Aug. 13, 2003 AP wrote:AMERICAN LEAGUE
BALTIMORE: OF Marty Cordova (right elbow) is swinging a bat and has started a throwing program. There is no timetable for when he will return. ... Manager Mike Hargrove said it's possible RHP Kurt Ainsworth (right shoulder) might pitch in September. ... INF Melvin Mora (right wrist) continues to feel discomfort and has not started a soft toss swinging program.
TAMPA BAY: Manager Lou Piniella said the Devil Rays will be scouting free agents extensively during September. Tampa Bay will likely look at adding several players in the middle price range during the offseason. ... The Devil Rays will play Cleveland for the first time this season Friday night. "The unbalanced schedule ... really unbalanced," a smiling Piniella said. The Devil Rays and Indians are the majors' two youngest teams. ... CF Rocco Baldelli went 2-for-5 and set a team rookie record with 140 hits.
CLEVELAND: OF Milton Bradley missed his fifth straight game with a stiff back and was sent back to Cleveland for an MRI test on Thursday. ... OF Matt Lawton (dislocated finger) took batting practice before Wednesday's game and is close to being activated from the disabled list. He's been out since July 11. Manager Eric Wedge said Lawton might be activated Friday or Saturday and then sent to the minors for a rehabilitation assignment. "We want him to hit the ground running when he comes back," Wedge said. ... Closer Danys Baez, who threw 46 pitches in a laborious ninth inning during Tuesday's win over the Twins, was not available to pitch Wednesday. "Nobody wants to do it more than him, and we'll all do what we can to make him more consistent," Wedge said. "He has the stuff. We just want to make sure he's consistent in that role."
MINNESOTA: LHP Eric Milton is scheduled to fly to Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday to continue his rehabilitation from knee surgery at the team's spring training complex. Milton has been on the 60-day disabled list since he had the operation in March. He has been throwing out of the bullpen this month, and he'll add fielding drills to his regimen in Fort Myers. The next step would be throwing to live hitters, but time is running out for a rehab assignment since the minor league seasons are nearing completion. The Twins are reluctant to thrust him into games while they're in a pennant race, so whether he'll pitch in the majors at all this year remains up in the air. "His knee looks good," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Now it's about taking care of the arm, too. He has to be careful. We all know what Milty wants. He wants to get back out there and help this team." ... RHP Rick Reed's back was feeling a little better on Wednesday after he was scratched from his start the night before. The Twins are planning to start him Sunday in Kansas City, barring a setback. ... Assistant media relations manager Mike Herman, a former college baseball player, threw batting practice before Wednesday's game because hitting coach Scott Ullger wanted a lefty to throw. Herman will do the same this weekend in Kansas City. The Twins are scheduled to face lefties on Thursday (Cleveland's Brian Anderson) and Friday (Kansas City's Jimmy Gobble).
DETROIT: 3B Eric Munson missed his second straight start because of a strained left thumb. Manager Alan Trammell also gave OF-DH Dmitri Young a second straight night off. ... Rookie RHP Jeremy Bonderman's recent stretch of effective outings is a positive sign for the Tigers' future. "He's a 20-year-old kid who can be inconsistent at times," Trammell said. "He needs some polishing, but he's going to be with us for a long while." Bonderman has won four of his last six decisions after a stretch of nine straight defeats.
TEXAS: RHP Jeff Zimmerman will report to the team's spring training headquarters in Surprise, Ariz., on Friday and will throw an inning for the Rangers' Arizona League entry. Zimmerman, attempting to come back from ligament transplant surgery on his right elbow, is back on a throwing program after being shut down for two weeks due to tightness in the elbow. Zimmerman, the Rangers' closer in 2001, has been on the disabled list all season. He had elbow surgery on July 30, 2002. "He's still on schedule," said Rangers manager Buck Showalter. "He's going to pitch for us again."
NEW YORK: All-Star C Jorge Posada took a tumble in the clubhouse before Wednesday's game when fell backward out of a worn-out old chair onto the floor. The clubhouse fell silent a moment until Posada stood up and pointed at the beat-up chair and said, "It looks like something Boomer (Wells) has been sitting in."
KANSAS CITY: RHP Jose Lima threw off the mound for the first time since going on the DL on Aug. 2 with a strained groin. "He was able to push on his back leg and he didn't feel pain. It's the first time since he went on the DL that he threw so much," said manager Tony Pena. Lima is eligible to be activated on Sunday. His next start would be Monday. "We have to wait until tomorrow and see what we have," Pena said. ... RF Aaron Guiel moved to center field Wednesday to replace Carlos Beltran, whose sore right elbow was still a concern. Guiel played two games in center last year as a rookie.
