THT Daily: Western Streaks

Major League News for August 12

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
BOS     9  BAL     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAA     7  NYA     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
CHA     5  DET     0    (Recap and Boxscore)
CLE     4  KC      3    (Recap and Boxscore)
TOR     7  MIN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
OAK     5  TB      2    (Recap and Boxscore)
TEX    14  SEA     7    (Recap and Boxscore)

National League
ATL     2  MIL     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
PHI     6  CIN     5    (Recap and Boxscore)
WAS     2  NYN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU     4  SD      2    (Recap and Boxscore)
PIT     7  STL     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
FLA     4  ARI     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
COL    10  CHN     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAN     3  SF      2    (Recap and Boxscore)


Today’s Games
Visitors                         Home                              Starts
KC - Perez O.* (0-0, 7.00)       CLE - Sabathia C.* (8-8, 3.43)    01:05
DET - Rogers K.* (11-5, 4.59)    CWS - Buehrle M.* (9-10, 4.89)    01:20
BAL - Benson K. (9-9, 4.71)      BOS - Johnson J. (3-11, 5.96)     01:20
LAA - Escobar K. (8-9, 3.73)     NYY - Wright J. (8-6, 4.38)       01:20
SF - Cain M. (8-8, 4.62)         LAD - Penny B. (12-5, 3.43)       04:10
STL - Weaver J. (2-2, 6.93)      PIT - Snell I. (9-8, 4.78)        07:05
CIN - Ramirez E. (4-9, 5.00)     PHI - Mathieson S. (1-3, 5.40)    07:05
NYM - Maine J. (2-3, 2.08)       WAS - Bergmann J. (0-0, 8.14)     07:05
MIL - Sheets B. (2-4, 4.71)      ATL - Barry K. (0-0, 5.91)        07:05
SD - Peavy J. (5-11, 4.69)       HOU - Hirsh J. (0-0, -)           07:05
KC - De La Rosa J.* (1-1, 8.59)  CLE - Guthrie J. (0-0, 6.59)      07:05
TOR - Downs S.* (5-1, 4.39)      MIN - Bonser B. (2-3, 5.67)       07:10
CHC - Guzman A. (0-2, 5.68)      COL - Fogg J. (7-7, 4.59)         08:05
SEA - Moyer J.* (6-10, 4.28)     TEX - Volquez E. (0-1, 7.20)      08:05
TB - Fossum C.* (6-4, 4.63)      OAK - Blanton J. (12-9, 4.61)     09:05
FLA - Olsen S.* (9-5, 3.92)      ARI - Webb B. (12-4, 2.74)        09:40


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     67  45 .598    0.0   65     2    sparkline graph
BOS     66  48 .579    2.0   63     3    sparkline graph
TOR     62  54 .534    7.0   63    -1    sparkline graph
BAL     51  65 .440   18.0   49     2    sparkline graph
TB      47  69 .405   22.0   47     0    sparkline graph
American League Central     
DET     76  39 .661    0.0   72     4    sparkline graph
CHA     68  46 .596    7.5   66     2    sparkline graph
MIN     67  48 .583    9.0   64     3    sparkline graph
CLE     50  64 .439   25.5   61   -11    sparkline graph
KC      41  74 .357   35.0   43    -2    sparkline graph
American League West        
OAK     63  52 .548    0.0   57     6    sparkline graph
LAA     60  56 .517    3.5   60     0    sparkline graph
TEX     59  58 .504    5.0   62    -3    sparkline graph
SEA     56  59 .487    7.0   57    -1    sparkline graph


National League East        Pwins  Diff
NYN     69  45 .605    0.0   67     2    sparkline graph
PHI     56  58 .491   13.0   57    -1    sparkline graph
FLA     54  61 .470   15.5   56    -2    sparkline graph
ATL     53  61 .465   16.0   57    -4    sparkline graph
WAS     51  64 .443   18.5   51     0    sparkline graph
National League Central     
STL     62  53 .539    0.0   58     4    sparkline graph
CIN     59  57 .509    3.5   55     4    sparkline graph
HOU     57  58 .496    5.0   58    -1    sparkline graph
MIL     54  61 .470    8.0   49     5    sparkline graph
CHN     48  67 .417   14.0   47     1    sparkline graph
PIT     43  73 .371   19.5   50    -7    sparkline graph
National League West        
LAN     60  56 .517    0.0   63    -3    sparkline graph
ARI     58  57 .504    1.5   57     1    sparkline graph
SD      58  57 .504    1.5   57     1    sparkline graph
COL     56  59 .487    3.5   60    -4    sparkline graph
SF      54  61 .470    5.5   57    -3    sparkline graph


Game of the Day

The Dodgers extended their newfound division lead to 1.5 games with a win over the rival Giants yesterday. Since losing 13 of 14 games following the All-Star break, they’ve won 13 of 14 and become the majors’ hottest team.

