Orioles-Blue Jays
BALTIMORE: RHP Danys Baez has a partial tear in his right elbow and will likely miss the rest of the season. Manager Dave Trembley said Baez will seek a second opinion after an MRI exam Friday revealed the partial tear. ... Trembley served the final game of a three-game suspension for an animated tirade near second base after he was ejected from Wednesday's 18-6 loss to the Angels. ... 3B Melvin Mora (tight lower back) could return to the lineup Sunday, Trembley said. ... RHP Rob Bell pitched two innings of relief Saturday before leaving with a stiff back. He is day to day. ... RHP Victor Zambrano made his Baltimore debut Saturday with four innings of scoreless relief.
TORONTO: 2B Aaron Hill hit his 41st double of the season, matching Roberto Alomar's club record, set in 1991. ... DH Frank Thomas hit his 509th homer and is two away from tying Mel Ott for 20th place. ... RHP Roy Halladay reached 15 wins for the fourth time. He is 15-4 with a 2.80 ERA in 25 games against Baltimore.
TEXAS: 3B Hank Blalock threw before the game to test his tender forearm, which still had some soreness but had improved some. Blalock, who missed 106 days after surgery on his clavicle area to remove a rib, was limited to the DH role. He will likely have Sunday off but could play the field next week at Minnesota if he is better. ... Manager Ron Washington is encouraged with how Ian Kinsler has performed in the leadoff hole, a spot he has shared with Frank Catalanotto. If the Rangers use them both to lead off again in 2008, Washington would be OK with that. In his second major league season, Kinsler has learned to be more patient at the top of the order - something Washington needs to see. ``Kinsler continues to progress. He's handled being at the top of the lineup pretty well,'' Washington said. ``He's got to continue to show patience. He has the ability to do that. He's very fortunate he can also pop the ball out of the ballpark, but he's not a home run hitter. I don't want him trying to go deep.'' ... Michael Young had his career-best 14-game hitting streak snapped.
e-A playoffs with the River Cats. His first outing for Oakland will be his major league debut ... RHP Rich Harden, close to returning from the DL after recovering from a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to throw a side session Sunday. He pitched a simulated game Thursday and is slated for another Tuesday. The A's have him penciled in to pitch the 23rd at Cleveland and the 29th at home during the season's final weekend against the Los Angeles Angels. ... More than 300 breast cancer survivors - including the mother and aunt of winning pitcher Joe Blanton - took the field before the game to produce a pink awareness ribbon. A moment of silence was held, then the women released pink balloons after the anthem. The A's raised more than $112,500 for breast cancer research.
Yankees-Red Sox
NEW YORK: Chien-Ming Wang walked three batters in an inning for fifth time in his career. Boston took 16 consecutive pitches off him before Jason Varitek fouled one off. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wang's matchup with Josh Beckett was the first time that two pitchers sharing the major league lead in wins in September have faced each other since New York's David Cone met Boston's Pedro Martinez on Sept. 8, 1998; Cone won 3-2.
BOSTON: DH David Ortiz drew his 100th walk of the season in the third inning, his third consecutive season with at least 100 walks. ... RHP Mike Timlin made his 1,006th career appearance, moving past Mike Jackson into sole possession of 11th place. ... OF Jacoby Ellsbury was 2-for-2 with two runs and three RBIs. He has hit safely in all 13 games he has played in since being recalled from the minors on Sept. 1.
KANSAS CITY: DH Mike Sweeney (strained right groin) wasn't in the lineup Saturday night. He was injured after hitting an RBI double in the fifth inning Friday night. Sweeney said he hopes to play Sunday, but more likely would return Monday. ... Billy Butler, who played first base Friday, was the DH while Ross Gload started at first. ... RHP Brian Bannister held the Indians to one run in six innings Friday, but felt partially responsible for the Royals' 5-4 loss. ``I think I wasted too many pitches early in the game,'' he said. ``By not getting into the seventh inning, I put too much pressure on the bullpen.'' ... C John Buck, who had a seven-game hitting streak snapped Friday, didn't start. Jason LaRue was behind the plate. ... Because of a makeup game in Baltimore on Sept. 24, the Royals don't have an off-day the rest of the season.
being sent to Buffalo in June. He was sent to Akron after the Bisons' season ended so he could keep his arm stretched out. ... Utilityman Joe Inglett, who spent the entire season at Triple-A Buffalo, was claimed on waivers by Toronto. He was designated for assignment on Sept. 6 when OF David Dellucci was activated from the DL. ... The Indians are 15-3 when 2B Asdrubal Cabrera hits second. ... Since being recalled from Buffalo on Sept. 1, LHP Cliff Lee has made two relief appearances, allowing three runs and six hits in two innings. ... Indians starting pitchers lead the majors with 928 innings.
Angels-White Sox
Saturday night in place of Guerrero. ... Gary Matthews Jr. was out of the lineup for a fourth straight game after spraining his right ankle in Baltimore.
