AP July 19,2003 wrote:
Notes From Saturday's Games
OAKLAND: With three straight losses against the Twins, starters Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder dropped consecutive games for just the second time. The first was in April 2001 against the Yankees in New York. "It's got to happen sometime," Mulder said. "It's not something any of us are thinking about." ... 1B Scott Hatteberg has made an error in each game this series against Minnesota - half his season total of six. "It's tough. These are plays I need to make. All I can do is keep showing up and keep practicing. It's the first time I've really gone into a defensive fog, and I can't seem to get a routine play over there." ... Slumping CF Eric Byrnes (4-for-52) got a rest Saturday. ... The A's are 1-7 against the Twins but 17-7 against the rest of the AL Central.
MINNESOTA: INF Denny Hocking will have an MRI on the jammed left shoulder he suffered diving for a hit by Oakland's Terrence Long in Saturday's game. The Twins' infield is already thin. 3B Corey Koskie (back) missed his fifth straight game and told Gardenhire he won't be ready to play on Monday as the Twins had hoped. ... RHP Brad Radke won his first game in 10 starts since May 16. ... The Twins won three straight for the first time since June 11-13. ... C Matthew LeCroy, who hit a three-run double Saturday, is 5-for-12 with 11 RBIs in his career with the bases loaded.
CLEVELAND: Ryan Ludwick made his Indians debut and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the DH. He was acquired from Texas on Friday in a trade for OF Shane Spencer and RHP Ricardo Rodriguez. ... LHP C.C. Sabathia dropped to 1-3 with a 10.06 ERA in four starts at Yankees Stadium. ... The Indians have lost seven straight games at Yankee Stadium dating to 2001.
NEW YORK: Reggie Jackson showed he's still got some pop in his bat during the Old-Timers' game at Yankee Stadium, hitting a long drive to the left-center warning track that turned into an inside-the-park homer. Always happy to flash his flair for the dramatic, Jackson slid into home plate even though there was no throw. ... This year marks the 25th anniversary of Bucky Dent's famous home run off Mike Torrez at Fenway Park that helped the Yankees win the AL East in a one-game playoff against Boston on Oct. 2, 1978. Dent, now the manager of New York's Triple-A Columbus affiliate, faced Torrez in the Old-Timers' game and again got the best of him. After Torrez jokingly threw the first pitch over Dent's head, the diminutive former shortstop grounded an RBI single inside the third-base line. ... The Yankees overcame a 14-game deficit to win the division in '78, but former reliever Goose Gossage said he was responsible for much of the drama. "I stunk up the joint for two months. It would have never been the greatest comeback in history if I hadn't dug us that deep hole," Gossage said. ... One of the loudest ovations went to LHP Jim Abbott, making his first appearance at Old-Timers' Day. "It's hard to believe you have the pinstripes on again," Abbott said. ... 1B-DH Nick Johnson, out since May 15 with a stress fracture in his right hand, will begin a rehab stint Monday with Double-A Trenton. He was leading the AL in walks and on-base percentage at the time of the injury. Johnson went 2-for-3 and walked twice in the first game of his rehab stint with Triple-A Columbus on Friday. ... LHP David Wells has won 24 of his last 28 decisions dating to last season.
TEXAS: OF Shane Spencer, acquired along with RHP Ricardo Rodriguez from Cleveland for OF Ryan Ludwick on Friday, joined the Rangers on Saturday. With the Indians starting the day 12 games out of first in the AL Central, the 31-year old Spencer was not surprised he was traded. "I told my wife before this road trip, if we don't win a few games, I'm probably going to end up getting traded to somebody," Spencer said. "That's because I know they've got so many young players." ... Manager Buck Showalter said Spencer will probably start Sunday's game. ... Rodriguez, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right hip injury, will join the Rangers in Baltimore on Monday. There is no timetable for when Rodriguez will be able to pitch. "We'll just see how he goes over the next couple weeks," head trainer Jamie Reed said.
TAMPA BAY: DH Ben Grieve was scheduled to undergo an ultrasound Saturday night at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. He spent Friday night in the hospital after tests discovered a small blood clot under his right armpit. "The most important thing is he gets better," manager Lou Piniella said. "This isn't anything you take lightly." ... OF Carl Crawford started serving a three-game suspension for his participation in a fight during a game against Pittsburgh on June 13. He left Friday's game after the fourth inning with a bruised left heel. Piniella said Crawford would have been available off the bench if he wasn't serving a suspension. ... OF Matt Diaz joined the team from Triple-A Durham. He was called up Friday after Grieve was placed on the 15-day disabled list and is scheduled to start in left field Sunday.