TORONTO: 1B Carlos Delgado hit two balls in batting practice off the windows of a restaurant some 30 feet above and 30 feet behind the right-field bleachers. He's six home runs short of 300 for his career. ... RHP Kelvim Escobar (8-6, 3.85 ERA), scheduled to start Thursday in the four-game series finale, will make his 18th start this season after his first 15 appearances came in relief. ... The Blue Jays have lost 13 straight when their opponent scores first. ... SS Mike Bordick is 12 games from reaching 1,700 over his 12-year career.
SEATTLE: In 12 games since being traded from the New York Mets, INF Rey Sanchez is hitting 14-for-41 (.341) with a .378 on-base percentage. ... The Mariners are 16-3 on Tuesdays, their best day of the week. They were 6-11 on Wednesdays, their worst day. ... RHP Gil Meche, Thursday's scheduled starter, threw 20 scoreless innings from April 17 to May 4, the longest stretch of the season for any Seattle starter. RHP Shigetoshi Hasegawa, a reliever, went into Wednesday's game with a streak of 26 scoreless innings. ... 1B John Olerud leads the majors with 14 RBIs in August. He's hitting 14-for-51 (.275) in his last 14 games with three doubles, five home runs and 20 RBIs. ... OF Randy Winn went 0-for-3 Tuesday but he was hitting .414 (12-for-29) over the previous seven games, and manager Bob Melvin moved him to No. 2 in the lineup for Wednesday's game. He hit there to open the season.
CHICAGO: RHP Jon Adkins was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to fill the roster spot opened when RHP Billy Koch was placed on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his elbow. It is the first trip to the majors for Adkins, 25, who was obtained from Oakland in exchange for 2B Ray Durham on July 25, 2002. "We saw a lot of him this spring and we liked what we saw," manager Jerry Manuel said. ... LHP Neal Cotts, who lasted just 2 1-3 innings Tuesday night in his major league debut and walked six, will get at least one more start next Sunday at Texas. "We'll kind of throw that one out and give him a fair evaluation on his next one and see what we really have. Hopefully, he can make the adjustments," Manuel said. "He walked a lot of guys last night, but I didn't see a lot of hard balls put in play." Cotts is no stranger to U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago - having started the All-Star Futures Game there last month for Team USA. ... 3B Joe Crede, whose .225 average at the All-Star break was the second-lowest among AL players with at least 300 at-bats, has picked it up to .242 with 18 hits in his last 52 at-bats.
ANAHEIM: No timetable has been set for the return of All-Star 3B Troy Glaus, whose MRI exam Tuesday revealed a partial tear of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder and fraying of the labrum. The World Series MVP already has missed 23 games since injuring himself diving for a ball on July 21 at Tampa Bay, but the Angels are not ready to shut him down for the season - despite being out of the playoff picture. Nor are they predicting offseason surgery. "I'm sure it's something that will be considered if there's no progress, but I don't think anyone's going to rush to do anything that might not be necessary," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Shutting him down is always a last resort, but you don't have to make that decision now. If it comes to that point, then it comes to that point. But we're not going to rule out that he's not going to play again this year." ... The Angels, whose average attendance through their first 60 home dates was 37,629, have to average 35,345 in their remaining 21 games at Edison Field to reach the 3 million mark for the first time in their 43-year history. The club record was 2,807,360 in 1982, when the ballpark seated 65,158. It now has a capacity of 45,030.
BOSTON: OF Jeremy Giambi has a tear in a ligament in his left shoulder, he learned during an examination in Southern California on Tuesday. Giambi, on the disabled list since Aug. 5, must decide soon whether to play through the injury, which could get worse and force him to have surgery that might prevent him from being ready for the next spring training. ... RHP Brandon Lyon felt good during a bullpen session on Tuesday. If he feels good after another session on Thursday, he will be assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket this weekend. "He threw mostly fastballs, and it was good," manager Grady Little said. Lyon, who has a strained right elbow hasn't pitched for Boston since arriving in a deadline trade with Pittsburgh. ... Little kept OF Trot Nixon on the bench for the second straight day and also sat 2B Todd Walker on Wednesday. Walker is in a .187 slump over the last 35 games since July 1. Nixon is in a .189 slump in 12 games in August. Little will have Nixon back in the lineup for Thursday's series finale. "We want Trot in the lineup as often as possible, but I think he's got a little bit better chance of success against (Ted) Lilly and (Seattle's Jamie) Moyer," Little said.
