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Pirates, Red Sox Swap Suppan, Sanchez

July 31, 2003

BOSTON (AP) _ The Boston Red Sox obtained right-hander Jeff Suppan from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, adding a solid starter to a rebuilt pitching staff just before the trade deadline.

The Red Sox gave up minor league second baseman Freddy Sanchez, one of their top prospects, who is hitting .341 for Pawtucket of the International League.

Suppan (10-7) joined a staff that added four other NL pitchers in the last two months _ relievers Byung-Hyun Kim, Todd Jones, Scott Sauerbeck and Scott Williamson.

As part of the five-player deal, right-handers Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez return to Boston, and left-hander Mike Gonzalez goes back to Pittsburgh.

On July 22, the Red Sox obtained Sauerbeck and Gonzalez for Lyon and Martinez, but the Pirates then placed Lyon on the 15-day disabled list with an injured elbow.

The trade for Suppan came just before the 4 p.m. EDT deadline and one day after Boston’s fifth starter, Ramiro Mendoza, failed to get out of the fifth inning for his fifth consecutive start.

Suppan, 28, began his career in the Red Sox organization in 1993 and pitched 43 games for Boston from 1995-1997. He spent most of 1998 with Arizona then went to Kansas City late that season. He stayed there through last season.

He joined Pittsburgh as a free agent after going 9-16 with a 5.32 ERA for the Royals last year.

Suppan entered this season with a 49-64 record and 5.03 ERA, but will join Boston in the midst of perhaps the hottest stretch of his career.

On Monday, he beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 for his fifth career shutout. That gave him five wins in his last five decisions. He allowed seven hits, one walk and struck out five as he matched a career-high with 10 wins.

Sanchez, one of the Red Sox’ most coveted prospects, was leading the International League in batting with a .384 average when Boston called him up on May 30. He was just 8-for-34 (.235) in 20 games before returning to Pawtucket on July 18.

``If you want somebody you need and somebody who you feel can help you, someone who has major league time and experience, you’ve got to give somebody of value to get him,″ Pawtucket manager Buddy Bailey said.

Since returning to Triple A, Sanchez was 11-for-53 (.208) in 13 games. He missed Pawtucket’s last two games with tendinitis in his foot.

``Boston’s the organization I came up with, so it’s pretty sad for me right now. They’ve done everything right for me and always have looked out for my career,″ Sanchez said. ``But they did what they had to do. They had to go out and get a quality starting pitcher.″

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