THT Daily: Another Walk-Off Win for the Red Sox

Major League News for August 2

Yesterday’s Results
Today’s Games
Standings
Game of the Day
Yesterday’s Home Runs
Top Minor League Performances
Player News
Stats


Yesterday’s Results
American League
NYA     7  TOR     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
TEX    10  MIN     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
DET     8  TB      3    (Recap and Boxscore)
SEA     2  BAL     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
OAK     3  LAA     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
KC      7  CHA     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
BOS     6  CLE     5    (Recap and Boxscore)

National League
SF      8  WAS     6    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU     7  SD      1    (Recap and Boxscore)
PHI    16  STL     8    (Recap and Boxscore)
ATL     3  PIT     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYN     6  FLA     5    (Recap and Boxscore)
COL     8  MIL     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAN     5  CIN     3    (Recap and Boxscore)


Today’s Games
Visitors                          Home                             Time
ATL - Hudson T. (8-9, 5.25)       PIT - Chacon S. (0-0, -)        12:35
TOR - Marcum S. (1-0, 4.81)       NYY - Lidle C. (0-0, -)          1:05
ARI - Cruz J. (3-6, 4.84)         CHC - Marmol C. (4-4, 4.39)      1:05
HOU - Albers M. (0-0, 0.00)       SD - Hensley C. (6-8, 4.46)      3:35
ARI - Gonzalez E. (1-2, 6.27)     CHC - Mateo J. (0-0, -)          4:35
NYM - Martinez P. (8-4, 3.59)     FLA - Willis D.* (6-8, 4.27)     7:05
CLE - Westbrook J. (7-7, 4.31)    BOS - Beckett J. (13-5, 4.76)    7:05
LAD - Maddux G. (9-11, 4.69)      CIN - Milton E.* (7-6, 5.37)     7:10
DET - Robertson N.* (10-6, 3.87)  TB - Seo J. (1-5, 5.94)          7:15
PHI - Hamels C.* (3-5, 5.71)      STL - Marquis J. (12-8, 5.67)    8:10
MIN - Radke B. (9-8, 4.91)        KC - de la Rosa J.* (1-0, 3.0    8:10
TEX - Millwood K. (10-7, 4.62)    LAA - Weaver J. (7-0, 1.51)     10:05


Standings

The graphics next to each team are called “sparklines.” They depict each team’s performance over the last month. Each “up” bar is a victory and a “down” bar is a loss. There are horizontal lines for home games and red bars represent games decided by two runs or less. “PWins” is short for Projected Wins, based on each team’s Run Differential, and is often a better measure of a team’s true strength. Other team graphs and stats can be found on our Team Page.

American League East        Pwins  Diff
NYA     63  41 .606    0.0   60     3    sparkline graph
BOS     64  42 .604    0.0   59     5    sparkline graph
TOR     57  50 .533    7.5   58    -1    sparkline graph
BAL     49  60 .450   16.5   47     2    sparkline graph
TB      44  64 .407   21.0   43     1    sparkline graph
American League Central     
DET     72  35 .673    0.0   68     4    sparkline graph
CHA     63  43 .594    8.5   61     2    sparkline graph
MIN     61  45 .575   10.5   58     3    sparkline graph
CLE     46  60 .434   25.5   56   -10    sparkline graph
KC      38  69 .355   34.0   41    -3    sparkline graph
American League West        
OAK     57  51 .528    0.0   54     3    sparkline graph
LAA     55  52 .514    1.5   55     0    sparkline graph
TEX     54  54 .500    3.0   56    -2    sparkline graph
SEA     53  54 .495    3.5   54    -1    sparkline graph


