OAKLAND: Two CFs left the game with injuries, but manager Bob Geren doesn't expect either to miss significant time. Nick Swisher aggravated a sore hamstring and left in the third inning. He was replaced by Mark Kotsay, who tweaked his chronically bad back on a fifth-inning slide and came out in the sixth. ``I don't think either one is serious,'' Geren said. ``These are day-to-day problems.'' ... Geren was happy about RHP Esteban Loaiza's rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Sacramento. He allowed three runs in 6 2-3 innings.
ugh for me to have at least decent location,'' he said.
NEW YORK: RHP Roger Clemens, currently serving a five-game suspension, will start Saturday against Detroit. He was suspended for hitting Toronto's Alex Rios with a pitch on Aug. 7. Manager Joe Torre is skipping Clemens' turn this time through the rotation. The 45-year-old veteran will be starting on 10 days' rest. ``It's not going to hurt him,'' said Torre, who is juggling his rotation. RHP Chien-Ming Wang will start on his regular turn Monday against Baltimore. RHP Jeff Karstens is the leading candidate to start Tuesday while RHP Phil Hughes, who held the Indians to one run in six innings on Friday, is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Orioles. ... C Jorge Posada was out of the lineup for the third consecutive day with a stiff neck. But Jose Molina, who was 4-for-5 on Saturday, caught and doubled in four at-bats. Molina has been a huge plus since arriving in a July 21 trade with the Angels. ``He's enormously important,'' Torre said. ``Backup catchers are so tough to come by. We're lucky that we had an opportunity to get Jose.''
CLEVELAND: DH Travis Hafner reported no pain after jogging for the first time on his sore left knee. Hafner missed all three games against New York to rest his swollen knee and a slightly pulled hamstring. He got hurt while sliding into second base in a game at Chicago earlier in the week. ``It's getting better,'' he said. ``I ran on it at about 50 or 60 percent.'' With the Indians off on Monday, Hafner was hoping another day of rest and rehab would allow him to be ready for Tuesday's game against the first-place Detroit Tigers. ... The Indians will need a fifth starter for an Aug. 25 game at Kansas City, and they've narrowed their options to Cliff Lee, Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers - all currently at Triple-A Buffalo. Shapiro said the decision on who starts on the 25th will come down to one thing. ``Who gives us the best chance to win?'' he said. ``And no matter what we do, there will still be one or two guys down there who also give us a chance to win.'' ... The Indians, who have lost seven of eight at home, began the season 33-13 at Jacobs Field but are only 4-12 in their park since July 16.
Red Sox-Orioles
BOSTON: The Red Sox have lost back-to-back series for the first time since the beginning of June. ... OF Manny Ramirez moved past Jimmie Foxx into sole possession of sixth place on the club's RBI list with 790. ... Recently acquired RHP Eric Gagne allowed a tying, two-run homer in the eighth inning of Sunday's extra-inning loss at Baltimore. ``They brought me in to do a job and I'm not doing it,'' he said. In five appearances since joining the team, Gagne has allowed seven runs over four innings (15.75 ERA).
BALTIMORE: The Orioles earned their first series win over Boston after losing 11 straight since July 2005. Baltimore now has won four games against Boston for the first time since that season. ... The only two home runs in the three-game series came in the final three innings: by Miguel Tejada in the eighth and Kevin Millar in the 10th. ... 3B Melvin Mora went 0-for-3 against Curt Schilling and is 3-31 in his career against the right-hander. ... RHP Chad Bradford earned his first win as an Oriole in his 58th appearance with the team.
Blue Jays-Royals
When he gets hot, he can carry you for a while.''
KANSAS CITY: LHP Jorge De La Rosa, who went on the disabled list Aug. 1 with strained left elbow, is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Monday. If all goes well, he could begin a minor league rehab assignment at the end of the week. ... RHP John Thomson, who went on the disabled list July 16 with lower back spasms, gave up five runs and five hits, including three home runs, in two innings in a rehab start Saturday for Double-A Wichita, a 7-3 loss at Frisco in the Texas League. Manager Buddy Bell said he doesn't expect Thomson or RHP Brandon Duckworth, who is also rehabbing in the minors after going on the disabled list June 14 with a pulled oblique muscle, back before Sept. 1. ... LHP Odalis Perez, who starts Monday, is 4-9 in his past 19 starts after winning back-to-back starts April 20 and 25.
Mariners-White Sox
he Mariners are 22-8 against left-handed starters, the best winning percentage in the majors. ... Seattle leads the wild-card race by a percentage point over the Yankees and is only 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Angels in the AL West, prompting some scoreboard watching. ``We know what the other teams are doing. But we know that it is about what we do ourselves,'' McLaren said. ``You hope the other teams lose, but for us to go where we want to go, we can't count on somebody else. We have to do it ourselves.''
out allowing an earned run.
