MINNESOTA: Justin Morneau became the first Twins DH to homer this season when he hit two against Texas on Tuesday night. ... With a seven-inning start against Texas, LHP Johan Santana has gone at least five innings in 101 consecutive starts dating to May 29, 2004. ... SS Jason Bartlett, out with a sore neck and back and in an 0-for-11 slide, will have an MRI on Thursday when the team returns to Minnesota from a nine-game road trip. ... RHP Boof Bonser has gone at least five innings in his last eight starts.
ts on the DL due to a strained left hamstring. ``You always take precautions with hamstrings,'' Washington said. ``We'll be extra cautious this time. We don't want him to come back and then go through this again.'' ... OF Brad Wilkerson, also on the DL with hamstring problems, is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment soon. ... OF Jerry Hairston Jr., on the 15-day DL with a pinched nerve in his neck, will start a rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco this weekend.
Red Sox-Yankees
BOSTON: Slumping RF J.D. Drew was not in the starting lineup. ``We want him to take a mental-health day,'' manager Terry Francona said. ``J.D. is going to get hot.'' Wily Mo Pena started in RF and batted eighth. ... Injured RHP Mike Timlin will head back to Boston when the team travels to Texas and throw at Fenway Park before joining Triple-A Pawtucket for a rehab assignment. ... 1B Kevin Youkilis extended his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games with a second-inning double.
own on his throw. ``That's a good idea,'' Rodriguez added. ``Over the course of the season, some guys are going to hit you hard. I barely touched him. ... I always try to play hard. I'm never going to apologize for the way I play.'' ... RHP Tyler Clippard will get his second major league start Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels, followed by RHP Chien-Ming Wang on Saturday and RHP Mike Mussina on Sunday. ... SS Derek Jeter singled in his first two at-bats, extending his hitting streak to 18 games and giving him 2,215 career hits to pass Joe DiMaggio for fifth place on the franchise list. ``It means a lot. It's something I was not aware of until yesterday when somebody mentioned it to me. It's not like I keep a tally at home,'' Jeter said. ``Anytime you're on a list with him - I was excited when I caught him in strikeouts the first or second year.'' ... The Yankees honored victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy with school logos on their caps and on the field, plus a $1 million donation to charity. The team plans to play an exhibition game next year on or near the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va.
LOS ANGELES: 2B Howie Kendrick, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list (broken hand) after Tuesday night's 6-3 win over Detroit, was in the lineup and batting eighth Wednesday night. Kendrick usually bats higher in the order. ``I want Howie to have a spot where he can ease back into major league hitting,'' Angels' manager Mike Scioscia said. ... Former RHP Troy Percival requested to be released from his minor league coaching contract to pursue a comeback.
DETROIT: Following Tuesday night's 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the Tigers optioned LHP Andrew Miller to Double-A Erie. ... The Tigers, second in the AL Central, play the Cleveland Indians, who are first in the division, in a three-game series at Comerica Park this weekend. The pitching matchups are Nate Robertson against Paul Byrd on Friday, Justin Verlander against C.C. Sabathia on Saturday, and Mika Maroth against Fausto Carmona on Sunday.
Blue Jays-Orioles
TORONTO: C Gregg Zaun, on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right thumb since April 25, took soft-toss batting practice from both sides of the plate Wednesday and played catch for about 10 minutes, throwing from distances up to 130 feet. ... Manager John Gibbons expressed no worries that RHP A.J. Burnett might be fined after admitting he purposely threw at the legs of Orioles OF Jay Gibbons. Burnett's actions came in response to Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus being hit by a Daniel Cabrera pitch the previous half inning. Cabrera has purposely hit Toronto batters ``three or four times in the past couple of years,'' Gibbons said.
BALTIMORE: Manager Sam Perlozzo shuffled his lineup Wednesday in an effort to get more production out of his struggling offense. He moved Melvin Mora into the No. 2 spot behind Brian Roberts, then used Nick Markakis at No. 3, followed by Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff. That's the same top 5 that started the season in Minnesota on April 2. ``We just shook it up a little bit, put some guys back where they were early in the year,'' Perlozzo said. ``Hopefully something will shake loose and we'll score some runs.'' It didn't work in the first inning: Mora grounded into a double play and the Orioles went scoreless. ... Tejada took extra batting practice Tuesday and Wednesday in a bid to add more power to his stroke. He began the day with only six doubles, two homers and 18 RBIs.
