White Sox-Twins
CHICAGO: Twenty of the last 28 runs scored against the White Sox have come with two outs, including the game-ending, bases-loaded walk David Aardsma issued to Minnesota's Torii Hunter on Wednesday. But that was the least of manager Ozzie Guillen's concerns on Wednesday during a postgame rant about his struggling team. ``They need to look themselves in the mirror and decide what they're going to do,'' Guillen said. ... After going 12-11 in April, the White Sox are 12-13 in May with one game left to play. ``We keep saying, 'It's early, it's early,' but it's almost June,'' catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. ... OF Scott Podsednik, who has been out for the past six weeks due to a strained groin muscle, is slowly progressing. He could begin a rehabilitation assignment next week.
MINNESOTA: C Joe Mauer's return from the disabled list has been delayed. The reigning AL batting champ was sore for a second straight day and will not be activated on Friday as planned. He'll travel with the team on a six-game road trip and see if his strained left quadriceps muscle fully heals. ... Wednesday's promotion of RH Kevin Slowey to the rotation led to the demotion of RH reliever Julio DePaula, who gave up seven runs and walked five in three appearances while recording only six outs. He was brought up when RH Jesse Crain got hurt. ... Five of Minnesota's 27 victories this season have come in the last at-bat. ... In RF Michael Cuddyer's last 11 games, he's batting .410 with 14 runs, three homers, 11 RBIs and 12 walks.
TEXAS: Struggling OF Nelson Cruz had the day off. He is hitless in his last four games (0-for-12) and 1-for-19 (.053) over his last six. ``I can't say I see him pressing,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``I can say I don't see him making the adjustments he needs to be making.'' ... Sammy Sosa went 0-for-4 and remained two home runs from becoming the fifth player to reach the 600 mark. He hasn't hit one out since May 22 off Minnesota's Johan Santana, Sosa's 10th homer of the year. ``He'll probably tell you he's not (pressing), but he probably is,'' Washington said. ``It's only human nature. When he least expects it, that's probably when it's going to happen.''
OAKLAND: Injured DH Mike Piazza, out with a sprained right shoulder, took a few light swings and said his shoulder is still ``cranky.'' He is scheduled to get more treatment during Thursday's off day and hopes to accelerate his rehab process next week. Piazza said he is on target to return in mid-June. ... As planned, OF Milton Bradley came off the disabled list - his second stint already this year with a strained left hamstring - and manager Bob Geren will have his projected starting outfield intact for the first time all season Friday when center fielder Mark Kotsay is activated. Kotsay had surgery on his back in early March. ... The A's designated Hiram Bocachica for assignment to make room for Bradley. ... Before the game, the A's honored Vida Blue, Mike Norris, Dave Stewart and Jim ``Mudcat'' Grant, four of the 13 African-American 20-game winners in major league history. Grant, who wrote ``The Black Aces: Baseball's Only African-American 20-Game Winners,'' sang the national anthem and Stewart threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Marco Scutaro started at second for the second straight game while Mark Ellis nurses a swollen knee. Ellis could play again as soon as Friday, though his first child is scheduled to be induced during Thursday's off day.
Indians-Red Sox
CLEVELAND: C Kelly Shoppach replaced Victor Martinez, Cleveland's leader in RBIs, in the starting lineup. ``He needs a day'' off, manager Eric Wedge said of Martinez. ... DH Travis Hafner was 5-for-30 going into Wednesday's finale of the nine-game road trip. In the opener of the Boston series, he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. ``He's been right there on the verge of getting over the hump, but it just hasn't quite happened,'' Wedge said. ... Cleveland entered the game ranked second in the AL in on-base percentage. Only Boston was better.
BOSTON: DH David Ortiz returned to the lineup after missing three games with tight hamstrings. ... Alex Cora started at shortstop in place of Julio Lugo, who was batting .125 (5-for-40) in his previous nine games. Lugo will have a day off Thursday when the Red Sox are idle. ``He's fine,'' Boston manager Terry Francona said. ... RHP Mike Timlin is scheduled to make another rehab start Thursday night in Pawtucket. Timlin's third relief appearance during his current rehab stint came Tuesday when he gave up one run, three hits and a walk for the Triple-A team. ... CF Coco Crisp, hitless in his previous eight at bats, moved from the No. 8 spot in the lineup to Lugo's leadoff spot. ``I think it's good for him,'' Francona said. Crisp grounded out in his first at bat.
