THT Daily: Red Sox Stumble Again

Major League News for August 3

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
BAL     3  TB      2    (Recap and Boxscore)
KC      2  TOR     0    (Recap and Boxscore)
MIN     8  CHA     7    (Recap and Boxscore)
CLE     8  DET     5    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAA    12  NYA     7    (Recap and Boxscore)
SEA     4  BOS     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
OAK     5  TEX     3    (Recap and Boxscore)

National League
ATL    10  WAS     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
FLA     7  MIL     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYN    11  PHI     5    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU     7  PIT     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
STL     2  CHN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAN     4  ARI     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
SD      5  COL     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
SF      4  CIN     1    (Recap and Boxscore) 


Today’s Games
Visitors                         Home                                  Starts
DET - Rogers K.* (13-6, 4.14)    CLE - Lee C.* (10-9, 4.61)            01:05
MIL - Capuano C.* (11-8, 3.55)   FLA - Sanchez A. (5-2, 3.44)          01:05
WAS - Traber B.* (3-2, 5.13)     ATL - Villarreal O. (9-1, 3.97)       01:05
KC - Perez O.* (1-1, 4.66)       TOR - Lilly T.* (10-11, 4.64)         01:07
PHI - Moyer J.* (1-0, 4.50)      NYM - Maine J. (3-3, 3.58)            01:10
HOU - Hirsh J. (1-2, 12.75)      PIT - Chacon S. (1-1, 6.94)           01:35
TB - Howell J.* (0-1, 10.80)     BAL - Loewen A.* (4-4, 5.57)          01:35
MIN - Silva C. (8-11, 6.45)      CWS - Buehrle M.* (10-11, 4.87)       02:05
SD - Peavy J. (7-12, 4.35)       COL - Cook A. (8-12, 4.05)            03:05
NYY - Karstens J. (0-0, 4.76)    LAA - Saunders J.* (4-1, 3.06)        03:35
CIN - Lohse K. (1-0, 1.65)       SF - Cain M. (9-9, 4.53)              04:05
BOS - Snyder K. (3-2, 6.23)      SEA - Baek C. (0-0, 5.40)             04:05
LAD - Billingsley C. (4-3, 3.07) ARI - Hernandez L. (10-10, 5.19)      04:40
OAK - Haren D. (12-9, 3.79)      TEX - Padilla V. (12-8, 4.38)         08:05
CHC - Walrond L.* (0-0, -)       STL - Weaver J. (2-3, 5.74)           08:05


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     76  52 .594    0.0   74     2    sparkline graph
BOS     71  58 .550    5.5   68     3    sparkline graph
TOR     68  61 .527    8.5   67     1    sparkline graph
BAL     58  71 .450   18.5   57     1    sparkline graph
TB      52  78 .400   25.0   53    -1    sparkline graph
American League Central     
DET     81  49 .623    0.0   78     3    sparkline graph
MIN     76  52 .594    4.0   73     3    sparkline graph
CHA     75  54 .581    5.5   74     1    sparkline graph
CLE     60  68 .469   20.0   70   -10    sparkline graph
KC      47  84 .359   34.5   49    -2    sparkline graph
American League West        
OAK     74  55 .574    0.0   68     6    sparkline graph
LAA     69  61 .531    5.5   67     2    sparkline graph
TEX     66  65 .504    9.0   68    -2    sparkline graph
SEA     60  69 .465   14.0   62    -2    sparkline graph


National League East        Pwins  Diff
NYN     79  49 .617    0.0   74     5    sparkline graph
PHI     65  64 .504   14.5   65     0    sparkline graph
FLA     62  66 .484   17.0   63    -1    sparkline graph
ATL     60  68 .469   19.0   66    -6    sparkline graph
WAS     55  74 .426   24.5   56    -1    sparkline graph
National League Central     
STL     68  60 .531    0.0   65     3    sparkline graph
CIN     67  63 .515    2.0   64     3    sparkline graph
MIL     62  67 .481    6.5   57     5    sparkline graph
HOU     62  68 .477    7.0   63    -1    sparkline graph
CHN     54  75 .419   14.5   53     1    sparkline graph
PIT     50  80 .385   19.0   56    -6    sparkline graph
National League West        
LAN     67  62 .519    0.0   69    -2    sparkline graph
SD      66  63 .512    1.0   65     1    sparkline graph
SF      64  66 .492    3.5   65    -1    sparkline graph
ARI     63  66 .488    4.0   63     0    sparkline graph
COL     60  69 .465    7.0   65    -5    sparkline graph