Blue Jays-Red Sox
TORNOTO: Starter Cory Lidle entered the game with the highest run support in the AL, 7.11 per game. ... The Blue Jays' hitters lead the league with the most strikeouts. ... It may have been something of an audition for Lidle - a number of scouts were on hand to watch him pitch Saturday night. Lidle is rumored as a possible trade candidate.
BOSTON: The Red Sox have scored just three runs during their three-game losing streak, but manager Grady Little is looking for a big game. "They know it's a big blow away from getting the ball rolling again," Little said. "We've gotten off to a slow start after the All-Star break. Somebody's got to pay." ... GM Theo Epstein just felt his team was due for a slump after hitting .300 through the first three months of the season. "It's probably inevitable," he said. "I don't think we're flat or emotionless. I just think we're in a slump."
ANAHEIM: 3B Troy Glaus entered Saturday batting .167 (16-for-96) since June 9, but Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia is confident Glaus will regain his stroke. "When it's all said and done, he's going to be a guy that's going to show the production he's done over the course of his career," Scioscia said. "Troy's been struggling for quite some time, but he still brings the important package of getting on base and getting other guys ahead of him pitches to hit." Glaus proved Scioscia right by hitting a home run in the second inning Saturday. ... The Angels led the AL with 75 stolen bases entering Saturday. ... OF Garret Anderson extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games with a third-inning single. ... Anaheim's bullpen led the AL with a 2.48 ERA entering Saturday.
BALTIMORE: B.J. Surhoff returned to the starting lineup Saturday after missing six games with a strained left quadriceps muscle. He singled in each of his first two at-bats. ... The Orioles have outscored the opposition 114-84 in the first two innings this season. ... Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said OF Marty Cordova (elbow injury) and pitcher Omar Daal (shoulder) are not close to returning from the disabled list. "They are closer, but it's not anything imminent," Hargrove said. ... Regardless of the how they fare this weekend, the Orioles have already won the season series against Anaheim. It's the 21st time in 24 years that Baltimore has gone .500 or better against the Angels.
SEATTLE: Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, who was placed on the disabled list June 11 with fractured ribs in his right side, threw 35 pitches in the bullpen Saturday, but with the catcher standing up, not in a crouch. Sasaki is scheduled to throw off the mound again on Monday. ... The Mariners' victory Friday was only their second this season when trailing after eight innings. The other was 5-4 on June 9 at Philadelphia. ... Mike Cameron hit second Saturday for only this second time this season.
KANSAS CITY: The Royals reinstated left-handed hitting outfielder Dee Brown from the disabled list. Brown was on the disabled list May 28 with a sprained left wrist. To make roster room for Brown, the Royals sent infielder Jarrod Patterson to Triple-A Omaha. ... Third baseman Joe Randa, who has not played since July 2 because of a strained left side, took 50-55 swings Saturday. "He is very, very close," manager Tony Pena said. "He swung the bat well." ... Pena said it is "questionable" that Jose Lima would make his start Tuesday against Oakland. Lima, who is 6-0 with a 2.42 ERA in seven starts, left his start in the sixth inning Thursday with a strained right groin.
DETROIT: Before Saturdays game with the White Sox, manager Alan Trammell said catcher A.J. Hinch will miss the last two games of this series. Hinch left Thursdays game with a strained groin and is listed day to day. Trammell hopes to start him Monday at Boston. "He's feeling better but we'll probably keep him out until Boston," Trammell said. "It could be longer, but I hope not." Outfielder Bobby Higginson is still about a week away from returning to the lineup, Trammell said. Higginson went on the disabled list on June 29 with a pulled left hamstring. He worked out in the field for the first time Friday. "I still think there is still a ways to go," Trammell said. "He's getting to the next level as far the all-around workload. His muscles are sore but not hurt, and that's good." The Tigers four-game winning streak against the White Sox ended on Saturday with a 7-5 loss. After Saturdays game, White Sox manager Jerry Manuel predicted his team would sweep the Tigers in their remaining six games this season. Trammell said he wasn't bothered by the comments. "I understand," he said. "He's trying to get his guys going. I think they have a good chance (to win the AL Central), I do." Detroit starts rookie left-hander Wilfredo Ledezma (2-2, 3.60 ERA) on Sunday against All-Star starter Esteban Loaiza. Ledezma, 22, a Rule 5 draft pick from the Red Sox organization, is second among AL rookies in ERA, third in batting average against (.238) and 10th in innings pitched (52).
