Friday, August 09, 2002

Notes from Thursday's games



The Associated Press

        AMERICAN LEAGUE
       Mariners-Blue Jays

        SEATTLE: LHP Arthur Rhodes is day-to-day with sore ribs. Rhodes was struck in the ribs by Vernon Wells' liner in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game. ... The Mariners acquired INF Jose Offerman from the Boston Red Sox. Offerman, 33, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week, and refused to report to Triple-A Pawtucket, his right as a veteran player. Seattle and Cincinnati were both interested in acquiring him. Boston owed him the remaining $2,131,149 of this year's $6.5 million salary, and a $2 million buyout of an $8 million club option for 2003. Seattle must pay at least $57,923 of that, a prorated share of the $200,000 minimum, and probably agreed to pay a little more, because two teams were interested in the infielder. “We've got an agreement with Boston that we find quite favorable,” general manager Pat Gillick said. “Right now the addition of Offerman works within our guidelines.” Manager Lou Piniella likes Offerman's versatility. “He can play the infield, left field and DH,” Piniella said. “He's also a valuable bat coming off the bench.”

        TORONTO: 1B Carlos Delgado returned to the lineup as the DH after missing four games with a sore back. He missed Sunday's game, ending a franchise-record streak of 432 consecutive games played. ... INF Dave Berg remains day-to-day with a bruised left. Berg collided with Seattle's Jeff Cirillo in Tuesday's game.

        ———
       Athletics-Red Sox

        OAKLAND: Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Red Sox gave the Athletics a 22-8 record in games decided by one run, the best in the majors. ... Jermaine Dye's homer Wednesday was his sixth in 24 games since the All-Star break. He had six in 61 games before the break. ... C Greg Myers made his first start since July 31. ... Thursday's starter Barry Zito is the second pitcher the Red Sox faced in the series who played in the Cape Cod summer league while in college. The other was Mark Mulder, who pitched the opener, a 9-1 Oakland win.

        BOSTON: INF Jose Offerman, designated for assignment by Boston last week, was sent to Seattle on Thursday for cash considerations. ... RHP Dustin Hermanson, on the disabled list most of the season, is expected to pitch a game in the Gulf Coast League this weekend then make at least one rehabilitation appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket of the International League. ... Johnny Damon expects to play the rest of the season despite a burst bursar sac in his knee that he said swelled to the size of a grapefruit Monday. ... Tony Clark, troubled by a tight right hamstring in Sunday's game at Texas, returned to the lineup at first base after sitting out the previous two games.

        ———
       Rangers-Tigers

        TEXAS: After only two days out of the starting rotation, Aaron Myette finds himself back in it. Myette was demoted to the bullpen on Tuesday, when Texas manager Jerry Narron replaced him with Rob Bell. But after Chan Ho Park went on the disabled list on Wednesday with a blister on his right middle finger, Narron said Myette (0-4, 11.91) will definitely start on Sunday against Cleveland. ... LHP John Rocker, on the DL with left shoulder bursitis, was scheduled to make the first of four rehab appearances with Double-A Tulsa of the Texas League at Little Rock.

        DETROIT: DH Randall Simon wasn't in the lineup on Thursday night because of a bruised finger on his left hand. He injured the finger when he was swinging the bat on Wednesday night. “It was my middle finger. Kind of tough for me to hold the bat,” Simon said. “But I think I'll play tomorrow.” He was scheduled to have the finger X-rayed. ... 3B Dean Palmer, on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis and a neck injury, is back with the team and working out. “I'm sore everywhere,” he said.

        ———
       Twins-Orioles

        MINNESOTA: The Twins have lost four straight for the first time since April 8-11. ... Minnesota's season-high streak of six straight series victories was snapped this week by Baltimore. The Twins had been unbeaten in 13 series (10-0-3), their longest series unbeaten streak since 1970. ... A.J. Pierzynski is batting .396 (21-for-53) in his last 14 games. ... CF Torii Hunter has one hit in his last 12 at-bats but is batting .320 (25-for-78) over his last 20 games. ... RHP Brad Radke, who has spent substantial time on the disabled list, suffered his first loss since April 23 on Thursday. ... LHP Eric Milton underwent successful surgery Thursday to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee. He is expected to miss 4-5 weeks. ... Minnesota faces Boston for the first time this season on Friday night.

