Sunday, September 2, 2007


KANSAS CITY: The Royals tied a season-high with 16 hits Sunday. Kansas City had at least 11 hits in three of the four games in Minnesota. ... Shane Costa tied a career-high Sunday with three hits. ... RHP Brian Bannister is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his last four starts. He is 7-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his last nine starts. "He just seems to make pitches when he has to, and he doesn't change his tempo or his rhythm," said manager Buddy Bell. ... Alex Gordon had his first career multihomer game Sunday. "He's just another kid that just keeps getting better defensively and offensively. It's not even as consistent as you're going to see up here in the next year or so. That's really promising," Bell said. ... Joey Gathright has four hits in his last 31 at-bats.

MINNESOTA: Minnesota remains 91/2 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central. The teams begin a three-game series Monday in the Metrodome. "We need to sweep them. Anything other than that doesn't really do you any good," said manager Ron Gardenhire. ... RHP Kevin Slowey will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester in time for Monday's game. The team also will also purchase the contract of RHP Nick Blackburn from Rochester.... Gardenhire said C Joe Mauer, out for more than a week with a strained left hamstring, could be out for another week. Mauer ran on a treadmill Saturday, but still has not run on the field. ... Sunday's attendance was 26,454, putting the team over 2 million for the ninth time. The Twins are on pace to attract 2,378,820 fans, which would be the club's highest total since 1992.


Devil Rays-Yankees

TAMPA BAY: 1B Carlos Pena hit three homers in the series against the Yankees. ... LF Carl Crawford extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has hit safely in 30 of his last 33 games. ... Tampa Bay tied a season high with four homers in Sunday's 8-2 win. The Devil Rays also went deep four times in a 6-5 win over Toronto in their home opener on April 6. ... RF Delmon Young extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has five hitting streaks of at least 10 games this season, matching Ichiro Suzuki for the most by a rookie in the last 50 years. Suzuki did it with Seattle in 2001.

NEW YORK: RHP Ian Kennedy got about 30 text messages and spent the night hanging out with friends and family members after he earned his first major league win Saturday. "My phone actually died yesterday at about 11 o'clock," he said. "It died in the middle of a phone call." ... Manager Joe Torre said RHP Roger Clemens should be able to start Monday against Seattle despite blisters on his feet and possibly some elbow inflammation. "It's the push-off foot that's probably more a hassle for him at this point," Torre said, "because you don't pitch over the years without having some arm worries here and there." RHP Mike Mussina, whose turn in the rotation was skipped Saturday, will pitch if Clemens can't go.


Mariners-Blue Jays

SEATTLE: The Mariners lost 6-4 in Toronto Sunday, their season-high ninth straight defeat. It's Seattle's longest losing streak since an 11-game slide from Aug. 10-20, 2006. ... 1B Richie Sexson (left hamstring) is expected to miss the upcoming three-game series against the New York Yankees. Sexson, who aggravated the injury in Cleveland last Thursday, has not yet resumed workouts. "They want him to quiet it down and stay off it," manager John McLaren said. Ben Broussard, Jose Vidro and Mike Morse will split time at first base until Sexson returns. ... Seattle is 28-29 since McLaren replaced Mike Hargrove as manager on July 2.

TORONTO: Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus didn't start against Seattle right-hander Jeff Weaver in Sunday's 6-4 win because of soreness caused by plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Glaus, who pinch-hit in the seventh, is 2-for-34 career against Weaver. ... The Blue Jays purchased the contract of LHP Joe Kennedy from Triple-A Syracuse before Sunday's game. The seven-year veteran will audition for a bullpen role in 2008 during the final month of the season. ... OF Matt Stairs doubled and homered in his first two at-bats Sunday, giving him eight consecutive extra-base hits (five doubles and three homers). ... C Gregg Zaun homered in the second inning Sunday, giving him home runs in consecutive games for the first time this season.



