KANSAS CITY: RHP Joakim Soria was activated from the 15-day DL on Thursday and optioned RHP Ryan Braun to Triple-A Omaha. Soria was placed on the DL on May 26 with shoulder inflammation. The move was retroactive to May 23. He is 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA and is 10-for-13 in save opportunities. Soria has appeared in 21 games. Braun had no record and a 7.24 ERA in 10 appearances. ... OF Joey Gathright had five hits in two games since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday, including three on Thursday. Gathright and 1B Alex Gordon, who had four hits, combined for seven of Kansas City's nine hits in Thursday's 8-3 loss. ... DH Mike Sweeney was given the day off Thursday. ... RHP David Riske has pitched 15 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings since May 1. ... The Royals completed their seven game road trip to Tampa Bay and Cleveland with a 3-4 record. ... Kansas City returns to interleague play Friday by hosting Philadelphia in a three game series.
CLEVELAND: RHP Jake Westbrook (strained left abdominal) will make his second rehabittation start for Double-A Akron on Friday. He is scheduled to throw about 75 pitches. It's expected Westbrook will make a third rehab start being being activated. ... The Indians play six of their next seven games in National League parks. Cleveland plays at Cincinnati in a three game series that begins Friday. After returning home Monday for a makeup game against Seattle, they open a three game series at Florida on Tuesday. ... Manager Eric Wedge said DH Travis Hafner would see some action at first base in games in NL parks. Hafner has started four games at first this season. ... Indians pitchers have been taking batting practice to get ready for the interleague games. ... OF Jason Michaels is batting .341 (14-for-41) in his last 16 games.... OF Trot Nixon is batting .200 (4-for-20) in his last six games.
Devil Rays-Blue Jays
TAMPA BAY: Delmon Young's two-run single in the ninth inning gave the Devil Rays a 5-3 victory over Toronto on Thursday, giving the Devil Rays consecutive road wins since June 16 and 17, 2006 at Philadelphia. ... Al Reyes recorded his 15th straight save, extending his team record for consecutive saves to start the season. ... OF Carl Crawford went 3-for-5 Thursday and was 8-for-16 with seven RBIs in the three-game series. He also scored six runs and stole two bases.
TORONTO: The Blue Jays designated RHP Tomo Ohka for assignment and inserted RHP Josh Towers back into the starting rotation. Towers, who went 1-3 in three April starts before being demoted to the bullpen, will start Monday in San Francisco. ... RHP A.J. Burnett struck out a season-high 13 batters in Thursday's 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay. It's his highest strikeout total since April 22, 2005, when he struck out 13 Cincinnati batters while pitching for Florida. ... Alex Rios hit his 14th home run of the season Thursday, a two-run shot off Edwin Jackson. No other Blue Jays batter has hit more than eight homers this season.
Red Sox-Athletics
ona said before Thursday's game. ``I think our intensity has been good. There's been some frustration.'' ...
OAKLAND: Oakland used its first-round draft pick on RHP James Simmons from UC Riverside. Simmons was 11-3 with a 2.40 ERA this season, striking out 116 batters and walking only 15. ... The A's were one-hit for the first time since July 7, 2006, against John Lackey of the Angels. ... OF Milton Bradley missed his fifth straight game with soreness in his right calf. Manager Bob Geren hopes Bradley will be able to play in Friday's series opener at San Francisco. ... Injured pitchers Rich Harden and Huston Street both felt good a day after throwing on the side. ``That's positive news for our pitching staff,'' Geren said.
Yankees-White Sox
were both given the day off Thursday. ...RHP Andrew Brackman was the Yankees first round selection, 30th overall, in Thursdays draft. Alex Rodriguez saw Brackman pitch for North Carolina last year and was very excited to see the selection of the 6-foot-10 junior. ``Im pumped about this guy,'' Rodriguez said. ``A guy like that usually isn't around after the 10th pick.'' ...Venezuelan C Jesus Montero, who was signed a $2 million deal last July as a 16-year-old, sprained his right ankle during an extended spring training game this week. Montero has the ankle in a boot and is expected to start a rehab program for a two to three weeks.
draft Thursday - No. 25 overall - to select left-hander Aaron Poreda of the University of San Francisco. Poreda, 20, is 6-foot-6 and weighs 240 pounds. ``We expect him to move through out minor league system at an accelerated pace,'' said director of amateur scouting Duane Shaffer. The White Sox have now taken a pitcher with their first pick for three straight years, grabbing Kyle McCulloch last season and Lance Broadway in 2005.