Yankees-Blue Jays
NEW YORK: The Yankees canceled batting practice before Wednesday's game at Toronto. Players were not expected to arrive until an hour before the game. ... Manager Joe Torre confirmed that RHP Roger Clemens will make his Yankees debut next Monday at Chicago against the White Sox. ... 1B Jason Giambi is expected to get a cortisone shot in his sore left heel in New York on Thursday morning, an off day for the Yankees, and could be ready to return for Friday's game at Boston. ... OF Johnny Damon picked up his 2,000th career hit in the second inning of Wednesday's game, a single to left. ... Rookie RHP Phil Hughes has been diagnosed with a third-degree ankle sprain, which is expected to delay his return by four to six weeks.
TORONTO: The Blue Jays optioned seldom-used RHP Jaime Vermilyea to Triple-A Syracuse and purchased the contract of INF Howie Clark. Vermilyea (0-0) had not pitched since May 10 against Boston. ... Toronto also designated INF Ryan Roberts for assignment. ... 3B Troy Glaus (tight left hamstring) was held out of the lineup and is day-to-day. ... SS Royce Clayton, who fouled a pitch off his left big toe on Tuesday, is day-to-day. Clayton had to have his toenail removed after fouling the pitch off his foot in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game.
Tigers-Devil Rays
DETROIT: LHP Kenny Rogers, who had surgery March 30 to remove a blood clot from his left shoulder, threw off a bullpen mound and took part in an extensive fielding session. ... C Ivan Rodriguez, vying to set a record for catchers with a 12th All-Star selection, leads the the voting for the starting AL catchers' spot. He is hopeful that a group of Tigers will be voted onto the team. ``Right now we're a team that a lot of people come and watch,'' Rodriguez said. ... 3B Brandon Inge will likely miss a few days due to a small chip fracture on his left big toe. He was hit by a pitch Tuesday. ... RHP Roman Colon (neck surgery) made his second rehab appearance, throwing 1 2-3 scoreless innings, Tuesday for Triple A Toledo.
TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon said no decision on additional changes to the Devil Rays rotation have been made, but a review is ongoing. RHP Jae Seo (3-4, 8.13 ERA) was sent to the bullpen last weekend. LHP Casey Fossum (3-5, 7.89 ERA) might soon be moved out of the rotation. RHP Edwin Jackson (0-6, 7.12 ERA) has also struggled this season in his nine starts.
get back from the DL when the Tigers are in Anaheim this weekend. OF Nick Markakis was given the day off Wednesday. In his previous eight games, he'd either gone hitless or had multihit games.
KANSAS CITY: The pregame stats for Royals batters listed nine position players on hitless streaks, ranging from Mark Grudzielanek's 0-for-4 to John Buck's 0-for-14. ... Some opposing pitchers have questioned the accuracy of the Kauffman Stadium radar gun that flashes the speed of the pitch onto the scoreboard as it crosses the plate. Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie said Tuesday night the gun ``was on steroids.'' Said Royals manager Buddy Bell on Wednesday, ``I don't pay a lot of attention to the gun. I pay a lot of attention to the finish of the pitch. So if the pitch is finishing like it should, it really doesn't matter if it's 92 or 98 (mph). But now that you mention it, ours might be a little high.''
unt up before he returns to the rotation. Weaver, 0-6 with a 14.62 ERA in six starts with the Mariners, has enough time in the majors to refuse a minor league rehab assignment - so he did just that. ... Edgar Martinez will become the fourth member of the Mariners' Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony on Saturday at Safeco Field. The others are Alvin Davis, Jay Buhner and broadcaster Dave Niehaus.