DETROIT: LHP Kenny Rogers is returning to the Tigers' rotation for the September stretch run. Rogers is scheduled to start Wednesday's home game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park, which will be his first outing in more than a month. On July 26, Rogers went on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season, with inflammation in his left elbow. "I think any time you get a guy like that back, it's certainly good for morale," manager Jim Leyland said. "A lot of that depends on if he's healthy and performing." The 42-year-old Rogers, who threw a bullpen session Sunday, is 3-2 with a 5.23 ERA in only 32 2-3 innings. He began the season on the DL after having surgery March 30 to remove a blood clot from his left shoulder and repair arteries. ... The Tigers' toughest road trips are behind them. They begin a 10-game homestand Tuesday that includes a doubleheader with the Rangers on Sept. 11. Detroit still has a six-game trip to Minnesota and Cleveland, then three games to end the year at Chicago. "It's fine if we play good at home," Leyland said. "We haven't played good at home. We have to play better at home."

OAKLAND: Manager Bob Geren isn't sure whether RHP Rich Harden might pitch again before the season ends. He has been on the DL since July 8 with a strained right shoulder. "It's important to me that he feels good, feels strong and continues to progress," Geren said. ... The A's plan to activate SS Donnie Murphy from the disabled list Monday for the opener of a three-game series with the Angels in Anaheim. He has been out since Aug. 19 with a strained rib cage muscle. ... Injured SS Bobby Crosby is no longer wearing a cast on his broken left hand. Out since July 25 with the injury, he will join the team in Anaheim. Crosby has been going to a hand therapist in Southern California. ... Jack Cust had his first career four strikeout game Saturday, then went 0-for-3 with two walks Sunday.


Orioles-Red Sox

BALTIMORE: Ramon Hernandez hit his second homer in four games after going 28 games without one. ... The Orioles had 13 hits in the first game of the series but just seven in the last two games combined. ... 2B Brian Roberts and CF Corey Patterson didn't start after making two outs in the ninth Saturday night when Clay Buchholz pitched a no-hitter for Boston. Roberts pinch hit Sunday for Freddie Bynum and made the last out by flying to center fielder Coco Crisp. ... Baltimore is a season-high 17 games below .500.

BOSTON: Reliever Eric Gagne is expected to miss a few days with tenderness in his right shoulder after struggling in several games after being traded from Texas on July 31. "He threw so much on the side trying to get right, I think he made himself a little tender," manager Terry Francona said. ... Left fielder Manny Ramirez missed his fifth consecutive game because of a strained muscle in his left side. ... LHP Jon Lester is unbeaten in his last 10 starts with a 5-0 record despite a 6.28 ERA. ... David Ortiz stole his third base of the season. He had a total of two over the last four seasons.


White Sox-Indians

CHICAGO: Manager Ozzie Guillen said he wants to see more of CF Jerry Owens before deciding if he will be the team's leadoff hitter next season. "I'd like to see his on-base percentage a little higher," Guillen said. "He's got good speed. We'll keep him in there and see how he does." Owens, who has a .310 on-base percentage, drew two walks Sunday, including one with the bases loaded. His 23 stolen bases are tied with Mike Cameron for second-most by a White Sox rookie. John Cangelosi stole 50 in 1986. ... OF Darin Erstad's homer Sunday was his first in 194 plate appearances. ... RHP Bobby Jenks has retired 53 of the last 54 batters he has faced. ... The White Sox will call up three or four pitchers from Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. RHPs Nick Masset, David Aardsma and Lance Broadway and LHP Andrew Sisco are among the possibilities.

CLEVELAND: Manager Eric Wedge is pleased with OF Franklin Gutierrez, who has worked his way into the regular job in right field. "He's made himself a more complete player," Wedge said of Gutierrez, who is batting .279 with 10 homers in 75 games. "We sent him back to (Triple-A) Buffalo to work on some things. He did and it is showing." Gutierrez has five homers in his last 28 games and has hit .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles and a homer in his last four games. ... Rookie INF Asdrubal Cabrera made his first career error in 20 games Sunday. ... The Indians' 36-21 record against AL Central teams is the best in the division. Their 44-27 home record also is best in the AL Central.



