Aug. 12, 2003 AP wrote:AMERICAN LEAGUE
BALTIMORE: 1B-OF Jeff Conine (right biceps bursitis) will have his playing status determined when the team returns home later this week. "We'll know when we get back," manager Mike Hargrove said. Conine has missed the past four games. ... OF Melvin Mora (right hand) said he felt discomfort and did not take part in a scheduled soft toss session. ... Hargrove is not sure when 1B David Segui (left wrist) will be ready to return. "He can swing the bat OK left-handed, but right-handed still bothers him," Hargrove said. ... LHP Omal Daal (left rotator cuff tendinitis) threw off flat ground, including long toss. He hasn't pitched since June 27.
TAMPA BAY: Rookie RHP Chad Gaudin will go into the starting rotation, replacing RHP Jorge Sosa. At 20 years, five months, Gaudin is the youngest player in team history. ... Tampa Bay entered 19-16 since July 3. If the Devil Rays can maintain that pace over the regular season's final 45 games, the majors' youngest team will finish with club-record 70 wins. "These kids have shown growth," manager Lou Piniella said. "But we're not near where we want to be." ... RHP Jeremi Gonzalez, Wednesday's scheduled starter, has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings. The team record is 18, set by Rolando Arrojo in 1998.
CLEVELAND: OF Milton Bradley was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game because of back spasms. ... The Indians expect to call up pitcher Cliff Lee from Triple-A Buffalo to start Saturday against Tampa Bay. Indians manager Eric Wedge said the team will go with a six-man rotation. ... OF Matt Lawton, on the disabled list since July 11 because of a dislocated finger, will take batting practice Wednesday and be evaluated again. ... Wedge has noticed a difference in the Twins since Cleveland beat Minnesota in three of four games at the Metrodome early in July. "I think they're a better team right now," Wedge said. "They're deeper in the season and they've got guys healthy." ... Cleveland is a respectable 30-29 at home, but the Indians' 5-3 loss to the Twins on Monday dropped them to 20-40 on the road. "I like playing on the road and I don't think anyone has a problem with it," 3B Casey Blake said. "It's just that we're running into some teams that are playing well at home." ... Cleveland has used 48 players this season, second in the majors to Texas (50).
MINNESOTA: Scheduled starter Rick Reed was scratched because of back spasms. Right-hander Joe Mays started in his place. Mays made his first start since July 5. He was in the rotation until being sent to the bullpen the following day because of ineffectiveness. He had not pitched since Aug. 2. "That's what happens when the starters carry it a little further," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Our starters are doing what we thought they were going to do. If they keep doing that, we'll have a chance to stay in this thing to the end." ... The Twins sent 1B Todd Sears to Triple-A Rochester after their game Monday and called up OF Mike Ryan. "He's just sitting up here and not doing anything," Gardenhire said of Sears. "He needs to get some swings in." Ryan was hitting .225 with 15 homers and 60 RBIs for Rochester. He gives the Twins more depth in the outfield since Jacque Jones aggravated a groin injury Monday. Jones was not in the lineup Tuesday. ... The Twins were looking for their second five-game winning streak since the All-Star break. They were 17-8 since the break.
DETROIT: 3B Eric Munson was scratched from the lineup due to a jammed thumb sustained Monday night when he tried to make a diving catch. Munson has 18 homers, tying him with Texas' Mark Teixeira for the major league rookie lead. Munson's played through injuries all season, but he was unable to swing the bat effectively before the game. "He's a tough kid, tough-minded," manager Alan Trammell said. "He wants to play. This kid's part of the puzzle, a good part." ... Trammell gave OF-DH Dmitri Young a rest. Young leads the Tigers with a career-high 22 homers.
