Notes From Wednesday's Games Aug. 6, 2003 AP wrote:
ANAHEIM: Aaron Sele, the Angels' starting pitcher Wednesday night, was with the Red Sox from 1993-97. Jeff Suppan, who started for Boston in its 10-9 win over Anaheim on Tuesday night, pitched for them from 1995-97. The Red Sox got him back last Thursday in a trade with Pittsburgh. ... Sele began the game as one of 19 active major league pitchers with a career record of at least 35 games over .500 (121-85). But his 4.41 ERA was the highest among those pitchers. ... The Angels used the same starting lineup for the second straight game. So did the Red Sox. ... Adam Kennedy's homer Tuesday was his second straight to the opposite field. None of his other career homers went to the opposite field.
BOSTON: Manny Ramirez was the subject of a pregame prank by his teammates. As he ran to his position in left field for the top of the first inning, they remained behind in the dugout. He reached short left field before he realized he was alone. He turned around and several teammates waved at him from the dugout. ... Entering Wednesday, 10 of the Red Sox's 65 wins came after they trailed by at least three runs. ... When the Red Sox scored seven runs in the third Tuesday night, it was the 22nd time they had at least five runs in an inning and the 26th inning in which they batted around this season. ... Tuesday's game marked the start of a 21-game stretch in which Boston plays 17 against AL West teams. ... Of the 42 players the Red Sox have used this year, 27 were not on the team last year.
TEXAS: The Rangers' loss Tuesday marked the 30th time they lost a game in which it had a lead. ... Rangers also scored the first run of the game Tuesday and lost, dropping their record to 27-19 in that category. ... Since the start of 2001, the Rangers have won seven of 11 games at Yankee Stadium - including four in a row before losing Tuesday - after being 8-28 over the previous seven seasons. ... 3B Hank Blalock was benched against LHP David Wells on Wednesday night, but was hitting .412 (14-for-34) in his last eight games. ... Blalock drove in both Rangers runs Tuesday and has 12 RBIs in his last 12 games. ... Todd Greene was the starting catcher Wednesday, making his 30th start after a two-homer game Friday, but was hitting only .228 (23-for-101) in his previous starts.
NEW YORK: The Yankees' four homers Tuesday marked New York's 41st multihomer game this season, and fifth with four homers. They also have one five-homer game. ... 2B Alfonso Soriano wasn't in the lineup Wednesday with a bruised right thumb after he was hit by a pitch from Colby Lewis on Tuesday night. ... SS Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fifth-inning infield single Wednesday. ... OF Hideki Matsui misplayed Todd Greene's liner Wednesday night and was charged with his eighth error, tops among Yankees outfielders. ... Reliever Armando Benitez made nine appearances for the Yankees before being traded to Seattle for reliever Jeff Nelson on Wednesday. His last outing was Tuesday night when he retired the last four batters in a 6-2 victory over Texas.
OAKLAND: 3B Eric Chavez's first-inning homer gave him five extra-base hits in his last six games and four homers in his last 15. ... Oakland entered Wednesday's game with a 49-12 record in August since 2001, eight games better than any other major league team. The Astros are 41-20 in August in the last three seasons. ... CF Eric Byrnes entered hitting .085 (3-for-35) since the All-Star break, and had just eight hits in 23 games since hitting for the cycle on June 29. He had an RBI single in the second. ... Scott Hatteberg's second-inning double ended a 0-for-8 slump, while Adam Piatt's double on the next pitch stopped a 1-for-8 slide.
DETROIT: The Tigers placed C A.J. Hinch on the 15-day DL and recalled C Brandon Inge from Triple-A Toledo. Hinch, who was on the DL with a strained left groin from July 18-August 2, aggravated the injury in Tuesday's loss to Oakland. Inge started the season as Detroit's everyday catcher, but hit just .150 in 56 games before being sent to the Mud Hens on June 18. ... Kevin Witt made his first major-league start in the outfield Wednesday, replacing Dmitri Young in LF in a late lineup change. Young, bothered by a sore left Achilles', started at DH instead. Witt's only career outfield appearance came Sunday in Minnesota, when he played the last inning in LF.
