Athletics-Blue Jays
OAKLAND: The Athletics placed OF Travis Buck on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of a strained left hamstring, retroactive to August 18, and recalled infielder J.J. Furmaniak from Triple-A Sacramento. ... Manager Bob Geren said RHP Rich Harden, sidelined since July 12 because of a strained shoulder, is now throwing from 140 feet at Oakland's spring training facility in Arizona. ... Geren said 3B Eric Chavez (back spasms) is headed to Arizona and is expected to resume baseball activities, such as swinging and running, by this Wednesday. .
TORONTO: 2B Aaron Hill was held out of the starting lineup Monday and replaced by Russ Adams. Hill has played in 121 of Toronto's 123 games this season. ... LHP Scott Downs earned the victory Sunday over Baltimore, becoming the first Toronto reliever to earn a win in 36 games, ending a streak that dated back before the All-Star break. The last Toronto reliever to earn a win was RHP Jeremy Accardo, who beat Cleveland on July 8. ... OF Reed Johnson entered play Monday batting .429 (9-for-21) over his past seven games.
Red Sox-Devil Rays
BOSTON: RHP Matt Clement (right shoulder surgery) threw 50 pitches off a bullpen mound. Manager Terry Francona doesn't expect Clement to rejoin the Red Sox this season, but said he could pitch by mid-September in the instructional league. Clement has been working out at Boston's spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. and is set to throw batting practice in the near future. ... The Red Sox started a season-long 10-game, 11-day road trip. After three games at Tampa Bay, Boston will play four at the Chicago White Sox before a three-game set with the New York Yankees.
TAMPA BAY: The Devil Rays might go to a six-man rotation in September. It would allow the team to cut down on the number of pitches thrown by LHP Scott Kazmir and RHP James Shields, and also setup an audition by a minor league pitcher like RHP Jeff Niemann or RHP Mitch Talbot. ``It's not totally finalized,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ... Tampa Bay held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new spring training complex in Port Charlotte, Fla. The team will move their spring operations there in 2009. ``You can see it will be state of the art,'' said Maddon, who attended the ceremony.
SEATTLE: With the Mariners 15-6 over their last 21 games - the best mark in the majors over that span - coming into Monday, manager John McLaren was hesitant to mess with success in his lineup. He also acknowledged the need to give some of his regulars days off before the September stretch run in the race for a playoff spot. ``You hate to break up winning combinations,'' McLaren said, ``but again you hate to put them in situations where they're exhausted.''... Monday's game was the start of a 20-day stretch featuring 17 road games, with series in Minnesota, Texas, Toronto, New York and Detroit. The Mariners, who also play once in Cleveland to make up for a game snowed out earlier this year, will face Los Angeles at home Aug. 27-29. ... Raul Ibanez and Richie Sexson hit first inning home runs Monday, the second straight day Seattle has had two first inning homers. Adrian Beltre and Jose Guillen connected Sunday.
was the leadoff hitter for Monday's game. He's likely destined for that spot permanently next season and on into the future, but the Twins have been hesitant to play him there too much as the rookie gets adjusted to the majors. ``His swing is not exactly perfect from either side, but he'll take pitches and he'll work counts, and if he does get on he's not afraid to (run),'' Gardenhire said.
Royals-White Sox
KANSAS CITY: Entering Monday night's game against the White Sox, OF Joey Gathright is 7-for-11 in his last three games. He is hitting .363 in 33 games with the Royals this season. ... INF Jason Smith, who homered at Oakland on Saturday, has hit 14 of his 15 home runs on the road in his career. According to Stats Inc., the Indians Casey Blake is the only player besides Smith to hit 14 of their first 15 home runs on the road since 1957. ... 2B Mark Grudzielanek is hitting .370 since coming off the disabled list on July 6. Grudzielanek hit .429 in the month of July.
lefty. Guillen has no immediate plans to use Myers in relief opportunities and said when Myers does pitch, he will face lefties. The 38-year-old Myers will get the prorated minimum salary for the rest of this season. The White Sox hold a $1.1 million option for next year with no buyout.
SAN FRANCISCO: LF Barry Bonds will be in the lineup when the Giants begin a homestand Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, but CF Rajai Davis will get a breather, manager Bruce Bochy said. Davis hit safely for the 14th time in his 15 starts with the Giants on Monday. ``He could use a break,'' Bochy said. ... 1B Ryan Klesko is 10-for-23 in the past nine games.
