Notes From Tuesday’s Games
NEW YORK: 2B Chuck Knoblauch missed his second straight start with a sore left forearm and is day-to-day. ... RHP Jason Grimsley made his third start of the season after David Cone moved up a day to fill in for the injured Ramiro Mendoza on Monday. ... Orlando Hernandez will start Wednesday’s series finale in Montreal as originally scheduled. ... RHP Adrian ``El Duquecito″ Hernandez is expected to join Double-A Norwich and could start on Thursday. The Cuban defector allowed one run, three hits and struck out 13 in his U.S. pro debut last Saturday for Class-A Tampa.
MONTREAL: 2B Jose Vidro missed his fourth straight start with a strained ligament in his right middle finger. Originally expected to return to the lineup Tuesday, Expos manager Felipe Alou elected to give Vidro one more day off. ... LHP Steve Kline set a team record by saving his fifth consecutive game in Monday’s 6-4 win over the Yankees. Kline broke the previous record of four shared by Claude Raymond, John Wetteland, Mel Rojas (who did it twice) and Ugueth Urbina.
BOSTON: Carl Everett enters Tuesday’s game having homered in six of his last seven contests and tied for the AL home run lead with 20. He also had an 11-game hitting streak. ... Brian Daubach, a former Marlins prospect, has haunted his old team. In four games against his former organization (three last season and on Monday), he has hit .333, with a double and two RBIs. Despite leading the International League in home runs in 1998, Daubach was released after that season by the Marlins, who determined that he didn’t play a position well enough and that they had a similar player in Kevin Millar.
FLORIDA: A.J. Burnett, recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured thumb ligament, is expected to throw in the bullpen within the next 10 days. If things go well, he would likely begin an early July minor league rehab stint of three or four starts. That would put him in line for a return to the Florida rotation after the All-Star break. ... The Marlins were not pleased with the fact that at the end of Monday’s series opener, a large percentage of the 12,523 in attendance were standing and cheering for visiting Red Sox. ``It feels like we should have had on gray uniforms,″ Cliff Floyd said. ``You just feel like you play all 162 on the road now. I’m embarrassed. I really am.″
TAMPA BAY: Rocco Baldelli, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in Monday’s amateur draft, is the third Rhode Island product to be selected in the first round. Bill Almon (1972) and Mike Stenhouse (1979) were the others. ... Tampa Bay did not have picks in the second, third and fourth rounds as compensation for signing free agents Gerald Williams, Greg Vaughn and Steve Trachsel. ... Vaughn did not start his second straight game after aggravating a strained right hamstring Sunday.
PHILADELPHIA: After the Phillies’ 5-3 extra-inning loss to Tampa Bay on Monday, starter Andy Ashby made it clear he intends to test the free agent market in the offseason. Asked if he would sign with the Phillies right now if the team offered him a blank check, Ashby said no. ... Reliever Scott Aldred was scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his left shoulder Wednesday. He has a labral tear in the shoulder. In 23 appearances, Aldred was 1-3 with a 5.75 ERA. ... The Phillies played 12 innings Sunday and Monday. The last time they played back-to-back 12-inning games was July 24, 1998 in a doubleheader sweep over Florida.
CHICAGO: Wednesday marks the 50th consecutive day that the White Sox either shared or owned first place in the AL Central, their longest stretch since 1994. ... The White Sox had homered in 10 consecutive games heading into Wednesday’s game, one shy of their season-best streak from April. ... Cal Eldred was trying to win his fourth consecutive decision Wednesday, something he hadn’t done since 1993. At 5-2, he was off to his best start since 1992, when he opened 9-0.
CINCINNATI: A day after Deion Sanders signed with the Washington Redskins and said he wouldn’t play baseball this year, the Reds took the nameplate and jersey from his dressing cubicle. GM Jim Bowden said Sanders would be moved from the DL to a restricted list, keeping the team’s rights to him in case he decides to play again. ... Before Tuesday’s game, Ken Griffey Jr. autographed a bat and four hats for Christine Lindner, the 10-year-old granddaughter of owner Carl Lindner. A bat slipped from Griffey’s hands during a swing Sunday and hit her on the head, making a cut that needed six stitches. ... Eddie Taubensee led the team in batting in May with a .316 average but drove in only one run, with a homer on May 3. He hadn’t gotten an RBI since, a span of 21 games and 76 at-bats that was the longest dry spell of his career.