CHICAGO: After losing nine straight decisions as a starter, Jose Contreras is 3-0 in his last four starts. ``This is a guy we're going to count on,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``If he keeps throwing the ball the way we know he can throw the ball and sets himself mentally more than physically, we'll be fine with him.'' ... Jim Thome is hoping to become the third player to reach 500 homers this season. According to the Society For American Baseball Research, there have only been three other seasons in the last 40 years in which two batters have joined the 500 club: Mickey Mantle and Eddie Mathews (1967), Harmon Killebrew and Frank Robinson (1971) and Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro (2003).
houldn't get a save if you come in with a three-run lead,'' Leyland said. ``I just don't think it's a good rule.'' ... Leyland was also asked if Marcus Thames could be an every day outfielder. ``I like him a lot,'' Leyland said. ``I do not think he's an everyday outfielder. I think he's a nice platoon player and part-time DH.''
MINNESOTA: Manager Ron Gardenhire said RHP Carlos Silva felt good after testing his groin on Saturday and the team will make a decision on Sunday about whether Silva will make his next scheduled start on Tuesday. The Twins are considering pushing the start back to next weekend. ``We have to be careful with this,'' Gardenhire said. ``It doesn't make any sense to put him back out there and have him hurt it again.'' ... Gardenhire said he'd like 3B Brian Buscher to go to Instructional League and get some infield work in before playing winter ball. ... LF Jason Kubel on hitting second: ``I like it. It gives me a chance to see some pitches I don't see when I'm hitting lower in the order.''
Devil Rays-Mariners
ddon said. Crawford was frustrated sitting in the hotel and watching the past two games ``like one of the fans.'' ... Injured C Josh Paul (lower back) hit the ball off the tee in pre-game, threw and ran. ``He's available emergency wise, but to start, I wouldn't do that to him,'' Maddon said. ... The Devil Rays lead the major's with 40 outfield assists. The club record is 47 set in 1998.
SEATTLE: The Mariners won each of its last three games in its final plate appearance for the second time this season. Seattle won five straight in its final plate appearance in June. ... One of the big improvements for C Kenji Johjima has been his throwing. Johjima has thrown out 37 percent of runners this season, up from 27.8 percent last year. Johjima threw out two runners on Friday night, both part of strike-out, throw-out double plays. ... LHP Jarrod Washburn will make his 30th start of the season on Sunday. It's just the second time since 2003 that Washburn (9-14) has made 30 starts.
hicago in 2004.
NEW YORK: The Mets activated backup C Ramon Castro (lower back arthritis) from the DL. They also recalled RHPs Joe Smith and Brian Lawrence, INF Anderson Hernandez and OF David Newhan from Triple-A New Orleans. ... LF Moises Alou's 19-game hitting streak is the second-longest of his career. He had a 23-game streak with Houston in 2001. ... Closer Billy Wagner was unavailable Saturday. ``He said he needed a day,'' manager Willie Randolph said. ... SS Jose Reyes extended his errorless streak to a career-best 43 games.
un eighth-inning in Game 1 gave him his first two RBIs of the season against the Cardinals. He was batting .250 (9-for-36) against St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS: Braden Looper has allowed four or fewer hits in six of his last seven starts, going 4-1 in that stretch. Looper has no explanation for his major league-leading 1.69 day-game ERA other than that he's an early riser with two young children. He's 5-9 with a 6.05 ERA in 17 night starts. ``I don't know what causes it, because believe me, if I knew, I would make those adjustments at night,'' Looper said. ``I think it's just one of those fluke things this year.'' ... Catcher Yadier Molina was in the lineup for both games of the doubleheader, with backup Gary Bennett hindered by a sore back. ... Alfonso Soriano is batting .367 (11-for-30) against Ryan Franklin with four homers and nine RBIs, including his go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth. Franklin got Soriano on a groundout to start the eighth on Friday but on Saturday he said he hung a slider. ``I made a mistake and that's pretty much it,'' Franklin said.
dgers and the Rockies,'' Byrnes said. ``These guys aren't going to give it to us, and we'd better not expect that because it's just not going to happen.'' ... Even with their two straight losses to the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks have an NL-best 36-23 record since the All-Star break. ... Edgar Gonzalez will face Los Angeles' Esteban Loaiza on Sunday, which is Mexican Independence Day. Coincidentally, they are two of the 13 pitchers from Mexico currently playing in the majors. ... The Diamondbacks are hitting .248 as a team - last in the NL.
tole 63 in 1976.
CINCINNATI: When 2B Brandon Phillips hits his next homer, he'll become the third member of the Reds to hit 30 homers this season, joining OFs Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. It'll be the first time since 1970 the Reds had three players hit at least 30 homers in a season. ... Since manager Ken Mackanin replaced Jerry Narron, the Reds have trimmed nine games off their deficit in the NL Central, going from 17 games out to eight entering Saturday.
MILWAUKEE: A win Saturday would give the Brewers 75, matching their win total in 2006. ... Manager Ned Yost has adjusted the team's rotation for its next series at Houston. After RHP Yovani Gallardo pitches the opener, RHP Ben Sheets will pitch the second game, switching with RHP Dave Bush, who'll start the series finale. ... Milwaukee has hit 206 homers this season, 10 off the franchise high of 216 hit in 1982, which was the last time the Brewers made the playoffs.
ATLANTA: Atlanta reliever Buddy Carlyle hyperextended his right elbow while swinging the bat in the fourth inning. He was removed from the game after throwing his warmup pitches when he came out for the fifth. ... Atlanta SS Edgar Renteria took over the lead for the NL batting title, going 3-for-4 to increase his average to .337.
WASHINGTON: Manager Manny Acta called a closed-door meeting Friday for his slumping Nationals. His message: No mental vacations allowed. ``It's just about staying focused,'' Acta said. ``And making sure that not everything that we've put into the season for 6 1/2 months goes down the drain in the last month of the season. This game is just like life - 'What have you done for me lately?' If we start slacking off now, I'm not going to remember whatever they did in May in the seventh inning with two out like it's a baseball movie. I'm just going to remember my freshest memory.'' ... The Nationals began the day 18 games under .500, matching their season worst. They opened a homestand against the San Francisco Giants after losing the final six games of the nine-game road trip. ``We're all professional in here,'' first baseman Robert Fick said. ``And he wasn't really talking to the older guys, he was talking to the younger guys. The older guys in here will make sure the younger guys show up to play every day until the last day of the season. It was pretty simple. 'Do your job.' He doesn't yell.''
he's fine,'' Tracy said. ``Him seeing the ball for the first time against a left-hander (Wandy Rodriguez) was discussed. But I think he'll be all right.'' Tracy also started Steve Pearce at first base in place of regular Adam LaRoche, who has started 135 games at first. ``I wanted to give Adam a little bit of chance to catch his breath,'' Tracy said. ``And I wanted to allow Pearce to accumulate some major league at-bats.''
HOUSTON: The Astros held a 15-minute team meeting three hours before game time and manager Cecil Cooper said he just wanted to keep the team focused and playing hard. He also wanted them to know they must continue to show up on time. He was asked if punctuality has been a problem. ``No, I just wanted to get it before it gets to be a problem,'' Cooper said. ``We're in the last two weeks. Last place, things are not going well, people tend to sometimes drag around a little bit. I just wanted them to know that, 'Hey, I'm watching, people are watching, keep up tempo.''' ... Rookie CF Josh Anderson made his first start Friday night and went 2-for-5, including his first major league hit. He was back in the lineup Saturday. ``We have to find out about these young players and what better time than now,'' Cooper said. ``We've just got to keep playing them and let him get comfortable. This is a tough place to play center field.''
FLORIDA: RHP Kevin Gregg is the fourth different Marlins closer to record at least 30 saves in the last four years. The previous three were Joe Borowski, Todd Jones and Armando Benitez. ``And he wasn't our closer coming out of spring training,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``We tried (Jorge) Julio and Henry Owens and they didn't work out.'' ... RHP Marcos Carvajal, who was claimed off waivers Wednesday, threw a bullpen session. ``He looked OK,'' Gonzalez said. ``We'll use him when the situation dictates we use him.'' ... Gonzalez hasn't made a decision on who will start Tuesday in Atlanta. ``I need to give it more time,'' he said.
COLORADO: 2B Kaz Matsui took ground balls Saturday, but manager Clint Hurdle isn't sure when he'll be ready. Matsui has been hampered by a right hamstring strain. ``He seems to be making steps forward,'' Hurdle said. ... Hurdle is still hoping to get OF Willy Taveras back before the end of the season. Taveras is out with a strained right quadriceps. ``We're heading in the right direction,'' Hurdle said. ``We're just running out of time.'' ... Hurdle thinks 1B Todd Helton is having a Gold Glove season. Helton, who's won the award three times, has two errors this season. ``I think he's been exceptional this year in the dirt, picking throws,'' Hurdle said. ``He very well could represent the NL with a gold glove and I don't think anyone would blink an eye.''
SAN FRANCISCO: Giants manager Bruce Bochy, formerly the San Diego manager for 12 seasons, doesn't want to hear about playing the role of spolier. Bochy had plenty of experience in that role with the Padres, as eight of his teams finished eight or more games out of first place. But Bochy looks at last-place San Francisco playing out the season differently. ``The way I look at, this is about us finishing out the season strong, not about being a spoiler,'' he said. ``We have some things we want to accomplish in the final games and that's what we are looking at.'' San Francisco is 17-10 since Aug. 16, tied for the second-best record in the NL. ... OF Dave Roberts stole his 30th base Friday night to become the first Giant to reach the mark since Barry Bonds (37) in 1997.
on, Black does not have the option of skipping either of the two spots while moving up one of his other starters on three days rest. ... OF Milton Bradley (oblique muscle strain) is doubtful to play either Sunday or Monday when San Diego opens a four-game series at home against Pittsburgh, Black said.

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