        BALTIMORE: The Orioles have won seven of nine. ... DH Chris Richard (.424) has hit safely in all nine games since being activated from the DL, with three HRs and seven RBI. ... RHP Travis Driskill (8-5) recorded his first win at home on Thursday. ... RHP Jorge Julio leads all major league rookies with 23 saves. ... 1B Jeff Conine is 2-for-7 with two RBIs since returning from the DL Wednesday. ... The Orioles have turned 127 double plays, most in the AL. ... RHP Jason Johnson (shoulder tendinitis) will be activated from the 15-day DL and start Friday's game in Detroit. A roster move to make room for Johnson will be announced Friday... 3B Tony Batista has hit .196 (10-for-51) over his last 13 games. ... RHP Willis Roberts has allowed earned runs in just four of his last 22 appearances (27 1-3 innings).

        ———
       Devil Rays-Indians

        TAMPA BAY: Manager Hal McRae said the Devil Rays do not employ a shift on Indians slugger Jim Thome like most other teams because he does not consider the Indians slugger just a pull hitter. “We go by our own charts and what he has done against us,” McRae said. “I don't think he just pulls the ball. His homer the other night was to center. And it depends on how you pitch a guy as to where you play him.” ... OF Randy Winn entered the game Thursday night with the best average in the AL since June 5, hitting .354 (84-for-327). ... The Devil Rays have had 25 games (10-15) decided in the ninth inning or later — the most in the majors. ... Of their 76 losses entering play Thursday, 33 had come when the Devil Rays had either the tying or winning run at the plate in the ninth inning. ... The 37-76 record after 113 games is the worst in the majors since the 1991 Cleveland Indians also were 37-76.

        CLEVELAND: Manager Joel Skinner said RHP Jake Westbrook, who is scheduled to make his first start of the season on Friday night, will likely stay in the rotation through August. “Jake has been a starter most of his career and it is a bit easier on his arm to have a set routine,” Skinner said. Westbrook had surgery on his right elbow on February 26. He has made seven relief appearances since rejoining the Indians on July 13. ... 3B Bill Selby started in place of Travis Fryman on Thursday night. “Travis is fine, we just want to give Billy a game or two to keep him sharp,” Skinner said. Fryman has been in and out of the lineup all season with shoulder and elbow ailments. ... RHP Bob Wickman, on the disabled list since July 22 with a strained right forearm, threw before the game and said he felt fine. “Bob will take a day off and we will probably activate him this weekend and he'll go right back into the closer's role,” Skinner said. “We will be careful with him in back-to-back games, though, and let him build himself back.” ... Former Indians RHP Rod Nichols, now a minor league pitching coach in the Phillies organization, was a clubhouse visitor before the game.

        ———
       Royals-Yankees

        KANSAS CITY: Joe Randa got two hits, and needs three more to reach 1,000 in his career. ... RHP Zack Greinke, the team's top pick in the June draft, made his pro debut by throwing 2 1-3 shutout innings for the Gulf Coast League Royals. Taken sixth overall and using a 91 mph fastball, he allowed one hit, struck out one and walked one against the Tigers' team. “There is a big difference between pro ball and others where you can blow it by them,” the 18-year-old Greinke said. “Here the players are more experienced and you have to hope they swing and miss sometimes.”

        NEW YORK: 1B-DH Nick Johnson had a MRI and CT scan that showed a bone bruise of the left wrist. He sprained his wrist making a diving catch Wednesday. “We just have to wait three, four or five days and see. If it doesn't get any better or if it looks like it is going to be a while, we will disable him,” manager Joe Torre said. ... The Yankees won their sixth straight series against the Royals. ... LHP Andy Pettitte recorded his sixth pickoff of the season, trapping Carlos Beltran off first base in the fourth inning. ... Alfonso Soriano needs two more home runs to become the first second baseman in major league history to post a 30-homer, 30-steal season. ... With Nick Johnson injured and Jason Giambi as the DH, Ron Coomer made his second start of the season at first base. He made a throwing error trying to get a runner heading to second base.

