he's very consistent with what he does.'' ... RHP Chin-hui Tsao has not allowed a run in 10 2-3 innings, and opponents have one hit in 31 at-bats against him.
PHILADELPHIA: C Rod Barajas made a second straight start for the first time this season. Manager Charlie Manuel said he was impressed at how Barajas caught and managed Tuesday night's games - and it didn't hurt that he also homered. It was the first time that Barajas caught for starter Freddy Garcia instead of Carlos Ruiz. ... OF Shane Victorino wasn't in the lineup for the second night in a row. Manuel said he simply wanted to give his starter a couple of days off. Jason Werth, a right-handed power hitter, got the start against Braves lefty Chuck James. ``I want Werth to hit this guy,'' Manuel said.
ATLANTA: C Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the first Braves players since Bruce Benedict in 1978 to make his big league debut on his birthday. Saltalamacchia turned 22 on Wednesday. ... The last major leaguer to play his first game on his birthday was Edwin Jackson. He turned 20 on Sept. 9, 2003, the same day as his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... With Brayan Pena on the disabled list and Brian McCann nursing a sore finger, Matt Diaz and Craig Wilson both worked on their catching in the bullpen before the game. They will be ready on an emergency basis until McCann feels well enough to get behind the plate. ... RHP Kevin Barry was already awake when he got his late-night call-up from the Braves. He was up to feed his new son, Hudson Robert, who was born last week. When someone kidded Barry that he named the child after Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, the newcomer quipped, ``Yeah, they both had blue eyes and are bald.''
CINCINNATI: Josh Hamilton was selected National League rookie of the month for April on Wednesday. The 25-year-old former No. 1 draft pick, who didn't play baseball for three years as he battled a cocaine addiction, led NL rookies with six home runs and 13 RBIs in April. ``That was cool,'' Hamilton said. ``You couldn't write it much better than that. I'm just happy to be playing and getting the opportunities I'm getting.'' Hamilton said manager Jerry Narron congratulated him on the honor before telling him, only half-jokingly, that he expects him to nab the honor in May, June, July and beyond. ... Manager Jerry Narron said moving Matt Belisle into the rotation this season has been good for the converted reliever. ``Being on a regular schedule possibly has helped him as much as anything,'' Narron said. ``Last year he had some back problems in the bullpen where you can't really get any rest or get in a regular routine (and that) probably hurt him.''
from demoted closer Brad Lidge in his recent appearances. He allowed one hit and one run and hit one batter with a pitch in 1 2-3 innings on Tuesday night. ``He's been throwing the ball better,'' Garner said. ``He's locating much better and his slider is a little tighter and more consistent.'' Lidge appeared fatigued near the end of his outing on Tuesday, which Garner said was part of his plan. ``That's where I want to get him,'' Garner said. ``I'm pushing him to match his limits.''
n some momentum on a player who threw something out there,'' Hurdle said. Colorado's other catcher, Yorvit Torrealba, is stuck in a 6-for-26 slump. ... RHP Jason Hirsh, Friday's starter in Cincinnati, has not allowed more than six hits in any of his five starts this season and opponents are batting only .231 against him.
SAN FRANCISCO: Manager Bruce Bochy planned to talk to SS Omar Vizquel - he had the night off Wednesday - about moving him down in the lineup to the eighth spot. Randy Winn has been primarily hitting there and might move up to Vizquel's place in the No. 2 hole, where he batted Wednesday. ``You always consider all the ramifications of what you do in terms of their psyche,'' Bochy said of being fair and discussing it with Vizquel, who is batting .221 with six RBIs. ``You have to do what's best for the club. You're never looking to hurt anybody's feelings. ... Sometimes it's why all of us have to put our egos aside.'' ... Lance Niekro got the start at 1B as Rich Aurilia played SS.
WASHINGTON: INF D'Angelo Jimenez was sent outright to Triple-A Columbus. ... LHP Matt Chico, the Nationals' starting pitcher Wednesday night, grew up in northern San Diego County. He was facing the Padres for the first time.
SAN DIEGO: 2B Marcus Giles was back in the lineup after missing two starts with a ribcage injury. ... The opener of the Padres-Marlins series Friday night features a great pitching matchup between Greg Maddux (2-2) and Dontrelle Willis (5-1). ... Chris Young, who beat the Nationals 3-0 on Tuesday night, hasn't allowed a run while throwing 15 innings in two home starts this year.

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