Twins-White Sox
MINNESOTA: Joe Mauer continues to scrape off the rust he had been carrying since his return from a five-week stint on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps. He had four hits and tied a career high with five RBIs to help the Twins beat the White Sox 20-14 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. ``Every hitter goes through slumps,'' he said. ``I felt pretty good today.'' ... OF Rondell White was in for seven innings Thursday in a Triple-A rehab game, going 2-for-4 while playing left field. ``He's doing fine,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said, adding that the Twins want White to play four nine-inning games before returning. ... The Twins' first three hitters combined to go 10-for-23 and score 12 runs in the first game.
ching, and Buehrle's name has surfaced in trade speculation. His contract is up after the season. Although he and the White Sox have reportedly agreed on the length (four years) and financial terms ($56 million) of a potential extension, negotiations stalled when the White Sox refused to include a full no-trade clause. So the sight of Buehrle packing raised a few eyebrows, even though he said he was just bringing stuff home over the All-Star break. ``You can read whatever you want into it,'' he said. ``You can say I got traded now, and I'm just packing my stuff if you wanted to. I'm just getting extra stuff that I've been meaning to for a while.'' ... Manager Ozzie Guillen said RHP Jose Contreras is healthy, even though his statistics don't look too good. Contreras is 5-10 with a 5.19 ERA, and he allowed six runs in five innings during Wednesday's 9-6 loss to Baltimore. ... The White Sox placed reliever Mike MacDougal on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and activated right-hander Dewon Day (sore back).
Red Sox-Tigers
d Ortiz wasn't in the lineup, per Francona's plan. ``He's fine - it is just a day off,'' Francona said of his slugger, who has only one extra-base hit in his last 12 games. ... RHP Curt Schilling, on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, was not interested in talking about his health. ``I don't have time for that right now,'' he said before walking in the clubhouse.
DETROIT: OF Magglio Ordonez said he'll participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday night, then fellow All-Star Carlos Guillen joked about not being invited. ``I didn't make the lineup,'' the shortstop said. ``I got no pop. I'm not a BP hitter.'' ... When INF Neifi Perez was suspended for 25 games for testing positive for a stimulant, Detroit chose to purchase Ryan Raburn's contract from Triple-A Toledo because of his versatility. ``He can play center field. He can play second base and third base,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ... C Ivan Rodriguez was rested and is expected to play in the final two games of the series.
o win at least 10 games before the All-Star break since 1991, when Mark Langston and Chuck Finley did it. Lackey will start Saturday against Roger Clemens and the Yankees.
NEW YORK: Johnny Damon started in left field for the first time since June 22, 2001, with Oakland. Melky Cabrera, who's been filling in for the banged-up Damon, took over in center field. ``I just want to leave Melky in center,'' manager Joe Torre said. Torre said he considered making the shift Thursday, but didn't want Damon to try it during a day game because of the tough glare from the sun. ``I'm sure left field is going to be a challenge for a little bit,'' Damon said. ``Melky has stepped up in center field. I understand.'' ... Andy Phillips was a late scratch because of a sore neck. Miguel Cairo started in his place at first base. ... Saturday is Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. Fittingly, Roger Clemens will start for the Yankees, less than a month before his 45th birthday.
Indians-Blue Jays
ced by Mike Rouse. Barfield has played in 80 games this season, second on the team to OF Grady Sizemore (85). ... Indians pitchers entered play having allowed a major league-low 211 walks. San Diego pitchers have issued the second-fewest walks (223).
TORONTO: OF Reed Johnson was activated from the 60-day disabled list and started in left field. Johnson batted second, behind OF Vernon Wells, who is hitting .341 with six home runs in 10 games as the leadoff hitter. OF Adam Lind was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Johnson, out since April 12 because of surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. ... 3B Troy Glaus, who left Wednesday's game after fouling a ball off his foot, will not play in the three-game series against Cleveland. Glaus has missed time with heel and hamstring pain this season. ... 1B Lyle Overbay (broken right hand) began a rehab assignment with Double-A New Hampshire. Overbay, who hasn't played since June 3, is expected to return following the All-Star break.