        ———
       Angels-White Sox

        ANAHEIM: Right-handed starter Aaron Sele, 69-35 the past four seasons with Seattle and Texas, hasn't enjoyed the same sort of success with the Angels after signing as a free agent. Heading into Thursday's start at Chicago, Sele was 8-7 and had won just one of his last six starts. However Sele has been able to lower his ERA, over 5.00 most of the season, to 4.61. Angels manager Mike Scioscia, however, believes Sele's focus and work ethic will allow him to return to form. “He understands that if he goes out there and doesn't execute pitches, he's ready to go right back and work it out. He comes back and does his bullpen. That's why he's been so consistent throughout his career.”... 3B Troy Glaus is 9-for-32 with four home runs in his last eight games after a for 5-for-35 slide. “The thing we have to have from him is to produce RBIs,” Scioscia said. “If it comes on home runs, great, but I think he has a lot to offer besides that. He's getting a better swing on the ball, a lot of them will go out of the park.” Glaus, who hit 41 homer last year and led the league with 47 in 2000, has 20 this season.

        CHICAGO: Since trading veterans Ray Durham, Kenny Lofton and Sandy Alomar Jr., the White Sox have given regular starting assignments to 2B Willie Harris, 3B Joe Crede and OF Aaron Rowand. Heading into Thursday's game, Harris was hitting just .200, Crede .138 and Rowand .208. But White Sox manager Jerry Manuel isn't concerned — yet — about the youngster's lack of offensive output. “They're not getting hits, but they're playing good baseball,” Manuel said. “The offensive part is normally what you're judged by, but they're showing they can play at the major league level.” Of the the three, Crede is rated as the best prospect. At Triple-A Charlotte, he hit .306 with 24 homers and 65 RBIs in 95 games. He was rated the No. 5 prospect by Baseball America in a preseason poll. ... LHP Jim Parque made his first start of the season Thursday against Anaheim and first since shoulder surgery in May 2001. Manuel hopes Parque, who spent most of the season at Charlotte, will be able to rejoing the team's rotation full time. He also hoped Parque would be more economical with pitches than before his injury, “We'd like to see him in the sixth or seventh inning with 85-90 pitches and chance to win the game,” Manuel said. Parque was 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his last five starts at Charlotte.

        ———
       NATIONAL LEAGUE
       Marlins-Astros

        FLORIDA: Juan Encarnacion doubled in the second and fourth innings Thursday and is now just one short of 100 career doubles. ... Eric Owens' career .390 batting average against Houston is the highest of any active player in the majors ahead of Jim Edmonds (.371) and Mike Piazza (.370).

        HOUSTON: Jeff Bagwell's 20th home run Wednesday extended his club record for most consecutive seasons with 20 or more home runs to 10. Bagwell's 369 career homers is one behind Gil Hodges for 51st place on the all-time major league list. ... Brad Ausmus, who won a Gold Glove last year when he threw out 43.2 percent of base-stealers, has thrown out 32.4 percent (22 of 68) so far this year.

        ———
       Mets-Brewers

        NEW YORK: C Mike Piazza sat out Thursday afternoon's game in Milwaukee after going 4-for-9 in the first two games of the series. ... C Vance Wilson, in his first plate appearance of the team's road trip, grounded a two-run single to start the Mets on the way to a 9-0 victory over the Brewers. Wilson finished with a career-high three hits, all singles, but he knows Piazza will return to the lineup Friday night in St. Louis. “I know my role,” Wilson said. “Even though I had a good offensive day, Mike is the best hitter in the game and we need him in there, especially if we're going to make a run.” . ... RHP Steve Trachsel helped himself with a perfect suicide squeeze to score Wilson for a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Trachsel, who has nine sacrifices this season, bunted into a double play his second time up and later added another sacrifice that advanced two runners. ... CF Timo Perez was 1-for-9 before hitting a single and two triples, the second with the bases loaded, against the Brewers. ... RF Jeromy Burnitz hit two doubles Thursday and was 4-for-12 in the three-game series against his former teammates in his first return to Miller Park. ... The shutout was the ninth by the Mets this season.