TEXAS: RHP John Thomson will be moved up two days in the rotation to Thursday. Thomson threw only 20 pitches in Monday night's start against Detroit before a rain delay of almost two hours. Thomson's right arm stiffened and he wasn't brought back when play resumed. ... RF Juan Gonzalez is undergoing a battery of tests to determine the status of the strained calf muscle that has kept him out since July 20. ... RHP Chan Ho Park will visit Dr. Yamil Kleen in Colorado on Friday to determine if he can begin an accelerated throwing program. Park has been on the disabled list since June 8 due to stiffness and soreness in the right ribcage area. He has been on a physical therapy program.
NEW YORK: LHP David Wells was scheduled to have an MRI exam on his sore back Wednesday in New York. Manager Joe Torre said reliever Sterling Hitchcock would probably take Wells' next start Saturday if Wells cannot go. Wells left after just three innings Monday night in Kansas City's 12-9 victory. "We have to start making a plan. Right now at first blush, Hitchcock would seem like the likely guy, unless we decide to start pitching on short rest," Torre said. "And I'm not crazy about doing that." ... Torre said he had not heard from RHP Antonio Osuna, who went on bereavement leave Monday to be with his ailing mother in Mexico.
KANSAS CITY: Carlos Febles, once considered Kansas City's second baseman of the future, was designated for assignment and is probably through with the Royals. Versatile Desi Relaford, who started in center field Tuesday night in place of the ailing Carlos Beltran, will become the regular second baseman. INF Mendy Lopez came off the DL and took Febles' roster spot. ... The last time Kansas City was in first place this late in the season was in 1985, when the Royals won the AL West and the World Series.
TORONTO: The Blue Jays have outhomered opponents 74-57 on the road. ... Toronto, in third place in the AL East, is fighting to remain in playoff contention. "For about six weeks we have not played very good," manager Carlos Tosca said. "But I think we have one more good run in us." ... The Blue Jays hold a season series edge of 13-9-4 over Seattle despite losing the last four season series. ... Toronto has not had a winning season against the Mariners since going 7-4 in 1998.
SEATTLE: RHP Kazuhiro Sasaki, on the DL since June 11 with two broken ribs, was activated. He injured the ribs falling down his stairs June 8 while carrying a suitcase. ... During Sasaki's two stints on the DL this year the Mariners bullpen had a 4-5 record, compared to 9-1 when he was with the club. ... In the last 50 years only two players have hit .320 or better in each of their first three big league seasons. Tony Oliva did it his first four seasons (1962-65) and Wade Boggs did it his first eight years (1982-89). Ichiro Suzuki hit .350 his first season (2001), .321 last season and was batting .339 through Monday's games.
CHICAGO: The White Sox bullpen had allowed 35 earned runs in 37 1-3 innings over its previous 14 games. "I'm a little concerned with the bullpen - the bridge guys," manager Jerry Manuel said. "I'm still trying to figure out a way to get to the end of the game. That's something we've been trying to get right all year." ... LHP Scott Schoeneweis allowed nine earned runs in 5 1-3 innings over his first six appearances with the White Sox, including four runs in one-third of an inning against his former Anaheim teammates during Chicago's 10-8 loss Monday night. It was the first time he faced the Angels since they traded him to the White Sox on July 29. "I've thought to myself a lot of times about what really happened and why they didn't want me anymore and the reasons for me being traded. But I think it's a good situation for everyone involved," Schoeneweis said. "I've said from the start that I have nothing but good feelings about everyone over there and the years I played there. It just came to a point where both parties were at the end of their rope with each other. I really don't know if there was anything I said or did that got me out of there, but I don't think that anything I did or said was bad. I wasn't happy about what my role ended up being over there, but I still gave 100 percent and got the job done."
