Athletics-Red Sox
OAKLAND: 1B Daric Barton hit a homer in the first inning and has reached base via a hit or walk in all 14 games he's played since he was called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Sept. 10. ... The Athletics' last eight games of the season are against division leaders. They lost two of three in Cleveland before starting a two-game series in Boston on Tuesday night. They finish the season with three home games against the Los Angeles Angels. ... Oakland made its first error in four games when shortstop Marco Scutaro dropped a popup on the outfield grass as he stood near LF Shannon Stewart.
y against Oakland. ... Lefty reliever Hideki Okajima, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 14 because of a tired arm, threw 40 pitches in a side session while pitching coach John Farrell watched. Francona said Okajima could pitch on Thursday. ``John Farrell seemed very pleased,'' Francona said.
MINNESOTA: CF Torii Hunter played in his career-best 155th game Tuesday, breaking the mark he set in 2004. ... Hunter and 1B Justin Morneau entered Tuesday's game with 58 homers combined, while Minnesota's other seven starters had just 36 between them. The bottom four hitters in the order - rookies Garrett Jones, Chris Heintz, Brian Buscher and Alexi Casilla - started the game with three homers and 27 RBIs between them. ... The Twins need four wins in their final six games to avoid finishing under .500 one season after winning the AL Central. They have been within three games of .500 in every month this season.
mark the Tigers reached for the first time. Woody got a four-seat season-ticket plan and a framed Tigers jersey with the name ``Million'' and the number 3. ... Detroit entered Tuesday's game needing nine total bases to break the franchise record of 2,548, set in 1987.
Blue Jays-Orioles
TORONTO: RHP Josh Banks, a Baltimore native who attended schools in the nearby suburb of Severna Park, Md., will make his first major league start Thursday against the Orioles. Manager John Gibbons said Banks, who was 12-10 with a 4.63 ERA in 23 starts at Triple-A Syracuse, will not be on a pitch count but will be closely monitored. ``We're conscious he hasn't pitched a lot since he came up, so we'll watch him a little bit,'' Gibbons said. ... SS John McDonald will undergo sports hernia surgery once the season concludes, Gibbons said.
ERA for September was 6.45.
Yankees-Devil Rays
NEW YORK: Manager Joe Torre said he hopes to see owner George Steinbrenner, who lives in nearby Tampa, in person on Wednesday. The pair haven't got together since the Yankees' last played at Tampa Bay right after the All-Star break in July. .. Torre, at the request of Tampa Bay 3B Akinori Iwamura, signed the bat the Yankees manager had umpires confiscate during a game on Sept. 1. The bat, which Iwamura plans to display at home, was ruled to be in compliance by MLB. ... RHP Luis Vizcaino, slowed by a tired arm, is expected to be availble during the three-game series at Tampa Bay. ... Torre said rookie RHP Joba Chamberlain should pitch for the first time on back-to-back days this week.
TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon said the team will shut down All-Star LF Carl Crawford for the rest of the season. Crawford has missed seven straight games since straining his left groin Sept. 16 at Seattle. ... INF Brendan Harris was out of the lineup for the seventh game Tuesday with strained left calf muscle. Harris took batting practice and is available to pinch run.
LOS ANGELES: Manager Mike Scioscia gave regulars Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero a second straight off day Tuesday as the team points toward the playoffs. ``They need to recharge,'' Scioscia said. ``Garret will be out there tomorrow and we'll see when Vlad will be back out there. We're trying to win every game, but you have to balance that. It doesn't do us any good to win every game and have those two guys not in uniform for the playoffs.'' Guerrero threw before batting practice for the first time in more than two weeks to test his inflamed right triceps. The Angels need to find out if Guerrero, whose last 13 starts have been at DH, can play RF in the playoffs. Scioscia said he won't announce his weekend rotation until Wednesday.
TEXAS: Manager Ron Washington is still undecided on Sunday's starter for the season finale against Seattle. RHP Brandon McCarthy is among the contenders. McCarthy, who has been slowed by a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade, threw on the side on Tuesday and wants to get in one more start. ``I'd like to see if I'm healthy going into the offseason,'' McCarthy said. RHP Scott Feldman will be added to the Rangers' Arizona Fall League team because management wants him to get in more innings.
