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Blue Jays Demote Struggling League

April 21, 2005

TORONTO (AP) _ Brandon League is out of the American League.The Blue Jays demoted the struggling right-hander to Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday and purchased the contract of Matt Whiteside, who will return to the major leagues for the first time in four years.

League, a rookie, was hit hard in five appearances, allowing eight runs and 13 hits in 9 1-3 innings.

``To be honest, we expected him to pitch a little better up here,″ Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ``I thought after a couple of outings he’d be able to fit into that seventh or eighth inning role but he was erratic.″

The 37-year-old Whiteside broke into the majors with Texas in 1992 and has also pitched for Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Diego. He owns a career record of 18-15 with nine saves in 284 games, but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2001.

``I was really happy but I had to be a little restrained on my emotions,″ Whiteside said of his promotion. ``Inside I was really happy.″

Whiteside appeared in five games at Syracuse, earning three saves and allowing just one run and four hits while striking out six in six innings.

Gibbons said he plans to use Whiteside in the seventh and eighth innings as a setup man for closer Miguel Batista.

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