Devil Rays-Royals
I'm a baseball player and not a boxer.'' Raul Casanova was expected to catch the next two days and possibly on Sunday. ... Manager Joe Maddon said pitching coach Jim Hickey will probably rejoin the team on Saturday. He's been sidelined for almost two weeks after surgery to reattach the retina in his right eye.
KANSAS CITY: DH Mike Sweeney will be out at least a month following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday. ... The Royals activated 2B Mark Grudzielanek from the DL and put him in the lineup. OF Shane Costa was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. ... OF Reggie Sanders is expected to come off the DL shortly after the All-Star break. He's been out since May 3 with a left hamstring tear. ... The Royals' July 4 postgame fireworks show fizzled out because rain made some of the equipment wet, sending many fans heading for the exits feeling cheated. So everyone in attendance will get to turn in their ticket for any remaining game on the home schedule. The team and the fireworks company have apologized for the fiasco.
le to begin throwing in the bullpen after the break. Trachsel is out with a strained gluteus muscle.
TEXAS: RHP Vicente Padilla had another bullpen session and is scheduled for his first minor league rehab outings for Double-A Frisco on July 12 and 17. Manager Ron Washington said the earliest Padilla could rejoin the rotation is July 22 against Cleveland. Padilla, who began the season as the team's No. 2 starter, has been out since June 25 due to inflammation behind his right elbow. ... Bench coach Art Howe was suspended by the commissioner's office for Friday night's game and fined an undisclosed amount as punishment for an ejection on July 3. Third base coach Don Wakamatsu filled in for Howe as Washington's top adviser. Howe was tossed for arguing from the dugout with plate umpire John Hirschbeck.
merican Baseball Research. ... LHP Horacio Ramirez allowed one run, one hit and one walk in six innings of a rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. He will pitch again Tuesday in Peoria, Ariz.
OAKLAND: Manager Bob Geren talked to AL All-Star manager Jim Leyland on Thursday to let him know Dan Haren would be available to start the All-Star game next week. Leyland told Geren that Haren, who leads the AL with a 2.20 ERA coming into Friday, was under consideration. ``I just told him our guy can go either one inning or two innings and he appreciated that,'' Geren said. ... Both Lenny DiNardo and Joe Kennedy will be available in relief Saturday when RHP Rich Harden makes his first start since April 15. Geren said the team will decide over the All-Star break which of the two lefties will stay in the rotation when the second half starts. ... Closer Huston Street threw 30 pitches from halfway up the mound as he works his way back from irritation in his right ulnar nerve. ... 3B Eric Chavez (stiff lower back) did not start for the second straight day but hopes to be in the lineup Saturday.
CHICAGO: The Cubs are trying for a fifth consecutive series victory this weekend in Pittsburgh. Despite winning 11 of 13 going into the series, manager Lou Piniella welcomes the All-Star break. ``We could use a break. I think every team in baseball could use a break,'' he said. ... Cliff Floyd, removed from Thursday's game in Washington with a sore right arm, will be used only as a pinch hitter until the break. ... The Cubs are carrying 14 position positions and 11 pitchers, but Piniella said that's likely to change next week. ``We need another right-handed bat,'' he said. ``We'll probably have to rearrange our roster a little after the break.'' ... As Piniella talked with reporters Friday, his office phone rang. When he answered, he looked up and said, ``My wife's giving me the lineup for the day.''
PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke won't throw for a couple of weeks as he waits for his aching left elbow to calm down. After tests conducted by the Pirates' doctors revealed irritation in his ulnar collateral ligament, Duke sought a second opinion Friday from orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. His findings were nearly the same, according to the Pirates. ... Rookie RHP John Van Benschoten faces the Cubs for the first time in his career Saturday.
nce Fielder, whose 27 homers lead the National League, will participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday as part of the All-Star game festivities in San Francisco. Fielder is the fifth Brewer to compete, following Greg Vaughn (1996), Jeromy Burnitz (1999), Richie Sexson (2002-03) and Carlos Lee (2005).
WASHINGTON: LHP Ross Detwiler, the sixth overall selection in last month's first-year player draft, signed a contract on Friday that includes a $2.15 million bonus. Detwiler, out of Missouri State, is the highest pick from this year's draft to sign and will report Saturday to the Gulf Coast League Nationals in Viera, Fla. ``You can't get up to the major leagues if you're not playing at all,'' he said. ``I didn't want to waste the 2007 season. I didn't' like sitting at home.'' ... Injured 1B Nick Johnson, who has missed the entire season while recovering from a broken right leg, will undergo a nerve test in New York during the All-Star break to determine the cause of persistent pain in his right hip. ``I don't want it to keep lingering on. ... I want to see why the pain in there,'' Johnson said.
ARIZONA: OF Jeff Salazar was happy to start his first game after being recalled Friday. ``It's better this way than sitting around for a couple of days ,'' said Salazar, who was recalled from Triple-A Tucson and started in right field. ``Then you can start thinking about things. I guess they want to catch you before you get into your own head.'' ... OF Carlos Quentin was optioned to Tucson to make room for Salazar. Quentin hit .210 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 66 games. ``We need to give Carlos a break,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ``He puts a lot of pressure on himself. We told him he's still our right fielder.'' ... Even though Mark Reynolds went 2-for-3 Thursday, 3B Chad Tracy returned to the starting lineup after getting Thursday off. ``It was difficult not to start Mark,'' Melvin admitted.
CINCINNATI: Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang will start the first two games of the Reds' four-game series at New York after the All-Star break, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday. Matt Belisle, Kyle Lohse and Homer Bailey will follow. ``You always want to go with your best guys and give them as many starts as you can,'' Mackanin said, adding that he wanted to avoid matching Bailey - who is slow to the plate - against the Mets' speed. ... LHP Bill Bray is scheduled to pitch two innings for Triple-A Louisville on Saturday. Bray has missed the entire season with injuries to his left index finger and shoulder. ... Mackanin said he plans to keep C Javier Valentin sharp by giving him at least three starts every week.
NEW YORK: Mets' 23-year-old pitcher Mike Pelfrey hasn't fared well in his time in the majors this season, but manager Willie Randolph believes he'll figure things out. ``He's young,'' Randolph said. ``He's learning. He's got a long way to go. He's trying to find his way.'' He isn't concerned that too many early losses will hinder his development. ``I think he's tough enough that he sees this as a growing experience,'' Randolph said. ``He's a sharp kid, he just needs to settle in and trust his stuff.'' ... Mets prospect Lastings Milledge played for Double-A Binghamton Thursday night in his fourth game since spraining his right foot in a game with Triple-A New Orleans on April 23. He went 2-for-5 with a solo homer. ... Randolph celebrated his 53rd birthday on Friday.
in the area. They all eventually made it, but some said it took hours to make the trip that normally takes just minutes.
SAN FRANCISCO: RHP Vinnie Chulk might stay on the bereavement list until after the All-Star break. He traveled to Florida earlier in the week to support his father through heart surgery. His dad came out of it OK, according to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, but Chulk could opt to stay with his family rather than join the team for its final three games before the break. ... LHP Jonathan Sanchez, nursing a rib cage strain on his left side, played light catch and felt no pain. He made 15 throws and plans to increase that Saturday. ... Backup C Eliezer Alfonzo, on the 60-day DL recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, hopes to begin some light running after the All-Star break. ... Injured RHP Russ Ortiz (strained forearm) threw a bullpen session Thursday and is slated to pitch another side Sunday, working in some of his off-speed stuff. He injured himself throwing a slider, so Sunday will be a good test.
been all year long and all of a sudden somebody points out a negative because of no home runs.'' ... UT Scott Spiezio, who hasn't played since June 26 because of an infection in his left index finger, was out of the lineup for the ninth straight game. But La Russa said Spiezio could see some action this weekend. ... Closer Jason Isringhausen had an 0.50 ERA, allowing one earned run in 18 innings in 16 home games, after picking up saves on Wednesday and Thursday. ... LHP Randy Flores had allowed 14 of 22 inherited runners to score, a number that La Russa said ``has got to be improved.''
PHILADELPHIA: RHP Tom Gordon will make his second appearance Monday on a rehab assignment at Single-A Clearwater. ``He had good velocity Thursday,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ... Manuel planned to use C Carlos Ruiz on either Saturday or Sunday. ``It's because of what Chris Coste has done,'' Manuel said. ``Chris has handled our pitchers well and swung the bat well.'' ... Manuel watched Wednesday's Rockies-New York Mets game when Colorado had 17 runs and 20 hits. ``I thought Colorado was using regular balls and the Mets were hitting the humidor balls,'' he said.
COLORADO: 2B Jamey Carroll has been cleared to play after spraining his right wrist before Tuesday's game with the Mets. ``I could have used him in some capacity on Wednesday,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ... The Rockies have been on a roller coaster emotionally, winning once on a 10-game road trip before sweeping a three-game home series from the Mets. ``It was a really bad trip, really bad and we followed it up with one our better series,'' Hurdle said. ``You can let yourself get too low or too high in this game.'' ... OF Cory Sullivan and his wife Bresee became parents for the first time.
FLORIDA: 2B Dan Uggla will be inducted into the Class-A Lancaster JetHawks' Hall of Fame on Aug. 18, joining Dodgers CF Juan Pierre - a 2004 inductee. Uggla will be presented with his Hall of Fame plaque in front of the Marlins' dugout before Saturday night's game at Dodger Stadium by the family he lived with while he played there. The presentation will be videotaped and played at the actual induction ceremony. ... Entering Friday night's game at Los Angeles, the bullpen had allowed one unearned run in 11 innings and totaled 14 strikeouts over the previous four games. RHP Justin Miller has given up one run in 11 2-3 innings over his last 12 appearances, and has retired his first batter in 22 of 24 outings.
him his unconditional release. ... LHP Joe Beimel returned to the clubhouse and was cleared to pitch after being hospitalized for two days with heart palpitations. ``They don't know what caused it. They think it was something electrical that happened in there,'' Beimel said. ``I found out a cousin of mine had it two weeks ago, and they had to shock his heart to get it back to normal. That's what I ended up having. They gave me medication, but it didn't work. I can't say I really that scared about it, just because the doctors told me what it was.'' ... RHP Brad Penny should be good to go in next Tuesday's All-Star game after working up a callus that led to a water blister in Thursday's start. ``They feel like he'll be fine,'' manager Grady Little said. ``They're treating it and they'll have it well under control. It's something that may cut him back from two innings to one inning in an All-Star situation. We would recommend he didn't pitch if we thought it would affect anything after the break, but we don't feel that way about this.''
RA in 17 starts with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Richmond, is scheduled to start in Smoltz's place against the Padres on Saturday, when he'll make his big league debut. Reyes is from Riverside, Calif. ``I met his parents in Los Angeles,'' manager Bobby Cox said. ``I knew we were considering this but I couldn't tell them for sure. The kid's really doing well.'' ... Cox loves coming to San Diego's Petco Park. ``Oh man, what's better, this ballpark or the weather?'' Cox said. ``I'd take that combination. It's really nice, boy oh boy.''
SAN DIEGO: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, mired in a 4-for-47 slump since June 23, got the night off and was replaced by Geoff Blum. Gonzalez will more than likely be back in the lineup for Saturday afternoon's game. Gonzalez's average has dropped from .294 to .265. ... Relief pitcher Doug Brocail (strained gluteus) was eligible to come off the DL, but will get at least one more day. ... OF Milton Bradley, on the DL with an oblique strain, continues to hit from both sides of the plate in batting practice. Manager Bud Black said there's a chance Bradley could be activated before the All-Star break.

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