Devil Rays-Red Sox
TAMPA BAY: Carl Crawford got his 900th career hit. He is the 23rd player since World War II to reach the mark before his 26th birthday. ... Tampa Bay placed reliever Al Reyes on the 15-day disabled list with a mild rotator cuff strain and recalled LHP Jon Switzer from Triple-A Durham. ... Raul Casanova hit his fourth homer of the season and second in his last three games.
BOSTON: The Red Sox improved to 20-6 in day games, the best mark in the majors. ... RHP Tim Wakefield has a decision in all 17 of his starts. That's the most starts without a no-decision since at least 1980, according to STATS statistical service. ... Jonathan Papelbon is the first Red Sox pitcher with consecutive 20-save seasons since Derek Lowe saved 62 games from 1999-2000. Papelbon is the second pitcher in club history with 20 or more saves in his first two full major league seasons, joining Dick Radatz, who saved 59 games from 1962-63.
MINNESOTA: The Twins have won seven straight day games and 11 of their last 12. They are 16-10 in day games this season. ... LF Jason Kubel's seventh-inning homer was the Twins' first in 128 at-bats. ... OF Rondell White left Tuesday night's rehab game with Class-A Fort Myers after one inning because of tightness in his injured right calf. Manager Ron Gardenhire said it's not serious. White has been out since April 5.
NEW YORK: Manager Joe Torre spoke with owner George Steinbrenner before Wednesday's game to wish him a happy 77th birthday. ``Of course, he wanted a win for his birthday and I couldn't deliver,'' Torre said. The Yankees lost 6-2 to the Twins. ... LF Hideki Matsui is batting .400 (6-for-15) in his career against Twins ace Johan Santana. Matsui's second-inning homer was only the fourth by a lefty batter against Santana this season. ... Minor league RHP Joba Chamberlain had a career-high 12 strikeouts in Double-A Trenton's 2-0 victory over Harrisburg on Tuesday. ... Alex Rodriguez is in a season-worst 0-for-19 skid.
Blue Jays-Athletics
' Gibbons said. ``I think he'll have a big second half, I really do. That will be big for us.'' ... Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus left in the third inning with an injured left foot. X-rays were inconclusive and Glaus will be checked out again Thursday at home.
OAKLAND: RHP Rich Harden felt good after his latest bullpen session and could be in line to return to the rotation Saturday against Seattle. Harden, who has made three relief appearances since coming off the DL on June 21, hasn't started since April 15. ``He had a lot of power to his game down there,'' pitching coach Curt Young said. ``He's getting back to his regular mode.'' ... RHP Huston Street (nerve irritation in his right elbow) threw off the front of the mound from about 50 feet for a second straight day and is targeting July 20 as a possible return date. ``We're not taking it easy,'' Street said. ``I'm on the path to getting back as soon as possible.''
ue record of 91. The statistic has been kept since 1974.
CLEVELAND: RHP Rafael Betancourt doesn't plan to speed up his pitching routine, despite being called for automatic balls twice Tuesday because he took too much time between pitches. ``When I pitch, I don't count how many seconds I have between every pitch,'' he said. ``I don't know what the rules are, but I'm not going to change the way I pitch.'' Indians manager Eric Wedge thought the Tigers might have mentioned Betancourt's dawdling to the umpires. ``I don't know if Detroit or Jim or one of those guys over there pointed it out, but somebody gave them a heads-up,'' he said. ``Just let the kids play the game.'' ... RHP Jake Westbrook made his second Independence Day start in a row. Last season, he allowed one unearned run in seven innings as the Indians routed the Yankees 19-1 at Jacobs Field.
Orioles-White Sox
led up from Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles have 10 days to trade or release Williamson, and Trembley said the reliever will likely find a job on another club. ``Williamson has a proven track record,'' Trembley said. ``I'm sure there are a lot of teams that are looking for bullpen help for guys with experience.''
