Devil Rays-Orioles
TAMPA BAY: OF B.J. Upton, who left Thursday's game in the seventh inning with back and leg cramps, will play Friday when the Devil Rays open a three-game homestand against Boston, manager Joe Maddon said. Upton was removed as a precaution. ``I saw him walking back (to center field) like Fred Sanford,'' Maddon said. ... Tampa Bay is 4-19 in its last 23 road games. ... OF Delmon Young's 117 hits lead all major league rookies.
cio and Mark Belanger for fifth on the club's career list.
Tigers-White Sox
DETROIT: RHP Joel Zumaya is nearing a return. Zumaya, who has been out since May 3 with a sprained right middle finger, has thrown off a mound twice and said his finger is completely healthy. ``It's a long process. It ain't easy,'' he said. ``The finger is fully healed. It's just I lost a lot of strength in my shoulder and elbow the two months I was off.'' Zumaya plans on throwing off a mound two more times before ``trying to cut it loose.'' ... DH Gary Sheffield missed his second straight game with soreness in his right shoulder. Sheffield received a cortisone shot in the shoulder on Wednesday and manager Jim Leyland hopes to have him back Friday in Anaheim. ... OF Ryan Raburn batted third on Thursday, a day after he went 4-for-5 with two home runs and 7 RBIs. Despite his big game the day before, Raburn was shocked when he saw the lineup. ``I was very surprised,'' he said. ``They said I might be in there today but never in my mind would I think I'd be hitting third.''
Guillen. ``We play against a team that we're supposed to beat or at least compete against and we don't.'' ... Despite a 5-13 record and a 6.22 ERA, Guillen doesn't plan to demote Jose Contreras to the bullpen. ``Jose takes about an hour to get loose,'' Guillen said. Contreras has an 8.27 ERA in his last 11 starts and gave up nine runs and 12 hits in 4 2-3 innings in Wednesday's loss to the Indians. ... White Sox closer Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth inning for the victory against the Tigers and improved to 1-0 in 19 career appearances against the Tigers with a 0.89 ERA.
Red Sox-Indians
-0 game. He's tough on himself because he's a kid that cares.'' ... 2B Dustin Pedroia wasn't happy about being hit in the fourth inning on Wednesday by Cleveland's Fausto Carmona, who later buzzed the rookie with an inside pitch. Pedroia, though, didn't think Carmona was trying to hit him. ``I was mad the second time, but I know he wasn't throwing at me,'' Pedroia said. ``I'm OK.''
CLEVELAND: Manager Eric Wedge said the Indians are being aggressive as the July 31 trading deadline nears. General manager Mark Shapiro was in Buffalo to watch and evaluate the Bisons, looking at a handful of players he might want to use in a package to get the Indians some help for their playoff run. ``They are being as aggressive as they can be,'' said Wedge, who was later than usual for his pregame interview session on Thursday. Wedge said he was delayed because ``of everything going on,'' but made no mention of any imminent deals. Shapiro has said several times that he would like to get more help for his bullpen. With David Dellucci on the disabled list and Trot Nixon stuck in a batting slump, the Indians could also use another left-handed hitter. ... Jeremy Sowers seems to be fixing whatever needed fixing. The left-hander, demoted to Triple-A Buffalo on June 10 after going 1-6 with a 6.93 ERA in 12 starts, has allowed just one earned run in 14 innings over his last two starts.
NEW YORK: Manager Joe Torre said both he and GM Brian Cashman thought DH Jason Giambi's prediction that he would be ready to rejoin the team next week might be overly optimistic. Giambi has been out since May 30 with torn tissue in his left foot and is set to start a minor league rehab assignment on Friday with Class-A Tampa. ``I just talked to Cash about that, and he - like I - thought that was a little quick,'' Torre said. ``I don't know who communicated that to Jason. I haven't.'' ... C Jose Molina made his first start with the Yankees on Thursday night, giving Jorge Posada the night off. The Yankees acquired Molina from the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday for minor league reliever Jeff Kennard. ... Rookie DH Shelley Duncan was back in the lineup Thursday night after taking two days off. ... SS Derek Jeter started as expected after being hit in the left arm by a pitch in the ninth inning of Wednesday night's game.