TORONTO: The Blue Jays made a couple of roster moves before Tuesday’s game. RHP Pete Munro (elbow strain) and OF Dewayne Wise (sore toe) were placed on the 15-day DL. Wise had a pin inserted in the big toe on his left foot during earlier surgery, and the pin is apparently causing problems now. Wise may need more surgery to remove the pin. To fill the spots on their 25-man roster, the Blue Jays activated LHP Lance Painter and INF Homer Bush from the DL.
ATLANTA: The Braves are trying to figure out why pitchers throughout the organization keep going down with serious elbow problems. In just the last two years at the major-league level, John Smoltz, Odalis Perez and Kerry Ligtenberg all had season-ending injuries. It’s spreading to the minor leagues, where Triple-A pitcher Joe Winkelsas tore a ligament on Sunday. Dick Balderson, the director of player development, said at least 14 pitchers have been injured over the past two years. ``We’ve got way too many,″ he said. ``There’s got to be a common denominator in all this, but I don’t know what it is yet.″
CLEVELAND: Jim Thome expects the race with the White Sox to last the whole season. ``They’re very similar to what we were in 1995,″ Thome said. ``They’re getting experienced and they’re getting good pitching. They’ve got a good ballclub.″ ... The Indians are the only AL team not to be shut out this season. ... RHP Jaret Wright is in Cleveland, undergoing therapy in his right shoulder. An MRI showed inflammation, and rest was prescribed. ... David Justice had two home runs Monday, giving him 11 homers and 30 RBI in his last 25 games.
MILWAUKEE: Jose Hernandez started at shortstop Tuesday against Cleveland starter Chuck Finley. ``I’m not saying that he won’t be there again, but I wanted to get as many right-handed bats in the lineup as I can,″ manager Davey Lopes said. Hernandez, the regular third baseman, is the third player used at shortstop since Mark Loretta was injured last Friday. ... The Brewers are hoping OF Mark Sweeney will soon be ready to play in the field, rather than continue to be used primarily as a pinch-hitter. Sweeney recently had two cortisone shots to the back of his shoulder, and the Brewers are waiting to see if they helped. ``He’s OK swinging the bat,″ Lopes said, ``not throwing. It’s obviously not good.″
MINNESOTA: 1B David Ortiz was a few minutes late for Monday’s game at Enron Field but his story was good enough to avoid a fine. Ortiz got in a cab at his hotel and told the driver to take him to the ballpark. Twenty minutes later, the cabbie is ready to deposit his passenger at the Astrodome. ``I said, `this is the Astrodome, don’t you know they don’t play here any more?‴ Ortiz said. It took the driver a couple of phone calls before he finally was able to get Ortiz to downtown Enron Field, five minutes past the team deadline for being in the locker room. Manager Tom Kelly was understanding. ``It wasn’t my fault the guy took me to the Astrodome,″ Ortiz said.
HOUSTON: Astros pitching coach Vern Ruhle has always been a favorite of Minnesota manager Tom Kelly for good reason. Kelly had one home run in a brief major league career _ off Ruhle in 1975. ``I gave up quite a few that year, so it’s hard to remember,″ Ruhle said. Ruhle got a T-shirt in the mail recently commemorating Kelly’s homer. ``It said ’25th Anniversary of T.K.’s Home Run,‴ Ruhle said. ``It didn’t reference the pitcher, and that was real nice of him.″
KANSAS CITY: Jermaine Dye tied a team record by homering in four consecutive games when he connected for his 18th of the season against Pat Hentgen on Monday. It’s been done 10 times in franchise history, with George Brett doing it three times, John Mayberry twice and Steve Balboni, Kirk Gibson and Chili Davis once. Dye had four homers in the first five games this month. He had no homers last June on his way to a career-high 27 homers. ... The Royals pitching staff entered the game on pace to give up 284 home runs, easily the most in franchise history. They allowed 98 in the first 56 games. ... The Royals had 13 victories in their final at-bat, one more than all last season.