National League East        Pwins  Diff
NYN     64  42 .604    0.0   62     2    sparkline graph
PHI     51  55 .481   13.0   52    -1    sparkline graph
ATL     50  56 .472   14.0   54    -4    sparkline graph
FLA     50  57 .467   14.5   52    -2    sparkline graph
WAS     48  60 .444   17.0   48     0    sparkline graph
National League Central     
STL     58  48 .547    0.0   54     4    sparkline graph
CIN     55  52 .514    3.5   51     4    sparkline graph
HOU     51  56 .477    7.5   51     0    sparkline graph
MIL     51  57 .472    8.0   46     5    sparkline graph
CHN     44  62 .415   14.0   43     1    sparkline graph
PIT     40  68 .370   19.0   47    -7    sparkline graph
National League West        
SD      55  52 .514    0.0   54     1    sparkline graph
ARI     54  52 .509    0.5   53     1    sparkline graph
COL     52  55 .486    3.0   55    -3    sparkline graph
LAN     52  55 .486    3.0   56    -4    sparkline graph
SF      52  56 .481    3.5   53    -1    sparkline graph


Game of the Day

The Red Sox and Indians are our Game of the Day for the second day in a row, for virtually the same outcome. This time, David Ortiz wasn’t the hero; it was Mark Loretta who spanked a two-out double with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to lead to a Boston win, 6-5.

New Indian closer Fausto Carmona lost it after striking out the first two batters in the ninth. He hit two batters then walked another before yielding Lorretta’s game-winning hit. It was the third “walk-off” win for the Red Sox in the last five days.

Cleveland’s Jeremy Sowers had pitched consecutive shutouts in his previous starts, and he extended his shutout streak to 22 innings before Alex Gonzalez doubled with two outs in the fifth inning. He allowed two runs on five hits over five innings in the no-decision.

CLEVELAND (5) VS BOSTON (6) - FINAL

CLEVELAND              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
G Sizemore cf           4  1  1  0   0  1   0  .304
J Michaels lf           3  1  1  0   1  0   0  .275
T Hafner dh             3  1  2  3   0  0   1  .298
V Martinez 1b           4  1  2  1   0  1   1  .309
C Blake rf              4  1  1  0   0  1   2  .304
J Peralta ss            4  0  1  1   0  2   0  .256
H Luna 2b               2  0  0  0   0  0   1  .100
 a-J Inglett ph-2b      2  0  0  0   0  0   0  .322
K Shoppach c            4  0  2  0   0  1   0  .258
A Marte 3b              3  0  0  0   0  1   2  .000

Totals                 33  5 10  5   1  7   7

a-flied out to center for H Luna in the 7th.

BATTING: 2B - K Shoppach (4, J Lester); J Michaels (17, M Timlin). 3B - G 
Sizemore (8, J Lester). HR - V Martinez (12, 1st inning off J Lester 0 on, 2 
Out), T Hafner (30, 8th inning off M Timlin 1 on, 1 Out). SF - T Hafner. RBI - 
T Hafner 3 (89), V Martinez (63), J Peralta (47). 2-out RBI - V Martinez, J 
Peralta. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - C Blake 1. Team LOB - 3. 
 
BASERUNNING: SB - C Blake (6, 2nd base off J Lester/D Mirabelli). CS - J 
Michaels (5, 2nd base by J Lester). 
 
FIELDING: DP: 1 (K Shoppach-J Peralta). 

BOSTON                 ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
K Youkilis 1b           4  1  2  1   1  0   0  .294
M Loretta 2b            4  0  2  3   1  0   1  .303
D Ortiz dh              4  0  0  0   0  4   3  .289
M Ramirez lf            4  1  1  1   0  0   1  .316
M Lowell 3b             4  0  0  0   0  0   0  .287
W Pena rf               4  1  1  1   0  2   0  .328
C Crisp cf              3  0  0  0   1  1   0  .269
D Mirabelli c           3  0  1  0   0  1   0  .186
 G Kapler pr            0  1  0  0   0  0   0  .271
A Gonzalez ss           3  2  1  0   0  1   2  .285

Totals                 33  6  8  6   3  9   7

BATTING: 2B - D Mirabelli (5, J Sowers); A Gonzalez (17, J Sowers); K Youkilis 
(25, J Sowers); M Loretta (23, F Carmona). HR - M Ramirez (30, 6th inning off B 
Sikorski 0 on, 0 Out), W Pena (6, 6th inning off B Sikorski 0 on, 1 Out). RBI - 
K Youkilis (48), M Loretta 3 (43), M Ramirez (85), W Pena (25). 2-out RBI - K 
Youkilis, M Loretta 3. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - A Gonzalez 2. 
Team LOB - 6. 
 