DETROIT: Manager Jim Leyland has been briefed by baseball officials on his duties as the American League All-Star manager. ``It's pretty complicated,'' he said. Leyland says it's a game he wants to win, what with home field advantage in the World Series for the victorious league at stake, but he also recognizes that it's an opportunity to display the skills of the game's stars. ``I'm definitely going to play that game to win, but I don't want to lose sight of the fact that it's a showcase for the greatest players,'' he said. ``It's their show.''. ...The Tigers have drawn NL powers like the Mets, Braves and Brewers on their interleague schedule, but Leyland won't complain even though his team's AL Central rival, the Cleveland Indians, have drawn an easier set of NL opponents. ``I don't care,'' he said. The Tigers host the Mets in a three-game series over the weekend.
TEXAS: 1B Mark Teixeira was back in the lineup after being pulled in the fifth inning on Wednesday night due to a stiff neck. Teixeira extended his club-record consecutive games streak to 506 on Thursday night. ...Jerry Hairston Jr. made his first start of the season at 3B on Thursday night, his fourth different starting position this year. ``He can play anywhere,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``If they hit it down there, he'll catch it.''. ... DH Sammy Sosa entered Thursday night without a homer in 12 games, leaving him stalled at 598 career homers. But Washington says he's not concerned that Sosa might be pressing to reach 600. ``He's gonna get it,'' Washington said. ``When and where, I don't know. I don't think it's wearing on him. I just think some of the pitching we've been facing lately, they're not allowing it. They're not making mistakes.''
e in 354 at-bats dating from Aug. 23.
WASHINGTON: Nook Logan is giving up switch-hitting for now. Logan is batting .314 this season as a right-hander and .231 as a lefty and lately has been platooned in center field with Ryan Langerhans. Manager Manny Acta said the platoon will continue, although Logan might get the occasional righty-vs.-righty at-bat if it's not a crucial point in the game. ``If it comes down to crunch time, there's no time for experiment,'' Acta said. ``Then I can pinch-hit for him.'' ... Acta said he will use a rotation of Ryan Zimmerman, Dmitri Young and Austin Kearns at designated hitter during the Nationals' nine-game road stretch against American League teams, starting Friday at Minnesota.
t saves before Thursday.
COLORADO: Manager Clint Hurdle said he looks forward to interleague play, especially the team's trip to Boston. ``You feel like you're playing in a museum when you're at Fenway Park,'' Hurdle said. ... Hurdle hasn't set in stone who he'll use as a DH in interleague games. ``I've got a bunch of different lineups drawn up,'' Hurdle said. ``It could be Jeff Baker or Willy Taveras and I have one where Todd Helton is DH and Baker plays first.'' ... Colorado is 4-0-1 in the last four series and finished 6-4 on the 10-game homestand. ... OF Matt Holliday leads the majors with 88 hits and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.
es to New York.
NEW YORK: OF Endy Chavez was placed on the disabled list with a pulled left hamstring and the team activated second baseman Jose Valentin, who had been out since April with a knee injury. Chavez had an MRI exam and said doctors told him he could miss four to six weeks while resting and rehabilitating the injury. Chavez was injured Wednesday night running to first trying to beat out a double-play grounder in the seventh inning of New York's 4-2 loss to the Phillies. The Mets now have three outfielders on the DL, with Chavez joining regular starters Moises Alou (left quad) and Shawn Green (right foot). Green expects to be ready to play when he's eligible to come off the DL Sunday against Detroit. The Mets hoped Alou could play this week, but he's still bothered by his injury. ... The Mets didn't have a first-round draft pick because of their free agent signing of Alou. New York selected RHP Eddie Kunz of Oregon State with its first pick, No. 42 overall.
nd would have made the trip on Thursday if not for weather problems. Piniella said the MRI showed patella tendinitis, and it is hoped Ramirez can avoid the disabled list. ``We're going to see how he responds with treatment and with rest over the weekend, and then try to make a decision, probably Monday,'' Piniella said. ``But if we can ride this thing out, I think that's our preference.''
ATLANTA: RHP John Smoltz was encouraged that his sore right shoulder felt better, but said it's too early to know if he'll be able to make Sunday's scheduled start. Smoltz said if he does experience more discomfort in the shoulder before Sunday, he may have his next start pushed back to Tuesday at Minnesota. ``This is one of those situations where you just wait it out,'' he said. ... The team's first-round pick, OF Jason Heyward of nearby Henry County High in McDonough, Ga., visited the team during batting practice.
start no matter what happens on Friday. ... The Reds are 3-8 in their last 11 road series, including this one against the Cardinals. ... RHP Marcus McBeth made his major league debut Wednesday, working a perfect eighth against the Cardinals. ``I just felt good about being in control of my emotions,'' McBeth said. ``It was a great opportunity.'' ... The Reds and Cardinals entered the game tied for the major league lead with 25 pinch hits. ... SS Alex Gonzalez (hamstring) was not in the lineup for the third straight game.