CHICAGO: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen gave catcher A.J. Pierzynski the night off. ... Guillen said he hasn't talked to general manager Ken Williams about any potential trades. ... With a doubleheader on Friday against the Twins, Guillen said he will likely start reliever Nick Masset in the second game. Masset started May 20 against the Cubs and earned the win by lasting 5 2-3 innings. He is 2-3 with a 6.95 ERA in 23 games this season. ... OF Jermaine Dye returned to the lineup Monday after missing nine games with a strained left quadriceps and is hitless in eight at-bats since returning.
uising his thumb on Monday and was still day-to-day. ... The Mariners have won the season series against the Royals for the eighth year in a row.
KANSAS CITY: DH Mike Sweeney will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday and be out indefinitely. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Steven Joyce. Sweeney had hoped to be back by Friday. He's been on the DL with inflammation in his knee. His surgery will allow rookie Billy Butler to log more time in the big leagues. He planned on returning to Triple-A Omaha once Sweeney got back. Butler had six RBIs on Tuesday night, one short of the team record. ... Manager Buddy Bell said 2B Mark Grudzielanek might be ready to get back in the lineup by Friday. ``We're shooing for Friday, but we're not sure,'' Bell.
season it looked like he was searching for something,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``(Tuesday) he pounded the zone, and you can see his stuff is there. We're very excited about him.''
TEXAS: RHP Vicente Padilla threw off flat ground again as he continued rehabbing from inflammation behind his right elbow that landed him on the 15-day DL on June 25. Padilla will have another throwing session on Friday before team management and medical personnel decide on the next step, which will include a few minor league outings. ... Bench coach Art Howe was thrown out of Tuesday night's game for arguing from the dugout with plate umpire John Hirschbeck, but Ron Washington hasn't been ejected thus far in his first season as a big league manager. ``I don't come to the ballpark to get tossed and argue with umpires,'' Washington said. ``The times that I've argued that I thought they missed the play, the umpires have let me say what I've had to say, they didn't toss me. That tells me right there that I was right.''
her inning. ... The Cubs need a win in Thursday's game to capture their fifth straight series ... Chicago had a 42-41 record after Wednesday's loss. The Cubs were just 30-53 at the same point last year.
WASHINGTON: The 6-0 victory over Chicago on Wednesday was the team's first shutout since May 11 against the Marlins. ... Even though the Nationals ranked next-to-last in hitting in the NL, they've hit five grand slams, tied for second in the majors. ... Dmitri Young's grand slam was the sixth of his career. ... Young leads Washington with 28 multi-hit games this season. ... Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning homer was his first in 15 games. ... Matt Chico's victory on Wednesday was his first since May 17. Chico has allowed just two runs on 14 hits in his last three starts. He's thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings during that stretch.
ief to get that one out of the way.'' ... Barry Bonds spent time with Ken Griffey Jr. and his family on the field before the game, and planned to get together with them again afterward.
CINCINNATI: RHP Matt Belisle was surprised that interim manager Pete Mackanin took him out of the game after the fourth inning, when he'd thrown only 61 pitches. ``I didn't see it coming,'' Belisle said. ``Obviously, I gave up the grand slam, but I didn't see it coming.'' Mackanin didn't like what he saw of Belisle, who hasn't won since May 29. ``I think he can be a real good pitcher, but he ran into a little adversity there and I didn't sense a lot of fortitude,'' the interim manager said. ``Maybe fortitude isn't the right word. Maybe savvy.'' ... The Reds have given up five grand slams this season.
Wednesday, a punishment that stemmed from an argument with umpire Bill Welke on June 17. Ruiz injured his right quadriceps late in Tuesday's 5-4 loss and the suspension gave him a chance to rest it. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn't sure about the seriousness of the injury. ``Hopefully, it's not too bad,'' Manuel said. ``I'm sure he'll get tested in the next day or two.''
ne of the most exciting weeks I've ever had in my career,'' Garner said.