LOS ANGELES: RHP Bartolo Colon's next start was pushed back to June 8, when the club opens a nine-game road trip at St. Louis. The 2005 AL Cy Young winner began experiencing tightness in his triceps early this month, and has allowed 15 runs in 10 2-3 innings over his last two starts. He is taking medication for the problem. His regular turn on Sunday against Baltimore will be taken by either Joe Saunders, Dustin Moseley or Hector Carrasco. ... 2B Erick Aybar started at 3B for the first time in the big leagues, after taking ground balls the past few days from coach Alfredo Griffin. Aybar never played the position in the minors. ... LF Garret Anderson played six innings in the first game of his rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, getting an infield hit in three at-bats.
ATLANTA: RHP John Smoltz said he felt fine after playing catch before Wednesday's game. He left Tuesday night's game in the fourth inning after re-aggravating a pinkie injury and tweaking his pitching shoulder. He still is scheduled to make his next start, Sunday against the Chicago Cubs. ... LHP Mike Gonzalez will undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery Thursday in Birmingham, Ala., the team said Wednesday. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery. The team announced last week that Gonzalez would need the surgery, which typically requires a year rehabilitation.
MILWAUKEE: Prince Fielder hit his 18th home run Wednesday, and it was his 12th in May. The 12 homers ties the Brewers record for home runs in any month. Fielder joins Gorman Thomas, Greg Vaughn and Jeromy Burnitz with 12 in a month. ... The Brewers opened the season 24-10 but are 5-14 since. ... The team's 9-3 loss to the Braves Wednesday was only the second time in 27 games the team had lost when leading after seven innings. ... LHP Brian Shouse had stranded 27 of 30 inherited runners before allowing a bases-loaded double to Brian McCann Wednesday that cleared the bases.
SAN DIEGO: OF Brian Giles, who has been on the disabled list since May 20 with a right knee contusion, hit off a tee and played soft toss Tuesday, has been running on the ellipitical machine and was to play catch Wednesday. He is eligible to be activated June 5 but manager Bud Black declined to set a timetable for the veteran's return. ... With Giles unavailable, that has led to regular starts for OF Jose Cruz, Jr., a switch hitter. Generally, that means the Padres have been playing most games without a pure lefthanded hitter on their bench. ``You like to have a nice balance on your bench,'' Black said. ``But it's just not that easy to construct a team to cover everything.'' ... OF Paul McAnulty got his first start of the season Wednesday night.
PITTSBURGH: OF-C Ryan Doumit was in the starting lineup Wednesday for the first time since being struck in the head with a bat twice in one game Friday. He had pinch hit once in that time span. Manager Jim Tracy said he had no reservations about playing Doumit at catcher. ``When we have the day where it really makes sense to put him back behind the plate comes, honestly, we won't be shy,'' Tracy said. ... The Pirates had scored 130 runs in May with two games to play in the month after scoring only 86 in April. The surge is due in some part to a shift in the batting order the past two weeks. OF Chris Duffy was moved from leadoff to second, SS Jack Wilson from second to eighth and 3B Jose Bautista was inserted into the leadoff spot. Tracy said he likes having a veteran in the No. 8 spot and the way Bautista works counts to earn walks.
ARIZONA: 3B Mark Reynolds was back in the starting lineup, a night after suffering what manager Bob Melvin called a ``serious stinger'' from a collision with pitcher Brandon Medders on Michael Bourn's bunt single. Melvin said there were no concerns about a concussion. ... SS Stephen Drew was not in the lineup after he got nailed in the left shin on a hard slide by Chase Utley on Tuesday. Melvin said Drew was banged up, but was available to pinch hit. ... Famous World Series homers collide: Mitch Williams, the former Phillies closer who gave up Joe Carter's series-ending home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, told a dugout security guard before the game to find Arizona coach Kirk Gibson. ``Tell him I want to see what a really old guy looks like,'' Williams said. The guard came back without Gibson, who won Game 1 of the 1988 World Series with a homer off Dennis Eckersley.
hillies starter Jamie Moyer and Arizona's Randy Johnson was the matchup of oldest lefties in history. ... 2B Chase Utley leads NL second baseman in All-Star voting.