ANAHEIM: LF Garret Anderson, the only player to start all 119 games for the injury-riddled Angels this season, has gone hitless in consecutive games only four times. He leads the AL with 69 extra-base hits - 19 fewer than his franchise-record total of last season - and was just seven hits shy of tying Brian Downing's club-record of 1,588. ... Anderson and Tim Salmon batted 3-4 in the lineup for the fourth consecutive game and fifth time this season. The only other time Anderson did not bat cleanup was July 31 against the Yankees. "It's a good spot for G.A. having Fish behind him, because maybe we'll get some runs in the first inning," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Right now, with the group we have, we feel it's our best way to line those guys up. So we're going to stay with it. But it starts with the one and two guys getting on base." ... Alfredo Amezaga started in place of SS David Eckstein, who had some tightness in his right hamstring. The highly touted rookie is 1-for-25 in seven starts since his June 24 promotion from Triple-A Salt Lake, where he batted .347. "For a young player coming up, if you're not getting four at-bats a day, it's tough to really evaluate a guy or get him in a groove," Scioscia said. "Alfredo's up here because there's a role for him. He's not playing every day right now, but I don't think it's fair to judge a guy and say he can or can't, based on 25 at-bats. As time goes on and he gets more at-bats, you'll see it."
BOSTON: 1B David McCarty got his first start for the Red Sox, who signed him last week. McCarty was designated for assignment by the A's when they acquired Jose Guillen at the trade deadline. Oakland hoped to keep McCarty in its system, but Boston scooped him up. McCarty started at first base against Barry Zito. ... According to manager Grady Little, there was a very good reason Pedro Martinez was steamed after losing to Tim Hudson on Monday night: "He hates to lose. He always wants to stay in there if he's behind, because he hates to lose," Little said. Martinez threw just five innings in a 4-0 loss, allowing five hits and two runs. He took the AL strikeout lead from Roger Clemens with seven Ks. ... The Red Sox are optimistic about pitching coach Tony Cloninger, who has taken a leave from the team to get treatment for bladder cancer. Little spoke to Cloninger last week. "He said he's getting stronger, but still pretty weak," Little said. The coaches hope to see Cloninger next week when they return to Boston. ... RHP Brandon Lyon threw in the bullpen before the game. He might get a rehabilitation assignment this weekend.
OAKLAND: RHP Jim Mecir is ready to return from the disabled list, but the A's haven't decided on the transaction they want to make to activate him. It's thought that a position player will have to leave until the rosters expand on Sept. 1 - and the only major leaguer with minor league options remaining is Eric Byrnes, who nearly made the All-Star team with a sizzling first half. Since then, Byrnes has been terrible, and he has played sparingly over the last three weeks. ... Manager Ken Macha is pleased with Jose Guillen so far. Guillen entered hitting .279 with one homer and four RBIs since arriving in a trade with Cincinnati on Aug. 1. "It's tougher if you don't know pitchers," Macha said of Guillen's transition between leagues. "But he's always up there swinging, so it's not going to be as tough for him to learn pitchers." ... On Monday, the A's began a stretch of 26 straight games against AL East teams. They were 12-4 against the East entering Tuesday's game - the best record against the division in the AL. NATIONAL LEAGUE
COLORADO: RHP Chin-hui Tsao made his fourth start since he was recalled from Double-A Tulsa on July 25. Tsao, the majors' first Taiwanese pitcher, is 2-0 with a 4.32 ERA
. ... Colorado is in the midst of a stretch of 13 games against NL East opponents. The Rockies are 7-13 against NL East teams this season.
MONTREAL: C Michael Barrett had his broken left index finger examined by hand specialist Dr. Jorge Schwartz in Montreal on Tuesday. Barrett broke his finger Saturday making a tag in a minor league game in Sacramento while on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Edmonton. He will be out for at least four weeks.
LOS ANGELES: 3B Adrian Beltre has five of the team's nine three-run homers. But through Monday he's 0-for-8 with the bases loaded. ... The Dodgers are last in the majors in home runs, slugging percentage and walks. ... LHP Kazuhisa Ishii (sprained left knee), sidelined since July 30, is scheduled to throw in the bullpen Wednesday.