Game of the Day

The Boston Red Sox continued their recent slide out of contention yesterday with a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners. A series of blunders in the eighth inning contributed to the loss, beginning with Manny Ramirez being thrown out at third base to end the top half, and culminating in reliever Mike Timlin giving up the tying and go-ahead runs in the bottom half. The loss meant that the Red Sox were unable to take advantage of the Yankees’ 12-7 loss to the Angels.

BOSTON (3) VS SEATTLE (4) - FINAL

BOSTON                 ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
C Crisp cf              3  1  1  1   1  0   0  .266
M Loretta 2b            4  0  1  1   0  1   0  .306
D Ortiz dh              4  1  1  0   0  1   2  .286
M Ramirez lf            3  0  0  0   1  1   0  .326
M Lowell 3b             4  0  3  1   0  0   0  .289
E Hinske 1b             4  0  0  0   0  3   2  .256
J Lopez c               4  0  0  0   0  3   1  .259
A Cora ss               4  0  0  0   0  1   0  .272
G Kapler rf             3  1  1  0   0  0   0  .224

Totals                 33  3  7  3   2 10   5

BATTING: 2B - M Lowell (38, G Meche); D Ortiz (25, G Sherrill). HR - C Crisp 
(7, 3rd inning off G Meche 0 on, 2 Out). RBI - C Crisp (28), M Loretta (51), M 
Lowell (61). 2-out RBI - C Crisp, M Loretta, M Lowell. Runners left in scoring 
position, 2 out - E Hinske 1, D Ortiz 1. Team LOB - 5. 
 
FIELDING: E - E Hinske (1, catch). DP: 2 (M Lowell-M Loretta-E Hinske, M 
Loretta-A Cora-E Hinske). 
 

SEATTLE                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
I Suzuki cf             4  0  1  0   0  0   2  .319
J Lopez 2b              4  0  1  0   0  0   2  .279
A Beltre 3b             4  2  2  1   0  0   1  .268
R Ibanez lf             4  1  3  1   0  1   0  .281
R Sexson 1b             3  0  1  0   1  0   0  .234
E Perez dh              3  0  0  0   0  2   3  .263
 a-B Broussard ph-dh    0  0  0  1   0  0   1  .298
K Johjima c             4  0  0  0   0  0   1  .291
Y Betancourt ss         4  1  2  1   0  0   1  .299
T Bohn rf               3  0  1  0   0  1   2  .143

Totals                 33  4 11  4   1  4  13

a-hit sacrifice fly to center for E Perez in the 8th.

BATTING: 2B - A Beltre (34, D Wells). 3B - Y Betancourt (5, D Wells). HR - Y 
Betancourt (7, 7th inning off D Wells 0 on, 1 Out), A Beltre (16, 8th inning 
off M Timlin 0 on, 0 Out). SF - B Broussard. RBI - R Ibanez (98), Y Betancourt 
(41), A Beltre (60), B Broussard (57). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out 
- E Perez 2, I Suzuki 1. GIDP - A Beltre, J Lopez. Team LOB - 7. 
 
FIELDING: Outfield assists - R Ibanez (M Ramirez at 3rd base). 
 

----------------------------------------------------
    BOSTON          - 001 010 010   --   3
    SEATTLE         - 000 100 12x   --   4
----------------------------------------------------

BOSTON                       ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
D Wells                       7       8   2   2   1   4   1   4.98
M Timlin (L, 5-4; B, 6)       1       3   2   2   0   0   1   4.11

SEATTLE                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
G Meche                       7       5   2   2   1   7   1   4.56
R Soriano                       2/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   2.15
G Sherrill                    0       1   1   1   1   0   0   3.28
J Putz (W, 3-1)               1 1/3   1   0   0   0   3   0   2.25

G Sherrill pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

IBB - M Ramirez (by G Sherrill). Pitches-strikes: D Wells 97-67; M Timlin 
14-11; G Meche 107-75; R Soriano 6-5; G Sherrill 7-3; J Putz 21-15. Ground 
balls-fly balls: D Wells 15-2; M Timlin 0-3; G Meche 9-5; R Soriano 1-1; G 
Sherrill 0-0; J Putz 0-0. Batters faced: D Wells 29; M Timlin 6; G Meche 27; R 
Soriano 2; G Sherrill 2; J Putz 4. 
 