BASERUNNING: CS - K Youkilis (1, 2nd base by J Sowers/K Shoppach). 
 
FIELDING: Outfield assists - C Crisp 2 (K Shoppach at 3rd base, V Martinez at 
1st base). DP: 2 (C Crisp-A Gonzalez-M Lowell, C Crisp-A Gonzalez-K Youkilis). 

----------------------------------------------------
    CLEVELAND       - 300 000 020   --   5
    BOSTON          - 000 022 002   --   6

Two outs when winning run scored.
----------------------------------------------------

CLEVELAND                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
J Sowers                      5       5   2   2   2   5   0   3.94
B Sikorski (B, 1)             1       2   2   2   0   1   2   4.91
R Betancourt                  2       0   0   0   0   1   0   3.75
F Carmona (L, 1-6; B, 2)        2/3   1   2   2   1   2   0   5.13

BOSTON                       ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
J Lester                      6       8   3   3   1   3   1   3.59
M Delcarmen (H, 10)           1       0   0   0   0   2   0   4.05
M Timlin (B, 4)               1       2   2   2   0   1   1   3.20
J Papelbon (W, 3-1)           1       0   0   0   0   1   0   0.50

WP - J Lester. HBP - D Mirabelli (by F Carmona); A Gonzalez (by F Carmona). 
Pitches-strikes: J Sowers 89-52; B Sikorski 23-13; R Betancourt 19-15; F 
Carmona 23-12; J Lester 110-67; M Delcarmen 16-10; M Timlin 22-14; J Papelbon 
15-8. Ground balls-fly balls: J Sowers 3-6; B Sikorski 0-2; R Betancourt 0-5; F 
Carmona 0-0; J Lester 3-9; M Delcarmen 0-1; M Timlin 1-1; J Papelbon 2-0. 
Batters faced: J Sowers 21; B Sikorski 5; R Betancourt 6; F Carmona 6; J Lester 
24; M Delcarmen 3; M Timlin 5; J Papelbon 3. 
 
UMPIRES: HP--Wally Bell. 1B--Mark Carlson. 2B--C.B. Bucknor. 3B--John 
Hirschbeck. 

T--3:21. Att--36,022. 
Weather: 82 degrees, partly cloudy. Wind: 16 mph, in from center.

The following graph tracks the game’s Win Probability, courtesy of Fan Graphs.

image


Yesterday’s Home Runs

The following stats are provided by Hit Tracker, which logs the projected distance of each home run (if it were to land uninterrupted at field level) and its “standard” distance, which is corrected for weather conditions.

