Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Notes from Monday's games

The Associated Press

       Blue Jays-Red Sox

        TORONTO: The Blue Jays juggled their lineup when RF Raul Mondesi was traded to the New York Yankees after being in the original batting order. Eric Hinske took his place in the third spot, Jose Cruz Jr. was moved from center field to right and Vernon Wells got the start in center. ... Toronto won the season opener at Fenway Park 12-11, but has lost six in a row in Boston after Monday night's 4-0 defeat. ... The Blue Jays failed to score first for only the fourth time in 15 games. ... Pedro Swann started at DH. He was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse after Sunday's game.

        BOSTON: RHP Frank Castillo dropped his appeal of a five-game suspension for stepping on umpire Bill Welke's foot during an argument June 19 in San Diego. He probably won't miss a start because the Red Sox began a four-day, five-game series with Toronto on Monday night. ... 2B Carlos Baerga left the game with a strained left hamstring suffered while running out a groundout in the third. He pulled up as he approached the base and was replaced in the field by Lou Merloni in the top of the fourth. ... RHP Dustin Hermanson threw off the bullpen mound before the game and he “felt very good,” manager Grady Little said. He threw about 25 pitches and hopes to return to action, probably on a rehabilitation assignment, soon after the All-Star game. Hermanson, signed in the offseason as a free agent, suffered a groin injury in the second inning on April 3 and hasn't played since.


        KANSAS CITY: Luis Alicea started at 2B for the sixth straight game. He's filling in for Carlos Febles, who has a strained left upper leg. With Alicea batting leadoff and hitting .364 (8-for-22), the Royals have won four of their last five and Alicea has a six-game hitting streak, his longest of the season. ... 1B Mike Sweeney was the fifth Royals player to be selected to three straight All-Star games. The others were George Brett (1976-88), the late Dan Quisenberry (1982-84), Cookie Rojas (1971-74) and Amos Otis (1970-73). ... Sweeney, who took a major league-leading .361 batting average into Monday night's game, hit .400 (38-for-95) in June although his season-best 12-game hitting streak ended Sunday.

        SEATTLE: Manager Lou Piniella, who managed the New York Yankees from 1986-88, was an interested observer in the Yankees' acquisition of slugger Raul Mondesi from Toronto on Monday. The Mariners have lost to the Yankees in the AL championship series the past two seasons. They have said that they'd like to acquire a veteran hitter before the July 31 trading deadline. “If they need a player, they go get it,” Piniella said of the Yankees. “If they need a pitcher, they go get a pitcher, too.” Piniella said he thinks Mondesi, 31, is still a productive player although he's hitting only .224. “He's got some pop, he's a good outfielder and he has a good throwing arm,” Piniella said. ... Switch-hitting SS Carlos Guillen still isn't batting right-handed because of a sore left ring finger. He was hit by a pitch while bunting in a game in Baltimore May 31. He was out of the lineup Monday night against Kansas City LHP Darrell May. “That's starting to be a little bit of a concern,” Piniella said. “That's been a long, long time. It should have healed by now.” ... Piniella said he'd take a second half of the season like the Mariners' first half. The Mariners were 51-30 in their first 81 games. “If we get 51 more wins, we'll be happy,” Piniella said. “As long as we stay healthy.”


        MINNESOTA: The Twins called up LHP Jose Rodriguez from Triple-A Edmonton on Monday to take Matt Kinney's place on the roster. Kinney was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday because of a sore right shoulder. Kinney was 2-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 14 appearances in 2002, including 12 starts. Rodriguez was 0-0 with a walk and six strikeouts in four appearances with Edmonton. He was signed as a free agent by the Twins on June 19. ... RHP Joe Mays will begin a rehab assignment with the Single-A Fort Myers Miracle on Tuesday. Mays has been on the disabled list since April 17 with inflammation in his right elbow. Before he went on the DL, Mays was 0-2 with a 11.57 ERA in three starts.

        OAKLAND: The Athletics went a major league-best 16-2 in interleague play. Their only two losses were to the San Francisco Giants. ... The A's wrapped up June with a 21-7 record, setting an Oakland record for most wins in the month. The previous mark was 20-9 in 1995. ... At the halfway point of the season, Miguel Tejada has 331 at-bats, on pace to break the Oakland record for a season, 644, set by Johnny Damon last year. Tejada has 99 hits, on pace to break Jose Canseco's Oakland mark of 187 set in 1988. ... The A's have just seven sacrifice bunts this season.


        NEW YORK: Jay Payton has a team-high six outfield assists. ... Tuesday night's starter, Pedro Astacio, is 7-6 with a 4.66 ERA in 19 career games against the Phillies.

