Blue Jays-Devil Rays
TORONTO: DH Frank Thomas was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day Wednesday. Manager John Gibbons said he wanted to get OF/DH Matt Stairs in the line up and get Thomas three days rest. The Blue Jays have Thursday off before playing Texas at home. ... RHP A.J. Burnett (right shoulder) threw a four-inning, 61 pitch simulated game at Tropicana Field before Wednesday's game. Burnett was placed on the 15-day on June 29.
TAMPA BAY: RHP Jeff Niemann, who left his start at Triple-A Durham Monday with right shoulder fatigue, was scheduled to be examined by team doctors in North Carolina Wednesday night. The team expected to have more information about the injury Thursday. ... 3B Evan Longoria was promoted to Triple-A Durham on Wednesday. Longoria, the third-overall pick in the 2006 draft, was batting .307, with 21 home runs 76 RBI and 117 hits at Double-A Montgomery. ... RHP Grant Balfour was unavailble for Wednesday's game. Manager Joe Maddon wanted to give Balfour two days rest before the Rays host Baltimore on Friday.
DETROIT: 2B Placido Polanco's double in the sixth inning gave the Tigers at least one extra-base hit in each of their last 68 games. It's the fourth-longest streak by the Tigers since 1957. The Tigers lead the majors with 393 extra-base hits. ... LHP Andrew Miller, Friday's starter, allowed a season-high 10 hits the last time he faced the White Sox in Chicago. He's 3-1 in four starts at Comerica. Opponents hit .208 against him in Detroit, and .283 elsewhere. ... RHP Fernando Rodney, on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis, could be activated as early as Friday.
OAKLAND: 3B Eric Chavez remained on the A's bench for the 13th time in the last 16 days. Manager Bob Geren insists it's merely a chance for Chavez to rest his and he's unlikely to be placed on the disabled list. ... RHP Chad Gaudin, Thursday's starter, is 2-5 with a 5.57 ERA over his last nine starts after going 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA over his first 13 starts. He's 2-0 in 10 appearances (three starts) against the Los Angeles Angels. ... RHP Esteban Loaiza was scheduled for a rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday night.
Orioles-Red Sox
illar doubled off the left field wall, easily beating Manny Ramirez's wide throw. Millar, a slow runner and one of Ramirez's closest friends when they were both with Boston from 2003 to 2005, stood on second base and stared out at Ramirez.
BOSTON: RF J.D. Drew missed his second consecutive game because his son had ``some pretty extensive surgery'' Tuesday night, manager Terry Francona said. Wily Mo Pena started for Drew and batted ninth. ... RHP Curt Schilling will start Sunday at Seattle after making three rehab appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket after hurting his throwing shoulder. ``We'll be thrilled to have him back,'' Francona said. ...2B Dustin Pedroia went from first to third on a walk to David Ortiz in the third inning because Baltimore's overshift on the lefty hitting Ortiz left third base uncovered.
n eight starts. ... RHP Kevin Millwood, who has been bothered for several days with a head and chest cold, was sent to the team hotel before Wednesday night's game. Washington said he Millwood should make his scheduled start Friday in Toronto. ... C-1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, acquired from Atlanta on Tuesday in the Mark Teixeira trade, started at first base. Washington said Saltalamacchia will catch a couple of times a week.
CLEVELAND: DH Travis Hafner was dropped to No. 5 in the batting order, with SS Jhonny Peralta moving up to No. 3 and 1B Ryan Garko to No. 4. ``For us to go where we need to go, Travis has to be close to his normal self,'' manager Eric Wedge said. Since going 4-for-4 April 23 to put his average at .390, Hafner hit only .230 (71-for-309) entering Wednesday for season totals of .255 with 17 homers and 68 RBIs. ``I don't care where I hit,'' Hafner said. ``Shaking things up could help us.'' ... LHP Aaron Fultz was activated from the disabled list and RHP Fernando Cabrera designated for assignment. ... SS Asdrubal Cabrera, one of the Indians' top prospects, has gone 5-for-10 in two games since being promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. ... Entering Wednesday, the Indians had lost eight of 11 games at Jacobs Field, where they opened the season 33-13.
White Sox-Yankees
CHICAGO: RHP Gavin Floyd will start in place of RHP Jose Contreras on Sunday against Detroit. Contreras allowed seven runs and eight hits in 2 2-3 innings against the Yankees on Tuesday night. He has lost his last seven starts and nine of his last 10. ``Right now, we're going to skip him one start, putting him in the bullpen,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. Guillen said they're trying to figure out what is wrong with Contreras and if Floyd pitches well their plans could change. ... Guillen was still fired up about being ejected by umpire Phil Cuzzi during the first inning of Tuesday night's game. He urged Major League Baseball to examine Cuzzi's actions. ``The umpires have the right to get mad,'' he said. ``The umpires don't have the right to challenge players and coaches. That's what my point was.''
se was in anticipation of Alex Rodriguez taking another shot at his 500th homer. ``I was completely oblivious to Alex,'' a smiling Torre said Wednesday. Duncan stayed in the dugout when he homered in the fourth inning Wednesday night.