SEATTLE: Mariners players were surprised by the trade of RHP Jeff Nelson to the Yankees for RHP Armando Benitez. "I'll miss Nellie," OF Mike Cameron said. "I wish him the best personally, but we'll try to beat him beginning this weekend." ... RHP Kazuhiro Sasaki rejoined the team, but was not activated. Sasaki, on the DL since June 6 with broken ribs, gave up three runs on three hits, including two homers, in a rehab start at Class A Everett of the Northwest League on Tuesday night. "The results were not as important as whether or not Kaz felt good," pitching coach Bryan Price said. "The report was that his fastball was decent, but not spectacular and that he had a very good split and curveball." ... Four of the Mariners' five starters were working on winning streaks entering play Wednesday night. RHP Joel Pineiro had won eight straight, LHP Jamie Moyer five in a row, RHP Gil Meche two straight and RHP Ryan Franklin won his last outing. ... RHP Shigetoshi Hasegawa hasn't allowed a run in his last 23 innings, dating to June 1. The club record is 34 1-3 innings by LHP Mark Langston in 1988.
CLEVELAND: RHP Bob Wickman, who had "Tommy John" surgery last winter, is expected to pitch at Double-A Akron in mid-August. "Now the fun starts because I'll get to face some hitters," said Wickman, who'll travel with the Indians next week to Minnesota before reporting to the minor league team August 15. "I'll pitch an inning with the intent of building up to two and then three," Wickman said. "I've worked hard to get this far." ... Manager Eric Wedge said OF Matt Lawton, sidelined since July 11 with a dislocated right middle finger, will only DH while on a rehab assignment at Akron. "When Matt throws a ball, it hurts him to the extent that he then can't swing the bat," Wedge said. "So we'll have him just do some hitting, get his timing back, and then put him on a program of throwing later." ... LHP Jason Stanford is scheduled to start one of the two games in a day-night doubleheader Saturday against Anaheim.
MINNESOTA: Jacque Jones started in the left field Wednesday after playing seven games at DH because of an injured groin. "He says he runs with no pain," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I brought him in here and said, 'Left field or right field, brother?"' ... DH Matthew LeCroy started for the first time in four days Wednesday night. The last time LeCroy went three or more games without a start was a six-game stretch from June 18-25. ... CF Torii Hunter was hitless in six of 10 games entering Wednesday's game. His last multihit game came July 25 in Cleveland. "He's been disappointing to this point right now," Gardenhire said Wednesday. "He's going to get some big hits down the road and he's going to be one of our big players." ... C A.J. Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to six games Tuesday night and had hits in 26 of his last 30 games. The last time Pierzynski went hitless in consecutive games was when he went 0-for-9 from June 20-24. "He has two or three good at-bats per night where he's right on the ball, just fouls balls off," Gardenhire said. "He's been very good."
BALTIMORE: DH Jack Cust made his first start for the Orioles on Wednesday. Cust was recalled when Melvin Mora was placed on the DL Tuesday. Cust is in his third stint with Baltimore this season, but Wednesday was his first appearance. ... Pat Hentgen, Wednesday's starter, returned to form in his previous four starts. He had allowed eight earned runs in 27 1-3 innings in going 3-0 since July 12. ... Jorge Julio made his 51st career save Tuesday and set a career high with 26 saves this season. ... Entering Wednesday's game, 3B Tony Batista had gone seven games without a home run. His longest home run drought of the season was 10 games, from April 27 to May 7. ... RF Jay Gibbons extended his hitting streak to nine games Wednesday, matching a career high.
Blue Jays-Devil Rays
TORONTO: RHP Cory Lidle might miss his next scheduled start on Sunday. He is experiencing discomfort in both his upper arm and groin. ... Manager Carlos Tosca said OF Frank Catalanotto has been fitted for new contact lenses. Catalanotto missed his second straight game Wednesday and should rejoin the team Friday. ... 2B Orlando Hudson, who has struggled against left-handed pitching, was out of the starting lineup against Tampa Bay LHP Joe Kennedy. The switch-hitting Hudson is hitting just .182 against left-handers. ... 1B Carlos Delgado, who has experienced soreness in his knees recently, started all three games at first base on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field.
TAMPA BAY: Rookie CF Rocco Baldelli was rested. After going 0-for-5 Tuesday, Baldelli's batting average dropped to .299. It was the first time he has been under .300 since the third game of the season. ... A number of teams, including the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco, had scouts at the game. 2B Marlon Anderson and 1B Travis Lee are among lower-priced veteran players playing for the Devil Rays. ... The Devil Rays lead the AL with 129 infield hits.