Batter                  Pitcher                  True Dist  Stnd Dist.
Dye, Jermaine    CWS    Hudson, Tim      KC          459       425
Hafner, Travis   CLE    Timlin, Mike     BOS         449       423
Teixeira, Mark   TEX    Eyre, Scott      MIN         429       421
Young, Dmitri    DET    Corcoran, Roy    TB          414       413
Lamb, Mike       HOU    Williams, Woody  SD          407       408
Fielder, Prince  MIL    Affeldt, Jeremy  COL         422       406
Biggio, Craig    HOU    Williams, Woody  SD          395       404
Johnson, Nick    WAS    Hennessey, Brad  SF          397       398
Glaus, Troy      TOR    Villone, Ron     NYY         437       396
Pena, Wily Mo    BOS    Sikorski, Brian  CLE         404       395
Ramirez, Hanley  FLA    Trachsel, Steve  NYM         377       394
Rollins, Jimmy   PHI    Hancock, Josh    STL         415       391
Biggio, Craig    HOU    Adkins, Jon      SD          382       391
Uribe, Juan      CWS    Hudson, Tim      KC          405       390
Posada, Jorge    NYY    Lilly, Ted       TOR         424       384
Helton, Todd     COL    Helling, Rick    MIL         393       380
Ramirez, Manny   BOS    Sikorski, Brian  CLE         401       379
Rollins, Jimmy   PHI    Weaver, Jeff     STL         401       378
Miles, Aaron     STL    Madson, Ryan     PHI         394       376
Beltre, Adrian   SEA    Bedard, Erik     BAL         390       376
Soriano, Alfonso WAS    Kline, Steve     SF          360       375
Duncan, Chris    STL    Myers, Brett     PHI         413       374
Martinez, Victor CLE    Lester, Jon      BOS         379       374
Cabrera, Miguel  FLA    Trachsel, Steve  NYM         367       374
Jeter, Derek     NYY    Lilly, Ted       TOR         405       369
Alou, Moises     SF     Wagner, Ryan     WAS         386       369
Hillenbrand, SheaSF     Wagner, Ryan     WAS         381       368
Clayton, Royce   CIN    Dessens, Elmer   LAD         399       367
Griffey Jr., Ken CIN    Penny, Brad      LAD         394       367
Teixeira, Mark   TEX    Bonser, Boof     MIN         371       364
Rowand, Aaron    PHI    Sosa, Jorge      STL         380       361
Soriano, Alfonso WAS    Schmidt, Jason   SF          384       358
Hatteberg, Scott CIN    Penny, Brad      LAD         385       357
Monroe, Craig    DET    Lugo, Ruddy      TB          358       357
Diaz, Matt       ATL    Maholm, Paul     PIT         383       351
Dellucci, David  PHI    Weaver, Jeff     STL         385       348
Teahen, Mark     KC     Garcia, Freddy   CWS         354       314


Top Minor League Games

The following list, provided by First Inning, includes the top minor league batting (based on Runs Created) and pitching (based on Game Score) performances from yesterday.

ORG LVL PLAYER            POS AB  H 2B 3B HR BB SO  Notes
ARI A   Pedro Ciriaco      SS  4  4  1  0  0  0  0   
CHW AAA Josh Fields        3B  6  4  0  0  2  0  1  4 runs scored
CLE AA  Ryan Goleski       LF  4  4  0  0  2  1  0  4 runs scored
COL A+  Jonathan Herrera   SS  2  2  1  0  1  2  0  3 runs scored
DET AA  Kurt Airoso        DH  3  3  1  0  1  2  0  5 RBI
HOU AAA Brian Gordon       LF  4  3  1  0  1  1  1   
LA  AA  Tydus Meadows      LF  3  3  2  0  0  1  0  .545 OBP during past week
MIL AA  Ozzie Chavez       SS  3  2  2  0  0  1  0   
NYM A+  Jesus Flores        C  4  4  1  0  1  0  0   
NYM A+  Alhaji Turay       LF  4  3  0  0  1  0  0   
 
ORG LVL PLAYER             IP   H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
ATL A+  James Parr         6.0  4  0  0  5  1  0   
CHW AAA Tim Redding        6.0  1  0  0  7  0  0   
CHW A+  Jack Egbert        7.0  5  0  0  6  0  0   
COL A+  Franklin Morales   7.0  5  2  2  8  2  0   
DET AA  Eulogio De La Cruz 7.0  3  1  1  5  1  0   
KC  A+  Luis Cota          7.0  3  2  2  9  1  1  41 K over last 33 IP
LA  AAA D.J. Houlton       7.0  4  2  2  8  1  0   
NYY AA  Philip Hughes      5.0  2  0  0  8  2  0  1.20 ERA over past month
OAK AAA Adam Pettyjohn     7.2  4  0  0  6  3  0   
PHI AA  Giovany Gonzalez   6.0  4  0  0  8  3  0 


Player News

Player news items are provided by CBS SportsLine.com.

The Tigers posted their 72nd win of the year on Wednesday night. Detroit was 71-91 in 2005. According to Elias, this is the earliest date on which a team coming off a season of at least 60 wins has surpassed its victory total from the prior year. The previous fastest was set by Brooklyn in 1892, which recorded its 62nd win on Aug. 3, after going 61-71 in 1891.