CHICAGO: Frank Thomas, who has started 27 of the last 43 games at first base, entered Saturday in a 5-for-39 slump (.128). For the season, Thomas has batted .352 while playing first and just .234 at DH, yet he was back in DH spot Saturday. Paul Konerko, who'd finally brought his average above .200, was at first. ... Tom Gordon, who took the closer's role away from the struggling Billy Koch, leads AL relievers in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings. Before Saturday he'd made six straight scoreless appearances. He's the 14th player in major league history and the only active pitcher to have at least 100 career saves and 100 career wins. ... Reliever Gary Garland has appeared in just five games since June 1. ... Esteban Loaiza will make his first start since the All-Star game when he faces the Tigers on Sunday in the series finale. It will be his fifth start this season against baseball's worst team. He's 2-2 with a 1.21 ERA in the previous four.
NEW YORK: The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but a four-run second put the Braves ahead to stay. "That's what kills us right now," New York manager Art Howe said. "Once they get an inning going, they put a four-spot on us." Still Howe was pleased with the effort a day after the Mets tied a season high with five errors in an 11-4 loss. "I thought we played a heck of a game after last night," he said. "We have to learn to stay away from the big inning. We've got to come back tomorrow and salvage the final game." ... 1B Tony Clark struck out four times, including three times swinging. His batting average dropped to .221. ... C Jason Phillips wasn't ready to conceded the NL East to the Braves, at least for another team. "Anything can happen," he said. "There's a lot of time left." ... LHP Al Leiter, currently on the disabled list with inflammation in his right knee, will be activated to start Sunday's game.
ATLANTA: LF Chipper Jones missed the game after aggravating his left wrist Friday night. He tested the wrist during batting practice and said he expected to play, but manager Bobby Cox held him out of the lineup. "Maybe a little bit of begging and I'll be back in there" Sunday, Jones said. "I'll just have to do like I did a month or so ago, and try to make contact when I swing." ... Darren Bragg took Jones' spot in left and went 2-for-4, snapping an 11-for-78 slump. It was only his 16th start of the season. "You hit every day, you study tape, you do everything you can to stay ready," Bragg said. "So when you get a chance and come through, it feels really good." ... C Javy Lopez went 2-for-4 and scored a run, raising his batting average to .312. Last year, he hit only .233.
HOUSTON: Craig Biggio lined the third pitch he saw Saturday to center field for a single that gave him his 2,400th career hit. Biggio is Houston's all-time career hits leader and the 96th player to record 2,400 hits. "Being able to achieve the goals you're able to achieve makes you proud of them," Biggio said. "I think, when you retire, that's when you start to appreciate them."
... Lance Berkman couldn't pinpoint a reason for Houston's nine-game winning streak of the Reds. "That's when you resort to cliches - when it's hard to explain things," he said. ... Houston's previous longest winning streak against the Reds was eight in a row in 1965 and 1966.
CINCINNATI: Right-hander Jose Acevedo will start for the Reds Monday against Milwaukee in Cincinnati. Acevedo was recalled from Louisville Friday after going 6-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 29 games, including starts, for the Bats. Acevedo opened the 2002 season with the Reds and was 4-2 with a 7.23 ERA in six games, including five starts, before being sent down. ... Left-hander Gabe White can't seem to shake the strained left groin that forced him to go on the disabled list June 25. White is limited to long tossing as soreness lingers following a one-inning rehab start with Triple-A Louisville July 8. He is 3-0 with a 3.93 ERA in 34 games this season. ... Saturday's sellout was the ninth of the regular season in the first year of Great American Ball Park. The crowd boosted the average attendance over 30,000 to 30,242 in 46 dates. ... Ken Griffey Jr., on crutches, was spotted in the tunnel leading to the Reds dugout less than 24 hours after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right ankle.