MILWAUKEE: SS J.J. Hardy (flu-like symptoms) was out of the lineup for a second consecutive day Wednesday, even though manager Ned Yost said the All-Star felt much better and could have played. Craig Counsell started again. ... CF Bill Hall also did not start. ... Expected to get a day off Thursday is 1B Prince Fielder, who has played in all 84 games this season. ``He's not wearing down,'' Yost said, ``but he's going to need a day off.'' ... Thursday's game in Pittsburgh will be Milwaukee's seventh day game in the last eight, unusual for this time of the season. But Yost hadn't noticed. ``Just go and play,'' he said.
rzelanny (8-4, 3.05 ERA) pitches Thursday, the last day of fan balloting that will decide the final player on the NL All-Star team.
ARIZONA: LHP Randy Johnson, placed on the 15-day DL on Tuesday for the third time due to a back injury, returned home Wednesday to work with his personal trainer. Manager Bob Melvin said RHP Yusmeiro Petit, who had a strong outing on Tuesday as Johnson's replacement, has earned another start on Sunday. ... LHP Doug Davis, who starts on Friday in St. Louis, is 2-7 with a 3.71 ERA in nine road games this season. ... Melvin stuck with the same lineup, featuring Eric Byrnes in the third slot and alternating left-handed and right-handed bats throughout the lineup, following a 7-1 victory on Tuesday night. ``We had a nice game so we'll run the same guys out,'' Melvin said.
about RHP Chris Carpenter's ugly numbers for his first rehab start Tuesday. Carpenter lasted 1 1-3 innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on Tuesday for Class A Palm Beach. ``I think you count mostly what he said, and he said he felt good,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ``That's more important than what the stats are.''
NEW YORK: Manager Willie Randolph isn't stunned that the Mets were limited to five runs in the first two games of the Colorado series after scoring 22 runs in four games at Philadelphia. ``We swung the bats pretty well in Philadelphia, but this is a different situation,'' he said. ``It's a little surprising when your guys don't hit, but that's the game.'' ... Randolph tipped his cap to the play of former Met Kaz Matsui. ``He'd shown flashes of that with us too,'' Randolph said. ``I've always said that if he plays he has a chance to be productive.'' ... The Mets haven't named a starter for Sunday's game in Houston. Among the options are RHP Phillip Humber and LHP Dave Williams.
ties between Hernandez and LHP Tom Glavine. ``Neither of those guys rattle,'' Hurdle said. ``Both are disciplined and experienced and aren't afraid of challenging hitters.'' ... Tuesday's win assured the Rockies' first series win after losing their previous three.
FLORIDA: SS Hanley Ramirez missed his second straight start due to a tweaked left hamstring. On Tuesday night, Ramirez had a pinch-hit two-run homer that highlighted a four-run seventh inning that helped the Marlins beat the Padres 6-4. ... RHP Dontrelle Willis is expected to rejoin the team in time to make his scheduled start Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Willis left the Marlins on Tuesday because of ``family issues.''
SAN DIEGO: OF Milton Bradley, a switch-hitter who's on the DL with a strained left oblique, continued to take batting practice right-handed. On Wednesday he hit left-handed off a batting tee. ... RHP Doug Brocail, on the DL with a strained left gluteus, began a rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Lake Elsinore. ... The Padres wore their desert camouflage jerseys.
ATLANTA: RHP John Smoltz will return to Atlanta on Thursday and is set to meet with team doctors Friday about discomfort in his right shoulder. He will likely skip his final start before the All-Star break, which begins Monday. Doctors will decide what kind of test is appropriate. Smoltz (9-5, 3.07 ERA) was selected to his eighth NL All-Star team Sunday. ... The Braves faced a left-handed starter for the 39th time, most in the majors. They entered 16-22 when the opponents starts a southpaw.
LOS ANGELES: LHP Eric Stults was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take the roster spot of LHP Randy Wolf, who went on the 15-day DL with left shoulder soreness. Stults pitched briefly for the Dodgers last season and this year. He was 5-5 in 17 games (14 starts) for the Las Vegas 51s. ... The Dodgers have stolen at least one base in each of their past nine games for a total of 19 during that stretch. Their 75 steals trail only the New York Mets' 99 in the NL. ... Andre Ethier made his third start of the season in left field.

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