        MILWAUKEE: All-Star 1B Richie Sexson, who has played despite hamstring injuries, didn't start Thursday. “I called him at home last night and he didn't have any problem with it, didn't give me any opposition,” manager Jerry Royster said. “This wouldn't be a usual day off for him if he didn't need it so badly” ... All-Star Jose Hernandez leads NL shortstops in home runs (20) and RBI (52), but is on pace to set the all-time record for strikeouts. With 48 games to play, he has struck out 143 times and the all-time record is 189 by Bobby Bonds. ... RHP Ruben Quevedo, who starts Friday at home against Montreal, is 0-4 with a 5.48 ERA against the NL East this season. ... Thursday's 9-0 loss marked the eighth time the Brewers have been shut out this season. ... The triple by CF Alex Sanchez in the sixth inning was the team's first since July 7 at Cincinnati. ... The team fizzled in front of 35,042 fans, the fifth largest crowd of the season.

        ———
       Expos-Cardinals

        MONTREAL: Manager Frank Robinson thought Jose Macias' best position was third base. After seeing him rob the Cardinals of hits in center field on Tuesday and Wednesday, he's not so sure. “I've tried him at both and he's done a tremendous job at both,” Robinson said. “He's ready to help and do whatever it takes.” Macias has started four of the last five games, two at each position. ... Backup C Brian Schneider said the Expos anticipated the Cardinals' failed double steal in the sixth inning Tuesday, catching Scott Rolen at the plate. But Rolen took the blame, saying he broke too late.

        ST. LOUIS: Hall of Fame SS Ozzie Smith will be honored with a statue outside Busch Stadium after Sunday's homestand finale. ... Manager Tony La Russa ran and walked for an hour Thursday afternoon, the better to release tension from the team's seven-game losing streak. ... RF J.D. Drew was back in the lineup after a day off. He was held out Wednesday because RHP Tomo Ohka has been tough on left-handed hitters. ... RHP Woody Williams, recovering from a strained muscle on his right side, will pitch in the bullpen again on Friday. ... The Cardinals' last 15 hits entering Thursday's game were all singles.

        ———
       Reds-Rockies

        CINCINNATI: The Reds return home to begin a season-high 10-game homestand and the start of a 25-game stretch that includes 13 games with division rivals Houston and St. Louis. “This is a very critical stretch for us, one that will define what our season is,” manager Bob Boone said. “Opportunity is there. Catastrophe is there and everything in between.” ... OF Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the starting lineup to rest a sore left leg. “The leg is a little sore and it is a day game after a night game,” Boone said. “Besides, it makes our bench stronger.” ... Boone finalized his rotation for three-game series with San Diego. RHP Jared Fernandez, who made two relief appearances in the Colorado series will start on Friday and Ryan Dempster on Saturday. ... RHP Joey Hamilton won't be taken from the rotation after allowing seven runs in 4 1-3 innings in his initial start since coming off the DL. “I don't have any other alternatives,” Boone said. “We're hurting with Elmer Dessens down.” ... RHP Scott Wiliamson allowed his first run in four relief appearances and second in nine outings since the All-Star game. ... Brady Clark is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.

        COLORADO: Manager Clint Hurdle shed the interim label and signed a two-year contract extension. “Good men have gone before me and I'm sure there will be good men that go after me, but I'm here because I want to be here,” Hurdle said. “I've worked very hard to be in this seat today.” ... Hurdle handed out cigars in the clubhouse a day after his wife, Karla, gave birth to his first child, Madison. ... Of Greg Norton and RHP Justin Speier received an undisclosed amount of money for getting mohawk haircuts from Larry Walker. “I'm not saying publicly how much it was,” Speier said. “It was a nice sum of money.” ... C Gary Bennett caught Mike Hampton after Sandy Alomar Jr. was behind the plate for the first two games of the Cincinnati series. Alomar was fine after experiencing some discomfort in his left shoulder after singling in the fifth inning of Wednesday's game. “I'm OK and didn't need to ice the shoulder,” Alomar said. “I had a feeling like a pinched nerve after reaching for the ball.” ... Colorado completed its seventh, three-game sweep, all at home.