COLORADO: The Rockies activated Shawn Chacon from the 15-day disabled list to start Saturday. Chacon was placed on the DL on July 1 with inflammation in his right elbow. To make room for Chacon, the Rockies designated RHP Joe Roa for assignment. With the addition of Adam Bernero in the bullpen earlier this week, RHP Aaron Cook was another possibility to be sent down. "I think by the end of the season we need to have a very good definition of who Aaron Cook is," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's one of ours. We need to have a good understanding of where the kid is headed. We're going to continue to challenge him at this level. It was a very tough decision. This decision was my gut feeling with Aaron Cook." ... RF Larry Walker, 0-for-7 in the first two games of this series, did not start but came in to pinch-hit in the seventh. He has a groin problem and is day to day. "We just want to sit him down and give him a breather," Hurdle said. Before the game, Walker said: "I'm fine. I came to the park and wasn't playing. He made a decision." ... New SS Tony Womack, acquired Friday in a trade with Arizona, was in the starting lineup and singled in his first at-bat to lead off the first. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. "We want to get him with the program right away," Hurdle said.
SAN FRANCISCO: LHP Kirk Rueter, on the DL with a strained throwing shoulder, threw a short bullpen session. He made about 40 pitches. "No pain, everything is fine," Rueter said. "I'll be ready to go next Friday." That's when he's scheduled to make his next start, at home against San Diego.
"This is the best I could have hoped for today." He will throw a full bullpen session Tuesday. ... The Giants will recall RHP Jesse Foppert from Triple-A Fresno to start Sunday. Foppert is 5-8 with a 5.49 ERA. To make room for the 23-year-old rookie, the Giants optioned RHP Kevin Correia to Triple-A Fresno after Saturday's 5-3 win over Colorado. "It's a big start for us," manager Felipe Alou said of Foppert's upcoming outing. "He's back to stay." ... RHP reliever Felix Rodriguez appeared in his 400th game. ... Yorvit Torrealba, playing in place of injured C Benito Santiago, homered on his 25th birthday. It was especially sweet because his mother, Laura, was visiting from Venezuela.
ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals' 3-1 win Saturday was their first in three games since the All-Star break. No team managed by Tony La Russa has come out of the break worse than 0-2 since 1984, when the Chicago White Sox lost their first three to Baltimore. "A lot of those numbers, you look at them and they're just weird and you can't explain them," La Russa said. ... St. Louis, seeking their fourth straight NL Central title, is 50-47 and trails division-leading Houston by three games. "I think that because we have a good team, sometimes we get a little too relaxed and we try to let things come to us instead of taking it to them," OF Jim Edmonds said. "We're underachieving, but the other teams in our division aren't playing that well, either. So there's no reason why we can't win this thing." ... Four-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen had a difficult choice to make in the fifth inning - catch Kevin Brown's lazy popup or dodge the barrel of the bat that was heading toward him. The ball fell several feet in front of Rolen for a hit, but it didn't result in any scoring. "When he got back to the dugout, I told him that if he was as good as I think he is, he's got to make a play on both things," La Russa said with a grin.
LOS ANGELES: Kevin Brown, who missed two turns in the rotation because of a strained abdominal muscle, was activated from the 15-day DL and lost to St. Louis for the first time in his last seven decisions against them. OF Chad Hermansen, who is out of minor league options, was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot. ... After the recent flap over what team logo Roger Clemens will have on his plaque when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, Rickey Henderson doesn't think it's necessary to tip his hand so soon. "They tell me that nowadays, they choose your hat, so I may not even have that right. I think maybe they can give me that right because I've been around so long, but I'll decide on it then," Henderson said. "I pretty much want to go with my home team (Oakland), where I started, but you never know. I mean, I can't say enough about San Diego and the way they treated me, so they pop into my mind quite often, too.
" ... 1B Fred McGriff, who has played in only four of the team's last 29 games because of a strained groin, ran on Saturday but is not yet ready to begin a minor league rehab assignment. "It's uncharted waters, because I've never had it before, so I can only go one day at a time," said the 18-year veteran, who is on the DL for the first time in his career and still 12 homers shy of 500.