TEXAS: The Rangers entered Sunday in the AL West cellar, but just four games behind third-place Oakland -- whom they host for three games next weekend after the Athletics complete a three-game set in Anaheim against the first-place Angels. Catching and overtaking the A's would be a coup for the Rangers, considering their 23-42 start. They finished third in each of the previous three seasons, after four consecutive last-place finishes. "That part of it will take care of itself, if it's meant to be," manager Ron Washington said. "I know you get judged on wins and losses, and I think we can play .500 ball the rest of the way."

LOS ANGELES: Juan Rivera made his long-awaited season debut in RF, after rehabbing from a broken left leg he sustained on Dec. 22 while playing winter ball. Rivera had 23 homers, 85 RBIs and a .310 average in 124 games last season while starting at all three OF positions and DH-ing occasionally. "Juan had (the equivalent of) a full spring training -- more than 60 at-bats -- and the reports were in the last 20 at-bats he was really feeling good in the batter's box," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's a guy who is definitely going to add depth to our team, and he's ready for the challenge." ... RHP Greg Jones was designated for assignment to make room for Rivera on the 40-man roster. ... 3B Chone Figgins missed his 11th straight game because of a sprained left wrist, matching the total number of games he sat out the previous two seasons combined. "It's getting better every day, but I don't know how much longer," Figgins said. "Obviously you want to be out there, but the good part it is that the team's winning."




HOUSTON: The Astros start a three-game series in Milwaukee on Monday. The trip will carry some extra significance for interim manager Cecil Cooper, who played the final 11 years of his career with the Brewers. Cooper, who has led Houston since Phil Garner was fired last Monday, worked for the Brewers for six years in varying roles starting in 1997. He interviewed with Milwaukee for their managerial opening in 2002. "That was the first real interview that I had," he said. "I always thought that might be the place that I'd get a chance to do it at as a manager, but that didn't work out. It will be a big thrill for me." ... C Eric Munson started Sunday and went 0-for-4. It was Munson's first time catching RHP Woody Williams this season, and Cooper explained that it was time for the club to see what it has in Munson. "I'm of the opinion that we need to find out if Eric Munson is going to be a guy that can be a big part of our team next year," Cooper said. ... 2B Craig Biggio played his last game at Wrigley Field.

CHICAGO: Cubs manager Lou Piniella decided he will skip LHP Sean Marshall's next turn in the rotation. RHP Steve Trachsel, who was acquired in a trade from the Orioles on Friday, will take Marshall's spot. Trachsel will start Tuesday against the Dodgers. Piniella isn't sure how long Marshall will be out. "I just don't know. I wish I knew. Let's just leave it at this for now and then we can make up our minds," Piniella said. Marshall is 7-7 with a 3.98 ERA in 18 starts. Piniella said he will be available out of the bullpen for relief. ... Lee, who hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, has hit 10 home runs after snapping a 126 at-bat homerless streak July 15 at Houston. ... The Cubs got four scoreless innings from their bullpen on Sunday. Kerry Wood pitched 1 1-3 inning, and Ryan Dempster and Michael Wuertz each pitched a scoreless inning. Carlos Marmol and Scott Erye each got one out. ... Dempster has converted his last 13 save opportunities.



NEW YORK: RHP Orlando Hernandez threw in the bullpen before the game. He was back with the team after getting a cortisone shot for a sore tendon in his right foot in New York. He could return to the rotation as early as Wednesday, giving manager Willie Randolph flexibility with as many as six starters for September. "We'll just see how he looks," Randolph said of Hernandez. RHP John Maine, the scheduled starter Wednesday in Cincinnati, could be pushed back a day. "We're not going to go to a strict six-starter thing," Randolph said.

ATLANTA: SS Yunel Escobar hit leadoff after sitting out Saturday because of a sore left elbow. He was 1-for-4. ... RHP Tim Hudson's next scheduled start has been pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday. The Braves have not said who will replace Hudson as Tuesday's starter against Philadelphia. ... The Braves have been swept in five three-game series.