KANSAS CITY: The Royals announced after the game they'd completed a deal for former ace Kevin Appier, who was released by the Anaheim Angels last Wednesday. Appier was drafted by the Royals and played for them from 1989-99, going 114-89. "We like what he brought to the team for a long time," said Muzzy Jackson, the Royals' assistant general manager. "He's a former Royal and we want him." ... 1B Ken Harvey had two of the Royals' three hits off Colon. "I lucked out a few times," Harvey said. ... With his homer in the ninth, Carlos Beltran has hit safely in six of the last eight games. ... The Royals are 9-11 since the All-Star break.
CHICAGO: The crowd of 25,348 booed White Sox manager Jerry Manuel when he went out to the mound in the ninth. "I've always said if I'll be the target, so be it," Manuel said with a smile. "The crowd has been real good as far as the attendance goes, and we've got to continue to have that. The bigger the crowds, the better we play. We can make it a little scary at times - or I can, if that's what they want to believe. But that's OK." ... C Miguel Olivo's right shoulder is still sore, but Manuel said he expects he'll be ready to play this weekend. Olivo left Tuesday night's game after he tripped over Brent Mayne's leg, landing hard on his throwing shoulder. "I don't think it's a big deal," Olivo said. "We'll see tomorrow." ... The White Sox have homered in 18 straight home games. ... 1B Carlos Lee has reached base in 22 of his last 23 games.
ATLANTA: The Braves purchased the contract of RHP Will Cunnane, who'll join the team Thursday. Cunnane, 29, was signed by the organization July 1 and has appeared in 15 games at Triple-A Richmond, going 1-0 with two saves. He formerly played with the Brewers and started this season with the Cubs' Triple-A affiliate at Iowa, going 0-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 12 games. ... Cunnane will replace RHP Darren Holmes, who will be placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder. Holmes appeared in 42 games, going 1-2 with a 4.21 ERA. He was the loser in Tuesday's game at Milwaukee. ... LHP Mike Hampton makes his first start of the season against Milwaukee on Thursday. He lost 6-4 in his only start against Milwaukee last year when he was with the Rockies. ... The Braves announced their starters for the weekend series in St. Louis. Russ Ortiz (15-5) goes Friday, followed by Shane Reynolds (9-5) and Horacio Ramirez (8-4). Reynolds will be pitching on nine days' rest.
MILWAUKEE: All-Star 1B Richie Sexson (31) trails Barry Bonds (34) by only three home runs, but insists he's not thinking long-ball when batting. "If it comes, it comes," Sexson said. "You can't try to think too much about that stuff too much. That's when you try to hit home runs. I think, as long as I try to stay through the middle and try to get base hits, the power and the leverage is there, and the home runs will come." ... Sexson has a good shot at his career-high 45 homers. He's already passed his previous career-high 70 walks with 71 through Tuesday. ... Manager Ned Yost will continue to use three relievers - Dan Kolb, Mike DeJean and Leo Estrella - as his closer-by-committee. "It's working fine right now," he said. ... The Brewers may have a sellout Sunday against the Marlins. Not because there is tremendous interest in the Florida team; rather, because it's Paul Molitor Bobblehead Day. ... There's considerable interest brewing in a minor league game that is scheduled at Miller Park on Thursday, Aug. 14. It matches the Class A Beloit Snappers (Brewers) and Wisconsin Trappers (Mariners). The Snappers will have two of their first-round draft picks - 1B Prince Fielder and recently signed IF Rickie Weeks - plus OF Anthony Gwynn in the lineup.
NEW YORK: The Mets lead the National League with 303 games started by rookies. ... When Houston scored a run against Al Leiter in the third inning Tuesday night, it snapped a 17-inning scoreless streak by Leiter dating to the fourth inning of the Mets' game with Atlanta on July 20, 2003. ... The Mets purchased the contract of C Joe Depastino from Triple-A Norfolk before Tuesday night's game, and he grounded out in his first major league at-bat. Depastino, 29, began his professional career in 1992.