Devil Rays-Rangers
TAMPA BAY: LF Jonny Gomes batted leadoff for the first time this season. Gomes went into the game hitless in seven at-bats, and manager Joe Maddon likes using power hitters at the top of the lineup when they're slumping. ``I want him to concentrate on getting on base,'' Maddon said. ``I used to do it in the minors with power hitters who were struggling. I'd ask them to hit it up the middle, get on base and take power out of their game. It always worked.'' ... RHP Edwin Jackson threw his best fastballs in the ninth inning of Saturday night's four-hitter, his first career shutout and complete game. Jackson, whose fastball was clocked at 99 mph in the ninth, said that's the way he's always pitched. ``As the game goes on, I throw harder,'' he said.
he could begin a rehab assignment next week. He's been on the DL since surgery in May to remove a rib that was affecting a nerve.
MINNESOTA: The Twins fell under .500 (58-59) for the first time since June 10, when they were 30-31. ... With the Twins losing six of their last seven games and winning 11-4 in the other, closer Joe Nathan hasn't pitched since Aug. 5 - when he saved a 1-0 win against Cleveland for RHP Scott Baker. Nathan's next save will make him the second pitcher to get 150 in a Twins uniform, along with Rick Aguilera (254). ... RF Michael Cuddyer was on the disabled list because of a strained thumb the last time the Twins faced the Angels in Minnesota last month. He wasn't much of a factor in this series, going 1-for-12 as the Angels outscored the Twins 20-6 in their three-game sweep.
5th intentional walk, one shy of the franchise record he set in 2005.
FLORIDA: SS Hanley Ramirez came into Sunday leading the NL with a .342 average. He is the first Marlins player other than Miguel Cabrera to lead the league in hitting this late in a season. The highest a Marlins player has ever finished in the NL batting race is second, done by Cabrera last year, when he hit .339 to Freddy Sanchez's .344. ... Struggling 2B Dan Uggla didn't start Sunday. He came into the game in a double switch in the seventh inning, and went 0-for-1. He was 3-for-22 during the team's six game road swing. ... RHP Rick Vandenhurk pitched five innings Sunday. He has pitched five innings or fewer in nine of his 12 starts.
ame because of back discomfort. An MRI exam on Castro showed minor arthritis in his lower back and he's considered day-to-day, general manager Omar Minaya said. Lo Duca will have an MRI on Monday. RHP Jorge Sosa pitched two scoreless innings and got the win Sunday. He has yielded one run in 11.1 innings since moving to the bullpen on July 31.
SAN DIEGO: The Padres' starting pitcher for Thursday's game against Colorado still hadn't been announced Sunday, but manager Bud Black agreed that RHP Clayton Hensley was a candidate. Hensley, who was 1-3 with a 6.18 ERA for San Diego when he was optioned to Triple-A Portland on Aug. 5, allowed five hits and two runs with six strikeouts Friday against Salt Lake City in his first start for the Beavers. ``I especially liked the no walks,'' Black said. ... RHP Jake Peavy's win on Sunday was the 70th of his career with San Diego, tying him with Andy Ashby for fourth on the franchise career wins list.
bat in the lineup. Keppinger had hit .440 (11-for-25) with seven RBIs in his last seven games. ... The Reds returned outfielder Josh Hamilton from a rehab assignment and activated him from the 15-day disabled list, and designated IF Mark Bellhorn for assignment.
MILWAUKEE: Prince Fielder said he didn't know what caused home plate umpire Wally Bell to throw him out of the game after he argued a called third strike in the eighth inning Sunday and didn't know if he would be suspended for allegedly bumping Bell. ``I guess it is just going to depend on how he writes up the report,'' Fielder said. ``I didn't touch him. I don't know if he had a tough day or not. Why don't you ask him?'' Fielder, who had to be restrained by bench coach Dale Sveum, said it's unusual for him to get that upset at a call. ``No, I don't usually jaw off like that,'' he said. ``I only do that when I am right.'' ... Veteran Brewers are impressed by rookie 3B Ryan Braun. ``He is tremendous,'' RHP Jeff Suppan said after Braun hit a game-winning three-run homer in the ninth Saturday. ``He's been doing it all year. He's so calm and level headed for a rookie.'' Said reliever Scott Linebrink: ``You don't see it very often when a kid comes up and looks like a 10-year veteran.'' ... The Brewers managed to win a road series for the first time since June 15-17 at Minnesota.
HOUSTON: Astros rookie Hunter Pence worked on sliding before the game Sunday. Pence has been on the disabled list since July 23 with a wrist sprain suffered while sliding. It was the third time in his career he has been injured sliding, so manager Phil Garner wants to change Pence's technique. ``I have a tendency to kind of roll,'' Pence said. ``And when I do I put my wrists down. My whole life I've been sticking with my hands down and that's how I get hurt.'' Pence is being taught to hold his jersey as he slides, and will work on 10 slides a day while he is out. ... Garner said he is unconcerned about closer Brad Lidge, who blew a save and took the loss after Milwaukee's Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning Saturday. Lidge came back and got his eighth win of the year Sunday. ``He's going to be all right,'' Garner said. ``There's going to be failure sometimes in that job. But if he keeps throwing that pitch where he threw it, it's not going to be hit very often.''
