Orioles-Red Sox
BALTIMORE: RF Nick Markakis' error Thursday was his first since last Aug. 15, a span of 148 games. ... Jeremy Guthrie remained unbeaten in four starts. He allowed three runs on nine hits and a season-high four walks in 5 1-3 innings, striking out three. He is 5-0 with a 2.51 ERA on the road. ... Brian Roberts has a nine-game hitting streak.
wore No. 84 last year.
TEXAS: Eric Gagne's trade to Boston has left the Rangers without a closer, but not without candidates for the job. For now, manager Ron Washington will use a combination of LHP C.J. Wilson and RHP Joaquin Benoit to finish games. Wilson has gone 2-for-2 in save tries since Gagne was dealt. ``He has come in and pounded the strike zone,'' Washington said. Wilson hasn't given up a run in his last 10 outings (9 1-3 innings) with 12 strikeouts. ... The Rangers have been shut out six times. ... SS Michael Young went 2-for-4 with a double in Thursday's loss and is batting .443 (27-for-61) with seven RBIs in his last 14 games. ... Since starting the season 9-24 on the road, the Rangers are 12-11 away from Arlington, Texas.
dled in the past.'' ... OF Grady Sizemore found himself in a new location: the bench. With Hafner out, Wedge used Sizemore as his DH for the first time this season. ``It's different,'' Sizemore said. ``It's nothing I'm accustomed to. I tried to find ways to stay in the game. I went back and rode the bike so I wouldn't be pacing in the dugout.''
White Sox-Yankees
CHICAGO: By the end of Thursday's 13-9 win over New York, manager Ozzie Guillen was down to a spare catcher on his bench, having replaced three fielders already. DH Jim Thome left due to back spasms, 3B Alex Cintron had an upset stomach and Darin Erstad hurt himself when he fell down after hitting the ball on a fly out to center. He had leg cramps, and could play Friday in Detroit, as could Cintron. Guillen said Thome would rest. ``The bullpen did a tremendous job and I'm glad it ended when it did,'' Guillen said. ``I didn't have anybody left on the bench. ... Jermaine Dye, who had had two homers and two doubles for the first game of his career with four extra-base hits, has nine HRs since the All-Star break. He went 4-for-5 Thursday to raise his average since the break to .379. ... The White Sox bullpen, which entered Thursday with an ERA of 5.92, pitched 7 2-3 innings and allowed just one run. ... Chicago was outscored in the series 33-17.
NEW YORK: The Yankees hit .348 (39-for-112) in three games against the White Sox, and had 15 homers. ... Alex Rodriguez has been cheered wildly every time he came to the plate, even before he ended a career-long streak of 22 hitless at-bats with an RBI single in the second. ``The fans have been awesome,'' Rodriguez said. ... Wilson Betemit did Shelley Duncan one better. While Duncan homered three times in his first two games with the Yankees, Betemit did it in his first at bat. A day after making his debut at 3B in the ninth inning, Betemit started at SS in place of Derek Jeter, and homered his first time up. Naturally, he got a curtain call. ... C Jorge Posada was hurt in a collision at the plate with Danny Richar to end the eighth. He was removed for Jose Molina in the bottom half, but said he was fine and would most likely play Friday.
r pitches in. It's a process. It's less mechanical than a confidence issue with Ervin. He needs to work through things. It hasn't been easy for him but he knows why he's there.'' ... Scioscia said there's a kind of rivalry between the Angels and A's, though it's not as intense as some around baseball. ``For a long time they've carried the banner of our division,'' said Scioscia, a member of the World Champion 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers that beat the A's in five games. ``We've had some recent success but they always seem to be there at the end.''
. Former A's All-Star RHP Dave Stewart presented OF Mark Kotsay with a community service award, named after Stewart, in a pre-game ceremony.
ST. LOUIS: RHP Joel Pineiro threw a sideline session Thursday in Pittsburgh and assuming he experiences no following difficulties, is on track to make his St. Louis debut Saturday in Washington. Pineiro joined the Cardinals on Wednesday a day after being acquired from the Red Sox organization for a player to be named and cash. ... OF Skip Schumaker tied for the second-best average among all NL players for July (.435) - but he was optioned to Triple-A on the first day of August to make room for Pineiro. ... August got off to an inauspicious start for the Cardinals with a 15-1 loss Wednesday. But St. Louis has the league's top winning percentage for August (.606) since 2000.
rris said. ``You get a little more comfortable once you get into the clubhouse and start meeting the guys.'' Morris is scheduled to make his Pirates debut Saturday. ... Manager Jim Tracy would not commit to who would hold onto the fifth starter spot now that Morris has joined the team. RHP Tony Armas had a solid outing Wednesday and LHP Shane Youman allowed three runs in five innings on Thursday, and Tracy indicated one would be removed from the rotation and join the bullpen.
CINCINNATI: LHP Phil Dumatrait was recalled from Triple-A Louisville and started Thursday night in his major league debut. He's the seventh player to make his first big league appearance with the Reds in 2007. ... INF Juan Castro will have season-ending reconstructive right elbow surgery Tuesday. Castro has a partially torn ligament. He hopes to be ready to play by spring training.
week to continue his throwing program. ... 1B Nick Johnson, who hasn't played all season as he rehabs a broken right leg, worked out before Thursday's game. Manager Manny Acta said Johnson still has problems running. Asked whether he thinks Johnson will play in 2007, Bowden said: ``I can't answer that yet. I think he's making progress, and I know he's working hard.''