Philadelphia’s Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 34 games when the official scorer changed his initial call and gave him an infield hit in the eighth inning of the Phillies’ game against St. Louis on Wednesday night. Utley was 0-for-4 when, with the Phillies leading 11-7, he hit a bouncer to the third-base side of the pitchers’ mound. Reliever Randy Flores, a left-hander, grabbed the ball with his glove hand as his momentum carried him toward third. He briefly hesitated to check a runner on third, then turned and threw wide to first. Official scorer Mike Smith initially ruled it a fielder’s choice – the scoreboard nevertheless credited a hit – but after watching replays Smith changed his call to a hit. Utley is batting 58-for-146 (.397) during the streak, which is four games behind teammate Jimmy Rollins‘ franchise-record 38-game streak that included 36 games last year and the first two games this season. His streak was stopped by the Cardinals. Utley is tied with Benito Santiago (1987) for the eighth-longest streak in NL history.

Rollins homered twice, including his 16th career leadoff homer, and scored a career-high five runs and had four RBI on Wednesday at St. Louis.

Alfonso Soriano homered twice to drive in three runs on Wednesday at San Francisco, his fourth multihomer game this season and 15th of his career. He led off the game with a shot to the arcade in right-center – his seventh leadoff homer and 30th of his career, and the second for him against the Giants. He hit a two-run homer off Steve Kline in the seventh.

Oakland’s Mark Kotsay drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning single against the Angels, which extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Moises Alou homered, hit a two-run double and also singled in a run and the San Francisco Giants ended their longest losing streak in 10 years with an 8-6 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. Jason Schmidt struck out 10 for the Giants.

Felix Hernandez pitched into the sixth inning and the Seattle bullpen did the rest Wednesday. Hernandez walked the first two batters in the sixth and was replaced by Mark Lowe, who gave up an RBI single to Jay Gibbons before striking out Jeff Conine and getting Corey Patterson to line into a double play. “It was funny that both pitchers got tired at the same time,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “Both pitchers threw hard, both did a good job. Our guy did better.”

Brandon Backe threw 7 2/3 strong innings as Houston beat the San Diego Padres 7-1 Wednesday night, giving the defending NL champion Astros consecutive wins for the first time in almost a month. Backe (2-1), making his third start after a long stay on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow, held San Diego to one run and seven hits. He struck out three and walked two. Craig Biggio homered twice for Houston.

Mark Teahen hit a go-ahead, two-run homer and drove in three runs to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. With Chicago leading 2-1 in the fifth inning, Mark Grudzielanek singled with one out against Freddy Garcia and Teahen homered just inside the right-field foul pole. He has 10 home runs, 35 RBI and 32 runs in his past 38 games. Teahen, who was 3-for-5, added an RBI double in the seventh off Garcia after Grudzielanek singled.

Byung-Hyun Kim allowed one run in eight innings to lead the Colorado Rockies over the Milwaukee Brewers 8-2 Wednesday night. Kim (7-6) yielded seven hits, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in the longest outing of his career. He has allowed only four runs in 33 innings over his last five starts at Coors Field.

Brad Penny has had a rough time since he started the All-Star Game for the National League. He took a big step toward turning it around on Wednesday night. Penny pitched six sharp innings and drove in a run to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 for their fifth straight victory.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched eight more shutout innings to win his fifth straight start and the New York Yankees picked up a 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night. Coming off a two-hitter against Tampa Bay last Friday for his first career shutout, Wang (13-4) buzzed through the best-hitting team in the major leagues and ran his scoreless streak to 18 innings. Pitching on a sweltering 97-degree night before a sellout crowd of 54,414, Wang allowed four hits and got 16 outs on grounders. The sinkerballer walked three, all in the second inning, and struck out three. With his impressive run of stingy performances, Wang has surpassed an inconsistent Randy Johnson and become New York’s No. 2 starter – right behind Mike Mussina.

Gerald Laird followed had a two-run double and went 2-for-5 with three RBI, raising his average to .351 on the season. He has stolen regular at-bats from Rod Barajas. The two will continue to share the job, but Laird is clearly the hot hand. Rangers GM Jon Daniels told the the Dallas Morning News the acquisition of journeyman C Miguel Ojeda was nothing more than an option for a No. 3 catcher.