Mariners-Devil Rays
SEATTLE: OF Raul Ibanez (sore lower back) was out of the starting lineup for the sixth time in the past seven games. ``It's better,'' Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. ``Maybe (he'll play) tomorrow.'' ... CF Ichiro Suzuki is expected to play in his 1,000th major league game Thursday. He is on pace for his seventh consecutive 200 hit season. ... The Mariners still project RHP Brandon Morrow as a future starter. He made his 11th consecutive relief appearance since April 20 without allowing a run during 1 2-3 innings Tuesday. ``We see him as a starter at some point,'' Hargrove said.
TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon said RHP Jae Seo (2-4, 7.80 ERA), Thursday's scheduled starter, is not in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation. ``I don't see any extra importance in it,'' Maddon said of Seo's next start. ... C Josh Paul (left arm), who could wind up on the DL later this week, remains sore and would only be used in an emergency situation. ``Josh is not doing good,'' Maddon said. ... LHP Jon Switzer (left shoulder) allowed one run, two hits and two walks over 1 2-3 innings Tuesday in his second minor league rehab appearance with Triple-A Durham.
CLEVELAND: The Indians bought right-hander Mike Koplove's contract from Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday. Koplove, 30, has not pitched in the majors since making two appearances for Arizona in 2006. He ranks third in Diamondbacks franchise history with 217 relief appearances, and has a career record of 15-7 with two saves and a 3.76 ERA. To make room on the roster, the Indians optioned right-hander Edward Mujica to Buffalo. Mujica was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two appearances this year. ... RHP Adam Miller, Cleveland's top pitching prospect, was expected to make his next scheduled start for Buffalo on Thursday. He was held out of a scheduled start last week with soreness in his right middle finger.
KANSAS CITY: Manager Buddy Bell said his arthroscopic surgery Monday was to remove a bone fragment and clear out other loose matter from his right knee. ``I've got a couple of divots down there,'' Bell said. ... Despite Joakim Soria's 10 saves in 13 opportunities this season, Bell said the closer job will belong to Octavio Dotel when he is ready. ``We promised the closer's role to Dotel,'' Bell said. Dotel was activated Tuesday, after being on the disabled list since the last week of spring training with a strained left oblique muscle. ... It was the first home start in three outings for RHP Scott Elarton, who missed the first 36 games of the season while he recovered from his August 2006 shoulder surgery.
Athletics-White Sox
bled list with a strained left hamstring, the A's now have 10 players on the DL.
CHICAGO: The worst hitting team in the majors has looked pretty good lately. The White Sox, who came into the game with an AL-worst .233 average, have hit .336 as a team over their last four games. ``You learn after many times of things going good or going bad, you just try and take it as it comes,'' said first baseman Paul Konerko. ``When things are looking good and the vibe is good, you just try and ride it out as long as you can.'' It also might not be a coincidence that the team had won three in a row since minor controversies erupted last week during the Sox-Cubs series. ``It seems we do win games when a lot of things that could be distractions happen,'' Konerko said. ``Nobody tries to cause it. It does seem like we have some good games when other things are going on.'' ... 3B Joe Crede missed his third straight game with lower back inflammation. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he thinks Crede could be ready for the weekend series with Tampa Bay. ``I felt pretty good coming in today,'' Crede said before the game. ``I'm going to take batting practice and see how I feel.''
PHILADELPHIA: A footnote to the feud between 2B Chase Utley and Florida LHP Scott Olsen: Utley is 2-for-18 against Olsen. ... LF Pat Burrell is hitting .167 (8-for-48) against left-handers.