HOUSTON: RF Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer in the third inning, the fourth straight game that he has homered. ... RHP Brandon Backe made his first rehab start - Thursday night for Double-A Corpus Christi - since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Sept. 7, 2006. ``He's looked good to me the whole while. His delivery looks good even though his control was off a little bit,'' manager Phil Garner said before his start. He hopes Backe can throw 30-40 pitches. Backe has a 19-14 career record with a 4.71 ERA. ... LHP Trever Miller has not allowed a run in his last 13 outings, a span of 10 1-3 innings. ... Before the game, Atlanta GM John Schuerholz and manager Bobby Cox presented a $3,000 check to Astros 2B Craig Biggio for his charity, ``Sunshine Kids.'' Biggio got his 3,000th hit earlier this season. ``We appreciate the way he played. We were glad to do it,'' said Schuerholz.
ATLANTA: The Braves, who released 1B Julio Franco on Wednesday, said they would like to have the 48-year-old him back in the organization as a coach or player-coach if another team does not pick him up. ... With the addition of 1B Mark Teixeira to the lineup, hitting fourth, manager Bobby Cox was asked how he liked his lineup. ``It's not going to go double figures (all the time). Some nights we're not going to score a bunch.'' Entering Thursday, the Braves had won three straight, scoring 38 runs. He also had 2B Kelly Johnson, a .297 hitter with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in 101 games. ``I like him leading off or hitting second, but that's how it goes,'' Cox said. LF Willie Harris led off and was hitting .327 with a team-high 16 steals. Edgar Renteria is the No. 2 hitter and he's hitting .337. ... RHP Tim Hudson has pitched nine times this season following an Atlanta loss and the Braves have gone 8-1. Hudson is 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA in those games.
. The ball got by diving centerfielder Bill Hall and ricocheted off the wall to allow him to circle the bases. It was his second inside-the-park homer. Asked if he was tired afterward, the 37-year-old said. ``Yeah. That's a long run.''
MILWAUKEE: Even after losing 12-4 Thursday to the Mets, 1B Prince Fielder isn't worried about the slumping Brewers. Asked what needs to be changed, Fielder said, ``I don't think anything. I think we're playing fine, we're playing hard. That's all you can do.'' The club has lost 10 of its last 14 games to allow Chicago to replace Milwaukee atop the Central Division. ... 3B Ryan Braun was named NL Player of the Month for July after hitting 11 home runs and driving in 24 runs. He took rookie honors for the month to become the first player to ever win both monthly accolades.
atters 6-9 went 11-for-18 with three doubles, a homer and three RBIs with nine runs scored. ... Lohse became the 26th pitcher used by the Phillies this season, one shy of the club record set in 2000. ... The Phillies won the season series with the Cubs 4-3.
CHICAGO: Rocky Cherry pitched a career-high 2 1-3 innings, allowing no runs and two hits and then was told after the game he was being optioned to Triple-A Iowa. His roster spot will be taken by RHP Kerry Wood, who will officially be activated off the DL before Friday's game. ... The Cubs' bullpen had thrown 21 2-3 innings of scoreless relief before Will Ohman gave up three runs in the ninth. ... Manager Lou Piniella is looking for some relief for his relievers, saying that his starters need to go longer into games. Sean Marshall lasted just 2 2-3 innings and Rich Hill didn't get out of the fifth on Wednesday night. ``We probably need Hill more than the other guys to kick it in and pitch deeper in these games,'' Piniella said. He said his bullpen is a bit spent with the Cubs in the middle of a stretch of 20 straight games without an off day.
ARIZONA: The D-Backs' top prospect, Justin Upton, was called up Thursday and made his big league debut when he came in to play right field in the eighth. He fouled out leading off the ninth. ... Upton, the No. 1 overall pick in the June 2005 draft, is scheduled to start in RF at Los Angeles on Friday. ... At 19 years, 342 days, he became the youngest player to appear in a game with the Diamondbacks. Edgar Gonzalez had been the youngest, at 20 years, 98 days on June 1, 2003.
SAN DIEGO: Wally Joyner arrived in San Diego at 1:30 a.m. Thursday after a 10-hour drive from Utah, got a little bit of sleep and then began his new job as the Padres' hitting coach. San Diego responded with four homers in the 11-0 win over Arizona. ``I haven't had an impact. I don't think the guys know I'm here yet,'' Joyner joked. ``As they started getting more hits, I got out farther and farther so people could see I was there. It's a great group of guys. I've known them with my time in spring training and I'm excited about having a chance to work with them.'' He replaced Merv Rettenmund, who was fired on Tuesday.
Pierre had three on June 12, 2002. ... The 16 strikeouts by Rockies hitters were their most in a nine-inning game since they had 16 on May 22, 2003. The club record is 17.
FLORIDA: With an RBI single Wednesday, backup C Matt Treanor improved his average over his past 20 games to .375 (24-for-64). ``I don't want to be in the lineup just to be in the lineup,'' Treanor said. ``I want to contribute.'' ... The 16 strikeouts by Marlins pitchers were their most in a nine-inning game since July 21, 2002. The club record is 17.
n and a Washington Husky in Lincecum. Both are natives of the state. ``It was the Apple Cup,'' Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said with a smile.
LOS ANGELES: 2B Jeff Kent sat out his third straight game Thursday because of a strained hamstring. Manager Grady Little was doubtful about playing Kent on Friday when the Dodgers open a three-game series at San Diego. ``We're not going to put him back out there until there's no chance of re-injury,'' he said. ... RHP Scott Proctor made his debut in the seventh inning Wednesday night, tossing one pitch a day after being traded by the New York Yankees. ``We'll give him one more than one pitch before we judge him,'' Little said, smiling. ... 3B Nomar Garciaparra's two-run homer Wednesday gave him 54 RBIs, most in the NL among players with five homers or less and second-most in the majors behind Texas' Michael Young (58).

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