Kip Wells made a successful first start for Texas, getting his first win and pitching into the sixth inning. He gave up one run and struck. Mark Teixeira has reached base in a career-high 26 consecutive games.

Jeff Weaver (1-2) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings on Wednesday against the Phillies and has given in 18 runs and 32 hits in 18 2/3 innings with St. Louis.

One day after Felipe Alou told the San Jose Mercury News. “Armando Benitez has to be the closer of this team,” he was removed from a save situation. On Wednesday against the Nationals, Benitez entered to loud boos from every direction because he blew his previous three save chances after converting seven straight. Benitez walked Austin Kearns, then manager Felipe Alou went to Mike Stanton to get the final out for his first save.

Bob Wickman picked up his 19th save in 22 chances and his fourth in as many opportunities since being traded by the Indians to the Braves on Wednesday at Pittsburgh.

San Diego Padres right-hander Chan Ho Park is expected to have a transfusion on Thursday to treat intestinal bleeding that led him to lose half his blood volume. “He’s feeling better but he’s still pretty weak,” trainer Todd Hutcheson said before Wednesday night’s game against Houston. “I think he’s supposed to have it tomorrow, if he decides to do it, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to do that,” Hutcheson said. The bleeding spontaneously stopped but the Padres aren’t sure what caused it. Hutcheson said the bleeding most likely was in his small intestine. Tests ruled out a bleeding ulcer.

Houston infielder Eric Bruntlett was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. The Houston Astros activated outfielder Orlando Palmeiro from the bereavement list Wednesday night before their game against San Diego. Palmeiro was placed on the bereavement list July 26, a day after his father died.

The Cardinals optioned RHP Josh Kinney to Triple-A Memphis.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays placed reliever Travis Harper on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury and recalled right-hander Seth McClung from Triple-A Durham on Wednesday. McClung was optioned to Durham on June 20 to be converted from a starter to a closer. He went 1-0 with five saves and 2.20 ERA over 14 minor league games.

The Royals optioned catcher Paul Phillips to Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday.

Catcher Paul Bako, who missed 21 games with a partially torn right oblique, was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday. Bako, a 34-year-old left-handed hitter, hit .230 with only two extra-base hits, both doubles, in 34 games as the Royals’ backup catcher before going on the disabled list July 2. Bako went 2-for-12, .167, in three games with Double-A Wichita on an injury rehab assignment.

Catcher Mike Matheny (concussion) and will not play again this season, so Eliezer Alfonzo will remain the everyday Giants catcher. After another series of tests and appointments with specialists at the University of Pittsburgh last week, Matheny and the Giants’ medical staff made the difficult decision he should spend the rest of 2006 recovering to reduce the risk of further damage to his brain. “It’s real, and I understand that, and I also understand it’s out of my hands,” Matheny said. “I’m at peace with that. … It’s such a weird phenomenon: I look at myself right now and I look as normal as I ever have.”

Kris Benson experienced a setback in his effort to rebound from tendinitis in his right elbow, leaving open the possibility the right-hander could be headed for the 15-day disabled list. After missing his scheduled start Sunday, Benson hoped to return to pitch against the New York Yankees on Sunday. That won’t happen, because he experienced pain in his elbow when he threw on the side Tuesday.

The Twins optioned right-hander Boof Bonser to Triple-A Rochester following a rough start Wednesday in a loss to Texas. To take his place, right-hander Mike Smith will be brought up from Rochester and added to the 40-man roster. Smith will be an emergency backup for veteran Brad Radke, the scheduled starter for Thursday night’s game at Kansas City who had his previous start cut short by discomfort in his chronically sore shoulder. If Radke doesn’t have any problems, Smith will start Sunday against the Royals, pitching coach Rick Anderson said. Then star left-hander Francisco Liriano, who was scratched from Wednesday’s start because of inflammation in his forearm, will take the mound Monday at Detroit.

The Mets recalled LH RP Royce Ring from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned right-handed pitcher Mike Pelfrey to the Tides. John Maine has won the battle to be the Mets’ No. 5 starter, for now. The possible return of Brian Bannister (hamstring) could affect that in a week or two, though. Ring, 25, was 2-1 with 10 saves and a 2.97 ERA in 34 games for Norfolk.