. Jeff Kent has not reached base the last four games after doing so 39 games in a row. ... Andre Ethier was 2-for-4 with an RBI triple and double, and is 10-for-22 against the Cardinals.
ST. LOUIS: Rookie IF Brendan Ryan homered and doubled with three RBIs after being recalled earlier in the day to replace injured 2B Adam Kennedy. Ryan, who's batting .362 (21-for-58) as a starter and .222 (2-for-9) off the bench, could share time at 2B with Aaron Miles while Kennedy is out with torn cartilage in his right knee that'll require surgery in a few days. ... Ryan Ludwick's three-run homer in the first was the first this season to land in Big Mac land, a section of seats in the third tier of left field, a drive estimated at 404 feet. ... The pitching staff has a 4.72 ERA, near the bottom of the NL, but starters have a 2.78 ERA in their last 11 games. ... Aaron Miles had four hits and was 8-for-16 during the homestnad. He's batting .410 (41-for-100) at Busch Stadium in 29 games since May 22. ... The Cardinals have won four straight series at home and are 8-2 in their last 10 at home. ... A sellout crowd of 45,379 was announced in 99-degree heat, with 7,441 no-shows. The stadium was about half-full the last half of the game after the Cardinals took control with a five-run third.
CHICAGO: The Cubs activated INF-OF Daryle Ward from the 15-day DL on Sunday and placed OF Cliff Floyd on the bereavement list. ... Floyd was at the bedside of his father, Cornelius, Sunday at the time of his passing. ``That was a bad situation for Cliff because I'm sure it bothered him when he was out there doing his job,'' Ward said of Floyd. ``Baseball is a game where you have to have as clear a mind as possible.'' ... 3B Mark DeRosa is batting .313 in 62 games since June 1. ... 2B Mike Fontenot hit .448 against the Rockies this season. ... The Cubs had nine hits, all singles, on Sunday.
COLORADO: The Colorado Rockies placed veteran right-hander Tim Harikkala on the 40-man roster Sunday and recalled OF Sean Barker from Colorado Springs before placing him on the 60-day DL with a strained left hamstring. Harikkala was designated for assignment after Sunday's game. ... Manager Clint Hurdle said he had until Saturday in Los Angeles to decide on the rotation's fifth starter. ... The four-game series with the Cubs drew 169,291. ... 3B Ian Stewart and Harikkala got their first major league hits. The 36-year-old Harikkala had his first career RBI.
... The Pirates turned a double play in their 14th straight game Sunday, converting Kevin Frandsen's grounder in the fourth. ... LHP Tom Gorzelanny's first career shutout lowered his ERA from 3.50 to 3.29. He has been outstanding in two straight victories since a 13-day layoff to rest his sore throwing shoulder.
SAN FRANCISCO: Barry Bonds is batting .600 with four walks since hitting his 756th homer on Tuesday night. He went 1-for-3 with an intentional walk Sunday. ... The Giants' fourth straight loss Sunday was their 11th in 13 games in San Francisco against the lowly Pirates. The Giants have only two one-run victories over Pittsburgh in their waterfront ballpark during that stretch. ... LHP Barry Zito threw 32 pitches in the first inning after walking Pittsburgh's first three batters. San Francisco fans booed the $126 million left-hander who has flopped in his debut season with the Giants. He recovered to pitch six innings of six-hit ball, but lost his 11th game of the season.
d more than five times. ``I don't like playing in these night games,'' manager Bobby Cox said. ... Martin Prado started at 2B for Kelly Johnson against the left-handed Jamie Moyer. ``Kelly's had a bit of a bad elbow. He's not hurt, but it's nice to have that kind of a weapon on the bench,'' Cox said.
PHILADELPHIA: RF Shane Victorino (calf) begins a rehab assignment with Double-A Reading on Tuesday. He could return to the lineup for the weekend series against the Pirates. ... LF Pat Burrell was leading the majors in average (.400) and on-base percentage (.526) since July 1, when he was hitting just .201 and saw his playing time reduced. ... After a day off Monday, the Phillies begin a six-game road trip to Washington and Pittsburgh. ... Despite his recent struggles, Adam Eaton is slated to start Friday. Eaton, who signed a three-year, $24.5 million free-agent deal, has the highest ERA in the NL at 6.36.
nning later, he hit a tying two-run homer to help lift the Nationals to a 7-6 victory at Arizona. ... SS Felipe Lopez has reached base in 12 straight games.
ARIZONA: 3B Chad Tracy had a cortisone shot in his right knee. He's expected to return to the line-up Tuesday night at Florida. ... OF Carlos Quentin, on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury, is likely to begin a rehabilitation stint at Triple-A Tucson this week. Without Quentin, the Diamondbacks don't have a fourth outfielder. ... RHP Brandon Webb, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, has set a franchise record with 33 consecutive scoreless innings. Webb, who has thrown back-to-back complete-game shutouts, broke his own team record of 30 straight shutout innings. ``The run he's put together has been phenomenal, and the timing couldn't be better,'' manager Bob Melvin said.

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