FLORIDA: Rookie Alejandro De Aza, the Marlins' opening-day CF, has a hairline fracture in his sprained right ankle. An exam revealed the fracture after De Aza had a setback in his rehabilitation, and he'll wait at least two weeks before resuming activity, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ... SS Hanley Ramirez went into Wednesday's game with six homers and only nine RBIs. ... LF Josh Willingham was still looking for his first RBI against a left-hander. He was batting .167 (7-for-42) against lefties.
WASHINGTON: LF Ryan Church was back in the lineup after missing two games. He hit a two-run homer off Kyle Lohse in his first at-bat. Church had been out of the lineup because he got hit on the left forearm by a pitch. ... The Nationals are much better at hitting in the clutch lately, but manager Manny Acta doesn't attribute it to a change in hitting coaches. Lenny Harris got the role on an interim basis when Mitchell Page took a leave of absence on May 11. ``It's coincidence,'' Acta said. ``We were due. Lenny brings a lot of energy and experience to the job, but you can't let that take away from the job Mitchell Page did. We were struggling. We knew we had to start getting better.''
CINCINNATI: Ryan Freel led off the Reds' first inning with his second homer. It was the Reds' first game-opening homer of the season. ... RHP Kirk Saarloos will get another start Sunday in place of Eric Milton, who is on the disabled list with a sore elbow. Saarloos went 5 1-3 innings in his first start of the season Tuesday, turning a 4-3 lead over to the bullpen. ... LHP Milton is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, but manager Jerry Narron indicated he's not close to returning. ... RHP Gary Majewski might rejoin the Reds soon. The reliever started the season at Triple-A Louisville, working through shoulder weakness. ``If he's throwing the way he was with the Nationals two years ago, he's a very good pitcher,'' Narron said. The Reds have filed a grievance against Washington over their trade last July, claiming they weren't fully informed about Majewski's shoulder problems.
NEW YORK: Manager Willie Randolph said RHP Orlando Hernandez ``felt pretty good'' Wednesday, following a side session in the bullpen on Tuesday in his minor league rehab at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Hernandez has been on the disabled list since April 25 while recovering from bursitis in his right shoulder. Randolph said either Hernandez or LHP Jason Vargas will start when the Mets open a weekend series at Florida on Friday. ... 1B Carlos Delgado, hitting .209, hit sixth, his first time hitting that low in a lineup since May 14, 1997, while with Toronto.
ATLANTA: LHP Mike Gonzalez has been scheduled for an MRI Thursday in New York, his second in less than a week and his third of the season. He was placed on the 15-day DL on May 16 with a strained left elbow. An earlier MRI and bone scan this week showed no major problems, but another test was scheduled. ``You couldn't really see well'' on the earlier MRI, according to manager Bobby Cox. ... Cox gave starts to several backups: 2B Martin Prado, LF Matt Diaz, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Chris Woodward, who started at first base for the first time this season. Woodward made only one appearance at first base with the New York Mets last season but played in 34 games at first for the Mets in 2006.
ould have been centered and hit on a line.''
ST. LOUIS: RHP Ryan Franklin contracted strep throat and was not at the ballpark. Manager Tony La Russa had no estimate when the setup man would return. ... La Russa has been considering moving Chris Duncan to cleanup but didn't think Wednesday would be an ideal situation given that Pirates starter Ian Snell, a RHP, had been more effective against left-handed hitters (.184) than right-handed hitters (.279). ... RHP Adam Wainwright said slowing his tempo helped him survive a rocky start in Tuesday's victory. Wainwright allowed six hits the first two innings and three the last 3 1-3. He also has complained of tendinitis in his shoulder, a consequence of the conversion to the rotation. ... OF Preston Wilson, who was eligible to come off the DL on Monday from a knee injury, still has considerable swelling. ... Jim Edmonds batted seventh for the first time since coming to St. Louis in 2000 on Tuesday, going 0-for-3 with a walk.
feat to show for it. ... RHP Jason Hirsh faces the Giants in the opener of a three-game series Friday. Hirsh has lost his last three decisions, with his ERA climbing to 4.28 from 3.16.