The Mets promoted Philip Humber from Class A to Double-A Binghamton, according to the New York Post. Humber was 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA in Class A as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.

Scott Mathieson is going to remain in the Phillies’ rotation for the rest of the season. “This is an opportunity for him to step up,” Assistant GM Mike Arbuckle told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He’s one of the guys Pat (Gillick) was talking about in the press conference when we traded (Bobby) Abreu. We need to give him a chance to show what he can do.” With the return of Randy Wolf and Jon Lieber not getting traded, it appears Ryan Madson is the odd man out of the rotation for now.

Right-hander Scott Elarton, the Royals’ opening day starter, had season-ending shoulder surgery to repair his labrum on Tuesday. “Everything went well,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said. “I think we’ve got to look at mid-June next year,” Moore said of Elarton returning to the major leagues. “Sometimes those timetables fluctuate based on how a guy does in the first month of rehab. That is probably pushing it a little bit, being optimistic.”

Troubled prospect Josh Hamilton had his comeback with the Devil Rays put on hold because of a left knee injury. Hamilton, playing for Class-A Hudson Valley, will have the knee examined next week by Dr. James Andrews. The 25-year-old Hamilton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft, was suspended in February 2004 for violating baseball’s drug policy. He hadn’t played since July 2002 because of injuries and unspecified personal issues.

The Rangers optioned right-hander Scott Feldman to Triple-A Oklahoma to make room on the roster for new arrival Kip Wells. Wells, a right-hander acquired two days earlier in a trade with Pittsburgh, started Wednesday against the Twins. Feldman was recalled Monday, for his third stint with Texas, when left-hander John Rheinecker was sent to the minors.

Prince Fielder has taken over in the No. 3 hole for the Brewers after the trade of Carlos Lee. “I want to get him used to that position,” manager Ned Yost told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “If you look around and see the hitters we’ve got on our club, he’s the best hitter we’ve got all the way around. It’s his time.”

The Nationals purchased the contract of catcher Brandon Harper from Triple-A New Orleans to fill Robert Fick’s (rib cage) roster spot, though Brian Schneider was in the starting lineup.

Houston’s RHP Chris Sampson was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday. With that move, it appears Matt Albers could be the No. 5 starter at this point. MLB.com’s probable pitchers list it that way for Thursday.

Before Tuesday’s game, manager Dusty Baker was still unsure who will take Greg Maddux‘s spot in the rotation. Maddux was scheduled to start Thursday. “We haven’t decided on Thursday’s starter, we’re taking it one day at a time,” Baker said. Before the game, the Cubs recalled RHP Juan Mateo, who was used as a starter for Double-A West Tennessee. It could be him or Glendon Rusch, who pitched in relief Monday.

LHP Brandon Claussen’s chances of being activated in time to start Saturday might have been hurt by his rehab start Monday with Triple-A Louisville. Claussen, disabled since June 17 with rotator cuff tendinitis, allowed seven hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings. RHP Kyle Lohse, a trade deadline acquisition, is a possible replacement. “We’ll know by Thursday for sure,” manager Jerry Narron said.

SS/2B Julio Lugo, acquired Monday from Tampa Bay, will play second base at least until 2B/1B Jeff Kent (oblique) returns from the DL and maybe until 1B Nomar Garciaparra (knee) is activated. Kent could spend some time at first base until Garciaparra is ready, manager Grady Little said. “We haven’t talked about it, but if it makes the lineup better, we’ll check it out,” Little said.

Rookie RHP Chad Billingsley will be bumped from his scheduled start Thursday in favor of 327-game winner Greg Maddux, who was acquired Monday from the Cubs. “Greg’s day to pitch is Thursday, and that’s the day he’ll pitch,” manager Grady Little said. Billingsley will pitch Saturday, pushing LHP Mark Hendrickson to Sunday, Little said. Aaron Sele looks like the odd man out of the Dodgers’ rotation right now.


THT Stats

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