Meanwhile, the Giants, who were in the thick of the race after the Midsummer Classic, have now lost 14 of 17 to tumble out of the NL playoff picture.

SAN FRANCISCO (2) VS LA DODGERS (3) - FINAL

SAN FRANCISCO          ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
R Winn cf               5  0  1  0   0  1   3  .267
O Vizquel ss            4  2  2  0   1  0   0  .322
M Alou rf               4  0  0  0   0  0   2  .289
B Bonds lf              1  0  1  1   3  0   0  .248
R Durham 2b             4  0  3  1   0  0   1  .287
S Hillenbrand 1b        4  0  0  0   0  0   4  .243
P Feliz 3b              4  0  0  0   0  1   2  .262
E Alfonzo c             4  0  1  0   0  2   2  .288
N Lowry p               3  0  2  0   0  1   0  .182
 V Chulk p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 M Stanton p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 B Wilson p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 S Kline p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 a-M Sweeney ph         1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .271

Totals                 34  2 10  2   4  5  14

a-lined out to second for S Kline in the 9th.

BATTING: 2B - O Vizquel (16, M Hendrickson). RBI - R Durham (66), B Bonds (49). 
2-out RBI - R Durham. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - R Winn 1, S 
Hillenbrand 2, E Alfonzo 1. GIDP - R Durham. Team LOB - 9. 
 
BASERUNNING: SB - O Vizquel (17, 2nd base off M Hendrickson/T Hall). CS - O 
Vizquel (6, 2nd base by M Hendrickson). 
 
FIELDING: E - R Durham (7, ground ball). 

LA DODGERS             ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
R Furcal ss             4  1  2  0   1  0   0  .289
K Lofton cf             3  0  1  0   1  0   4  .309
N Garciaparra 1b        3  0  1  1   0  1   2  .331
J Kent 2b               3  1  1  1   1  1   3  .263
J Drew rf               4  1  1  0   0  1   1  .277
A Ethier lf             4  0  2  0   0  0   0  .348
J Lugo 3b               3  0  0  1   0  2   2  .206
T Hall c                2  0  0  0   1  0   1  .290
 b-W Betemit ph         0  0  0  0   1  0   0  .283
 R Martin c             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .296
M Hendrickson p         2  0  0  0   0  1   2  .000
 a-J Repko ph           1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .260
 B Tomko p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .120
 c-O Saenz ph           1  0  0  0   0  0   2  .304
 J Broxton p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000

Totals                 30  3  8  3   5  6  17

a-flied out to right for M Hendrickson in the 7th;  b-walked for T Hall in the 
8th;  c-popped out to first for B Tomko in the 8th.

BATTING: 2B - R Furcal (25, N Lowry); J Drew (22, M Stanton). HR - J Kent (11, 
4th inning off N Lowry 0 on, 0 Out). S - K Lofton. SF - N Garciaparra , J Lugo. 
RBI - N Garciaparra (59), J Kent (48), J Lugo (4). Runners left in scoring 
position, 2 out - M Hendrickson 1, K Lofton 2, J Kent 1. Team LOB - 11. 
 
FIELDING: Outfield assists - A Ethier (R Durham at 2nd base). DP: 1 (J Lugo-J 
Kent-N Garciaparra). 

----------------------------------------------------
    SAN FRANCISCO   - 001 010 000   --   2
    LA DODGERS      - 100 100 01x   --   3
----------------------------------------------------

SAN FRANCISCO                ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
N Lowry                       6 2/3   6   2   2   3   5   1   4.12
V Chulk                         1/3   0   0   0   0   1   0   2.00
M Stanton (L, 3-6)            0       2   1   1   0   0   0   4.50
B Wilson                        2/3   0   0   0   2   0   0   5.91
S Kline                         1/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   4.14

LA DODGERS                   ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
M Hendrickson                 7      10   2   2   4   3   0   4.50
B Tomko (W, 8-6)              1       0   0   0   0   1   0   4.76
J Broxton (S, 2)              1       0   0   0   0   1   0   2.87

M Stanton pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

IBB - T Hall (by N Lowry). Pitches-strikes: N Lowry 121-79; V Chulk 7-4; M 
Stanton 3-3; B Wilson 18-10; S Kline 7-4; M Hendrickson 108-61; B Tomko 9-6; J 
Broxton 12-8. Ground balls-fly balls: N Lowry 5-10; V Chulk 0-0; M Stanton 0-0; 
B Wilson 0-2; S Kline 1-0; M Hendrickson 10-6; B Tomko 1-1; J Broxton 0-2. 
Batters faced: N Lowry 30; V Chulk 1; M Stanton 2; B Wilson 4; S Kline 1; M 
Hendrickson 32; B Tomko 3; J Broxton 3. 
 