KANSAS CITY: The Royals bought the contract of RHP Jason Shiell from Triple-A Omaha. Shiell, a 30-year-old reliever, takes the roster spot created by the release of right-hander Scott Elarton. ... Royals broadcaster Denny Mathews left town Thursday for Cooperstown, N.Y., where he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend as the 2007 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.
PITTSBURGH: LHP Tom Gorzelanny, who left Wednesday's game because of shoulder stiffness, reported no problems Thursday. He will play catch Friday on flat ground. ... LHP Pat Maholm's career record after the All-Star break is 10-4. ... Maholm has lowered his ERA from 5.82 on May 20 to 4.57. ... 1B Adam LaRoche was unavailable Thursday because of food poisoning. LaRoche is hitting .354 with six home runs and 17 RBIs in his last 21 games.
NEW YORK: OF Lastings Milledge leads the Mets with 12 RBIs since the All-Star break. ... Attendance was 52,150, New York's 16th crowd over 50,000 this season. Mets are third in major league attendance, trailing the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. ... New York has hit 12 home runs in the last eight games. ... LHP Oliver Perez's sixth-inning error was the first by a Mets starting pitcher this season.
up four runs in 5 1-3 innings Thursday.
CINCINNATI: LHP Eddie Guardado will pitch for Triple-A Louisville on Saturday, starting his second rehab assignment. Guardado, who is recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery last September, had to stop pitching in the minors last month when his forearm got sore. ``We're just going to see how he reacts after he pitches on a day-to-day basis,'' interim manager Pete Mackanin said. ``I'm sure we're going to be cautious. Eddie wants to get back real bad. We're going to make a smart decision on when that happens.'' ... OF Josh Hamilton had his sprained right wrist examined. He is expected to resume swinging a bat next week. He hurt the wrist swinging on July 11. ... RHP Homer Bailey played catch and reported no problem with his strained groin. Bailey got hurt while pitching for Triple-A Louisville.
ces. ... The Nationals rotation against the New York Mets will be Friday: Mike Bascik (3-6, 4.39); Saturday 1st game: Tim Redding (1-2, 2.92); Saturday night: Billy Traber (2-1, 4.09); Sunday: Jason Bergmann (2-5, 4.56).
PHILADELPHIA: RHP Jose Mesa became the 11th pitcher to appear in 1,000 games for his career. He joins Ken Tekulve (1988) and Dan Plesac (2002) as Phillies on the list. ... 1B Ryan Howard has 13 homers among his last 32 hits. ... Manager Charlie Manuel expects RHP Brett Myers back in the bullpen within the next seven days. Myers has been out since May 24 because of a right shoulder strain. ... Phillies pitchers have combined for 36 hits - tops in the majors. RHP Adam Eaton has a team-leading 11 hits.
ATLANTA: 3B Chipper Jones, the leading hitter in the NL at .346 coming into the game, did not start because of a groin injury that flared up during Wednesday's game. Jones is batting .415 during his current 10-game hitting streak. Jones, who missed time last month with a groin injury, is day-to-day. ... SS Edgar Renteria, who has been in the starting lineup for 13 straight days, was held out Thursday to get a rest. Renteria is batting .419 since the All-Star break, raising his average from .319 to .335.
SAN FRANCISCO: Pedro Feliz started for the 11th straight day but manager Bruce Bochy said he'd like to give his third baseman a day off soon. Feliz is batting .370 since the All-Star break. ``He's been as hot as anybody,'' Bochy said. ``It's impressive. He's a guy you kind of forget about and keep writing his name in there. He needs a break too.'' ... RHP Russ Ortiz (strained forearm) is expected to throw between 70 and 75 pitches in a rehab start Saturday for Class-A San Jose and could be back in the majors after that if all goes well.
