CLEVELAND: Casey Blake and Victor Martinez both homered in the first inning of Friday's series opener in Detroit, giving the Indians at least one home run in a season-high nine straight games. Blake's homer was his fifth in 26 career at-bats against Nate Robertson. ... Paul Byrd, Cleveland's starter on Friday, pitched in the fastest game in Comerica Park history on July 24, 2002. Byrd, then with Kansas City, lost 3-0 to Jose Lima in 1:41 in a game that had a total of 182 pitches. ... Jason Michaels saved Byrd in the bottom of the second inning, reaching well over the left-field fence to take a three-run homer away from Craig Monroe.
DETROIT: RHP Fernando Rodney is expected to miss the entire weekend series with Cleveland due to tightness in his shoulder. ``It's a little bit tight, but I'm not thinking it is a big deal,'' said Rodney, who had been serving as Todd Jones' setup man with Joel Zumaya (finger) on the disabled list. ``A couple more days of rest and treatment, and I think I'll be ready.'' ... LHP Kenny Rogers was in the clubhouse before the game, trying to stay patient as he recovers from arm problems. ``The hard part is to push it, but not too hard,'' Rogers said. ``I'm trying to make sure that I take enough time before I upgrade the intensity, but some times I'm good at that and some times I'm not.''
LOS ANGELES: Manager Mike Scioscia will leave the team for games Saturday and Sunday so he can attend his son's high school graduation in California. Matt Scioscia is a catcher-first baseman who will attend Notre Dame next fall. Bench Ron Roenicke will take Scioscia's place - the wins or losses, however, will be credited to Scioscia. ... OF Reggie Willits, who missed Thursday's game at Detroit because of a tight right hamstring, was again out of the starting lineup. Scioscia said Willits was available, and could start Saturday.
's Fleet Week in town, and a half-dozen sailors lined the New York dugout during batting practice for autographs. Bench coach Don Mattingly was the most popular Yankee - he signed a cap for a sailor who had ``Gracie'' tattooed on his left forearm.
OAKLAND: The Athletics placed RHP Connor Robertson (thumb) on the 15-day DL and called up LHP Erasmo Ramirez from Triple-A Sacramento. Robertson allowed runs in each of his three appearances after being recalled on May 15. To make room for Ramirez on the 40-man roster, the A's designated RHP David Shafer for assignment. ... Oakland manager Bob Geren has decided to start LHP Lenny DiNardo on Tuesday against Texas. Geren is flip-flopping DiNardo and RHP Colby Lewis, who is moving to the bullpen. ``I talked to both players about it and they're both happy to get their chance in these roles. They're both very positive about it,'' Geren said. ... Oakland announced that C Jeremy Brown, who was designated for assignment Tuesday, cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Sacramento.
BALTIMORE: 3B Melvin Mora was omitted from the starting lineup Friday, and complained that he wasn't given advance notice by manager Sam Perlozzo. ``I don't have a problem if you give me a day off. He's the boss, he can do whatever he wants to do with the lineup,'' Mora said. ``But at least communicate with the player.'' ... Perlozzo said he will refrain from using struggling Danys Baez (0-4, 6.23 ERA) in the setup role for a while. The manager said he will instead pick-and-choose from his bullpen on a situational basis. ... Brian Roberts recorded his 16th steal in the first inning Friday. He's been caught only three times.
Red Sox-Rangers
BOSTON: Manager Terry Francona got good reports on LHP Jon Lester's five-inning rehab outing for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday night. ``He threw 80-85 pitches and could actually have thrown more,'' Francona said. ``He got people out.'' Lester has been on the DL since March 28 due to cramping in his left forearm. Lester has a 1.61 ERA in four starts for Pawtucket this season. ... RHP Mike Timlin is currently on a rehab assignment with Pawtucket. The reliever has been out since May 3 with tendinitis in his right shoulder. ... RHP Josh Beckett is on schedule to return to the rotation next Tuesday. He's been on the DL since May 19 with a right middle finger injury.
Seattle, the second leg of a seven-game road trip. ... Frank Catalanotto could be available for outfield duty this weekend. Catalanotto's been restricted to DHing since he was activated from the DL on Monday because his throwing has been hampered by right bicep tendinitis. If Catalanotto can throw, he'll play RF Sunday while Sammy Sosa is the DH. ... Utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. will start a rehab assignment at Frisco over the weekend. He's been on the DL since May 19 due to a pinched nerve in his neck.
Blue Jays-Twins
of them will probably get bumped from the rotation when Halladay returns. Manager John Gibbons declined to speculate on their status or whether they were competing against each other for a spot.