FLORIDA: The Marlins were swept in a series for the sixth time this season when they lost Monday to San Francisco. ... A scoreless streak by the bullpen ended at 15 1-3 innings when Taylor Tankersley gave up two runs in the eighth. ... RF Jeremy Hermida hiked his average in day games to .339 with two hits. He's batting .250 at night.
four homers and 14 RBIs since July 22. ``I feel good at the plate,'' he said. ``I feel fine defensively.'' With the Cardinals only three games behind Chicago for first place in the NL Central, manager Tony La Russa plans to play Rolen as much as possible. ``I think the expectation is that Scott's going to be out there most of the time,'' La Russa said. ``I'm hoping that we can stay in this thing and Scott can keep contributing.''
ll also pitch against the Giants. ... During the Cubs' six-game homestand with the Reds and Cardinals, there were five separate rain delays totaling six hours, 52 minutes.
ATLANTA: LHP Chuck James will miss his scheduled start Tuesday because of soreness in the back of his left shoulder. LHP Jo-Jo Reyes will be called up to start in his place. The Braves will have to make a roster move to open a spot for him. James won't go on the DL for now. ... OF Jeff Francoeur singled in his first two at-bats for his team-high 44th multihit game this season.
CINCINNATI: INF Jeff Conine was traded to the Mets for a pair of minor leaguers. The 41-year-old Conine started 49 games at first base and one at DH for the Reds. The two players acquired, 20-year-old SS Jose Castro and 22-year-old OF Sean Henry, will be assigned to Double-A Chattanooga. The Reds plan to call up INF/OF Jorge Cantu from Triple-A Louisville to take Conine's roster spot. ... C David Ross is recovering from the concussion he suffered Tuesday in a collision with San Diego's Mike Cameron at home plate. ``Yesterday was my best day,'' he said Monday. ``I got my personality back. I was laughing and smiling, and I didn't have a headache. I just did some hitting and throwing and running. I still had a little fogginess.''
HOUSTON: RHP Roy Oswalt threw from flat ground before Monday's game, but his status for Thursday's start wasn't determined. Oswalt left his start Saturday in San Diego with a strained left oblique muscle. Manager Phil Garner said that rookie RHP Juan Gutierrez will start if Oswalt can't. Gutierrez made his major league debut Sunday in San Diego, throwing one scoreless inning. Gutierrez was 5-9 with a 3.96 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 24 games - 23 starts - for Triple-A Round Rock this season. ... OF Carlos Lee, who missed his first start of the season Sunday with a strained right hip flexor, was back in the lineup Monday. Lee pinch-hit in the ninth inning Sunday. ... The Astros began a 10-game homestand Monday, and Garner knows it's getting late for his team to make a run for the NL Central title. ``Things are happening to the teams in front of us,'' Garner said. ``We just have to do our part and win. We have to win, baby.''
starting in center field on Monday, a day after OF Austin Kearns made his first start of the season in center. ... RHP Jesus Colome was available for the first time since being placed on the DL June 24 with a soft tissue infection in his right leg. He was activated Saturday, but because of a missed connection he arrived at RFK Stadium too late to play in Sunday's 8-2 loss to the Mets.
PITTSBURGH: RHP Shawn Chacon, who grew up in Colorado, returned to Denver for the first time since playing for the Rockies in the 2005 season. ... INF Matt Kata started for the Pirates on Monday in place of 1B/OF Xavier Nady. Kata is 16-for-40 in his career at Coors Field. ... Monday's starter RHP Matt Morris is 0-5 with a 7.63 ERA over his last 11 starts. ... The Pirates' 27 home runs in August is third in the majors behind only the Milwaukee Brewers (30) and the New York Yankees (30).
COLORADO: 1B Todd Helton turned 34. ``I got him what he gave me for my birthday,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``Nothing.'' ... LHP Brian Fuentes has not made back-to-back appearances since returning from the DL on Aug. 14. ``We are moving closer to letting him pitch back-to-back games,'' Hurdle said. ``I'm relying on him to let me know how he feels.'' ... OF Jeff Baker, who was hit in the face by Jason Marquis on Aug. 10, has joined Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... RHP Jason Hirsh (fractured right ankle) is close to begin throwing.

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