Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Indians awaiting word on Sabathia's exam

Results on ace's shoulder expected today

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians finally got a day off to relax - and worry.

After playing 20 games in 20 days, the Indians didn't play on Monday as they prepared for a six-day trip to Detroit and Cincinnati.

However, franchise ace C.C. Sabathia kept an important appointment.

Sabathia went to Birmingham, Ala., to have sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews examine his sore left shoulder, which acted up again during a weekend start.

Results will not be available until today.

Until then, the Indians will have to hold their breaths. Losing Sabathia for an extended period would be a tough blow for a team still in contention in the AL Central. The Indians (37-37) trail Minnesota by four games.

Sabathia was forced to leave his outing on Saturday against the Colorado Rockies after just one inning. It's the second time this season that Sabathia has been bothered by the shoulder.

RED SOX: The team helped raise more than $200,000 for victims of flooding in the Dominican Republic, the homeland of stars Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

Red Sox owner John Henry personally pledged $100,000 for the island, which was ravaged by flooding last month. As many as 2,000 people were killed and thousands more left homeless.

"I come from there. I know exactly how things are," Martinez said at a news conference on Monday. "Believe me, it's not pretty."

After receiving word of the disaster, Ortiz put a box in the Red Sox clubhouse to take up a collection among his teammates. The team also invited fans to contribute during a homestand and through the mail.

ALL-STAR VOTE: St. Louis shortstop Edgar Renteria leads Houston's Adam Everett by just six votes in fan voting for next month's All-Star game at Houston.

Renteria (986,688) overtook Everett (986,682) in the race for the National League's starting shortstop in totals released Monday by the commissioner's office.

Renteria's six-vote lead at shortstop - position No. 6 in baseball scorebooks - is not final. Ballpark balloting is over, but fans can still cast votes online through June 30.

In the American League, the Yankees' Hideki Matsui (1,264,633) moved past Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (1,207,614) and New York's Gary Sheffield (1,174,689) into the third spot among AL outfielders.

BRAVES: Left-hander Horacio Ramirez, on the disabled list since May 26 with tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, threw off the mound in the bullpen Monday and reported no problems.

If all goes well, he might be ready for a rehab assignment this weekend.

First baseman Adam LaRoche also is close to returning from a separated shoulder. He took batting practice for the fourth straight day, and hopes to be ready soon for a rehab assignment. LaRoche went on the DL on May 29.

BREWERS: Third baseman Wes Helms was activated from the disabled list after missing more than a month because of an injured right knee. Helms returned from a rehabilitation assignment and joined the team in Colorado.

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