MINNESOTA: C Joe Mauer isn't quite ready to return yet from a strained left quadriceps. He's been running lightly, taking batting practice and catching bullpen sessions. ``We'll continue that process until he tells us he's ready to go,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ... SS Jason Bartlett got good news on his sore neck. An MRI exam revealed no structural damage, though the pain had spread to his shoulders. He was out of the lineup Friday for the fourth straight game, but was available to play in an emergency. ... LHP Jason Miller arrived at the Metrodome looking to get into his first major league game. He was brought up from Triple-A Rochester to replace LH Dennys Reyes, who was placed on the DL Thursday with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. Miller, a fourth-round draft pick by the Twins in 2000, has slowly worked his way up - and found himself finally getting the call in his seventh season of pro ball. ``I'm a true example of paying my dues in the minor leagues,'' he said. After Thursday game, Miller learned the good news. He was grabbed by teammate Garrett Jones, and then ``the whole team doused me with Coke.''
SEATTLE: LHP Horacio Ramirez went on the 15-day DL with left shoulder tendinitis. Jon Huber was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and will be used in middle relief. Ramirez (4-2) had a 6.47 ERA in eight starts covering 40 1-3 innings. Manager Mike Hargrove said he was unsure who would take Ramirez's start next Tuesday against the Angels. ... OF Raul Ibanez was back in the starting lineup Friday. He had missed seven of the last eight starts with back spasms.
KANSAS CITY: RHP Jason Standridge elected to become a free agent rather than accept outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha. Standridge cleared waivers Friday. The 28-year-old was 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA in four relief appearances. ... C Jason LaRue could come off the DL this weekend. He's been out since May 3 with a left clavicle contusion. ``It will probably be Sunday when we activate him,'' manager Buddy Bell said. He said it would ``be a while'' before OF Reggie Sanders or utilityman Ross Gload are ready to come back. Sanders is out with a torn hamstring and Gload had a right quadriceps tear.
Devil Rays-White Sox
TAMPA BAY: Rookie OF Elijah Dukes was back in the lineup Friday after missing two games amid allegations that he threatened to kill his estranged wife and their two young children. Dukes was in center field and batting leadoff as the Devil Rays opened a three-game series against the White Sox. ``I chose tonight because I felt it was time to move things along,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``He's a member of this team. I thought about it a lot, talked to (executive vice president Andrew Friedman) about it a lot. I just want to get back to playing baseball and put this thing behind us. A lot of thought has gone into this. I won't deny that I've lost sleep over it because I have.'' Dukes declined comment before the game. ... Although RHP Edwin Jackson is 0-6 with a 7.78 ERA heading into Saturday's start, Maddon sees signs of a turnaround. ``I saw him mix his pitches well, I saw better command of the fastball,'' Maddon said. ``I saw a greater mound awareness during the course of the game, whereas the last bad game, I didn't see that.'' ... The Devil Rays hope to activate 3B Akinori Iwamura (right oblique strain) from the 15-day DL in time for Monday's game against Detroit.
said. ... 1B Paul Konerko was out of the lineup Friday because of a death in the family. ``Paul has some family problems,'' Guillen said before the game. ``If he's going to arrive, he's going to arrive late.'' Guillen expects Konerko to play Saturday. ... OF Scott Podsednik, out with a right groin strain, took batting practice, but Guillen isn't expecting the speedy leadoff hitter to return anytime soon. ``(Podsednik) is not even close to be talked about right now,'' Guillen said. ``Maybe, hopefully in June or July.''
NEW YORK: LHP Jason Vargas was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. ... OF Moises Alou (left quad) might return early next week and is unlikely to go on a rehabilitation assignment, general manager Omar Minaya said, and 2B Jose Valentin (right knee) might rejoin the team in one to two weeks. RHP Guillermo Mota will return next week, as soon as his 50-game suspension for a positive steroids test ends. ... The president of the Dominican Republic has asked the Mets to play a spring training game there against another major-league team, Minaya said. ``We definitely would consider it,'' he said. ``But that's something that they have to do through Major League Baseball, not us.''
FLORIDA: LHP Dontrelle Willis was in the middle of the Marlins' bench-clearing confrontation Thursday with Philadelphia, and the spectators included his 1-month-old daughter, attending her first game. ``Her first time seeing me pitch, and what do I do? Get in a fight,'' Willis said. ``Good example, right?'' ... Injury updates: RHP Josh Johnson (elbow) is throwing extended spring training and is three to four weeks away from returning. RHP Ricky Nolasco (elbow) will not throw for another two to three weeks. 1B Mike Jacobs (thumb) will be out another seven to 10 days. RHP Henry Owens (shoulder tendinitis) is a week or less away from returning. RHP Carlos Martinez (Tommy John surgery) is throwing extended spring training and might return in another week.
hawn Chacon will be able to throw about 90 pitches in his first start of the season Saturday. Chacon replaced Tony Armas in the rotation. ... C Ryan Doumit was hit in the back of the head by Ryan Freel's swing in the third inning. Doumit grounded out in the fourth, then left the game with dizziness.