        PHILADELPHIA: Going into Monday's game, 1B Travis Lee had a .999 fielding percentage (1 error in 698 total chances). ... The Phillies had managed just 22 runs in their previous nine home games (a 2.4 average) before they started a seven-game homestand against the Mets and Expos. ... CF Doug Glanville has walked 17 times. He had 19 walks last season. ... RHP Terry Adams has made four consecutive quality starts. He will face the Mets on Tuesday.


        SAN DIEGO: The Padres made several roster moves before Monday's game, placing RHP David Lundquist (shoulder strain) and RHP Jason Middlebrook (groin strain) on the 15-day disabled list. They recalled LHP Kevin Pickford from Triple-A Portland and purchased the contract of LHP Mike Holtz from Portland. ... The Padres were 9-17 in June, their first full month with a single- digit victory total since they went 9-19 in June 1986. They were 9-13 in April 1999, playing few gams in that month.

        ST. LOUIS: Manager Tony La Russa said he's not worried “in the slightest” about closer Jason Isringhausen, who has two blown saves in his last three appearances after one in his first 17. “If right now you said that the biggest problem we'd have from now to the end of the season is Isringhausen, then you can start printing the playoff tickets,” La Russa said. “He's real good.” ... 2B Fernando Vina got his third day off of the season as La Russa packed his lineup with seven right-handed hitters against LHP Oliver Perez. “I had him in there and I scratched him,” La Russa said. “Talking to him, he's just gassed.” Joining Vina on the bench was fellow left-handed hitter Tino Martinez, with the Cardinals facing LHP Oliver Perez. ... Mike Coolbaugh, recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sunday, made his first start on Monday and played in LF. ... Mike DiFelice hit his third home run on Sunday, and first since the fifth game of the year on April 6.


        FLORIDA: SS Alex Gonzalez, out since May 21 with a dislocated left shoulder, reported to the club's Gulf Coast League team in Jupiter to begin his rehab assignment. ... RHP Josh Beckett, on the DL with a finger blister, is scheduled to make rehabilitation starts July 6 and 11 before rejoining the rotation July 16 against the Mets in New York. ... C Ryan Jorgensen, acquired from the Cubs in the trade that involved Antonio Alfonseca, has been promoted to Double-A Portland after batting .257 with three home runs and 33 RBI for Jupiter.

        CHICAGO: Reliever Tom Gordon is expected to be activated on Tuesday, but it's unclear just how the team will use him. With Antonio Alfonseca locked into the closer's role, the Cubs have left open the possibility of trading Gordon before July 31. Gordon has been on the 60-day DL since March 30 with a right shoulder injury. ... The Cubs began a 12-game stretch Monday in which they'll play only the Marlins and Braves between July 1-16. ... After the All-Star break, the Cubs will play 18 of their first 23 games at home.


        MILWAUKEE: OF Jeffrey Hammonds and Manager Jerry Royster don't agree on the value of days off. Hammonds had surgery on his shoulder and Royster thinks he benefits from occasional time off. Royster likes to find situations where Hammonds can have two consecutive days off. “He's fine but his swing deteriorates by the end of the fifth or sixth (consecutive) day,” Royster said. Hammonds said he doesn't think the time off is a help. ”(That's) not going to get my game back,” Hammonds said. “I have to battle. I can't baby it.”

        PITTSBURGH: The Pirates reached the midpoint of the season Monday with a 36-45 record. They were 31-50 halfway through last year en route to a 100-loss season. “We've been a competitive ballclub,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. McClendon said his most pleasant surprise from the first half has been the work of starting pitchers Kip Wells and Josh Fogg, who were acquired from the Chicago White Sox last winter. Wells is 9-5 and Fogg is 8-6. ... LHP Dave Williams will see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham on July 10 and probably have season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery the following day. Williams is on the disabled list with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.


        HOUSTON: Before Monday's game, Reds manager Bob Boone said the hitter he most fears is Barry Bonds, but the Astros' Lance Berkman isn't far behind. “In the two years I've been here, he's hit us better than anybody,” Boone said. Berkman was a .405 career hitter against the Reds heading into Monday's game, including 5-of-9 with four homers so far this season. In his first at-bat Monday, Berkman had an RBI single. ... RHP Jim Mann will wear No. 58. Mann was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Sunday, replacing RHP Kirk Saarloos.