SAN DIEGO: LHP Joe Thatcher arrived in Houston ready to play. Manager Bud Black is anxious to see what the Padres got in the Wednesday trade that brought Thatcher, LHP Steve Garrison and RHP Will Inman from the Brewers for RHP Scott Linebrink. ``I haven't seen him,'' Black said of Thatcher. ``But the scouts and the front office feel he's going to be a main addition to our bullpen. I'm looking forward to seeing how he does.'' Thatcher was a combined 3-1 with a 1.42 ERA in Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville this year. He had 53 strikeouts and only nine walks. RHP Clay Hensley was also brought up from Triple A-Portland to join the bullpen. Black said Hensley would be used as a long reliever. OF Terrmel Sledge was sent down to make room for Hensley.
HOUSTON: Manager Phil Garner said Roy Oswalt will start Saturday, moving him up three days from his scheduled start next Tuesday. Oswalt had missed a start Wednesday due to chest pain suffered last Friday while pitching at Pittsburgh. Oswalt pitched a bullpen session Wednesday and reported little soreness Thursday. ``He felt pretty good,'' Garner said. ``This may turn out to be just fine.'' Oswalt said the pain he felt last Friday was new to him. ``I never have had any pain in my chest,'' he said. ``That's the biggest reason it scared me. Now I know I can take it and go on and push it a little.'' Garner said with the off day Monday, the only change in the rotation now will be moving Chris Sampson from Sunday to a Tuesday start in Atlanta. The Astros have been known for late-season rallies the last few seasons but that might be too much to expect now, with the team coming in to Thursday at 44-57. ``It certainly seems like it's impossible,'' Lance Berkman said. ``But we're going to keep playing hard and just see where it goes. We're certainly a better team than we've shown.''
CHICAGO: The Cubs are 4-0 against the Cardinals in St. Louis this season. In the 120-year rivalry between the teams, this is just the fifth time the Cubs have started the season 4-0 in St. Louis. The last time it happened was in 1978. when the Cubs won their first seven games in St. Louis. It also happened in 1906, 1907 and 1911.
ST. LOUIS: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Scott Spiezio likely will return to the club next week. Spiezo went on the disabled list July 14 after being hospitalized with an infected left index finger and has missed 12 games. Spiezio is hitting .279 with three homers and 26 RBIs. ... Juan Encaracion had four hits Wednesday and has hit safely in 13-of-16 games in July. He it hitting .375 (21-for-56) this month. ... La Russa remains 20 games shy of tying Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst as the winningest manager of the Cardinals.
LOS ANGELES: RHP Derek Lowe had an MRI exam done three hours before Thursday's game, but no results were released at game time. Lowe's injury had been listed as a strained left groin. ... Manager Grady Little said he hasn't made plans for an alternative starter if Lowe were forced to go on the DL, and said he'd make that decision if and when it's needed. ... LHP Randy Wolf (left shoulder soreness) rejoined the team in Denver on Thursday and had no ill effects a day after making a rehab start for Single-A Inland Empire. ``The shoulder feels fine,'' said Wolf, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 4. ``I'm ready for whatever they want to do.'' ... The Dodgers had a 20-minute team meeting before the game. ``We met to focus on the Rockies,'' Little said. ``This wasn't about individuals, only about the Rockies.''
COLORADO: LHP Brian Fuentes threw Thursday and a decision on his rehab schedule will be made in the next few days. Fuentes is on the disabled list because of a mild back strain. ``We'll wait and see how he feels (Friday), then we'll establish what happens after that,'' Manager Clint Hurdle said. ``It was a good step for him.'' ... SS Troy Tulowitzki was back in the lineup Thursday after missing two games because of food poisoning. ``I feel a lot better,'' said Tulowitzki, who lost five pounds because of the illness. ... The Rockies have won a franchise record seven straight series at Coors Field. ... OF Ryan Spilborghs has 16 RBIs in July despite starting only 10 of Colorado's 20 games.

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