        ———
       Braves-Diamondbacks

        ATLANTA: LHP Mike Remlinger was placed on the 15-DL with a strained right groin. Remlinger, who got his first loss of the season after seven victories Wednesday night, gave up a single to Tony Womack in the eighth inning, then left the game with a 2-0 count on David Dellucci. LHP John Foster was recalled from Triple-A Richmond to fill the roster spot. ... RHP Greg Maddux is expected to make his next start after leaving Wednesday's game with a strained muscle in his upper right side. ... Arizona scored five runs Wednesday off an Atlanta bullpen that leads the majors with a 2.37 ERA. ... When manager Bobby Cox was thrown out of Wednesday's game, it was his fifth ejection of the season.

        ARIZONA: OF Luis Gonzalez is hitless in his last 15 at bats, but he worked a crucial walk on a 3-2 count in Arizona's three-run eighth-inning rally Wednesday night. ... In the first two games of the Atlanta series, 1B Erubiel Durazo was 5-for-8 with three doubles and three RBIs. ... Arizona has drawn 2.17 million fans this season, an average of 39,419 per game. Home attendance is up 364,807, by far the biggest increase in the majors. ... Arizona leads the NL in batting (.271), runs (582), hits (1,054) and on-base percentage (.347).

        ———
       Cubs-Giants

        CHICAGO: Cubs OF Sammy Sosa homered twice Thursday, including a 461-foot drive to straightaway center. Sosa, who leads the NL with 35 homers, now has 485 in his career. ... 1B Fred McGriff, who had an RBI single in the second inning, drove in six runs in the three-game series. ... 3B Bill Mueller drove in two runs for Chicago, but he'll get the day off Friday to rest his sore leg. The Cubs have a weekend series in Colorado.

        SAN FRANCISCO: Giants OF Barry Bonds is 2-for-6 with an RBI double and five walks since hitting his 599th homer Tuesday. He's expected to be in the lineup Friday night when the Giants open a weekend series against Pittsburgh, Bonds' former club. ... OF Tsuyoshi Shinjo will play two weekend games for Triple-A Fresno in his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury. ... San Francisco, still desperate for left-handed relievers, claimed LHP Scott Eyre off waivers from Toronto. He'll be in the bullpen Friday.

        ———
       Phillies-Padres

        PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies' first-round draft pick, LHP Cole Hamels, was on the field during batting practice Thursday. Hamels, from San Diego's Rancho Bernardo High School, is said to be close to signing. Signing Hamels was made easier this week when the New York Mets signed Scott Kazmir, taken two spots earlier than Hamels with the No. 15 pick, to a $2.15 million deal. ... SS Jimmy Rollins made his first start after missing the last two games since he was hit on his right elbow by Los Angeles RHP Giovanni Carrara on Monday. Rollins' sore arm was tested in the first inning when Mark Kotsay grounded to 2B Marlon Anderson with a runner on first base. With Ramon Vazquez bearing down on him, Rollins had to make a hard throw to first base to complete the double play.

        SAN DIEGO: Rookie LHP Oliver Perez (slight left shoulder strain) was placed on the 15-day DL. Perez, scheduled to start Sunday at Cincinnati, injured the muscle behind his shoulder when he slide head first into first base on Tuesday. LHP Kevin Walker was activated from the 60-day DL. ... LHP Bobby M. Jones is expected to get the start in place of Perez. It will be his first start since 2000 with the New York Mets. ... The Padres received encouraging news on a pitcher rehabbing from “Tommy John” surgery. RHP Adam Eaton made his first rehab start on Wednesday with Class-A Lake Elsinore and was perfect in four innings. Eaton, who underwent the ligament replacement surgery last August, struck out four and did not allow a hit or a walk.