HOUSTON: 2B Jeff Kent dropped his appeal Wednesday of the two-game suspension and undisclosed fine that was announced Tuesday by Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for major league baseball. Kent was to serve the suspension Wednesday and Thursday. Kent announced Tuesday that he would appeal the penalty that was the result of a July 26, 2003, incident involving umpire Matt Hollowell. Kent was accused of pushing Houston manager Jimy Williams into Hollowell while disputing a check-swing call by Hollowell. Kent is hitting .295 (97-for-329) with 14 home runs and 55 RBI in 86 games. ... The seven runs allowed by Houston against the Mets on Tuesday night equaled the most runs allowed by the Astros in an inning this season.
FLORIDA: The Marlins are 48-24 with Juan Pierre, Luis Castillo and Ivan Rodriguez hitting 1-2-3 in the order. Otherwise, they're 13-27. ... Florida has started every trip under manager Jack McKeon with a victory, going 6-0 and outscoring their opponents 37-14. ... McKeon poked fun at the Busch Stadium radar gun reading that measured one of Brad Penny's pitches at 111 mph on Tuesday. He said speed above 92-94 mph was overrated. "Most of the 97s and 98s are out of the strike zone anyway," McKeon said. "So, no big deal." ... The Marlins have seven shutouts, two of them on the road. Both were started by Penny, including Tuesday's 4-0 victory over the Cardinals. ... Entering Wednesday's game, Marlins pitchers had allowed one run in the last 20 innings against the Cardinals. Their three-run fourth ended a 14-inning scoreless drought against St. Louis. ... The Marlins' bullpen entered the night with a 19 1-3-inning scoreless streak, including two innings by Ugueth Urbina on Tuesday.
ST. LOUIS: RHP Chris Carpenter, signed to a free agent contract in the offseason following shoulder surgery, won't pitch this season. He underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove scar tissue. Carpenter, who had been counted upon to pitch in June, is expected to be ready for spring training. ... The Cardinals will top the 2 million mark in home attendance Wednesday for the eighth straight time and the 22nd time in franchise history. ... 2B Fernando Vina is expected back later this month from a torn hamstring. Where he'll fit in is unclear, with rookie Bo Hart playing well. The team has an option on Vina's contract for next year. "You just wait till he gets back and you see what the circumstances are," manager Tony La Russa said. "No reason to do it now." ... C Mike Matheny has no errors, but has his first three passes balls of the year in his last seven games. ... Cardinals broadcasters Mike Shannon and Wayne Hagin will be featured guests at the Emerson IRL 250 on Sunday in nearby Madison, Ill. Shannon is the grand marshal and Hagin is the honorary starter.
PHILADELPHIA: RHP Jose Mesa had his second bullpen session in as many days with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. "He threw for 15 minutes and is getting better," manager Larry Bowa said. "He still has things to do and he won't throw here." ... Bowa doesn't want to hear any comments about Mesa's recent struggles. "It's unfair to put all the blame on a closer for losing a game," Bowa said. "People seem to forget the guy that earlier left the bases loaded." ... The Phillies began the day 63-49, 14 games over .500 or over fourth time this year. The last time they were 15 over .500 was Aug. 15, 2001, when they were 67-52. ... OF Pat Burrell colored his hair blond. "Whatever it takes to get him going," Bowa said. "I'll go white if we win eight in a row." ... Philadelphia's starting pitchers have allowed at least four earned runs in 19 of 119 games. ... OF Bobby Abreu is 26-for-65 (.400) with three with four homers and 21 RBIs over his last 19 games. ... Bowa put off his pregame press conference until after watching the live TV report of the Kobe Bryant hearing. ... The Phillies began the day trailing Atlanta by 10 games in the NL East and with a two-game lead over Florida in the wild-card race. "I don't think anybody's thrown up the white flag in winning the division," Bowa said. "As long as there are numbers are there and we're not eliminated, we won't think about the wild card."
COLORADO: INF Mark Bellhorn will begin a rehab assignment Thursday at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Bellhorn was placed on the DL on Aug. 2, retroactive to Aug. 1 with tendinitis in his right shoulder. ... C Bobby Estalella has struck out 53 times in 135 at-bats - or once in every 2.5 at-bats. ... Greg Norton leads the major leagues with 14 pinch hits. ... RHP Nelson Cruz will throw on the side Friday and face some hitters. Cruz has been on the DL since July 13 with inflammation in his right shoulder. "After his session, we'll evaluate him and see where we need to head next," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Whether it's a minor league rehab assignment or not. He's making some progress." ... 3B Garrett Atkins got a start. The team's fifth-round selection in the 2000 draft took extra infield practice before the game. ... Colorado has lost seven straight to Philadelphia over two seasons.