OAKLAND: The A's finally gave up on OF Adam Piatt, a former minor league player of the year who never claimed a regular spot in the lineup. Oakland designated Piatt for assignment after activating RHP Jim Mecir from the disabled list. Piatt hit just .240 with four homers and 15 RBIs this season - his fourth straight unsatisfying campaign spent shuttling between Triple-A and the majors. "To help the club, Adam would have had to come off the bench and pinch-hit, and he hasn't been real productive in that role," manager Ken Macha said. ... Mecir should return to the eighth-inning setup role he has filled in Oakland for four seasons. Macha will be more judicious in his relief selections with 12 pitchers in the bullpen now. "As I have used the bullpen, it's been in chunks (recently)," Macha said. "Now I'll have the ability to mix and match a little bit." ... At 69-50, the A's got off to their best start after 119 games since the 1992 team. NATIONAL LEAGUE
HOUSTON: RHP Dan Miceli gave up a three-run homer to Moises Alou in the fifth inning, which snapped his streak of nine scoreless innings in six appearances and ended the team's bullpen streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings. Before Wednesday, the bullpen hadn't give up a run since Aug. 7 in the seventh inning against the Mets. ... Carlos Zambrano snapped Houston's streak of 62 games without being shut out on Tuesday night. The Astros' streak was the third-longest active string in the majors behind Atlanta (101) and Cleveland (98)
. ... OFs Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio are both 1-for-11 in the series against the Cubs.
CHICAGO: Dusty Baker and C Damian Miller echoed the same theme after the Cubs' victory Wednesday: the team can play even better. "We're still not playing as well as we can," said Miller, who's been solid defensively but is batting just .237 despite two hits Wednesday. "I still think our best baseball is ahead," Baker said of a team that has overcome numerous injuries to stay in the race. "We've haven't been hot-hot yet," Baker said
.Must be a new level of hot
... Mark Guthrie got his first win since July 2002 when he was with the Mets.
SAN DIEGO: 3B Sean Burroughs sat out because of a sore right ankle, the result of being hit with a pitch from Jason Marquis in Tuesday night's game. Burroughs managed to hobble down to first, but he never went back in the game defensively. He will probably miss the finale of the three-game series at Turner Field, as well. ... OF Rondell White, who had four hits and three RBIs in a 14-4 rout on the Braves on Tuesday, didn't start because of sore left hip flexor. "I could play him," manager Bruce Bochy said, "but I don't want to make it worse." ... Lost in the shuffle of San Diego's 24-hit performance in the opener of the series: The Padres tied a franchise record with 18 singles
. LMAO ... singles
ATLANTA: LHP Kent Mercker was a little late getting the news about his trade from Cincinnati to the Braves. A Reds official tried to call Monday to tip him about the impending deal, but Mercker always turns his cell phone off when his team has an off-day. When he finally flipped it back on Tuesday, there were 12 voice mails awaiting him. Each message provided a little more information, with the final call detailing his trade to the Braves for a player to be named. OUCH ....
... RHP Darren Holmes, on the DL with a right shoulder strain, has small tears on the top and bottom of his rotator cuff. No surgery will be required, and Holmes hopes to rejoin the team in September. "Don't count me out," he said. Holmes said he's going to rest the shoulder completely for another week, then try to start throwing again. He had a couple of cortisone shots Tuesday and is working out for 2½ hours every morning.
COLORADO: C Bobby Estalella was a late scratch because of a sore right elbow and was replaced by Charles Johnson. ... The Rockies, an NL-worst 20-42 on the road, entered Wednesday night's game looking for just their fourth road series win.
... Colorado's bullpen has a 1.97 ERA in the last eight games, allowing 21 hits and seven runs in 32 innings.
MONTREAL: RF Vladimir Guerrero homered in each of the first two games of the series, raising his career total to 224. He is one home run short of tying Andre Dawson's team record. Dawson hit 225 of his 438 career homers with Montreal from 1976-86. ... Despite allowing three runs in six innings in a 5-1 loss Friday in Houston, RHP Javier Vazquez is 3-2 with a 2.39 ERA in his last five starts. Vazquez is 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA in five career starts against Colorado.
LOS ANGELES: The Dodgers purchased the contract of RHP Masao Kida from Triple-A Las Vegas, and OF Jason Romano was optioned to Las Vegas. Kida pitched with Detroit in 1999 and 2000. ... OF Dave Roberts has reached 30 stolen bases for the second year in a row.
FLORIDA: 1B Derrek Lee returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing four starts with a sore shoulder. ... Newly acquired RHP Chad Fox, released by Boston last month, said he prefers the clubhouse atmosphere with the Marlins. "It's just a different feeling - a little more laid back, a little more relaxed," he said.
ST. LOUIS: Manager Tony La Russa needs 13 victories for 2,000 in his career. ...