ST. LOUIS: Injured 3B Fernando Tatis, out with a torn groin, is expected to be back around the All-Star break. Cardinals trainer Barry Weinberg had the St. Louis Blues’ trainer, Ray Barile, in to check the injury earlier this week because the injury is more common to hockey. ``His comment was ’`This is a bad one,‴ Weinberg said. ``I said `Thanks a lot. I can see that.‴ ... Injured reliever Mike James got hit on his right (pitching shoulder) by a batting practice fly ball on Monday. He wasn’t hurt, just spooked. ``It had to be my right shoulder,″ James said. ``Of all places. If it hit me in the head, that would have been a lot better.″ ... Larry Sutton, who was called up before the game, started at first base in place of the injured Mark McGwire. Sutton played in an 18-inning game for Triple-A Memphis on Monday night in which infielder Eduardo Perez threw the last two innings. ... Thomas Howard has been limited to pinch hitting duty by a sore neck. ... Reliever Jesse Orosco is expected to be activated on Friday. Orosco made his third rehab start Tuesday.
LOS ANGELES: The Dodgers suffered their third shutout of the season on Monday against the Rangers, and all three times, Los Angeles has wasted good work by its starter. Dodger pitches have allowed four runs in the three shutout losses. ... Shawn Green has reached base via a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 51 of the Dodgers’ 54 games this season. ... With 87 homers in their first 54 games, the Dodgers are on pace for a club-record 261 homers. The club mark is 208 set in 1953. The major league record is 264 by Seattle in 1997.
TEXAS: Several Rangers players wrote the No. 21 on their caps for Sunday night’s game against Arizona in honor of teammate Ruben Mateo, out for the season with a broken femur. The Rangers were notified by major league officials that they will be fined if they do so again. ... RHP Ryan Glynn was returned to Triple-A Oklahoma following Monday night’s strong outing, but Glynn figures to be back the next time the Rangers need a starter. Glynn pitched eight shutout innings in the 2-0 win over the Dodgers in place of Darren Oliver, who is expected to return to the rotation on Sunday. Mark Clark, Tuesday’s starter against the Dodgers, began the night with an 8.13 ERA and his spot in the rotation could go to Glynn if Clark continues to falter.
DETROIT: Juan Gonzalez returned to Detroit’s lineup. He sat out Monday’s game after driving a foul ball off his foot while playing in Chicago on Sunday. Gonzalez had already missed three games with a strained foot and made the condition worse with the foul ball. ... Hideo Nomo, who starts Wednesday in Pittsburgh, has one win in his last 10 starts. His career record against Pittsburgh is 5-2.
PITTSBURGH: Abraham Nunez led off and played second base Tuesday, his first game since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville. The Pirates lost 2B Warren Morris and SS Pat Meares in Monday’s game against the Tigers. Morris bruised an ankle when he hit a foul ball off his leg. Meares had a bruised calf after he was hit by a pitch. Neither injury was believed to be serious but Morris was unavailable for Tuesday’s game. ... Nunez became the seventh different player to occupy the leadoff spot for Pittsburgh in 56 games this season. ... Brian Giles is on pace to drive in 159 runs this season. The Pirates’ team record is 131, by Paul Waner in 1927.
COLORADO: LHP Brian Bohanon returned to the starting rotation after spending the last month in the bullpen. Bohanon started the year as the Rockies No. 3 starter but allowed 28 earned runs in five starts spanning 21 innings. He was 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in 19 1-3 innings in relief.
SEATTLE: The Mariners went over the 1 million mark in attendance Monday. The 28 games it took to reach that mark was the second-fastest in team history. They took 27 games in 1997. ... Mariners’ starter Brett Tomko entered Tuesday’s game with 6-0 record and 2.55 ERA in interleague play. ... Rockies RF Jeffrey Hammonds was back in the lineup after missing Monday’s game with a bruised left shoulder.