UMPIRES: HP--Dan Iassogna. 1B--Lance Barksdale. 2B--Dale Scott. 3B--Ron 
Kulpa. 

T--2:51. Att--44,779. 
Weather: 80 degrees, clear. Wind: 3 mph, out to center.

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


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.

          Hitter                     Pitcher             True Dist.   Std. Dist.    HR #
      Konerko, Paul      CWS      Rincon, Juan     MIN      445          430        29
      Shealy, Ryan        KC     Halladay, Roy     TOR      430          428        3
      Damon, Johnny      NYY     Shields, Scot     LAA      424          425        22
      Howard, Ryan       PHI     Perez, Oliver     NYM      397          425        46
      Dye, Jermaine      CWS      Nathan, Joe      MIN      438          424        38
      Jacobs, Mike       FLA      Davis, Doug      MIL      429          419        17
     Beltran, Carlos     NYM      Lieber, Jon      PHI      385          417        38
     Markakis, Nick      BAL     Shields, James     TB      398          411        12
     Delgado, Carlos     NYM      Lieber, Jon      PHI      390          410        33
    Hillenbrand, Shea     SF    Arroyo, Bronson    CIN      407          406        17
       Kent, Jeff        LAD     Vizcaino, Luis    ARI      414          401        12
     Kendrick, Howie     LAA     Bruney, Brian     NYY      396          398        2
      Monroe, Craig      DET    Westbrook, Jake    CLE      390          398        22
     Jones, Chipper      ATL    Gryboski, Kevin    WAS      411          397        20
       Nevin, Phil       CHC    Carpenter, Chris   STL      418          391        21
      Alomar, Sandy      CWS     Santana, Johan    MIN      401          390        1
      Conine, Jeff       BAL     Shields, James     TB      385          380        9
     Beltre, Adrian      SEA      Timlin, Mike     BOS      380          373        16
    Anderson, Garret     LAA      Lidle, Corey     NYY      372          373        13
       Gload, Ross       CWS     Santana, Johan    MIN      386          372        2
       Ross, David       CIN      Lowry, Noah       SF      370          369        18
      Bennett, Gary      STL       Hill, Rich      CHC      399          368        3
      Teahen, Mark        KC     Halladay, Roy     TOR      371          364        17
  Betancourt, Yuniesky   SEA      Wells, David     BOS      367          360        7
      Swisher, Nick      OAK      Eaton, Adam      TEX      363          351        27
       Crisp, Coco       BOS       Meche, Gil      SEA      354          346        7
      Hunter, Torii      MIN   McCarthy, Brandon   CWS      338          319        21


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+  Jereme Milons      RF  5  5  1  0  0  0  0  Hitting .538 over last 26 at bats
BOS A+  Jeff Natale        2B  5  4  0  0  2  0  0  4 runs scored
CIN AAA Earl Snyder        1B  5  4  2  0  0  1  1  .516 OBP during past week
CLE A-  Joshua Rodriguez   SS  6  5  2  0  0  0  1  4 runs scored
FLA A-  Jacob Blackwood    3B  4  4  1  0  0  0  0   
FLA AA  Ryan Bear          1B  4  3  1  0  1  1  1   
LA  AAA Delwyn Young       RF  5  3  0  0  2  0  0   
MIN AA  Trent Oeltjen      RF  3  3  0  1  0  1  0   
PIT AAA Chris Richard      1B  3  3  2  0  0  2  0  3 runs scored
SD  AAA Jack Cust          LF  4  3  0  0  2  1  1   
 
ORG LVL PLAYER             IP   H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
ARI AAA Kevin Jarvis       7.0  1  0  0  9  4  0   
BAL AAA Hayden Penn        8.0  5  0  0 10  0  0  18 K over last 13 IP
FLA AAA Jeff Fulchino      8.0  2  0  0 10  4  0   
HOU A+  Jimmy Barthmaier   7.0  5  0  0  9  2  0  1.18 ERA over past month
OAK AA  Kevin Olsen        9.0  4  1  1  3  1  0   
SD  AA  Jack Cassel        9.0  7  1  1 10  0  1   
SF  AA  Jesse Floyd        7.0  3  0  0  5  3  0   
STL AAA John Webb          7.0  3  0  0  7  1  0   


Player News

Player news items are provided by CBS SportsLine.com.