Cardinals reliever Steve Kline, who grew up in Lewisburg, Pa., and is a longtime Steelers fan, planned a visit to the Steelers' camp in Latrobe during the four-game series in Pittsburgh. Kline played college baseball at nearby West Virginia. ... Woody Williams (14-5), Dan Haren (3-3) and Brett Tomko (9-7) are the Cardinals' scheduled starters during their three-game weekend series in Philadelphia.
PITTSBURGH: The Pirates hit .300 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs and averaged 5.4 runs in their first 12 games against St. Louis this season, yet were only 5-7
. ... Brian Giles has moved up to sixth in club history with 164 homers, trailing Willie Stargell (475), Ralph Kiner (301), Roberto Clemente (240), Barry Bonds (176) and Dave Parker (166). ... Jeff D'Amico, who starts Thursday afternoon, is 3-1 with a 5.06 ERA in six career starts against St. Louis. He is 7-11 overall this season, surpassing the six wins he had while going 6-10 for the Mets last season. ... Sean Burnett, the Pirates' minor league pitcher of the year the last two seasons, is 12-5 at Double-A Altoona. He was the winning pitcher in a 6-3 victory over Bowie on Tuesday night. Burnett is 38-18 in four minor league seasons.
MILWAUKEE: RHP Wes Obermueller (0-3) seeks his first win in the majors on Thursday. He had 10 victories for Kansas City's Triple-A affiliate before coming to the Brewers in a trade for reliever Curtis Leskanic last month. ... Rookie CF Scott Podsednik snapped an 0-for-11 slump with an infield single off Kevin Millwood's foot in the first inning Wednesday night. ... The Brewers will play their final game of the season on artificial turf Thursday. ... 3B Keith Ginter has an eight-game hitting streak.
PHILADELPHIA: All-Star Randy Wolf (11-7) tries to snap a two-game losing streak on Thursday. Wolf is 1-3 with a 4.22 ERA since the All-Star break.
... The Phillies and Yankees are the only teams in the majors with four 10-game winners
. ... Jim Thome hit his 29th homer in the first inning Wednesday, a mammoth shot off the facing off the upper deck in right-center field.
SAN FRANCISCO: RHP Jason Schmidt (12-4, 2.32 ERA) is slated to make his next start Saturday night at Montreal
. He was scratched from his last start Sunday because of right elbow tendinitis that has bothered him since the All-Star break. Pitching coach Dave Righetti said Schmidt has since thrown on the side, but still does not feel 100 percent. "Shoot, nobody does. When you're 18 years old you feel 100 percent," Righetti said. ... Manager Felipe Alou has shifted 3B Edgardo Alfonzo to second while 2B Ray Durham is on the disabled list. Alfonzo played second base for three years with the Mets but didn't seem thrilled about moving back. "The manager knows I played there before and he says I have to do it," Alfonzo said. "I'm not going to say I feel very good. I just feel all right. I don't really feel comfortable there. I played third base the last few years. But if I have to do it for the team, I have to do it."
... Barry Bonds hit a couple of balls halfway up the huge right-center scoreboard at Shea Stadium during batting practice.
NEW YORK: Star C Mike Piazza homered in his return to the lineup after missing nearly three months with a severe groin injury. To make room on the roster, OF Jeff Duncan was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Duncan, called up from Double-A Binghamton for the second time this season on July 10, has never played at the Triple-A level. He was the first Mets position player to skip over Triple-A since infielder Edgardo Alfonzo did it in 1995. "Triple-A is where I need to be right now," Duncan said. "It's part of my development. I found out a lot about the mental side of the game - preparation and being ready to go. You've got to be ready to go every day. It's a lot different that way. You can't let your guard down." ... Rookie SS Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a bunt single in the third inning. He also stole his 11th base.
ARIZONA: Thursday's starting pitcher, RHP Brandon Webb, has never pitched in Great American Ball Park, but he should feel right at home. Webb, a native of Ashland, Ky., who pitched at the University of Kentucky, expects several relatives, his fiancee and 30 members of his church to make the 150-mile trip from his hometown. He also expects to see his Wildcats baseball coach and some college friends. "They haven't had a chance to see me pitch live in the majors yet," the rookie said. "It will be fun for me for them to be here." choke?
CINCINNATI: The Reds placed IF-OF Russell Branyan on the 15-day disabled list with a high right ankle sprain He was replaced on the roster by outfielder Dernell Stenson, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Louisville ... 2B D'Angelo Jimenez was playing third base and Juan Castro was at second in manager Dave Miley's original starting lineup before they were flip-flopped in a subsequent lineup. Miley decided Jimenez, who'd started 30 of his first 31 games with the Reds after being acquired from the White Sox, was a little too "tender" to handle playing an unfamiliar position. "If anything happened, we thought it would be good for (Jimenez) to get a couple of games over there," Miley said.