UMPIRES: HP--Bruce Dreckman. 1B--Larry Poncino. 2B--Ed Hickox. 3B--Gary 
Darling. 

T--3:01. Att--53,695. 
Weather: 74 degrees, clear. Wind: 8 mph, out to 
center.	

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


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+  Cesar Nicolas      DH  5  3  2  0  1  1  1   
ARI A+  Derek Bruce        SS  5  4  0  0  1  0  1  Hitting .52 over last 25 at bats
DET A+  Nick McIntyre      3B  5  4  0  1  1  0  0  3 runs scored
HOU AA  Mark Saccomanno    3B  2  2  1  0  1  3  0  3 runs scored
LAA A+  Ben Johnson        RF  4  3  0  0  2  0  0  4 RBI
NYY A   Ben Jones          1B  5  4  0  0  1  0  1  4 RBI
PIT AAA Carlos Maldonado    C  4  4  1  0  1  0  0   
SF  A+  Carlos Sosa        RF  5  4  0  0  1  0  0   
SF  AAA Abraham Nunez      RF  4  4  2  0  0  0  0   
WAN AAA George Lombard     LF  4  4  0  0  1  0  0   
 
ORG LVL PLAYER             IP   H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
ARI A+  Anthony Cupps      6.0  1  0  0  6  4  0   
BAL A+  Luis Ramirez       7.0  4  2  2 10  1  0   
DET A   Burke Badenhop     7.0  3  1  1  3  1  1  1.21 ERA over past month
MIL AA  Yovani Gallardo    7.0  4  2  1  9  2  0   
MIN A+  Anthony Swarzak    7.2  3  0  0 11  1  0   
NYM AAA Evan MacLane       7.1  3  1  1  6  3  0   
NYM A-  Tobi Stoner        7.0  2  0  0  6  0  0   
PHI A   Joshua Outman      7.0  2  0  0  8  1  0   
PHI A-  Alexander Concepcion 6.0  1  0  0  4  1  0   
PHI AA  Zack Segovia       7.0  2  0  0  7  2  0      


Player News

Player news items are provided by CBS SportsLine.com.

Barry Bonds went 1-for-1, walked three times and singled home the Giants’ second run Friday. He has been stuck for a week on career home run No. 723 in his chase for Hank Aaron’s record of 755. The slugger’s last homer, his 15th of the year, was Aug. 4 at home against Colorado.

Jonathan Broxton (2.87) picked up his second save Friday. Regular closer Takashi Saito had been used for three consecutive days.

Wade Miller (shoulder) was outstanding in his Double-A rehab outing Friday, allowing just three hits, a walk and a run in six innings. He struck out four.

Garrett Atkins hit his 18th homer of the season in the fifth Friday, a three-run shot deep into the seats in left.

Cubs starter Rich Hill (2-5) walked five for the third time this season and lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up six hits and six runs Friday vs. the Rockies. He has 26 walks in 42.1 innings this season.

Justin Duchscherer pitched the eighth Friday and Huston Street worked the ninth for his 27th save in 34 chances.

Dan Haren (10-9) gave up two runs, one earned, and five hits in seven innings to win his fourth consecutive start Friday vs. the Devil Rays. He struck out seven and walked one. Haren has issued two or fewer walks in 23 of his 25 starts. Haren settled down after the Devil Rays scored their second run, retiring 13 of the next 15 batters. He did not allow a runner past first base in his final four innings.

Frank Thomas singled in a run in the fourth Friday. He is within four RBIs of tying Joe DiMaggio (1,537) for 39th on baseball’s career list.

Bobby Kielty‘s two-run homer in the fifth spoiled Scott Kazmir‘s return to the rotation Friday. Kielty is 7-for-13 with two home runs against Kazmir. Kazmir (10-8) lasted five innings in his first start since July 23, giving up three runs and four hits. He struck out six and walked two, failing in his fourth try at a career-high 11th victory.

Orlando Hudson went 0-for-4 to snap a 10-game hitting streak Friday.

Arizona 1B Conor Jackson has not played since being hit in the forearm by a pitch Monday night against San Francisco.

Livan Hernandez (9-9), acquired this week in a trade with Washington to shore up the Diamondbacks’ shaky rotation, allowed four runs and 10 hits in a season-high eight innings Friday. “I felt good,” he said. “I made a mistake with (Miguel) Cabrera. I tried to throw the fastball up and he jumped at it. That was the ballgame right there. I think that was the only mistake I made.”