Chad Cordero (toe) returned to action on Sunday at Atlanta and allowed one run on one hit in one inning in a non-save situation.

First baseman Nick Johnson did not play against the Braves on Sunday because of a left cervical strain suffered in a collision with Atlanta’s Jeff Francoeur on Saturday night. According to MLB.com, the Braves believe Johnson will be ready to play on Tuesday against the Phillies.

The Seattle Mariners recalled utilityman Mike Morse from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday and sent down outfielder T.J. Bohn. Morse was in uniform and available for Sunday’s game against Boston. “He just gives us some more flexibility. Mike can play both corner outfield spots, he can play third, can play shortstop, second base and first,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “He just gives us more versatility off the bench.”

Doug Mirabelli aggravated an ankle injury during batting practice on Saturday. Mirabelli iced the ankle during Saturday’s game in hopes of catching on Sunday, but told manager Terry Francona he didn’t believe he could go.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that catcher Jason Vartiek continued to rehab back in Boston and the two planned to talk after Sunday’s game on what Varitek’s next step would be.

Right-hander Tim Wakefield also plans to throw off the mound in Oakland on Monday. Wakefield hasn’t started a game since July 17 with a stress fracture in his rib cage area.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that left-hander Jon Lester would not make his scheduled start on Monday night in Oakland and instead would be sent back to Boston for further examination on his sore back. Lester labored through five innings in a 5-4 win over the Angels on Thursday night. He almost missed making that start, and Francona said the team wants Lester to get a more complete exam back in Boston.

According to MLB.com, Aaron Rowand will be out at least four weeks before he is able to begin rehabbing after undergoing surgery on his broken left ankle on Friday. Two screws were inserted into the ankle and he was placed in a cast, general manager Pat Gillick said. “We’re looking at the end of the season,” Manuel said. “I think we’ll have to wait and see what kind of condition he’s really in. If he misses six weeks, he’ll need some time hitting in games. I don’t know how we’d do that other than maybe the instructional league to get him game action.”

Houston Astros outfielder Willy Taveras extended his hitting streak to 30 games when he beat out an infield single to third base to start Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh.

Sunday’s rainout of the Mets-Phillies game was rescheduled for Monday, Aug. 28. The two starters that were supposed to pitch on Sunday, Jamie Moyer for the Phillies and John Maine for the Mets, are scheduled to pitch the makeup game instead.

Gary Majewski (shoulder) allowed two unearned runs and one hit Friday in his rehab assignment. The right-hander threw 16 pitches. “If (Majewski) is throwing well and (Eddie) Guardado is throwing well, we’ve got two guys in September that will make a huge difference — huge,” Reds manager Jerry Narron told MLB.com.

Sidelined since June surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow, Mike Maroth gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings Friday night for Triple-A Toledo, his fourth rehab start. “It went well,” he said. “I was pleased with my stuff and location.” If he doesn’t develop any soreness, and Maroth felt fine while playing catch before Saturday’s game, he’ll be activated Wednesday and start in New York against the Yankees. Zach Miner, who pitched in relief Saturday, will be Maroth’s standby starting option.

Ryan Howard hit his third career grand slam in Philadelphia’s 11-5 loss to New York on Saturday. It was his 46th home run of the season and gave him 121 RBI, both leading the NL. His 34 RBI in August set a Philadelphia club record breaking the mark of 31 set by Don Demeter in 1962.

SS Craig Counsell got his first start Saturday since coming off the DL. Manager Bob Melvin says rookie Stephen Drew remains the team’s main shortstop, though.

OF J.D. Drew had two homers and four RBI on Friday night, his second multihomer game of the season. The other also came against Arizona at Chase Field.

The Giants’ Triple-A team in Fresno won 24-10 Friday night over Sacramento and OF Jason Ellison went 5-for-5 to tie the Grizzlies’ franchise record for hits in a game.