FLORIDA: On AIDS Awareness Night at Pro Player Stadium, the 50-member Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Choir performed the national anthem Tuesday. ... Manager Jack McKeon dislikes the stadium radar gun because pitchers pay too much attention to it. "I wish they'd turn it off," he said. "The idea is to become a pitcher, not a thrower." Damn I love Jack ... i wish he was still in our org.
ST. LOUIS: RHP Matt Morris apparently had no problems during a four-inning simulated game Tuesday at PNC Park, clearing his way to come off the disabled list and start Sunday against the Phillies. Morris (8-6, 4.16 ERA) hasn't pitched since breaking a bone in his right hand July 21 against San Diego
. ... RHP Brett Tomko made his scheduled start Tuesday night in Pittsburgh despite neck stiffness that bothered him last weekend. Tomko was coming off his best start of the season, eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory over Florida on Thursday. ... Albert Pujols ran his hitting streak to 26 games with a first-inning homer Tuesday in Pittsburgh - the second straight game he's homered in the first. His streak is the longest by a Cardinals player since Lou Brock's 26-game run in 1971 and ties with Kenny Lofton and Nomar Garciaparra for the longest in the majors this season. The club record is 33 games by Rogers Hornsby in 1922.
PITTSBURGH: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's owners sold off the $2 million share of the Pirates they purchased when the ballclub's future was in doubt following the 1995 season. Block Communications Inc. sold its interest to the partnership that owns the team. Terms were not disclosed. According to Block Communications, the sale of its interest to the partnership was structured so that Block did not make a profit on its investment. ... RHP Bobby Bradley allowed one hit over three scoreless innings in a Gulf Coast League game against the Yankees on Tuesday. Bradley, the Pirates' 1999 first-round draft choice, struck out four and walked one. Bradley had elbow reconstructive surgery in October 2001 and sat out the 2002 season. Bradley began this season at Class A Lynchburg, going 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts before experiencing more problems.
MILWAUKEE: Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker missed his first game after having of the both of his knees successfully replaced Monday to relieve severe arthritis. ... C Keith Osik extended his hitting streak to a career-best eight games with a three-run double in the first inning Tuesday night. ... Ben Sheets (10-9) goes for his eighth win on the road this season Wednesday. Sheets is 7-3 away from Miller Park.
PHILADELPHIA: LF Pat Burrell was back in the cleanup spot for the first time since May 27. Burrell has struggled the entire season, but has been hitting better since the All-Star break. He had an RBI triple in his first at-bat Tuesday night. ... Three local gay and lesbian professional associations teamed up to sell more than 550 tickets for Tuesday night's game. ... Kevin Millwood (11-8) takes the mound Wednesday, hoping for just his second win in seven decisions. Millwood began the season 7-1
. ... The Phillies began a stretch of 12 games against the Brewers and Cardinals. They were 9-3 against those teams last year.
SAN FRANCISCO: SS Rich Aurilia, on the DL and expected to be out at least three weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy Aug. 4, is recovering quicker than he and the team's trainers expected. He took batting practice before the game Tuesday night and planned to take grounders for the first time since the surgery. "I'm doing good," Aurilia said. It's not really a big deal anymore, this surgery. It's done all the time. Hopefully I'll be able to get back next Tuesday when I'm eligible to come off the DL."
NEW YORK: Most of rookie RHP Aaron Heilman's problems have come from struggling with his control. "I just want to see him go out there, compete and give us a chance to win," manager Art Howe said. "I'm not expecting miracles. I just want to see him have command of all his pitches." ... The Mets are celebrating International Week, and Tuesday was Greek Night. In honor of the event, the starting lineups were read in Greek - including Mets third baseman "Ty Wiggintonopolous."