        ———
       Pirates-Dodgers

        PITTSBURGH: No Pirates pitcher has more than eight strikeouts in a game this year. The last one to reach double digits was RHP Omar Olivares, who fanned 10 St. Louis Cardinals on May 15 of last season in an 8-5 loss at PNC Park — the only double-digit strikeout game by the staff in 2001. ... RHP Kris Benson who didn't pitch for the Pirates from the final day of the 2000 season until May 13 of this year because of his recovery from reconstructive elbow surgery, takes a 4-6 record and a 6.01 ERA into his rematch with Kirk Rueter on Saturday at San Francisco. “The problem with Kris right now is just touch and feel, and whether he has command of the strike zone on a consistent basis. That's the part that's going to take a little time. His stuff has never been a question,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Right now, I don't think he's as good as he's going to get. Kris has certainly improved every time out and had given us a lift from time to time, but it's going to be a long process. Some games are good, some are bad. But for the most part, I'm very pleased.” ... Closer Mike Williams entered Thursday needing one save to tie Jim Gott's club record of 34 in one season, is third in the NL behind the more high-profile John Smoltz and Eric Gagne. But Williams has no problems with the closers for the Braves and Dodgers getting most of the limelight. “That doesn't bother me. I don't care about saves. If we win, that's all I care about,” Williams said. “I don't want us to be .500. I don't want to be competitive. I don't want to be a "spoiler.' I want to win the World Series. That should be everybody's goal in here. And if it's not, they need to rethink their goals.” ... The Pirates are 47-1 in games they've led after eight innings.

        LOS ANGELES: Manager Jim Tracy did not start C Paul Lo Duca on Thursday night against Pittsburgh LHP Jimmy Anderson. Lo Duca, in an 0-for-13 drought, is hitting .200 since the All-Star break. “I'm just going through a rut where nothing's going my way,” Lo Duca said. “Everybody's asking me if I'm getting tired. I'm not getting tired. I'm just in a slump. I'm not pressing. I feel great. I feel healthy. I'm not hitting the ball sharply — and when I do, it's right at somebody. But I really think that in the next week of so, some teams are going to pay because I'm going to have a lot of hits that are going to start falling in.” ... Former Dodgers SS Dave Anderson, who played for them in 1988 when they won their last World Series, was a pregame clubhouse visitor. Currently the head coach at the University of Memphis, Anderson and his team are in town for the West Coast Area Code Games. He said he started paying attention to the Dodgers again once CF Dave Roberts was acquired in a trade from Cleveland last December. Anderson managed Roberts in the Detroit Tigers' minor league system.

       



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- Notes from Thursday's games

Kitna relaxed, confident for first start
Bengals, Simmons near common ground
Justin Smith working to improve upon impressive rookie season
Bills' backup tight end battling for roster spot
Bills' revamped O-line faces first test
Browns ban sales of plastic bottles of beer
Jets 16, Steelers 6
Titans beginning to make tough decisions
It's a hazing day of summer for rookie
NFL preseason gets into full swing
Xavier completes women's basketball staff
Masters in demand, ATP chief says
Where are you going? Roddick: Final 8
Hardcourt's best players ready for faceoff
'Mosquito' Ferrero stings Dent in 3 sets
Moya making most of comeback
Schuettler makes fans sit up, pay attention
Tennis Channel to test fans' interest
Delay aside, Switzer happy to enter Hall
Klecko following in father's footsteps
Miami hungers for 2nd No. 1
New Mexico State football player in critical condition
Two-year Purdue starting RB has no lock on spot
Lineup, new format announced for Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
New contract will keep Jurich at U of L through 2016
Back on track, in car and in life
Gordon eyes road course as chance for first win
Prince Andrew to visit U.S. Grand Prix in Indy
Hand surgeon fined, suspended for giving horse Prozac
Third horse dies in Kentucky from West Nile
Tiger 2 strokes back at Buick
Harding sentenced to 10 days in jail
Last chance for UC-OSU tickets
Poll puts St. Xavier on top again


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