ST. LOUIS: C Gary Bennett, beaned by Aaron Harang on Tuesday, was back in the lineup after sitting out one game as a precaution. ``I figured it would be a day or two,'' Bennett said. ``But yes, it's a relief.'' ... Scott Rolen had two hits and played well defensively in his return to the lineup after missing three games because of a strained right hamstring. He also stole third after doubling in the second, noting that Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo was ignoring him. ``That wasn't really baserunning, just pitcher's indifference I think,'' Rolen said. ``I didn't even have to run hard on that one.'' ... Closer Jason Isringhausen said he just reacted when making a bare-handed stop on pinch-hitter Jeff Conine's comebacker in the ninth. ``I hope I never get hurt doing it,'' Isringhausen said. ``It's just a reflex. I don't think about it, I just do it.''
LOS ANGELES: CF Juan Pierre, who's in a 4-for-32 skid, got the night off. ``We're giving Juan a day off to see if he can regroup,'' manager Grady Little said. With Padres ace Jake Peavy starting, ``It has a lot to do with matchups,'' Little said. ``It's as good a day as any to give him a day.'' Pierre, who is batting .269, will be back in the leadoff spot Friday night, Little said. Brady Clark started in CF Thursday night and batted eighth.
SAN DIEGO: Trevor Hoffman was honored before Thursday's game for becoming the first big leaguer to reach 500 saves. With sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan forming a 500 in the outfield, Hoffman listened to a video message from Hall of Fame-electee Tony Gwynn, received a proclamation from Mayor Jerry Sanders and received a No. 500 jersey signed by his teammates from bullpen catcher Mark Merila. Merila, who's battling a brain tumor, wasn't able to be at the ballpark Wednesday night, when Hoffman saved a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... SS Khalil Greene missed his third straight game due to a sore right elbow and was once again replaced in the lineup by Geoff Blum.
SAN FRANCISCO: LF Barry Bonds returned to the starting lineup after missing the first two games of the series with shin splints. ``I'm feeling a lot better,'' Bonds said, standing at his locker before heading out for batting practice. The slugger took his pregame cuts for the first time since Monday. He has been taking prednisone to help lessen the swelling in his legs. ... RHP Russ Ortiz went on the DL for the second time, this time with a strained right forearm. He had an MRI exam Thursday and is scheduled to see team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki back in San Francisco on Friday. The team recalled LHP Jonathan Sanchez from Triple-A Fresno to fill the roster spot. ... Ryan Klesko made his first start in RF since May 12, 2002, at Atlanta, while with the San Diego Padres. ... The Giants selected LHP Madison Bumgarner 10th overall to highlight a busy day of first-round picks - and he is someone the club believes could make a rapid rise through the organization. San Francisco had six picks among the first 51, getting two pitchers, a catcher, two infielders and an outfielder - five out of high school and one from the college ranks. If the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Bumgarner pans out as quickly as his 2006 counterpart - tiny Tim Lincecum - the Giants would be thrilled. Lincecum was the club's 10th overall pick last year out of Washington and he is starting in the big leagues at age 22. ``Madison Bumgarner has power stuff, is left-handed, has a good breaking ball and pretty good command for a high school kid,'' said Dick Tidrow, San Francisco's vice president of player personnel. ``We see him as a fast mover. He has a power curveball and high velocity fastball.''
ARIZONA: INF Chad Tracy, on the DL since May 16 with soreness in his left rib cage, made his first rehab start with Triple-A Tucson and was scheduled to go again for the Sidewinders on Friday. He is close to being activated. ``Saturday at the earliest, Monday at the latest,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ``Make sure there is no fatigue in the area so when he comes back he can play nine innings and not have to think about it.'' ... Starter Livan Hernandez had allowed Bonds to hit .364 with three homers and four RBIs in 11 career at-bats against the right-hander. Hernandez is a former Giant and teammate of the seven-time NL MVP. ... Melvin doesn't want to diminish Tony Clark's at-bats when Tracy returns. Melvin needs to keep Clark sharp for late-game situations. ... LF Eric Byrnes was still enjoying the memory of his flip play to throw out Ray Durham. ``That was fun,'' he said with a grin.

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