MONTREAL: Brad Wilkerson had started 59 straight games before sitting out against Randy Johnson on Tuesday night, even though he is 27-for-89 (.303) against left-handers. He returned to the lineup for this game against RHP Curt Schilling, making his 65th start in LF. Wilkerson also has 29 starts at other OF positions and four at 1B. ... RF Vladimir Guerrero has hit .381 (16-for-42), with five homers and 12 RBIs in his last 11 games. His 463-foot shot off Johnson in the sixth inning Tuesday night was the fifth-longest in Bank One Ballpark history, third-longest by a visiting player. ... The Expos are 1-9 in 10 road games. ... Despite starting only 57 games, OF Ron Calloway came in leading all NL rookies with nine homers and second to the New York Mets' Ty Wigginton with 43 RBIs. ... 2B Jose Vidro held onto seventh in NL hitting (.322) despite an 0-for-4 night against Johnson. It was Vidro's first game after sitting out two because of an inflamed right patella.
ARIZONA: The Diamondbacks placed 1B Mark Grace on the 15-day DL with a hyperextended right elbow and recalled utilityman Robby Hammock from Triple-A Tucson. The 39-year-old Grace felt elbow pain July 28 and aggravated his elbow Tuesday night while pinch-hitting against the Expos. Manager Bob Brenly said Hammock was recalled for the fourth time this year because he can catch and play other positions. C Chad Moeller hurt the middle finger of his throwing hand Tuesday night. "We just didn't feel comfortable having one catcher (Rod Barajas) who could throw," Brenly said. ... CF Steve Finley and 2B Junior Spivey, who collided chasing a popup in the third inning the night before, were held out as a precaution. Brenly said Finley might sit three to four days because of a sore left shoulder. Spivey, who has a mild neck sprain, is day-to-day. ... RHP Oscar Villarreal appeared in his 60th game Tuesday night, setting a rookie record for the franchise. Troy Brohawn had 59 appearances in 2001. ... Arizona's eight runs in that game were the most since a 9-1 win at San Diego on July 17. ... The Diamondbacks will make up a June 12 rainout with Kansas City by returning to the Midwest on Sept. 4. The trip will be strenuous - Arizona plays in San Diego Sept. 3 and begins a three-game series at San Francisco on Sept. 5. The Royals also have to travel before and after their single home game.
PITTSBURGH: RHP Salomon Torres, who will start for the Pirates on Thursday, has pitched in San Francisco just once since the Giants traded him in 1995. His biggest moment with the Giants was one to forget: As a 21-year-old rookie in 1993, he was the loser in a loss to the Dodgers on the final day of the regular season - a loss that kept San Francisco out of the playoffs. Incredibly, a few fans still remember: When Torres came out as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's game, he was booed. "They're great fans here, though," said Torres, who left 20 tickets to Tuesday's game for friends he made nearly a decade ago. "That was a tough loss, but I still remember it. I was faced with this big game, and at that moment, I knew nothing about pitching in big games. I wish I would have had the same intelligence then that I have now." ... Wednesday night's game featured a matchup of two players from two of the smallest nations in the Caribbean: Pirates 1B Randall Simon of Curacao against Giants RHP Sidney Ponson, a native of Aruba. ... Pittsburgh went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday night, adding to a 3-for-26 RISP slump.