        CINCINNATI: The Reds remembered the first game at Riverfront Stadium by wearing commemorative uniforms for Monday night's game against Houston. One problem: Their outfit was off by two years. The first game at Riverfront Stadium was June 30, 1970, when the Reds lost to the Atlanta Braves 8-2. They were in St. Louis on Sunday, the 32-year anniversary, and decided to commemorate it in their first game back. The Astros wore gray road uniforms with dark blue socks and caps, the same ones that their 1970 team wore. The Reds wore their 1972 uniforms — knit shirts with red trim and plain white pants that became synonymous with the Big Red Machine. When they moved into Riverfront in 1970, the Reds actually wore a button-down shirt without the red trim on the sleeves or neck. ... SS Barry Larkin was back in the lineup after being relegating to pinch-hitting for four games because of spasms in his right shoulder and neck. He doubled in his first at-bat, snapping an 0-for-20 skid that was his longest since he went 0-for-30 in 1998.


        MONTREAL: RF Vladimir Guerrero hit his 19th home run of the season in the first inning off LHP Tom Glavine. ... The Expos signed RHP Darrell Rasner, their second-round draft pick. He went 6-8 with a 3.70 ERA this season at the University of Nevada. The club has signed 16 of its 50 draft selections. ... SS Orlando Cabrera has hit safely in 15 of his past 16 games after a second-inning single.

        ATLANTA: NASCAR drivers Dale Jarrett and Michael Waltrip were guests of Braves third-base coach Ned Yost during batting practice. Each took a turn in the cage, with Jarrett hitting several line drives. ... First-round draft pick Jeff Francoeur took some swings, too, wearing a No. 12 jersey with his name on the back. Using one of Marcus Giles' bats, Francoeur hit several balls over the wall. “It's fun right now, to just get a chance to be down here,” he said. “It's a good honor for me.”


        GIANTS: Manager Dusty Baker has heard enough about the Barry Bonds-Jeff Kent feud. “It's over, it's finished and I'm tired of having to answer questions about it,” Baker said. “There is no telling what their differences had on the team because both of them are loners at and away from the ballpark.” ... Kent wasn't all that excited about being named NL Player of the Week or with the watch that comes with it. “I have a lot more things to worry about like where are we in the standings,” said Kent, who hit .394 with three home runs and 13 RBIs over the past week. “I already have a watch and it was free.” ... Neither Baker nor Kent expressed disappointment after Kent was left off the NL All-Star team despite his recent tear. Kent hit .384 seven homers and 32 RBIs over the last 36 games. “Jeff has been on a surge, but it came at the wrong time,” Baker said. “Most of the votes were already in.” ... Baker gave SS Rich Aurilia the night off on Monday. “Rich needs a break,” Baker said. “I can feel his frustration. I can see his frustration.”

        COLORADO: All-Star 1B Todd Helton missed two games against Seattle with a sore back, but was back in the lineup Sunday and started Monday. Helton said he planned to play in the All-Star game next week, but was going to pass on the home run derby. “With my back, it wouldn't be a good idea,” Helton said. “It wasn't too good of an experience for me last year. I'm not a home run hitter.” ... The Rockies placed utility player Greg Norton on the DL with a strained right hamstring on Monday and brought up Ross Gload from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take his place. “He'd been playing probably the best of anyone down there,” manager Clint Hurdle said of Gload. “John Barnes had been playing really well, but he tweaked a hamstring last week. (Gload) was the right man to call up.”


        LOS ANGELES: OF Shawn Green and 2B Mark Grudzielanek were out of the lineup against Randy Johnson on Monday night, both because of collisions with teammates while chasing fly balls. Green jammed his left thumb when he collided with Dave Roberts Saturday night, and Grudzielanek got a minor concussion when his knee hit Brian Jordan's in a collision with teammate Brian Jordan on Sunday. ... C Paul Lo Duca wasn't talking about how he felt being left off the All-Star team by Arizona manager Bob Brenly. “If you're asking about the All-Star game, I'm not talking about that,” he said as he brushed by reporters before Monday's game. ... Halfway through the season, Los Angeles' 51-30 record is best in NL and seven games better than the Dodgers were halfway through last season.

        ARIZONA: Arizona plays its next 23 games against NL West teams, in a span of 28 days. The only break is for the All-Star Game, a contest in which six Diamondbacks are playing. ... 1B Erubiel Durazo is back on the 15-day DL after straining his right oblique muscle swinging the bat. INF Alex Cintron was called up from Triple-A Tucson for the third time this season to take Durazo's spot on the roster. ... OF Luis Gonzalez cooled off considerably on Arizona's 3-3 road trip to Houston and Cleveland, going 4-for-22, 0-for-9 against the Indians. ... 2B Junior Spivey has a 16-game hitting streak, which dates back to before he went on the 15-day DL. Spivey's fifth-inning home run Sunday was Arizona's first homer since Tuesday in Houston, a span of 45 innings.


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Pedro declines All-Star invitation to rest arm
Wild Thing replaces Helms as manager in minors
Yankees pick up Mondesi from Toronto
NL roundup
AL roundup
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Coming up this week

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