RF Moises Alou missed his sixth consecutive game with tightness in his left hamstring and probably won’t play until Tuesday at Atlanta. He did some running Saturday and didn’t feel much better than he did when he was forced to come out of last Sunday’s game against Los Angeles. “I feel better but not great,” he said. “I feel about the same as when I got hurt. I’m at the point where I feel I can play, but I want to get to the point where I can play the rest of the year.”

David Ross hit his second home run in three games with a solo shot in the sixth Saturday. With his 18th homer of the year, he tied San Diego’s Mike Piazza for most by a catcher in the majors this season.

Ken Griffey Jr. extended his season-best hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out single in the seventh Saturday.

Closer Eddie Guardado, on the DL with tendinitis in his left forearm, played catch Saturday to test the injury and still felt some pain in the area. He threw for about eight minutes from 90 feet. “It’s OK but not 100 percent,” Guardado said. “It’s getting better. I’ll give it a couple more days and see where it’s at.”

Phil Nevin‘s home run in the eighth inning Saturday snapped a string of 20 scoreless innings for the Cubs. Nevin has 21 homers, 12 with the Cubs.

Juan Pierre grounded out in seven consecutive at-bats in the first two games of the series before singling in the ninth Saturday. He didn’t get the ball out of the infield on Friday at St. Louis, ending a 19-game road hitting streak during which he had hit .364 (32-for-88).

LHP Les Walrond will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to start Sunday against the Cardinals. The 30-year-old Walrond was originally drafted by St. Louis in 1998. The Cardinals are vulnerable against LHP, going 18-29 in games started by lefties.

RHP Ricky Nolasco, who left Friday’s game in the third inning with cramps in his right leg, said he felt fine Saturday and would be ready for his next start.

Shawn Chacon, who starts Sunday against Houston, is 1-1 with a 6.94 ERA in three starts for the Pirates. He was dealt last month for 1B-OF Craig Wilson, who is hitting .265 with two homers and five RBI with the Yankees.

During his three seasons with the Astros, Roger Clemens is 37-3 when he has the lead at any point of the game. Clemens beat the Pirates 5-1 Friday night to get a victory in his 34th ballpark in the majors.

Jose Reyes‘ 66 RBI for a shortstop is a new Mets club record. Reyes (finger) was back atop the Mets lineup Saturday vs. Philadelphia. He finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Phillies batters have been hit by pitches 72 this season, tops in the majors and matching the modern club mark set in 1900. Chase Utley was hit Saturday night to tie the team record.

LF Pat Burrell returned to the lineup with the Mets starting a left-hander. Burrell has 11 home runs and 25 RBI vs. left-handers this season. Burrell can hardly run in the outfield because of a chronic foot problem, which also cuts into his at-bats. He still hasn’t fully recovered from surgery on his right foot last October. “To me, the biggest thing about Pat is the speed getting to the ball,” Manuel said. “That comes from the foot. It’s not like he limps, but he kind of gets his foot real high and then puts it down. It think sometimes the way he sets it down, you get flat-footed in the outfield, the ball kind of moves on you. His foot speed is what dictates what he can do.”

Chris Snelling, coming off the DL Aug. 17, has hit safely in seven of his eight games for a .421 average (8-for-19). Keeping his bat in the lineup has allowed the club to move Ichiro Suzuki to center field with Snelling playing right. Manager Mike Hargrove said Snelling, who has had a series of injuries including knee surgery, was playing four games in a row before getting a day off at Triple-A Tacoma. “Given the circumstances, I think we can go beyond that. But we have to be careful, too,” Hargrove said. “It’s important that we not run him out there 10, 15 days in a row.” Snelling did not start Saturday because the Red Sox started a left-hander, David Wells.

Curt Schilling had seven strikeouts in Friday’s 6-0 loss to leave him one strikeout shy of 3,000 for his career. “It’s a pretty cool thing,” Schilling said after the game. “As the game went on, I felt like it probably would happen. I don’t think I tried to get strikeouts any more than I normally do.” His next strikeout will make him the 14th pitcher in history to reach that 3,000 plateau.

The Red Sox got tentative good news with right-hander Josh Beckett, who came out of his last start with a small cut on the middle finger of his throwing hand. He told manager Terry Francona it should not prevent him from making his scheduled start Tuesday. “I think he thinks he’s going to be OK,” Francona said. “I’m just going to give him some time to be OK.”