PHILADELPHIA: RHP Adam Eaton hit the third homer of his career Sunday, and his first since May 26, 2003. He's batting .236. ... With a 7-6 loss at Florida, the Phillies fell to 11-21 in one-run games. In other games, their record is 61-43. ... SS Jimmy Rollins' streak of multi-hit games ended at seven when he went 1-for-5. It was the longest such streak by a Phil since Ricky Jordan had a streak of eight in a row in 1992.

FLORIDA: C Matt Treanor bruised his left knee in an eighth-inning collision when he tried to score on a grounder, and he's expected to miss at least a couple of games. ... RHP Armando Benitez was unavailable Sunday and is day to day because of a stiff back. ... LHP Dontrelle Willis doubled for his sixth career pinch hit Sunday. "I wasn't scared up there," said Willis, who is batting .235. "It was a great move, I guess, because I got on." ... RF Jeremy Hermida was moved up to third in the order and went 0-for-4. ... For the fourth time this season, SS Hanley Ramirez has hit in 10 consecutive games. ... CF Alejandro De Aza is hitless in his past 21 at-bats.



PITTSBURGH: LHP Paul Maholm (10-14) has a stiff lower back and will not pitch Monday when the Pirates open a four-game series in St. Louis. Manager Jim Tracy said Ian Snell (8-11) and Matt Morris (8-8) will move up a day in the rotation. "I'm not sure after that," Tracy said of who will pitch later this week. ... First baseman Adam LaRoche left the game Sunday in the bottom of the fifth inning of Pittsburgh's 7-4 loss to Milwaukee because of the bruised left knee he suffered in an at-bat Saturday night. Tracy said the knee tightened up and "he lost his mobility." LaRoche's availability will be day-to-day.

MILWAUKEE: Prince Fielder's two-run homer Sunday in Milwaukee's 7-4 victory over Pittsburgh made him the fourth player in Brewer history to hit 40 home runs. "It's pretty cool," Fielder said of joining Gorman Thomas, Ben Oglivie and Richie Sexson in that elite group. Fielder is just five homers from tying the club record of 45 set by Thomas in 1979 and tied in 2001 and 2003 by Sexson. ... RHP Ben Sheets (11-4) pitches Monday to open a three-game series against Houston. ... Former Brewer Cecil Cooper returns to Milwaukee as manager of the Astros. He was named last week to replace Phil Garner when Houston fired the former Brewer manager.



SAN FRANCISCO: Kevin Frandsen started at second base Sunday and manager Bruce Bochy hinted that Frandsen, who went 2-for-3, may get more playing time ahead of Ray Durham, who is signed through 2008. Durham hit .123 (9-for-73) in August. "(Durham) has had a lot of playing time and it's time to give Frandsen some time," Bochy said. Frandsen is 10-for-31 (.322) in his last 11 games. ... RHP Noah Lowry continues to experience fatigue and the date of his next start remains unknown. He hasn't thrown since Wednesday, when he gave up seven runs in Colorado. Bochy said Lowry would have to throw a side session before his next start is determined. ... OF Barry Bonds sat out Sunday's game and Bochy said Bonds would "probably" play Monday at Colorado. ... 1B Rich Aurilia's homer Sunday was his first since July 25 and his first extra-base hit since an Aug. 20 double.

WASHINGTON: Rookie LHP Matt Chico credited a shorter stride for his successful return to the majors after two minor league starts. Chico threw a season-high seven innings Sunday and walked only one. He had been sent down to Triple-A on Aug. 17 because of control problems. The shorter stride keeps him moving forward off the mound -- and thus keeps his pitches from tailing out of the strike zone. "It feels a little awkward still right now," Chico said. "But in time hopefully it'll feel normal." ... CF Nook Logan's RBI triple in the third inning improved his NL-leading batting average with two outs and runners in scoring position to .455 (15-for-33). ... Starting Monday, the Nationals play nothing but NL East opponents for the rest of the season. Two of them -- New York and Philadelphia -- are fighting for a playoff spots. "Like it or not, we are in the pennant race," manager Manny Acta said. "We're like a construction site for the other teams. When you walk around a construction site, once in a while you step on a nail and you get hurt."