CHICAGO: Manager Dusty Baker said some of his players were embarrassed by their performance in a 6-0 loss Friday to Florida - and rightly so. "I just didn't like the way we were going about business," he said. ... Eric Karros began the weekend batting .427 against left-handers and .268 against right-handers.
FLORIDA: Manager Jack McKeon was pleased with the atmosphere at Pro Player Stadium on Friday night, when the Marlins drew their third-largest crowd of the season. "You thought you were in Fenway or somewhere," he said. ... Florida began the weekend with a 2.98 ERA at home and a 5.34 ERA on the road.
MILWAUKEE: There were 25,000 Friday at Miller Park in Milwaukee, and the Brewers weren't in town. Crews are filming the Bernie Mac movie "Mr. 3000" there, and the fans showed up to serve as extras. Footage also will be shot during the Astros-Brewers games this week. Mac will throw out the first pitch before Wednesday's game. ... Brewers prospect Prince Fielder, the son of Cecil Fielder, had 10 homers in his first 16 games this month at Class A Beloit
. ... LF Geoff Jenkins was in the lineup Saturday night in Pittsburgh after being pulled in the sixth inning Friday with lower back stiffness.
PITTSBURGH: CF Kenny Lofton started Saturday despite a sore hand that made him a late scratch for Friday's game against Milwaukee. ... Going into Saturday's games, the Pirates' farm system had the best winning percentage among all major league franchises, going 262-171 (.605). The Indians were second (261-190, .579). Each of the Pirates' six minor league affiliates was either in first or second place in its division. ... As early as Sunday, Jason Kendall could become the third catcher in Pirates history to appear in 1,000 games. ... 2B Pokey Reese, out since early May with torn thumb ligaments, could be ready for a minor league rehab assignment in two weeks. He remains on track for a mid-August return.
MONTREAL: Expos starters have thrown complete games in each of the team's last three wins. ... RF Vladimir Guerrero was scheduled to play six innings Saturday and seven on Sunday with Single A-Brevard County. Guerrero, on the 15-day DL since June 5 with a herniated disc in his back, is 2-for-4 with two singles in his first two rehab games.
... 1B/OF Joe Vitiello has five multihit games in his last five starts. ... SS Orlando Cabrera hasn't been caught in his last 11 stolen-base attempts. ... The Expos are trying to halt a string of four consecutive losing road trip.
PHILADELPHIA: SS Jimmy Rollins missed his second straight start with a strained hamstring. Rookie Nick Punto started at shortstop and batted eighth. ... Former Phillies CF Lenny Dykstra changed the Vet Countdown number. There are 32 more regular-season games left at Veterans Stadium. ... As part of the celebration for the 1993 NL championship team this weekend, the Phillies held an alumni batting challenge. Team Red - Danny Jackson, Pete Incaviglia, Darren Daulton and Tommy Greene - defeated Team Blue - Mitch Williams, Mariano Duncan, Jim Eisenreich and Milt Thompson. ... Sunday's starter Brett Myers is 4-0 in his last five starts.
ARIZONA: LHP Randy Johnson will make his first start since April 27 when he takes the mound Sunday against the Padres. Johnson, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery May 1, was set to go after he came out of Friday's bullpen session without any problems, manager Bob Brenly said. Johnson, a five-time Cy Young winner, made three rehab starts in the minors. The lefty is 1-2 with a 6.94 ERA in four starts before the surgery. Johnson has been dominant against San Diego with a career mark of 11-1 and a 1.99 ERA. In 117 2-3 innings against the Padres, Johnson has allowed 80 hits, walked 32 and struck out 174.
... Brenly served the final game of his two-game suspension he received for throwing a ball into the stands in a game against San Francisco on July 11 after he had been ejected ... CF Steve Finley recorded his 103rd career triple in Friday night's game, tops among active players by a wide margin. Kenny Lofton (82) and Roberto Alomar (77) are the next closest.
lets try and focus on the positive please wrote:
SAN DIEGO: With Friday's loss, the Padres dropped to 33-55 against Arizona. Since 2002, the Diamondbacks have won 20 of 31 in the series, including nine of 12 this season. Having already lost the first two games of a four-game set, San Diego has failed to beat the Diamondbacks in seven straight series, dating to last season. ... 3B Sean Burroughs not only had his modest career-high eight-game hitting snapped Friday night, but it was also the first time he failed to reach base in 18 games.