Royals-White Sox
KANSAS CITY: Before Tuesday night's game, DH Mike Sweeney is 15-for-43 since being activated from the disabled list. Sweeney was placed on the disabled list June 19 with right knee inflammation and had surgery. He returned to the Royals on Aug. 31 and has played in 69 games this season. Sweeney only played in 60 games in 2006 with a bulging disc in his back. ... Rookie 3B Alex Gordon is in a 1-for-15 slump.
CHICAGO: OF/INF Josh Fields leads AL rookies with 22 homers in 94 games and was named AL player of the week on Monday. He was 11-for-24 with one triple, three doubles and three home runs during the week. He is the first White Sox rookie to hit 20 or more home runs in a season since Ron Kittle hit 35 in 1983. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the club chose to skip LHP Mark Buehrle's final start of the season to take a look at rookie right-hander Lance Broadway. ... Guillen said he will remember this season more than 2005, when they won the World Series. ``You are not going to forget this one. A lot of people say 2005 was great, you're not going to forget that one,'' he said. ``Yes, you will forget about 2005. I never thought we would be in this situation in 2007.''
anges in the starters at Cincinnati this weekend. ``We'll probably tinker with the pitching between now and Sunday,'' he said.
FLORIDA: RHP Daniel Barone (1-3) will start Wednesday for Florida against the Chicago Cubs. ... LF Josh Willingham's back trouble has been diagnosed as a herniated disc, and he may not play again this season. ... Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was surprised by the departure of pitching coach Rick Kranitz. ``I would love to have him back,'' Gonzalez said. ``I thought our relationship was outstanding.'' The Marlins said they offered Kranitz a contract for next season, but he wanted to explore other options. ... RHP Ricky Nolasco, limited to 21 1-3 innings this season because of elbow trouble, will pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
ARIZONA: Manager Bob Melvin still isn't ready to say who will start possibly key games Saturday and Sunday against Colorado. Because Arizona may have clinched the NL West title by then, Melvin may use the final two days to set the postseason rotation. ... Arizona's three top winners - Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez and Brandon Webb - are starting in the Pirates series. ... The D-backs began their second trip to Pittsburgh this season trying for their 17th victory in their last 22 series.
PITTSBURGH: New club president Frank Coonelly told The Associated Press the Pirates won't necessarily have one of the majors' lowest payrolls if they turn themselves around and can pursue players who might make a difference in winning a championship. The Pirates' opening day payroll this season was less than $40 million. ... OF Jason Bay, the club's most durable player since arriving in a 2003 trade with San Diego, will be used as a pinch-hitter the final week of the season. He has been bothered by a sore right knee. ... RHP Ian Snell, who complained recently of being tired, made his final start of the season Tuesday. He would have been in line to start the final game of the season Sunday. LHP Tom Gorzelanny, who has failed three times to get win No. 15, will make one more start.
ATLANTA: Mark Teixeira slammed a three-run, first-inning homer, giving him at least one RBI in 29 of his 50 games since he was acquired from Texas before the trade deadline. ... Andruw Jones could be entering his final week with the Braves. The 30-year-old Jones will be a free agent after this season and is coming off the worst offensive year of his career. ... Tim Hudson (16-9, 3.34) makes his 13 career start against the Phillies on Wednesday. He's 4-4 with a 4.10 ERA lifetime against Philly.
PHILADELPHIA: Jimmy Rollins hit his 30th homer in the first inning to become the second Phillies player to have 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in the same season. Bobby Abreu did it in 2001 and 2004. Barry Larkin and Alex Rodriguez were the only other regular shortstops to have a 30-30 season. ... Struggling right-hander Adam Eaton (10-9, 6.33) didn't lose his turn in the rotation this week, but he will be pushed back to Saturday against the Nationals instead of staying on his regular turn and facing the Braves. Ace Cole Hamels will stay on course and pitch on four days' rest Friday night. If there's a one-game playoff next Monday, Kyle Lohse would be in line to start.
ed behind the plate.