CINCINNATI: Interim manager Pete Mackanin held a team meeting after the Reds were swept in a three-game series by the Cardinals. "I challenged them to find ways to win," Mackanin said. "I feel we're every bit as good as this St. Louis Cardinals team." ... Scott Hatteberg was 3-for-4 and is batting .452 (14-for-31) in his last 10 games. ... The Reds have gone consecutive games without a home run for the first time since a four-game drought from July 28-Aug. 1. The Reds entered the day second in the NL with 181 homers, three fewer than the Brewers. ... Sunday's lineup was the 100th variation used in the first 137 games. ... David Weathers needs one save to become the Reds' first 30-save man since Danny Graves in 2002.

ST. LOUIS: Brendan Ryan's uncontested steal of third base, which caught reliever Bill Bray by surprise, was crucial to the Cardinals taking a 3-1 lead in the seventh. Ryan was perhaps two-thirds of the way to third before Bray took notice and there wasn't even a throw. Rick Ankiel followed with a sacrifice fly. ... Reliever Troy Percival strained a quad muscle on Saturday night, when he was removed after three pitches. He was hopeful he'd be ready to pitch by Tuesday at the latest. ... Braden Looper threw seven scoreless innings to help the Cardinals climb above .500 for the first time since they were 6-5 on April 15, when he also was the winning pitcher. ... All but one of Rick Ankiel's six home runs have come at home. He's batting .467 (14-for-30) during an eight-game hitting streak. ... The Cardinals have seven straight day games at home and are 14-6 on Sunday.



COLORADO: Holliday, who has reached base in a franchise-best 38 straight games, finished 2-for-4 in the Rockies' 4-3 win at Arizona Sunday and edged ahead of Atlanta's Edgar Renteria and Chase Utley of Philadelphia for the NL battling lead at .337. ... RHP Josh Fogg raised his career record to 6-1 against the Diamondbacks. ... Todd Helton is hitting .469 (15-for-32) with a home run and seven RBIs at Chase Field this season. ... RF Brad Hawpe has seven RBIs in his last eight games. ... CF Willy Taveras' infield single in the first was his major-league leading 51st. ... Colorado has taken eight of 15 against Arizona this season. ... The Rockies and Diamondbacks finish the season with a three-game series in Colorado. ARIZONA: San Diego and Arizona open a three-game series Monday at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks have held at least a share of first-place since July 31. ... Brandon Webb's frustration with a second straight rough start showed in the fourth inning Sunday when he jawed briefly with home-plate umpire Bill Miller as he left the field in the middle of the fourth and continued the conversation when he batted in the bottom of the inning. ... Tony Clark, coming off a five RBI game Saturday, started again Sunday in place of Conor Jackson. Jackson, who took a hard grounder off his left wrist Friday, came on as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. ... Emilio Bonifacio made his major league debut when he pinch ran for Chris Snyder in the eighth.



LOS ANGELES: Reliever Roberto Hernandez appeared in his 1,005 career game, tied for 10th all-time with Mike Jackson. ... 3B Andy LaRoche was recalled by the Dodgers from Triple-A Las Vegas and started. LaRoche got the start a day after Shea Hillenbrand committed a two-base error and struck out twice. Hillenbrand also struck out three times Friday night.

SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Bud Black said LF Milton Bradley's left side was sore after Saturday night's game. "It's nothing to be concerned with," Black said. Bradley, who spent time on the DL earlier this season with a strained left oblique, will be back in the starting lineup on Monday afternoon at Arizona. ... C Josh Bard and 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff also got the day off. C Michael Barrett started a day after coming off a stint on the DL. He had been out due to concussion-like symptoms.

No comments: