Angels-Devil Rays
LOS ANGELES: SS Orlando Cabrera, who is batting .125 in July and hitless in his last 17 at-bats, received a ``mental'' day off, manager Mike Scioscia said. Cabrera batted .385 in June, but Scioscia said Thursday was a good day for Cabrera ``to air himself out.'' 2B Maicer Izturis made his second start at shortstop in Cabrera's place. ... RF Vladimir Guerrero was the DH to give his legs some rest. The Angels are in a stretch of six consecutive games on artificial turf. Los Angeles plays at Minnesota this weekend.
TAMPA BAY: LF Carl Crawford went 3-for-4 and has eight hits in 15 at-bats overall against Angels RHP Kelvim Escobar. ... RF Delmon Young had two hits for his AL rookie-leading 31st multihit game. He is hitting .488 (20-for-41) during an 11-game hitting streak. ... The Devil Rays have been shut out three times this season.
Blue Jays-Yankees
TORONTO: Dustin McGowan has alternated wins and losses for his last seven decisions. ... SS John McDonald was hitless in three at-bats, leaving him in an 0-for-18 rut. ... Aaron Hill cost himself a stolen base in the fifth. He slid safely into second, but his momentum carried his hand a few inches past the bag and Derek Jeter tagged him.
NEW YORK: Banged-up leadoff man Johnny Damon went 0-for-3 with a walk and is hitless in his last 17 at-bats. He's hitting .233 and hobbling when he plays the outfield. ``I'm definitely better than what I'm showing,'' he said. ``I definitely don't want to be where I'm at.'' Manager Joe Torre shares Damon's frustration. ``You know he's better than that,'' he said. ... The Yankees have not homered in three straight games, matching a season high.
a good player. He's got major league experience. He's not going to be in awe,'' Leyland said.
MINNESOTA: Johan Santana wasn't worried about how his arm would respond to a season-high 118 pitches in Wednesday's game. ``In the last inning, I think everybody saw how I felt,'' he said. ``I felt good from the first to the last pitch.'' ... LF Jason Kubel was a late entry into Thursday's lineup when RF Michael Cuddyer (thumb) was scratched, and the struggling Kubel responded with a strong game at the plate - going 3-for-4 with a homer. ``It felt good to finally hit some balls pretty hard,'' he said. ... The last time the Twins were swept at home by the Tigers was Sept. 28-30, 1999. ... In seven games since the All-Star break, Twins starters have a 2.66 ERA in 47 1-3 innings. ... CF Torii Hunter (hamstring) expects to play Friday.
White Sox-Red Sox
CHICAGO: Manager Ozzie Guillen said he is planning to start RHP Charlie Haeger on Tuesday against Detroit, depending on whether Guillen is able to stay away from him this weekend in Boston. Haeger has made three appearances, all in relief, going 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA... Guillen said he would allow his starters to go longer into the game to help out an overtaxed bullpen.
BOSTON: RF J.D. Drew was out of the starting lineup to rest a balky hamstring on a wet night. ... RHP Curt Schilling threw a side session Wednesday and is on track to start his rehab with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. ... RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka skipped his between-start side session to help deal with the long season. In Japan, Matsuzaka pitched once a week in a shorter season.
CLEVELAND: OF Franklin Gutierrez was scratched from the starting lineup Thursday night for the series opener at Texas due to a stiff back. Manager Eric Wedge said Gutierrez would probably be available Friday night. ... LHP Aaron Fultz will remain in Cleveland and won't throw during the series in Texas as he tries to come back from a strain in his right side. Fultz has been on the 15-day DL since June 27, and has had more soreness than anticipated.
TEXAS: 1B Mark Teixeira said he's not distracted by trade rumors. ``It's really easy to come here and concentrate on your work and play the game,'' Teixeira said Thursday. ``I know there is a business side of baseball. There is a playing side of baseball, and that is what I'm going to concentrate on the last two months of the season.'' The Rangers could move Teixeira, who is eligible for salary arbitration after this season, if they get a strong offer before July 31. ``Until someone tells me otherwise, I'm a Ranger,'' he said. ``I love playing here.'' ... Going into Thursday night's game, the Rangers had the best ERA in the major leagues since June 29 at 3.16. Before that, they had the second-worst at 5.34.
ARIZONA: The Diamondbacks' bullpen had thrown 17 scoreless innings before Dustin Nippert allowed four runs in the seventh inning Thursday. The streak dated to July 13, and during the stretch the bullpen allowed seven hits with six walks and 19 strikeouts. ... 1B Conor Jackson snapped an 0-for-8 skid on the road trip with a solo home run in the seventh. ... RHP Brandon Webb starts the opener of a three-game set at Chicago on Friday and will try to pick up his first victory since June 17. Webb is 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA in his last three starts but is 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA lifetime against the Cubs.
MILWAUKEE: 3B Ryan Braun leads the Brewers with a .364 batting average (16-44) with runners in scoring position. ... OF Tony Gwynn batted leadoff for the first time since being recalled to Milwaukee on July 6. ... 2B Tony Graffanino's fourth-inning home run was his eighth of the season and matched a career high he set in 1997 while playing for the Braves. ... RHP Matt Wise singled in the seventh to pick up his first hit of the season and second of his career. His only other hit came on July 21, 2005, at St. Louis off Randy Flores.
SAN FRANCISCO: Barry Bonds now has 47 homers and 130 RBIs in his career against the Cubs in 792 at-bats. ... Bonds has been especially potent against lefty Ted Lilly with three homers in 10 at-bats against him. ... The Giants activated left-hander Jonathan Sanchez from the disabled list before the game and sent lefty Pat Misch to Triple-A Fresno. Misch was 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in six games. Out with a rib cage strain, Sanchez rejoined the team after making two rehab starts in Class-A and not giving up a run or hit in three innings. ... The wind was raging at Wrigley Field and so was Winn - Randy that is. Winn went 3-for-5 and finished the four-game set with seven hits in 16 at-bats. ... Matt Morris made his 29th career appearance against the Cubs, but first since 2005. Most came while he was with the Cardinals. He now has an 11-8 career record against the Cubs and is 6-6 in 17 outings at Wrigley Field.
ered homer No. 753 in the seventh. ``Same pitch selection as two nights ago, just didn't locate it,'' Ohman said. ``Below average pitch to a very above average hitter.'' ... Jacque Jones, who was the subject of trade rumors several weeks ago, tied his career high with four hits while playing in his 1,200th career game.
CINCINNATI: Interim manager Pete Mackanin said he met with OF Adam Dunn, who was upset about being taken out of Wednesday's game in the eighth inning and being taken out early in other games. ``There's a lot of game left. I want to be in there,'' Dunn said. ``I get bored, man. I don't have a big attention span. I got to be doing something.'' Mackanin said he was happy to meet with Dunn. ``I think it's important to let them know that I'm approachable,'' Mackanin said. ``You don't like what I'm doing, let's talk about it.'' ... OF Ken Griffey Jr., who began a four-game series at Florida with 2,501 hits, on the next milestone in that category: ``I don't think about 3,000. What's most important is 2,502.'' ... Five Reds pitchers totaled 19 strikeouts Wednesday in a 15-inning win at Atlanta, the team's highest total since Oct. 1, 1978.
FLORIDA: RHP Josh Johnson (forearm), on a rehab assignment at Class-A Jupiter, is scheduled to throw three innings or 50 pitches Friday. ... CF Cody Ross, activated from the disabled list Thursday, will be in the starting lineup against left-handers, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Ross was 9-for-20 (.450) against lefties this season with three homers and 12 RBIs.
COLORADO: LHP Brian Fuentes was disappointed that he wasn't activated off the 15-day disabled list Thursday, the first day he was eligible to return. Fuentes has been sidelined with a strained left side since July 4. ``He will not be activated today. He's not ready to pitch at this level,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``It doesn't look like it will happen this weekend. We're not sure it's a delay. We had a target date - and we didn't meet that.'' Fuentes, the team's closer, is 0-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 20 saves. He played catch before Thursday's game. ... Hurdle rearranged his starting rotation for the four-game series at Washington. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday and started Thursday's series opener. RHP Taylor Buchholz originally was slated to start Saturday, but he was sent to the bullpen, and RHP Rodrigo Lopez's start was moved from Thursday to Saturday.
-1 with a 6.57 ERA in 29 appearances this season. He pitched for the Nationals in 2005. ... C Brian Schneider returned to the starting lineup Thursday after sitting out one game with a bruised right arm. He was hit by a pitch just above his elbow Tuesday. ... The Nationals' top selection in June's amateur draft, Missouri State LHP Ross Detwiler, made his pro debut Thursday, pitching two innings for the Gulf Coast League Nationals at Viera, Fla. Detwiler, the No. 6 overall pick, allowed two hits and struck out three batters.
Adam Wainwright, who grew up in Brunswick, Ga., will make his first career start against the Braves on Friday. Atlanta traded him, along with right-hander Jason Marquis, to the Cardinals on Dec. 13, 2003, in the deal that brought OF J.D. Drew to the Braves.
ATLANTA: Though the Braves optioned RHP Kyle Davies to Triple-A Richmond, manager Bobby Cox insists the team hasn't given up on the 23-year-old. ``He should be a 15-game winner,'' Cox said. ``He knows what he needs to do. We're still high on him.'' Davies failed to record an out in a dreadful start against Cincinnati on Tuesday. He faced just five batters, allowing two hits and three walks. In 17 starts, Davies went 4-8 with a 5.76 ERA. ... LF Matt Diaz leads the majors with 12 pinch hits. Since the start of 2006, Diaz also has the majors' leading batting average (.357) as a pinch-hitter with a minimum of 50 plate appearances. ... C Brian McCann has hit .339 (20-for-59) with six homers and 18 RBIs since June 25. ... RHP Tyler Yates has a 14.29 ERA with a .448 opponents batting average over his last eight games.
rson, who was in the starting lineup Thursday. ``Anytime that you're wanted, it makes you feel good.'' ... There's no specific return date set for RHP Pedro Martinez, who had rotator cuff surgery last fall and is two strikeouts shy of 3,000 for his career. ``It's his body. He's going to give us feedback as far as when he's ready,'' general manager Omar Minaya said. ``When you're dealing with injury, there's no specific time. I'm confident he'll pitch again.''
LOS ANGELES: LHP Randy Wolf, on the 15-day DL because of shoulder soreness, will throw off the mound Friday and is scheduled for a 60-pitch bullpen session Sunday. Wolf is then expected to make a rehab start next week. ``He has no pain and we're focused on building his arm strength,'' Dodgers trainer Stan Conte said. ... LHP Hong-Chih Kuo, also on the DL because of left elbow inflammation, threw Thursday and may get on the mound soon, Conte said. ... Going into Thursday, the Dodgers had hit two or more home runs in a game four times in their last seven contests. They are 11-3 when that happens. ... CF Juan Pierre brought an 11-game hitting streak and 38 stolen bases into Thursday's game. ``He knows what kind of player he is and he's showing us right now,'' manager Grady Little said.

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