WASHINGTON: The Nationals entered Wednesday's game with the Dodgers having not given up an unearned run in 14 consecutive games...Washington has gone 12-9 since SS Cristian Guzman and OF Nook Logan came off the disabled list on May 7; both players suffered injuries on Opening Day...The Nationals have had nine pitchers make starts this season because four starters have had to go on the disabled list...OF Ryan Langerhans is hitting .151 this season but has a .263 batting average since he came to the Nationals in a trade earlier this month.
LOS ANGELES: SS Rafael Furcal came into Wednesday's game batting .405 in his last 20 games with a 14-game hitting streak...Luis Gonzalez drove in three runs in Tuesday's 10-0 victory over Washington, and that moved him into 75th place on the all-time RBI list with 1,343...2B Jeff Kent's 515 doubles are fourth among active players...Meanwhile, Gonzalez ranks just ahead of him on the same list, sitting in third place with a total of 553 doubles...1B Nomar Garciaparra is hitting .442 this seaosn with runners in scoring position -- second in the National League.
SAN FRANCISCO: OF Barry Bonds was back in the starting lineup. He had four career homers against Mets LHP Tom Glavine entering the game. ... C Bengie Molina singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. ... SS Omar Vizquel made two slick barehanded plays in the first four innings. ... 2B Ray Durham (strained abdominal muscle) was out of the starting lineup.
NEW YORK: RHP Guillermo Mota was activated after serving the 50th and final day of his suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Mota wound up losing 59 days' pay, or $580,328 of his $1.8 million salary. RHP Ambiorix Burgos was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans to make room for him on the roster. ... The Shea Stadium crowd booed Giants LHP Barry Zito each time he came to the plate. The Mets were interested in signing Zito during the offseason, but dropped out when the free agent wanted a longer contract. ... The Mets were 18-8 in May entering Wednesday night's game against the Giants.
want to use Gregg in both games. ``The bad thing was if that inning had slipped away and we hadn't gotten Gregg in the game, I would have been annoyed with myself,'' Gonzalez said. ... The Marlins had committed a National League-worst 47 errors entering Wednesday's series-finale, and Gonzalez says there's nothing the coaching staff can do about the miscues. ``We have to keep going out there and put them in the positions and keep working with them,'' he said. ``They're not trying to make errors.''
day. On Friday? He simply wants Blanco to catch Carlos Zambrano again. ``Henry did a nice job with Zambrano last time, so there's a good possibility he might be catching him on Friday,'' Piniella said. ... Aramis Ramirez dropped from fourth to fifth in the lineup, with Cliff Floyd batting cleanup behind Derrek Lee. ``We talked about doing this awhile back,'' Piniella said. ``We'll try it and see what it looks like.''
on Monday after RHP Kirk Saarloos was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Narron said Livingston was the likely starter on Friday if he wasn't used out of the bullpen on Wednesday. Another possibility was RHP Victor Santos, who's made 20 appearances out of the bullpen this season.
ith a sacrifice fly. ``Ideally, you wouldn't give up any runs with the bases loaded and nobody out,'' Lidge said, ``but I'm pretty pleased with how the inning went.''
ST. LOUIS: The dizziness that forced OF Scott Spiezio to leave Tuesday's game was not altitude related. ``It was a reaction to medication,'' Spiezio said. ``I've got a rash up and down my arms and I still don't have all my strength back.'' ... INF Chris Duncan's knee showed improvement, but was left behind at the hotel for a second day. ``Doctors want to keep him off his feet and allow him to heal,'' St. Louis GM Walt Jocketty said. ``I was told he couldn't play here, but he could play in Houston.'' ... The right knee of OF Preston Wilson remained swollen. ``He's not making progress,'' MGR Tony La Russa said. ... The number of injuries have left La Russa with few options. ``I could move So Taguchi to second base and have pitchers play the outfield,'' he said.
not wanting to let the bar drop.'' ... C Yorvit Torrealba's first homer of the season was a grand slam to left-center field Tuesday night. ``He's not happy with his offense,'' Hurdle said. ``His defensive game has been very, very refreshing.''

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