CLEVELAND: OF Kenny Lofton said he hadn't faced RHP Joel Zumaya before hitting a tiebreaking single in the 10th inning of a 3-1 win over Detroit. But he knew enough about the hard-throwing reliever that he wanted to jump on the first pitch. ``I didn't want to get into a hole,'' Lofton said. ``Coming off the bench pinch-hitting isn't easy.'' ... The Indians have scored three or fewer runs in 17 of their last 28 games, and improved to 11-36 in those games. When they score at least four runs, they're 59-20. ... CF Grady Sizemore, the only Cleveland player with more than one hit, is batting .311 with two homers and seven RBIs against Detroit this season.
lbow) pitched a bullpen session Thursday and showed some progress, but he needs at least one more session, which he'll get Saturday, before returning to the rotation. ... RF Magglio Ordonez is leading the majors with a .353 batting average. He is hitting .383 in August.
MINNESOTA: The Twins placed third baseman Tommy Watkins on the 15-day DL with a lower abdominal muscle strain, and reinstated third baseman Brian Buscher from the 15-day DL. Watkins was hitting .357 (10-for-28) in nine games since making his major league debut Aug. 10, and was riding a seven-game hitting streak (.417, 10-for-24). ... Through Wednesday, OF Torii Hunter was batting .355 (27-for-76) with eight doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs in 20 games this month. ... 1B Justin Morneau entered Thursday without a home run in 27 games, his longest career drought. ... Wednesday's win over Seattle marked the 18th game Twins pitchers didn't allow a walk, most in the majors.
in a very good position to look a couple days ahead,'' Trembley said. ``We have to take it one game at a time here and try to restore some order to our bullpen.''
Athletics-Devil Rays
OAKLAND: SS Marco Scutaro was scratched from the starting lineup with what manager Bob Geren called a ``non-baseball condition.'' ... RHP Rich Harden, on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder, is feeling better and threw at 140-feet. ... 3B Eric Chavez, out since July 27 because of lower back spasms, has resumed swinging a bat.
TAMPA BAY: RHP Edwin Jackson is 4-12 this season, but has an ERA of 1.36 ERA in his last five starts. ``The biggest thing is being more under control with his emotions,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``He just has a whole different thought process going on. He's using all his pitches. He's pitching.'' ... Maddon said RHP Jay Witasick (right elbow strain) might rejoin the team before rosters can be expanded on Sept. 1. Witasick is currently on a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham.
Red Sox-White Sox
Lopez from Triple-Pawtucket. That gives Boston a tough duo of lefties in relief with Hideki Okajima and Lopez. Lester, who underwent chemotherapy treatments for lymphoma during the offseason, struggled in his last start, allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. But that had nothing to do with the move. ``I don't think we said we were disappointed in his performance,'' Francona said. Julian Tavarez will now start Sunday's game. ... 2b Dustin Pedroia, who left Wednesday's game after being hit in the elbow by a pitch, was in the initial lineup Thursday but then scratched. X-rays on his elbow were negative. ... The Red Sox added some insurance and perhaps defensive backup when they signed veteran Royce Clayton to a minor league contract. He could be called up when rosters expand. The Red Sox are Clayton's 11th team.
CHICAGO: Manager Ozzie Guillen was using a wait and see approach on LF Scott Podsednik, who had to leave Tuesday's game against the Royals with a strained right ribcage muscle. If Podsednik doesn't improve soon, he'll probably go back to the DL for a third time this season. He's already been there for a strained left ribcage muscle and a strained right adductor. ... Guillen's encouraged by the play of rookie third baseman Josh Fields, who has 15 homers and 46 RBIs in 69 games after taking over when Joe Crede was lost for the season after back surgery. With Crede expected back next season, Fields could be moved to left field. Fields has been decent at third base but he's not as good as Crede. ``Josh is not going to be Joe Crede,'' Guillen said. ``Josh will get better. This guy is a quick learner.'' ... The White Sox have hit at least 200 homers in seven straight seasons. Chicago will need to hit 58 homers in the final 36 games to make it eight in a row. ... Jermaine Dye has batted .303 with 12 homers and 24 RBIs since the All-Star break.
SEATTLE: The club has eight players with 50 or more RBIs to match the Mariners record set four previous times (1987, 1997, 2001-02). ... The team entered Thursday night with a major league-high 36 come-from-behind wins.
TEXAS: Manager Ron Washington kept 2B Ian Kinsler and CF Marlon Byrd out of the starting lineup after each played all 18 innings of Wednesday night's doubleheader against Baltimore. ... RHP Akinori Otsuka likely won't pitch again this season even after three doctors who examined his sore right elbow found no structural damage. General manager Jon Daniels said Thursday night that Otsuka would be shut down for up to three weeks before the right-hander tries to throw again. Otsuka visited Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., earlier this week and had already been examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in California and Rangers team orthopedist Dr. Keith Meister.
LOS ANGELES: Juan Pierre has an 11-game hitting streak. He's batting .417 (20-for-48) in that span. Pierre was thrown out trying to steal second base by catcher Carlos Ruiz, ending a career-best streak of 18 straight successful attempts. ... Jonathan Broxton gave up a homer to Tadahito Iguchi, ended his streak of 96 2-3 innings without giving one up. It was the longest streak in team history and fifth-longest in the majors since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958. ... Chad Billingsley has held the opposing Nos. 1-3 hitters to a .178 average (27-for-152).
PHILADELPHIA: RHP Adam Eaton, on the DL with a shoulder strain, is scheduled to throw 40 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Reading on Friday night. If all goes well, Eaton could start early next week against the New York Mets. ``It's feeling better,'' Eaton said. ... All-Star 2B Chase Utley, out since having hand surgery on July 27, could be ready for a rehab assignment as early as Friday. He also could return for the Mets series. ... The Phillies had won five straight series at home before losing two of three to the Dodgers.
PITTSBURGH: OF Xavier Nady was out of the starting lineup with a sore hamstring. Nady hurt it running after a flyball in Wednesday's game. ... LHP Shane Youman will pitch the second game of a double-header Tuesday for the Pirates against Cincinnati. ``He was the logical choice,'' manager Jim Tracy said. ... There were no result available of the MRI exam done on the shoulder OF Chris Duffy. Duffy is at the team's training facility in Bradenton, Fla. ... LHP Paul Maholm has held opponents to one run in two of his last three starts.
COLORADO: OF Jamey Carroll was in right field to give the Rockies another right-handed bat against LHP Paul Maholm. ``We didn't put our lineup together by pulling names out of a hat,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``These are times where you have to be aggressive and creative and whatever it takes to win games.'' ... Regular RF Brad Hawpe is hitting .188 (18-for-96) against left-handers. ... OF Matt Holliday has a 13-game hitting streak. ... Colorado won the season series with the Pirates 4-3. ... Colorado hitters were 5-for-37 with runners in scoring position in the series.
me since Sept. 1, 2006, when he was with Texas. ... Kerry Wood struck out Pedro Feliz in the seventh inning for the 1,305th of his career, tying him with Greg Maddux for fourth place on the franchise list.
SAN FRANCISCO: Manager Bruce Bochy said he considered pitching out with a 3-1 count and runners on first and third in the 10th inning Wednesday because he was sure the Cubs would call for a squeeze bunt. He decided against it and Henry Blanco got the bunt down to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. ``We were close. We were really close,'' said Bochy, who has used that unconventional strategy before. ``I should have. You knew they were going to try it at one point.'' ... RHP Kevin Correia is penciled in to start Saturday's game against Milwaukee, if he is not needed in the bullpen before then.
feeling pretty good,'' Black said. ``To step up activity, he has to feel good for a week.''
NEW YORK: General manager Omar Minaya said Pedro Martinez threw in the bullpen Thursday at St. Lucie, Fla., and will next take the mound Monday for the Class A team. Martinez will throw ``between 80 and 90 pitches,'' Minaya said. The team considered moving him up to Double-A, but decided the competition wasn't important and that it was best for Martinez to stay where he was for now. Minaya also said there was ``a little bit of a neck issue'' in his last start, when he allowed two unearned runs in five innings for St. Lucie. Martinez will not be called up before Sept. 1, Minaya said. ... C Paul lo Duca will two rehabilitation games for Class-A Brooklyn, on Thursday and Friday nights. If all goes well, he will play Saturday night for Double-A Binghamton at Trenton. Asked if Lo Duca would be ready to be activated on Monday, manager Willie Randolph said, ``I have no idea. I don't know his body. It depends how he looks.'' ... Randolph said he and Minaya have not discussed September callups, but that reliever Joe Smith would certainly join the team. ... 1B Carlos Delgado, who missed four games because of a hyperextended knee, looked uncomfortable at the plate in his return Wednesday night, and went 0-for-5. ``This year it's been a real struggle for him to find his rhythm, and this is no different,'' Randolph said.
ATLANTA: SS Edgar Renteria was placed on the 15-day DL on Thursday, one day after he was activated. On the first pitch he saw while batting second in Atlanta's game against Cincinnati on Wednesday, Renteria checked his swing and aggravated the right ankle sprain that had forced him to miss 17 games since Aug. 3. ``It's difficult, especially because we're right there in the race,'' Renteria said. ... INF Martin Prado, who was optioned to Triple-A Richmond on Wednesday but never left Cincinnati, was recalled. ... RF Jeff Francoeur had collected 14 of his major league-leading 18 outfield assists since June 1. That's three more than the three players behind him in the National League have compiled all season.
catcher Johnny Bench and second baseman Joe Morgan, and outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. for being voted by fans to the all-time Gold Glove team.
WASHINGTON: The Nationals and Astros were still abuzz over OF Nook Logan's acrobatic catch up ``Tal's Hill'' in centerfield on Wednesday in Houston. ``I knew that the hill was coming up, and when you get there you really have to shorten your steps,'' said Logan, who fell down while making the catch. ``I didn't practice (shagging flies on the hill) because I didn't think I was going to have to run that far.'' Logan is also the team's hottest hitter, with a team-best .345 average since the All-Star break. ... LHP Mike Bacsik said moving to the bullpen for a period of time helped his rookie season. ``When you are out there, sometimes, you can really use all your best stuff,'' said Bacsik, who started Wednesday, allowing three runs in six innings. ``I really think I attacked the hitters better than I did the last road trip.'' ... The Nationals have already won the season series against the Astros, going 4-2 heading into Thursday's finale. Washington also won season series against NL Central foes Cincinnati (6-1) and St. Louis (5-1).
HOUSTON: General manager Tim Purpura said there are several starting pitchers currently in the minors that could see action for Houston in September - notably Triple-A Round Rock's Felipe Paulino and Troy Patton and Double-A Corpus Christi's Miguel Ascencio. ``(Ascencio) was a reliever in Triple-A, and was sent to Double-A to start. He likes that role, and he's comfortable in that role. We've looked at him a little bit,'' Purpura said. ... The Astros faced a rookie starting pitcher (John Lannan) for the 11th time this season. They are 4-6 in the previous 10 games. ... 2B Craig Biggio has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, with a .348 average in that span.
FLORIDA: Manager Fredi Gonzalez ordered his players not to show up early for Thursday's finale after the Marlins lost their eighth straight game. ``I said, 'Whoever shows up before 5 o'clock will be fined unless you need to get treatment,''' Gonzalez said. The Marlins had lost nine of 10 overall, and squandered leads in the eighth and seventh innings the first two games of a three-game series in St. Louis. ``It definitely takes the wind out of you,'' said Jeremy Hermida, whose two-run homer had given the Marlins a 4-3 lead. ... Dan Uggla was 4-for-23 batting sixth before going back to the second spot in the lineup on Wednesday. Gonzalez had moved him down after CF Alejandro de Aza was activated from the DL on Aug. 8. ... Hanley Ramirez' 26-game streak of reaching base safely, which ended with an 0-for-4 game on Wednesday, was the team's longest since Ramirez did it in 36 straight from July 27-Sept. 3, 2006. ... C Miguel Olivo picked off his seventh runner Wednesday night, equaling the major league-leading total of the Cardinals' Yadier Molina last season. No other catcher had more than two.
ST. LOUIS: RHP Ryan Franklin allowed two runs, three hits and the lead in the seventh Wednesday, and it cost him a victory when the Cardinals rallied for three runs in the bottom half. Official scorer Gary Mueller awarded the win instead to Russ Springer, ruling that Franklin had not pitched effectively, and Franklin had no argument. ``I don't deserve it,'' he said. ``I take all the blame.'' ... LHP Mark Mulder (shoulder) is scheduled to make his third rehab start on Sunday, this time for Triple-A Memphis. The first two outings were with Class A Palm Beach. Pitching coach Dave Duncan said Mulder ``should be capable'' of joining the rotation but said the plan had not been finalized. ... Closer Jason Isringhausen, who underwent hip surgery last September, had picked up three saves in consecutive games. Duncan said it was ``common sense'' that Isringhausen would not be available Thursday night.

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