NEW YORK: RF Shawn Green singled in the fifth for his 2,000th hit. ... With the struggling Mets trying desperately to hang onto first place in the NL East, RHP Philip Humber is scheduled to make his first major league start Wednesday night against Washington. ``When he's on, he's got pretty good stuff,'' manager Willie Randolph said. Humber, the third overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft out of Rice, went 11-9 with a 4.27 ERA in 25 starts at Triple-A New Orleans this year. His most recent outing was a one-inning relief stint for the Mets on Sept. 11 against Atlanta. ``In the ideal world you would rather have a proven guy, but that option is not available,'' GM Omar Minaya said. ``I believe that he's going to do well because I think he believes that he's going to do well.'' Ex-Met Mike Bacsik starts for the Nationals. ... Minaya said he wouldn't be disappointed if the Mets lost their division lead but made the playoffs as the wild card. ``We're striving to win the division, but to me the goal is to get to the playoffs,'' he said. ... Minaya gave Randolph an impromptu vote of confidence, saying his experience in pennant races makes him the man for the job right now.
HOUSTON: Craig Biggio made the last road start of his career at second base Tuesday at Cincinnati. He won't start Wednesday or Thursday before starting at catcher on Friday in Houston, interim manager Cecil Cooper said. ``He'll play every game over the weekend,'' Cooper said of Biggio, who reached 3,000 career hits this season and is retiring. He hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning on Tuesday. ... Biggio will catch RHP Roy Oswalt on Friday. RHP Brandon Backe will pitch Saturday and RHP Felipe Paulino on Sunday, Cooper said. ... RHP Brad Lidge's job isn't in danger, even after giving up three runs in the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss at St. Louis on Sunday. ``There's nobody lurking,'' Cooper said. ``That story's over.''
e Reds earlier this month.
ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals have lost 35 games by at least five runs. The team went 32-38 in 70 games after the All-Star break, but was outscored 291-100 in the losses. The Cardinals outscored opponents 227-85 in the 32 victories. ... RHP Brad Thompson, who will start against the Brewers Wednesday night, has given up a team-high 23 home runs in just 123 1-3 innings. The Brewers went into Tuesday night's game with a major-league leading 221 homers.
MILWAUKEE: RHP Ben Sheets threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, but still had some discomfort in his strained left hamstring, manager Ned Yost said. The team still has not decided whether he will start Friday night against San Diego. ... C Johnny Estrada could be available for pinch-hitting despite having a torn medial meniscus in his left knee, Yost said. Estrada left Sunday's game at Atlanta with soreness in the knee and is batting .278 with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs in 120 games. Damian Miller started for the second consecutive night Tuesday in Estrada's place.
COLORADO: MVP candidate Matt Holliday was back in the lineup after missing two games with a slightly strained left oblique muscle. ``I think it probably would have been very difficult to keep him out another day,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``When you talk about a special player like him, Matt at less than 100 percent is still way good.'' ... The Rockies entered Tuesday with a major league-low 64 errors - 27 fewer than their total last season, when they were tied for second-fewest in the NL. They never had fewer than 84 prior to this year. ``Our coaches have stressed the importance of defense, and they've done it with a passion,'' Hurdle said. ``Two springs ago, we talked about ways we could improve within our division without changing personnel. And one of those ways was for everybody to get a little better defensively.''
ice, everyone. And I don't really want anyone around me who's not disappointed and frustrated with the way things have turned out.'' ... All-Star C Russell Martin entered Tuesday with a team-high 85 RBIs. Only once in the last 14 seasons has the Dodgers' leading run producer finished with fewer than 90 RBIs. Shawn Green had 85 in 2003. ... Juan Pierre needed three more steals to increase his season total to 64, which would be the highest total by a Dodger since Davey Lopes finished the 1975 campaign with 77. Pierre also needed 11 hits in the final six games to become only the third Dodger since 1986 with at least 200 hits in a season. Mike Piazza had 201 in 1997 and Adrian Beltre had 200 in 2004.

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