ARIZONA: RHP Miguel Batista, Wednesday's scheduled starter against the Reds, is 3-0 with a 2.62 ERA in 12 career outings against Cincinnati. Batista is 4-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 13 games, 12 of them starts, since returning June 3 from a 10-game suspension, but he is 1-3 with a 3.06 ERA over his last eight starts
... Rookie Matt Kata, who recorded his first career stolen base Sunday in New York, made it two in two games in the first inning Tuesday. Kata, who was hitting .360 in 20 games as Arizona's leadoff batter, singled to start the game
... Shea Hillenbrand, who went a combined 0-for-8 in Arizona's last two games in New York, extended his slump by lining out to first baseman Sean Casey with Kata on third Tuesday.
CINCINNATI: Catcher Corky Miller served three stints with the Reds over the past two seasons, but he joined the team for the first time this season on Tuesday. "I didn't think it would be me right now, because of the two (catchers) they've got here,' said Miller, who was hitting .248 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs for the Bats. "I'll just bide my time and see where it ends." ... Miller replaced RHP Joe Valentine, who was optioned after not making an appearance since being called up from Louisville last Thursday. Any appearance by Valentine would have been his major league debut ... Russell Branyan's start Tuesday was his first since August 1, when he suffered a bruised right ankle while sliding into the wall behind third base in pursuit of a foul ball.
SAN DIEGO: Tuesday marked the 19th anniversary of one of the most infamous games in Padres-Braves history. On Aug. 12, 1984, the teams spent most of the game throwing pitches at each other, sparking two major brawls and leading to a 10-game suspension for then-Padres manager Dick Williams. The NL also fined seven San Diego players and two coaches.
... No matter what happens during this three-game series, the Padres will lose the season series to Atlanta for the 12th time in 14 years. Atlanta swept a four-game series at Qualcomm Stadium in May.
ATLANTA: The acquisition of LHP Kent Mercker forced the Braves into several roster moves. They took care of one on Tuesday, designating once-promising OF Cory Aldridge for assignment. He was hitting just .236 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs for Double-A Greenville. On Wednesday, Mercker is scheduled to report to the Braves, which will lead to another move. RHP Will Cunnane is almost certain to be sent down, since he had not pitched since being called up from the minors last week when RHP Darren Holmes went on the DL. The Braves dodged a tougher decision for a few days since RHP Trey Hodges isn't ready to come off the DL just yet. He'll throw a session in the bullpen Wednesday, then see how his arm responds. ... Manager Bobby Cox was glad to have Mercker back on the staff. The left-hander pitched began his career in Atlanta, pitching for the Braves from 1989-95. "It brings back old memories," Cox said. "You never say never in this game. You can always come back and do well." ... Chipper Jones must be in a slump - his dad's in town. Larry Jones, a former college coach, will spend a few days in Atlanta working on his son's swing. Chipper Jones went 2-for-19 on the Braves' six-game road trip and his streak of seven straight 100-RBI seasons is in serious jeopardy. "He's trying to hit it eight miles when 400 feet will do," Larry Jones said
. ... C Javy Lopez has been bothered by a sore right elbow. He said the problem crops up every year and is nothing serious. Lopez didn't start Tuesday with Greg Maddux on the mound.
HOUSTON: The Astros are currently in the midst of 13 games exclusively against the Cubs and the Reds. The season concludes with the Cubs on Aug. 21 and Aug. 24 against the Reds.
... The Astros bullpen has thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings since the seventh inning on Aug. 7, coming into Tuesday night's game against the Cubs.
CHICAGO: General manager Jim Hendry reiterated what manager Dusty Baker said a day earlier: the Cubs have no hard feelings toward Rafael Palmeiro, who said he didn't want to consider a possible trade from the Rangers. "You negotiate that (no-trade clause) for a reason. He has a right to exercise it," Hendry said. The Cubs were looking for a left-handed bat to add some balance to their predominantly right-handed hitting lineup. ... 2B Ramon Martinez, who's been filling in at the spot while Mark Grudzielanek recovers from a broken bone in his hand, was out of the lineup Tuesday with an injury of his own. Martinez has a sore left hand from a check swing in Monday night's game. Augie Ojeda, who started at short Monday night, was at second.