KANSAS CITY: SP Kyle Davies, acquired in a trade with Atlanta on Tuesday, arrived in the Royals' clubhouse about two hours before gametime. CF David DeJesus immediately halted a card game he was conducting with several teammates to welcome his new teammate. SS Tony Pena Jr., followed with a handshake and a ``welcome to the team'' greeting. Davies is scheduled to make his Royals debut on Friday against the Yankees. ... DeJesus has sought out Twins All-Star Torii Hunter several times over the past few years for tips on how to play CF. DeJesus made a leaping catch to take away a home run from Hunter in Tuesday's game at the Metrodome. ``I grew up watching him do that to everybody in the league,'' DeJesus said, ``and now I got the chance to do it.''
said. ``Saves. That's what he does.''
LOS ANGELES: The Angels are one of three teams under consideration to open next season in Japan against the Boston Red Sox, the No. 2 official at the players' association told The Associated Press. But not all Angels would welcome the honor. RHP John Lackey, the team's player representative, said ``It'd be a long trip, man. I think we'd rather just stay here.'' Lackey and teammates Chone Figgins and Scot Shields were on the major league team that toured Japan after last season. Figgins and Shields said they'd like to open next season there. ... OF Juan Rivera is running in 90-foot intervals while recovering from a broken left leg. ``But he's not quite ready to go out and play,'' Scioscia said. ... Scioscia said IF Dallas McPherson, who had back surgery Jan. 22, will soon begin to do baseball activities, but the Angels do not expect McPherson to play for them this season.
magination,'' McLaren said. ``But it's been four months. He needs to get going ... we need him to pick it up. He's disappointed. We've had some talks.'' ... Seattle entered Wednesday with 32 come-from-behind wins, the most in the major leagues.
COLORADO: The Rockies have won a club-record eight consecutive home series, but they have been struggling on the road. They won Tuesday at Florida to start a six-game swing, and lost Game 2 on Wednesday. ``It's a big trip for us, because everybody knows the frustrations we've had on the road,'' said RHP Aaron Cook, the winning pitcher Tuesday. ... Top pitching prospect Franklin Morales has been promoted to Colorado Springs from Double-A Tulsa and is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut Friday. He went 3-0 in his final four starts for Tulsa.
Gonzalez said. ``There have been times this year when we have plain abused him, and he has said, `Give me the ball.''' ... The Marlins hit 39 homers in July, most in the NL.
CARDINALS: OF Skip Schumaker was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday despite having a .304 average. The Cardinals needed a roster spot for RHP Joel Pineiro, who was activated even though he isn't expected to pitch until Saturday against Washington. ... The Cardinals were interested in getting RHP Matt Morris back from the Giants - he spent his first eight seasons in the majors with St. Louis - and were as surprised as anyone when the last-place Pirates got him instead. ... RHP Anthony Reyes will start Thursday against the Pirates after stopping his 12-game, two-season losing streak with a 5-2 victory Saturday over Milwaukee. Reyes was 0-10 this season before winning.
ng while running the bases Tuesday night. He was removed in the fourth inning after getting hits in his first two at-bats. Manager Jim Tracy plans to hold him out until Friday or Saturday.
CINCINNATI: LHP Phil Dumatrait will be recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Thursday so he can start that night's game. He'll be the seventh player to make his major league debut with the Reds in 2007. Dumatrait is 10-5 with a 3.49 ERA at Louisville. ... Dumatrait is starting in place of RHP Aaron Harang, who left Saturday's game with a sore lower back after facing five batters. Harang could be available this weekend; the Reds haven't announced who will start Saturday at Pittsburgh. ... LHP Eddie Guardado, coming back from reconstructive elbow surgery, threw 21 pitches in a rehab outing at Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday night. He got two outs, allowed one hit - a homer - walked a batter and struck out a batter. Guardado is slated to take two days off and pitch again Friday.
't yet ready to resume throwing, manager Manny Acta said. ... Single-A Potomac OF Chris Marrero was rated as the best batting prospect in the two Single-A leagues in which he's played in 2007 in Baseball America's ``Best Tools'' survey of managers.
HOUSTON: Manager Phil Garner moved his full starting rotation back one day following an off day on Monday. The Astros' next off day is next Thursday, and then every starter but Roy Oswalt will have an extra day rest, Garner said. Oswalt will remain on his normal schedule. ... With his three errors on Tuesday night, including two in the eighth, SS Eric Bruntlett became one of seven major league players to commit three or more errors in a game this season.
ATLANTA: The Braves released first baseman Julio Franco and optioned RHP Jose Ascanio, clearing roster spots for new relievers Octavio Dotel and Ron Mahay. ... Through Tuesday, SS Edgar Renteria was tied for the NL lead with 140 hits. He has lifted his batting average from .319 to .337 since the break and is on pace for 216 hits. The last Atlanta player with 200 hits was Marquis Grissom, with 207 in 1996. The franchise record is 224 hits by Tommy Holmes for the Boston Braves in 1945. The Atlanta record is 219 by Ralph Garr in 1971.