Closer Francisco Rodriguez has not allowed a run in his past 20.2 innings. He got four outs for his 36th save Saturday vs. the N.Y. Yankees after Scot Shields gave up two-run homer by Johnny Damon in the eighth. Melky Cabrera flied out to the warning track with the bases loaded to end the game.

Rookie 1B Howie Kendrick has reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances, including four hits and an intentional walk Saturday.

OF Vladimir Guerrero extended his hitting streak to 13 games with three hits, including his first triple of the season Saturday.

Manager Joe Torre doesn’t expect to use eight-time All-Star closer Mariano Rivera for more than one inning in any game the rest of the way. “It’s just the sitting down (between innings) and getting up (again). It takes its toll,” Torre said.

The White Sox recalled OF Jerry Owens from Triple-A Charlotte and immediately put him on the DL with a sprained right ankle. Owens has been out since Aug. 10 with the ankle problem. By calling Owens up before Sept. 1, he could be eligible for the playoff roster, should the White Sox qualify.

Jim Thome took BP on Saturday but was out of the White Sox’s starting lineup for a third consecutive game with a strained left hamstring. “We’re not going to rush him,” manager Ozzie Guillen said, adding if Thome aggravates the injury he got last Wednesday, he could miss two weeks.

OF Jason Kubel was out of the starting lineup for a third consecutive game in favor of the recently activated OF Rondell White, who missed two weeks with strained left hamstring. Kubel is in a 0-for-12 slump and is battling injuries to his lower body. “Kubel’s really been struggling,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He hasn’t been swinging very well. I think it’s just been a battle for him with the legs and the whole package.”

RHP Brad Radke was sent back to Minnesota to receive a cortisone shot Saturday for his ailing right shoulder. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Radke would have his next start pushed back to next Saturday in New York to help the veteran pitcher recover. “He’ll get his time, whether it’s six, seven or eight days,” Gardenhire said. “We’ll see how he does. That’s all we can do is wait and see.” Radke said he didn’t expect the time off to make a difference. “It’s not going to heal by itself anyway, so I don’t think it really matters,” he said.

Rangers manager Buck Showalter said rookie RHP Edinson Volquez, who has struggled in consecutive starts, is still scheduled to take his next turn in the rotation Saturday against Cleveland.

A’s manager Ken Macha has decided on RHP Kirk Saarloos over LHP Brad Halsey to start Tuesday against Boston.

RHP Rich Harden, on the DL for all but one day since April, threw off flat ground for the second of three consecutive days. There is no timetable for his return.

Closer Huston Street, on the DL with a strained right grown, made 35 throws in a game of catch. “He didn’t do anything that would test his groin,” manager Ken Macha said.

Mark Teahen has four homers and 11 RBI in his past 17 games.

On Saturday, OF Jeff Conine homered for the first time since July 26 at Kansas City.

OF Jonny Gomes is expected to have his right shoulder examined Monday and likely faces surgery, although it’s unclear whether he needs it now or during the offseason.

3B Kevin Kouzmanoff could be one of the Indians’ call-ups when the rosters expand on Sept. 1. He has been on a hitting tear all season. At Double-A Akron, he batted .389 with 15 homers and 55 RBI in 67 games. He didn’t cool off much at Triple-A Buffalo, batting .382 with six homers and 15 RBI in 21 games.

Sidelined since June surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow, Mike Maroth gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings Friday night for Triple-A Toledo, his fourth rehab start. “It went well,” he said. “I was pleased with my stuff and location.”

Gil Meche, who missed his last scheduled start for Seattle because of right forearm tendinitis, was overpowering early on Saturday vs. Boston. He struck out five of the first seven batters he faced. He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings for Seattle, which has beaten the Red Sox in four straight games for the first time since 2001.

Boston’s Kevin Youkilis, who missed Friday’s game with the flu, was available Saturday but didn’t play.

Cla Meredith worked a scoreless eighth and now has gone 20.2 innings without giving up a run to tie the Padres’ record for a rookie set by Jose Melendez in 1991.

Minnesota drove struggling Chicago starter Jose Contreras out after 2.2 innings Saturday, his shortest outing of the season. He gave up five runs and seven hits and in his last three starts has surrendered 27 hits and 19 runs in 14 1/3 innings.

Torii Hunter has homered in four straight games after hitting his 21st of the season Saturday vs. Brandon McCarthy.