OAKLAND: LHP Mike Magnante is slated for a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday. If everything goes well, he’ll go again on Saturday, then rejoin the A’s possibly Sunday or Monday. Magnante went on the DL May 27 with a strained left hamstring. He’s eligible to come off the DL on Sunday. ... A’s manager Art Howe says he depends on RHP Jeff Tam too much out of the bullpen. ``We’ve got to start spreading it out and rely on more than one or two guys,″ said Howe. ``I’m using Tam too much. His ability to get groundballs is why I use him so much. He’s always the first guy in my mind.″ ... OF Ben Grieve, who is 1-for-16 in interleague play, was given the day off.
SAN DIEGO: LHP Sterling Hitchcock underwent successful elbow surgery Tuesday and will be out between 12 and 18 months. ``When an injury hits your starting rotation, it’s tougher to overcome,″ said Padres’ manager Bruce Bochy. ... RHP Carlton Loewer will make one more rehab start before returning to the Padres rotation. Loewer suffered a left ankle fracture during an offseason hunting incident. ... Eric Owens, who bruised his right thumb Monday, will miss at least the rest of the A’s series. He could return Friday. ... 1B Ryan Klesko missed his second game with a sore back. He’s also expected to return on Friday.
SAN FRANCISCO: The Giants recalled RHP Joe Nathan to start Tuesday night’s game against the Angels and designated reserve outfielder Terrell Lowery for assignment. Nathan had been on the disabled list since May 17 because of tendinitis in his shoulder. ... Barry Bonds, who took a .341 average, 46 RBIs, a major league-leading 24 homers and a big-league best .827 slugging percentage into Tuesday night’s game in Anaheim, brushed off suggestions that he is carrying the Giants. ``You can have dominating times, but I’ve never known anyone in baseball who could carry a team,″ said Bonds, who has MVP awards. ``If I was carrying this team, we would not be playing only .500 ball. So, obviously, I cannot carry this team.″ ... Ellis Burks has homered in 35 ballparks, one fewer than Mark McGwire and Fred McGriff for the most in major league history. Burks will get a chance to tie them during a three-game series at Houston’s Enron Field, June 23-25.
ANAHEIM: RHP Scott Etherton, who started Tuesday, was expected to return to Edmonton after the game because the Angels won’t need a fifth starter until June 17. By then, they expect to activate Tim Belcher, who hasn’t thrown a pitch yet for them this season after undergoing elbow surgery and will have his next rehab assignment on Saturday. ... Reliever Mark Petkovsek, who has been on the DL since May 17 because of viral syndrome, will make his first rehab starts on Wednesday and Friday for the Angels’ Class-A Lake Elsinore club. ... The Angels had 66 home runs in a 38-game span heading into Tuesday’s game against San Francisco. ... Despite having the league’s fourth-highest RBI total, the Angels have stranded an AL-leading 441 baserunners. ... Troy Glaus is the second-hardest player to double up in the AL this season, behind Kansas City’s Johnny Damon. ... Eleven of Anaheim’s last 18 victories have been decided by one run.
ARIZONA: Randy Johnson threw long toss Tuesday and will throw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since receiving a cortisone shot June 1 in his tender left shoulder. Manager Buck Showalter said Johnson could start Friday. ... RHP Todd Stottlemyre, who has been sidelined since May 30 because of tendinitis in his right elbow, threw long toss Tuesday. He expected to throw off the mound Saturday for the first time since being injured. ... University of Texas alum Greg Swindell promised the school’s baseball team that if they reached the College World Series, he would die his hair burnt orange -- or as close to it as he could. On Tuesday, Swindell’s hair was sort of a blonde/orange mix. ``He looks WWF-ish,″ said a Diamondbacks official. ... Greg Colbrunn has been hit by a pitch three times in two games. ``He’s got a nice connect-the-dots,″ Showalter jokingly said of Colbrunn’s bruises.
CHICAGO: 3B Shane Andrews will undergo back surgery Wednesday for a herniated disc and was expected to be sidelined a minimum of eight weeks. Several of the Cubs players had No. 24 written on their caps in Andrews’ honor, which is against major league rules. ... SS Ricky Gutierrez took groundballs Tuesday but was expected to be sidelined at least another week to recover from a separated right shoulder. ... Manager Don Baylor is pleased with young SS Augie Ojeda, who started his third consecutive game Tuesday. ``He wants the ball hit to him,″ Baylor said. ... The Cubs have played 10 extra inning games, the most in the majors.