NEW YORK: Right-hander Pedro Martinez was scheduled to being his rehabilitation assignment Wednesday night for St. Lucie of the Florida State League, but the game against Brevard County was rained out. Martinez instead will throw a 45-pitch simulated game against hitters from the Mets' Gulf Coast League team on Thursday morning. ... Despite losing to Milwaukee on Tuesday, New York's 23-12 record in the first game of a series remains the best in the major leagues. ... Marlon Anderson made his first start of the season in center field and became the fourth Met to play the position. ... Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said RHP Jon Adkins and C Sandy Alomar Jr. had cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans.
MILWAUKEE: The team optioned 2B Rickie Weeks to Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday and placed RHP Scott Linebrink on the bereavement list after the birth of his first child. Right-hander Elmer Dessens was recalled from his rehab assignment in Nashville and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. Infielder/outfielder Joe Dillon was also recalled from Nashville. ... RHP Claudio Vargas started on Wednesday in place of Dave Bush, who was the winning pitcher in relief of the Brewers' 4-2 13-inning victory on Tuesday. ... 1B Prince Fielder was back in the lineup on Wednesday night despite being hit hard in the elbow by a pitch Tuesday night. ``He got smoked,'' Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
PHILADELPHIA: 2B Chase Utley, on the 15-day DL since July 27 with a broken right hand, said he will see a doctor on Tuesday to evaluate his progress. In the meantime, Utley said he is icing his hand ``every few hours to keep the swelling down'' and is doing everything he can to stay in game shape. ``I'm trying to stay loose, trying to keep my legs in shape,'' Utley said. ``Anything I can do to stay prepared.'' ... OF Chris Roberson was called up from Triple-A Ottawa on Tuesday and went 4-for-4 that night. Roberson's performance convinced manager Charlie Manuel to bat him leadoff Wednesday. Roberson, who batted .195 in 41 at-bats as a rookie last year, believes he will have more success at the plate in his second go-around. ``I think I'm a little more prepared this time than I was last time,'' he said. ... When Kyle Lohse starts Thursday's series finale he will be the 26th different pitcher used by the club this season, one shy of the record set in 2000. Seven of those 26 pitchers have made their major league debuts this season.
ones said. ... 3B Aramis Ramirez was out of the starting lineup Wednesday night to rest his sore knee, but the team's RBI leader will be back for Thursday afternoon's series finale. ... The Cubs' 17 wins in July were their most in that month since going 17-9 in 2000. ... Manager Lou Piniella said he'll use Kerry Wood right away Friday if he's needed. ``Why not?'' he said. Piniella said eventually Wood will be able to pitch in back-to-back games, but it's not necessary until he builds stamina.
ARIZONA: CF Chris Young entered Wednesday with a team-leading 19 home runs, but manager Bob Melvin likes what he sees from Young in the leadoff spot. ``He's more aware of what the task is as a leadoff hitter,'' Melvin said. Young began Wednesday batting .291 with 10 home runs batting first and .200 with nine homers in 50 games elsewhere in the lineup. ... Thursday's starter, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, will be facing San Diego for the first time.
relief since returning to the majors from Triple-A Portland. ... Black said RHP Justin Germano will make his next scheduled start Sunday against the Giants. Germano is 1-6 with a 6.29 ERA in his past eight starts.
SAN FRANCISCO: New Giants OF Rajai Davis, a rookie acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh on Tuesday that sent righty starter Matt Morris to the Pirates, arrived two hours before game time and was greeted by a frenzy in the clubhouse - as in more than 50 reporters packed into the cramped quarters hanging on Barry Bonds' every breath. Davis got to start in center field alongside Bonds. ``That's really an honor to be on the same field as a man of his status,'' Davis said. ``I definitely wasn't picturing this.'' Manager Bruce Bochy said he would tell his speedy new player - who batted leadoff - to ``go out there and be yourself.'' ... The Giants plan to announce their starter for Saturday's game at San Diego on Thursday. ... Bonds batted .186 in July (11-for-59).
LOS ANGELES: RHP Derek Lowe threw a 65-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and said he experienced no pain. He said he was tentative through the first 30 pitches before stretching out toward the end. ``It's been a long six days of sitting around waiting to pitch and seeing if it's going to hurt,'' he said. ``I don't have any type of discomfort. I'm on track to pitch Saturday.'' Lowe said he needs to be better about doing stretching exercises between starts because he frequently has stiffness in his hip area. He left last week's game at Colorado because of an irritated hip. ... RHP Scott Proctor (2-5, 3.81 ERA) arrived Wednesday after being acquired from the Yankees in exchange for INF Wilson Betemit a day earlier. ``I'm just ready to get in the game and help this team win,'' he said, adding that he doesn't care about how he's used. ``I'm just glad to be on a winning team and with a good group of guys.'' ... Donald Fehr, executive director of the players' association, was a pre-game clubhouse visitor.

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