Jason Kendall has multiple hits in 11 of his last 14 games, going 27-for-61 in that span to raise his average 25 points to .296.

Justin Verlander gave up a season-high eight runs and 10 hits in 4.2 innings Sunday at Cleveland — his shortest outing since April 13.

Sean Casey (hamstring) was able to play Saturday at Cleveland. He went 0-for-4.

Brad Lidge, previously one of the NL’s dominant relievers, seems to be back on his game after temporarily being moved out of the closer’s role. Since adding two-seam fastball that moves down in the strike zone to his high-90s, four-seam fastball, he has made four consecutive scoreless outings. Lidge struck out the side in the ninth Saturday at Pittsburgh on 13 pitches and has struck out seven of the nine Pirates he has faced in the series. He got his 27th save in 32 opportunities, but his first since Aug. 11.

NL batting leader Freddy Sanchez of Pittsburgh went 0-for-4 Saturday to cut his average to .345. He struck out in the eighth on a pitch he argued hit his right elbow, and the umpires did not change the call after conferring.

Jack Wilson (viral) sat out Saturday’s game vs. Houston.

Oliver Perez, acquired from Pittsburgh in a trade on July 31, held the Phillies hitless into the fifth inning on Saturday, but his control got him in trouble. He allowed five runs off only two hits, but with five walks. He struck out seven in the outing. “It was an outstanding job by the kid,” said manager Willie Randolph. “He pitched well enough to get the ball again. He’ll probably get another start.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers designated right-hander Giovanni Carrara for assignment on Saturday and recalled left-hander Tim Hamulack from Triple-A Las Vegas. Carrara was 0-1 in 21 appearances for the Dodgers after being recalled from Las Vegas on July 4. He gave up a run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning in Los Angeles’ 8-7, 15-inning loss to Arizona on Friday night. “Gio’d been struggling a little bit,” manager Grady Little said. “This is not a time when you need somebody to go through those struggles. If somebody doesn’t pick him up during this 10-day period he’ll probably be back with us in September.”

Yankees slugger Jason Giambi, who hit a two-run double in the fifth, left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning Saturday because of cramping in both hands and was given fluids intravenously in the clubhouse. “He was cramped up in his legs, his arms and his legs — the whole nine yards. He was a mummy down there,” manager Joe Torre said.

Yankees manager Joe Torre tweaked his batting order Saturday at the L.A. Angels, putting Alex Rodriguez in the second spot for the first time this season. The two-time MVP went 0-for-5 and struck out three times; the previous night, Rodriguez was 0-for-5 and fanned four times in a 6-5 loss. Rodriguez has struck out 13 times in his last 23 at-bats. When asked if A-Rod would be in the two hole on Sunday, Torre said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll probably come up with another brainstorm.”

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Derek Lowe left Saturday night’s game against Arizona after being struck in the left hand by a line drive off the bat of Chad Tracy. X-rays were negative, and the injury was diagnosed as a bruised thumb. The right-hander tried to field Tracy’s two-out shot in the fourth inning, but couldn’t get his glove in the way in time. He walked all the way to the shortstop position in obvious pain before leaving the field. He scattered five hits, and the Dodgers had a 3-0 lead when he left. Tracy scored later in the inning, a run charged to Lowe.

Orlando Cabrera (fingernail) was back in the starting lineup Saturday vs. the N.Y. Yankees. He finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks.

J.P. Powell will start for TB on Sunday. He replaces Scott Kazmir, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday night with shoulder stiffness.

Cardinals CF Jim Edmonds, who struck out four times with a walk on Friday in his first start since leaving an Aug. 15 game with blurred vision and dizziness, struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Saturday’s win over the Chicago Cubs.

Gary Bennett made his third straight start in place of catcher Yadier Molina Saturday, who’s been hampered by tendinitis in his throwing elbow. He’s likely to get at least a few more starts before Molina returns. “It definitely doesn’t hurt to see live pitching every day,” Bennett said. “I’m not saying it’s going to always translate into a bunch of hits, but you’re going to have better at-bats, for sure.” Manager Charlie Manuel said he expects closer Tom Gordon, who hasn’t pitched since Aug. 12 because of a strained right shoulder, to throw in a simulated game Monday or Tuesday and return to the Phillies by the end of next week.

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