CINCINNATI: LHP Eddie Guardado threw about 30 pitches to Reds batters before Friday's game without problem. If his surgically rebuilt left elbow is fine in the next couple of days, he'll make his first rehab start Monday at Class A Dayton. Guardado tore a tendon and ligament in the elbow and had surgery last September. ... LF Adam Dunn was out of the starting lineup for only the fourth time this season. He was in a 5-for-33 slump and was only 2-for-18 career off Pirates starter Paul Maholm. ... OF Josh Hamilton felt well enough to resume working out Friday. He went on the 15-day DL four days earlier with an inflamed digestive tract. Hamilton is expected to go to the minors to play next week until he's eligible to return.
PHILADELPHIA: 1B Ryan Howard was back in the starting lineup after being activated from the disabled list. He had been out since May 10 with a strained left quadriceps. ... The team placed RHP Brett Myers on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder. Myers could be out longer than two weeks. Myers said he hopes to be able to start throwing in eight to 10 days. Also, C Chris Coste was assigned to Double-A Reading to clear a spot for Howard, and LHP Michael Zagurski was called up from Reading.
ATLANTA: CF Andruw Jones, hitting .213, hit fifth for the second straight game after three games hitting sixth. ... 3B Chipper Jones missed his second straight game after having a cortisone shot in his sore right thumb on Wednesday night. He may return on Saturday. Martin Prado started at third base. ... The loss of LHP Mike Gonzalez to planned season-ending elbow surgery leaves Macay McBride as the only left-handed reliever on the roster.
against Florida. ... RHP Mike Bacsik's 7 2-3-inning start on Thursday bailed out an overworked bullpen that had only three available pitchers. ``For today's game it was huge, because we have our whole bullpen back,'' Acta said.
ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals and Cubs have set a makeup date for the April 29 game that was postponed hours after the fatal accident of St. Louis reliever Josh Hancock. The game has been rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on Sept. 14. ... RHP Ryan Franklin, the team's setup man, was back at the ballpark after two days at home battling strep throat but was unsure if he would be strong enough to pitch. ... Manager Tony La Russa gave utilityman Aaron Miles, who had three hits on Thursday, a second straight start after much deliberation. Outside the clubhouse, the lineup card had both Miles and Adam Kennedy starting. La Russa sat Kennedy, who is batting only .091 against left-handers. LHP Micah Bowie started for the Nationals. ... The Cardinals have hit eight homers this month, fewest in the majors and four fewer than the next-to-worst Pirates.
HOUSTON: LHP Mark McLemore had a solid major league debut Thursday night, striking out two in a scoreless eighth inning of a 9-1 loss at Arizona. McLemore may be on his way back to Triple-A Round Rock next week when RHP Jason Jennings returns from the 15-day disabled list to start against Cincinnati. Manager Phil Garner said he would probably limit Jennings to 100 pitches. ... Now that Arizona has switched to predominantly red uniforms, it looked like an intrasquad scrimmage when the Astros met the Diamondbacks Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series in Chase Field. ``They stole our color, or they tried to, didn't they?'' Garner said.
2007 draft if he doesn't sign with Arizona by Thursday.
COLORADO: As of Sunday, the Rockies will have played the Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks a combined 24 times in the team's first 50 games. ``There's not a whole lot of new things to know about either of us,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. ... RHP Manny Corpas bounced back from a bad outing (four runs in one-third of an inning) Sunday with three consecutive hitless appearances, a span of four innings. ``He's a tough kid and he was disappointed,'' Hurdle said. ``I'm sure he wanted to come back and make a positive statement. He was able to do that.'' ... Even with Giants slugger Barry Bonds in a slump, Hurdle is not comforted by the thought of having to face him. ``It just means he's due,'' Hurdle said. ``You want to get in here and get out of town quick. He's going to start hitting again.''
``But that's a nice thing. It's better than having them overworked.'' ... RHP Russ Ortiz made his second NL relief appearance since 1999 when he threw a scoreless inning in Wednesday's win over the Houston Astros. ``He came out with good stuff,'' Bochy said. ``He threw strikes. It's an adjustment for him and that was a good start.'' Ortiz was used out of the bullpen by the Baltimore Orioles last year.

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