Athletics-Devil Rays
OAKLAND: Chris Snelling, acquired from Washington on Wednesday for OF Ryan Langerhans, started in left field and hit ninth. ... Jack Cust, acquired from San Diego on Thursday for a player to be named or cash, could get a start at designated hitter Saturday. DH Mike Piazza was placed on the 15-day DL because of a sprained right shoulder and Oakland purchased Cust's contract from Triple-A Sacramento. Cust's start depends on how CF Nick Swisher responds after being the DH Friday. Swisher's start was his first since straining his left hamstring on April 24. ``We'll see how he feels after today,'' manager Bob Geren said.
of their new Venezuelan baseball academy Monday. Team officials including executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will be in attendance in Guacara, Venezuela.
CLEVELAND: The Indians announced the dates of the makeup games for the opening four-game home series against Seattle that was snowed out. In addition to three single dates, the final makeup game will be played in Seattle on September 26 as part of a doubleheader. The Indians will be the home team in the opener and the visitors in the second game, a first for manager Eric Wedge. ``We've done a lot of things this year we haven't done before,'' Wedge said. ... Starter Jake Westbrook (oblique) is likely headed to the disabled list sometime this weekend. Westbrook left his start Tuesday in the second inning and did not make the trip to Baltimore. ``The estimated time table is three to five weeks,'' head trainer Lonnie Soloff said.
erlozzo said. ... Jay Payton hit his first homer with the Orioles in the second inning of Friday night's game. The drive came off Paul Byrd on an 0-2 pitch.
SEATTLE: Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said 3B Adrian Beltre and DH Jose Vidro would not be in Saturday's starting lineup to give them some rest. Seattle is in a stretch in which it is scheduled for 13 games in 13 days and 26 games in 27 days. ... RHP Felix Hernandez, sidelined since April 18 because of a muscle strain inside his right elbow and forearm, was scheduled for a bullpen session later Friday or on Saturday. The Mariners hope the 21-year-old will be able to start Wednesday at Detroit. ... RHP Jeff Weaver is scheduled to start Saturday against the Yankees, one of his former teams. ``I thought he'd stay with St. Louis because that's probably the most success he's had over a period of time,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
ccording to the Elias Sports Bureau. When informed of that, New York manager Joe Torre had a quick comeback: ``I hit into four double plays in one game. I was the first National Leaguer to do that, too.'' ... DH Jason Giambi was out of the starting lineup Friday to give him some rest, a day after he felt leg cramps.
Blue Jays-Rangers
TORONTO: CF Vernon Wells was scratched from Friday night's lineup with flulike symptoms. Wells is an Arlington native who loves to play in his hometown and he'll try to get back on the field for Saturday night's game against the Rangers. He was replaced by Alex Rios. ... Manager John Gibbons said his team continues to play hard despite a three-game sweep by the Cleveland Indians. ``That team is hot. They hit,'' Gibbons said of the Indians. ``There's no lack of effort on our part. We're not getting drummed every night. We're not lacking in any intensity.''
gnment. ... RHP Kevin Millwood, who missed Thursday's start with a strained left hamstring, said he's aiming to return to the rotation during next week's series against the Yankees and won't need to be placed on the DL.
Red Sox-Twins
BOSTON: RHP Curt Schilling added another ace to his team of melanoma fighters. In a press conference Friday afternoon, Schilling announced that Twins LHP Johan Santana has joined his campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer among youngsters. Schilling's wife, Shonda, started the SHADE Foundation of America after surviving melanoma five years ago. They contacted Santana after reading that Lynne Greenberg, the wife of his agent Ed Greenberg, died of skin cancer in January. ``It's just incredible,'' Schilling said of the addition of Santana. ``It's huge for us.'' ... LHP Jon Lester is scheduled to join the Red Sox in Minneapolis on Saturday to continue workouts. Now cancer-free, Lester was recalled from his 30-day rehab assignment on Thursday and has been sidelined since last August after being diagnosed with cancer of the lymph system.
MINNESOTA: RF Michael Cuddyer is still a day or two away while recovering from a bruised back suffered when he tumbled while running the bases against Tampa Bay. ``It's definitely just a bruise,'' Cuddyer said. ``It's not a strain, not a pull. Nothing to be too worried about.'' Josh Rabe took his place in RF. ... LHP Dennys Reyes missed his second straight game because of tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. Reyes is the team's top lefty out of the bullpen. ``I think the doctors are going to look at it a little more, but it will be another day or so with him,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said.
DETROIT: RHP Jeremy Bonderman has a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand and his scheduled Sunday start was moved back to Tuesday against Seattle. RHP Chad Durbin will take his start Sunday against KC. ... With the save on Wednesday in the victory over Baltimore, Todd Jones became the first Tigers pitcher to reach 10 saves in seven seasons. Mike Henneman had held the record with six seasons with 10 or more saves.
t-bats. He won't sit on the bench entirely.'' ... Starters Scott Elarton and Luke Hudson are both expected to make at least one more rehab start before getting cleared to rejoin the Royals. Their roles will be defined later.
White Sox-Angels
CHICAGO: CF Darin Erstad returned to Angels Stadium for the first time since leaving the team he spent his first 11 big league seasons with. Erstad, the first overall pick in the June 1995 draft, caught the final out in the 2002 World Series. He became the first player in history to win Gold Gloves in CF and at 1B, and also became the first leadoff hitter ever to drive in 100 runs back in 2000 - the same season he led the majors with 240 hits and batted a career-high .355. ``Nothing can prepare you for tonight,'' Erstad said. ``I saw them in spring training and in Chicago last weekend, but playing where you played for a long time is going to be the toughest game to play. I made it very clear over the last few years that I wanted to spend my whole career in Anaheim and play for Mike Scioscia, but it just didn't work out.''
LOS ANGELES: The cover of the scorecard program greeting fans who attended the opener of a six-game homestand Friday night featured a photo of manager Mike Scioscia with the cover-story headline: ``How Mike Scioscia became the winningest manager in Angels history.'' The only problem was, the back-to-back losses at Kansas City at the end of the Angels' road trip left Scioscia needing one more win to break a tie with Bill Rigney. ... LF Garret Anderson was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 28, because of a tear in his right hip flexor tendon. OF Tommy Murphy was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to fill the roster spot.
HP Jerome Williams, on the DL with a sprained ankle, will throw a side session and then make a rehab start. ... RHP John Patterson, Saturday's scheduled starter, was hit in the cheek by a ball during Friday batting practice. A CT Scan was negative and Patterson is still scheduled to pitch. ... SS Cristian Guzman (hamstring) and OF Nook Logan (foot), both on the disabled list, are scheduled to rejoin the team Monday in Milwaukee.
le-A Iowa, will return and start Sunday's game against the Nationals. It's a curious choice because Guzman has been pounded in three minor league starts with a 12.19 ERA over 10 innings. Manager Lou Piniella said Guzman will make at least three starts as the fifth pitcher in the rotation. ... The Cubs will make a roster move to clear space for Guzman and Piniella said it would involve a position player. Likely candidates are INF Ronny Cedeno or OF Felix Pie.
SAN DIEGO: 1B Adrian Gonzalez began the weekend leading the NL with 27 RBIs. He was hitting .538 with runners in scoring position, second in the league. ... LHP David Wells makes his first start in Miami since 1995 on Saturday. Pitching for Cincinnati, he lost that game 12 years ago, 6-4.
FLORIDA: The Marlins began the weekend leading the majors with 151 runs. They were on pace to score 906 after scoring a franchise-record 758 last year. ... The Marlins, scheduled to face San Diego LHP David Wells on Saturday, are 2-6 against lefties. Dan Uggla is batting .190 against lefties, Josh Willingham is at .182 and Aaron Boone is at .154. All hit right-handed.
COLORADO: Todd Helton's two-run homer in the first inning was his second of the season. He also had a solo shot on April 15. ... Rookie SS Troy Tulowitzki extended his hitting streak to a career-high seven games with a first-inning single. ... RHP Aaron Cook will make his fourth career start on Saturday against Cincinnati. Cook grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, about a half-hour drive away. He hasn't done well against the Reds, going 0-0 with a 6.59 ERA in three career starts and one relief appearance.
CINCINNATI: Manager Jerry Narron attended his daughter's graduation at East Carolina on Friday, leaving bench coach Bucky Dent in charge. Dent ran the team five times last season - four times after Narron was ejected. ... 1B Scott Hatteberg batted leadoff for the 10th time in his career and the first time since Aug. 31, 2003 with Oakland. The Reds' offense has struggled to score consistently, and the 37-year-old Hatteberg has been one of their most consistent hitters. ... INF Jerry Gil will have reconstructive elbow surgery next Tuesday. Gil, obtained in a minor league trade with Arizona last October, tore a ligament during spring training.
or us. It's hard for me to sit here and say anything bad about him.'' Kent was hitting .317 with 17 RBIs. ... RHP Yhency Brazoban appeared in two straight games for Las Vegas on a rehab assignment. He gave up one earned run with two strikeouts in two innings. Brazoban will get two days off, then pitch on consecutive games again for the Triple-A team. The reliever has been on the disabled list all season with elbow problems. ... Former Braves SS Rafael Furcal isn't surprised by John Smoltz's success as the Atlanta pitcher approaches his 40th birthday. ``He works too hard,'' Furcal marveled. ``He never stops. He's one of the best athletes I've ever seen. He can play every sport.''
eat Kelly Johnson and Pete Orr in ``Connect Four'' - a game that requires competing players to drop chips into a row of slots, the winner being the first one to connect four in a row vertically, horizontally or diagonally. ... Braves announcer Skip Caray worked a Class A game last weekend with his son, Josh, an announcer for the Rome Braves. Skip Caray already had worked with his late father, Hall of Famer Harry Caray, and his other son, Chip, who's also on the Braves broadcast team. ``I can go happy now,'' Skip Caray quipped.
PITTSBURGH: Nate McLouth started in center field and batted leadoff Friday night. It was the first time this season he did either. ... The Pirates lead all National League teams with 10 caught stealings by their catchers. ... Pittsburgh ranks third among National League teams with a .998 fielding percentage with 13 errors in 27 games. Only the Rockies(11) and Mets(12) have fewer. ... The Pirates have a losing record (6-11) when playing errorless ball. ... Zach Duke will start Saturday night's game. Duke is 3-2 against the Brewers lifetime with a 4.62 ERA in eight career starts.
MILWAUKEE: C JD Closser, who was playing at Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League, was traded Friday to the Oakland A's for minor-league outfielder Charles Thomas. Thomas, 28, was assigned to Nashville. He was playing for Triple-A Sacramento, where he was batting .230 with five RBI in 22 games. Closser batted .188 with two home runs and six RBI in 17 games for Nashville. ... On Thursday night, the Brewers extended their franchise record of consecutive games with at least one double to 28 games. ... Jeff Suppan will start Saturday for the Brewers. Suppan won his only other appearance against Pittsburgh this season, allowing three earned runs over six innings.
HOUSTON: Carlos Lee hit his fifth sacrifice fly in the first inning for his 20th RBI in 20 games since April 10. He entered the game tied for the major league lead in sacrifice flies. ... RHP Rick White, on the DL with a strained left side muscle, is scheduled to make rehab appearances Saturday and Monday with Double-A Corpus Christi. ... The Astros are undecided on a starter for Saturday. Woody Williams had been scheduled for Saturday but got the Friday start with Chris Sampson experiencing sinus trouble.
ays with the funeral set for Sunday. ... David Eckstein, the leadoff hitter most of his career, batted eighth for the third straight game and La Russa said there was no rush to get him back at the top of the order. ``It looks like he's more himself, so we can afford to be patient,'' La Russa said.
NEW YORK METS: RHP Jorge Sosa will start at Arizona on Saturday night, taking the rotation spot that opened up when the club designated Chan Ho Park for assignment. Sosa is 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA for Triple-A New Orleans. Sosa went 1-8 as a starter for Atlanta last year. ... Park has accepted an assignment to Triple-A New Orleans, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said. ... OF Moises Alou took Friday night off with swelling in his left knee, and was expected to see a doctor before the game. ... OF Endy Chavez replaced Alou in the lineup. Chavez struck out twice in the Mets' six-run ninth inning Thursday night.
ut in a 9-4 loss to the New York Mets on Thursday night. It was Valverde's second blown save in 12 opportunities, and his first since April 3 at Colorado. ... RHP Brandon Webb (2-1, 3.21 ERA) starts against the Mets Saturday night. Webb has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last five starts.

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