SAN FRANCISCO: Nobody can accuse SS Rich Aurilia of being soft: He drove himself to the emergency room at 5 a.m. on Monday morning with a ruptured appendix. Aurilia first felt the pain late in the Giants' flight home from their road trip, and couldn't sleep once he got home. His wife, who's pregnant with their second child, couldn't leave the house because there was no one around to watch their 2-year-old son. "Once they got it out, there was no doubt," Aurilia said with a grin. "It was pretty infected." Aurilia hopes to return from the DL during the Giants' homestand in two weeks, but the team might make him wait a bit longer. ... Manager Felipe Alou has hung a large team photo of the 1994 Montreal Expos in his office at Pacific Bell Park. It was Alou's best team during 10 seasons managing the Expos, he said. Current Giants Marquis Grissom and Kirk Rueter are in the photo, which was taken shortly before the rest of the 1994 season was cancelled because of the strike. Montreal was 74-40 when the season was canceled, and Alou was named NL Manager of the Year. ... 2B Ray Durham returned to the lineup on Wednesday night after missing three games with nagging hamstring and groin injuries. ... SS Cody Ransom, recalled from Triple-A Fresno when Aurilia went on the DL, was named the organization's minor league player of the month for July. Ransom hit .318 with five homers and a .523 slugging percentage for the month. ... RHP David Aardsma, the Giants' top draft pick from Rice, was named the top player for July with Single-A San Jose. Aardsma has been dominant so far in his pro career, posting six saves with a 1.93 ERA.
CINCINNATI: The Reds optioned rookie INF Ryan Freel to Triple-A Louisville and recalled INF Brandon Larson from the Redbirds. Freel played in 18 games and was 11-for-42. ... The Reds entered Wednesday nine games out of first place in the NL Central, after being as close as 2½ games July 2. As a result, they have made at least one roster move in 11 of the last 12 days, including the trades of 3B Aaron Boone to the Yankees and OF Jose Guillen to Oakland. "We expected a lot of changes, but we didn't expect to trade away our best players," 11-time All-Star SS Barry Larkin said. "When we got close coming to the All-Star break, we were at least told that if that happened, they would have the extra money because of the new stadium to go out and get those pieces that we were missing. Well, we were kind of misled in that respect, and I think you see the product of that right now. We still don't have a general manager, and there has to be some kind of foundation before you're going to be successful." ... LHP John Bale will make his first major league start Friday night at San Diego and RHP Aaron Harang will be called up from the Redbirds to start Saturday night. Both have been inserted into the rotation because of injuries to Ryan Dempster and Jimmy Haynes.
LOS ANGELES: The Dodgers entered Wednesday with a major league-best 3.09 ERA. They had an ERA under 3.00 in 11 of their first 45 seasons in Los Angeles, and finished first in six of those seasons. ... New hitting coach George Hendrick hasn't changed from his playing days - he still doesn't talk to the media. Manager Jim Tracy has no problem with that. "To each his own," Tracy said. "I'm not going to grab him by the arm and say, `Hey, you need to go and talk to them.' If he doesn't talk, he doesn't talk. As long as he's getting information out to the guys who go up to home plate, that's what's reaplly important to me right now. As long as he's making these guys better, that's the whole point of the situation." ... OF Jeromy Burnitz is 13-for-66 with three homers and eight RBIs in 18 games since joining the Dodgers in a trade from the New York Mets on July 14. Two of those homers came on July 20. "He had some very good at-bats for us early on and he's struggled a bit as of late, but I like Jeromy Burnitz," Tracy said. "He's a hard-working guy who gives you 100 percent every day. He's my kind of player." ... Eric Gagne, who earned his 36th save in Tuesday night's 5-2 win over Cincinnati, was one shy of tying Dennis Eckersley for the second-longest streak to start a season. Gagne has converted 44 straight dating to last season, 10 short of Tom Gordon's major league record.
CHICAGO: Manager Dusty Baker said the good thing about having Mark Prior on a pitch count Tuesday night was that "he was much more pitch-effective." Prior returned from the DL and made his first start since hurting his pitching shoulder on July 11 in a collision with Atlanta 2B Marcus Giles. The Cubs planned to limit Prior to 85-90 pitches; he threw 79 in working six innings of the Cubs' 3-0 win. Prior allowed two hits and struck out six.
SAN DIEGO: Padres GM Kevin Towers has put off trade talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates, saying that if San Diego acquires OF Brian Giles and C Jason Kendall, it'll be in the offseason. The Padres want to keep their options open for signing free agents in the winter before moving into their new downtown ballpark. ... Closer Trevor Hoffman, sidelined all season after having two offseason shoulder surgeries, threw 30 pitches off a mound and said he felt fine. It was his second throwing session in the last several days. If all goes well, Hoffman could be back in September. He's fifth on the career saves list with 352.