ARIZONA: With LHP Randy Johnson missing his next start with forearm tendinitis, RHP Edgar Gonzalez is likely to take his place Friday against the Astros. Gonzalez (1-2 with a 4.81 ERA) opened the season in the starting rotation but was demoted to the bullpen after five starts. His last start was April 28 at San Francisco, when he went five innings, allowed three earned runs and did not receive a decision. ... RHP Micah Owings has been putting on a show in batting practice this week. On Monday, Owings hit a ball into a camera well in the center field wall, 420 feet from the plate. On Wednesday, he hit an opposite-field homer into the pool area in right-center field. Owings, who was a designated hitter at Tulane on days he didn't pitch, is 2-for-9 (.222) this season.
end to figure it out and see where we're at.'' ... C Johnny Estrada entered Wednesday having thrown out just three of 22 runners trying to steal. Last season he was 21-for-87. ... J.J. Hardy, tied for the NL lead in home runs with teammate Prince Fielder at 14 each, did not start for the second time in 47 games this season. ``J.J.'s only had one day off all year, and we're off tomorrow, so this is a real good chance to give him back-to-back days,'' Yost said.
LOS ANGELES: RHP Yhency Brazoban, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his elbow in April 2006, was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. He made 14 minor league rehab appearances this spring after he was activated from the DL on May 5. ``I've never seen him at his best,'' second-year Dodgers manager Grady Little said. ``I saw an injured player last year trying to pitch for us early in the year. But he put together some pretty good numbers during 2005.'' ... RHP Brett Tomko, 1-5 with a 6.28 ERA, has been demoted to the bullpen after giving up after giving up five runs and eight hits in Monday's loss to Milwaukee. LHP Hong-Chi Kuo is the likely candidate to replace him in the rotation the next time the team needs a fifth starter on June 2 at Pittsburgh. ... RHP Chin-hui Tsao was placed on the 15-day DL because of a shoulder strain.
CHICAGO: The Cubs and the New York Mets are the only two NL clubs who have four pitchers with at least four wins apiece. ... Following Tuesday night's 5-1 loss to the Padres, the Cubs have lost five straight games in San Diego for the first time since losing six in a row combined between a three-game series in July 1989 and a three-game set in April 1990.
SAN DIEGO: RF Brian Giles missed his third straight game with a bruised right knee. Although manager Bud Black continues to have concern about the injury, he believes Giles will be back in the lineup soon. The Padres are likely to give Giles at least a couple of more games off to rest his ailing knee. ... The Padres bullpen, which leads all NL bullpens with a 2.15 ERA, has allowed just one run over the last 10 games covering 28 1-3 innings. San Diego's relievers have appeared in 44 of the club's 45 games.
HOUSTON: RHP Brad Lidge flew back to Houston to have his right knee examined after experiencing irritation. He was listed as day-to-day. ... RHP Jason Jennings pitched 3 1-3 innings Tuesday night for Triple-A Round Rock against Iowa in his second rehab start. He is recovering from tendinitis in his throwing elbow that landed him on the disabled list April 9. He allowed four runs on three hits with two strikeouts and five walks in a 75-pitch outing. He also had a hit. ... Rookie RHP Chris Sampson, the losing pitcher Monday night, celebrated his 29th birthday.
SAN FRANCISCO: Manager Bruce Bochy is having a hard time taking Ryan Klesko out of the lineup, so he played in LF on Wednesday night as Barry Bonds got a break. Klesko's three hits Tuesday night were a season high, and heading into Wednesday he had gone 17-for-50 (.340) in his last 18 games with 12 starts. He homered into McCovey Cove on Monday. ... CF Dave Roberts is making good progress in his recovery from elbow surgery May 11 to remove bone chips and spurs. He did some work in the outfield, taking ground balls and shagging flies, and also did some bunting during batting practice followed by sprints in the outfield. Throwing will be the last step, and trainer Dave Groeschner will re-evaluate how Roberts feels Friday following the team's off day Thursday. ``I'm pretty excited,'' Roberts said. ``There hasn't been a day I've gone backward. I feel better now than before the surgery. I'm surprised it's so early.'' ... Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, sporting a black Giants jacket, attended the game as a guest of the team and sat in the owner's box next to the San Francisco dugout.

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