Carlos Lee and Gary Matthews Jr. homered for the Rangers on Friday. Matthews was 3-for-3, including a two-run single, with two walks.

Hank Blalock was 2-for-5 on Friday and has a 12-game hitting streak.

Gil Meche (9-7) allowed nine runs Friday vs. the Rangers — only four of them earned — and walked six in his shortest outing of the season. Only 24 of his 54 pitches were strikes. “It was a matter of not being able to find anything,” Meche said. “I couldn’t find my release point. I was thinking where’s my hand, where’s my arm. … The focus should be to get the ball and throw it. you shouldn’t have to be thinking about mechanics.”

Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira walked twice Friday and had a double to extend his on-base streak to 35 games, the longest in the AL this season. It’s the eighth-best streak in Rangers history. Julio Franco holds the team record with 46 in a row in 1993.

The Reds used nine pitchers in the 14-inning game Friday, including starters Aaron Harang and Elizardo Ramirez (4-9), who still is scheduled to start Saturday night. Harang, who leads the Reds with 12 wins, made his first relief appearance since 2003 with Oakland. Harang pitched six innings against St. Louis on Wednesday. All of Cincinnati’s relievers pitched except Rheal Cormier, who couldn’t go because of a hip injury that isn’t expected to keep him out longer.

Pat Burrell’s RBI triple Friday was his first of the season. The slow-footed Burrell uncharacteristically pumped his fist when he reached third. He also had a long RBI single off the left-field wall in the first inning.

Jimmy Rollins hit his career-best 15th homer Friday.

Right-hander Kyle Lohse, making his third appearance with the Reds, gave up one run and six hits in 6.1 innings Friday vs. the Phillies. He struck out eight in his longest outing of the season, including eight starts with Minnesota.

Brad Ausmus scored Adam Everett on a squeeze bunt Friday. Ausmus, who had a pair of RBI singles in Thursday’s 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh, dropped a well-placed bunt between the mound and first base and Everett scored easily.

Willy Taveras singled to right in the first inning Friday, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.

Matt Garza‘s debut Friday vs. the Jays started out perfectly. He struck out the leadoff man on three pitches to begin the game and received a standing ovation. “It was a little more than I expected,” Garza said. “I tried to play it calm, but I couldn’t play it calm enough. I was a little nervous and a little excited. Hopefully I can control it next time.” It was all downhill from there. “Basically, it was a one-pitch pitcher that ended up throwing a lot of fastballs,” said manager Ron Gardenhire, after watching his rookie lose control of his curveball and slider. “You can tell he was a little over-amped.”

Maicer Izturis‘ comebacker in the fifth at first was scored an error, but Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke called the press box, and scorer Bill Shannon later changed the call to a hit. Izturis added a homer and a run-scoring single in the seventh, his third hit of the night.

In his second start since New York acquired him from Philadelphia, Cory Lidle (1-1) didn’t feel well and gave up a solo homer in the second and a two-run drive in the third. “Some kind of stomach virus or something,” Lidle said. “I haven’t been holding anything in.”

David Wells finally gave the Red Sox the kind of outing they had been waiting for all season. Making his third start since coming off his third stint on the disabled list, the 43-year-old left-hander pitched seven solid innings Friday night vs. the Orioles. “A game like that shows he can still do it,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He just needed some time. If you can count on him to make his starts, he always gives us a chance to win.” Wells (1-2) allowed nine hits, giving up his only run on a pair of doubles in the seventh. He left after seven to a standing ovation, waving his glove to the fans who were hoping he could return to form to stop the team’s free fall in the AL East.

Tom Glavine (12-5) threw a season-high 123 pitches in six innings Friday at Washington and has won only one of his past nine starts.

Just back up from the minors, Billy Traber (2-1) allowed Paul Lo Duca‘s first homer since May 13 in the first inning and then settled down to earn his eighth career major league win. “Let them hit the ball,” he said. “I can’t really be scared of contact. That’s the only way I’m going to go deep into a game. All I want to do is chew up innings.” He stayed ahead of hitters and kept his pitch count low Friday vs. the Mets, needing only 81 to get through seven innings — his combined total for two starts in April. “More than what we expected. Exactly what I needed,” manager Frank Robinson said. “He took me where I didn’t think he’d be able to take me tonight. It was just a great effort on his part.” The fans gave Traber a standing ovation, but he didn’t acknowledge it, running to the dugout with his head down.

Chris Capuano pitched seven innings Friday, throwing only 68 pitches. He gave up four hits and one run with no walks and four strikeouts. Capuano’s only mistake was a first-pitch, leadoff homer to Andruw Jones in the second inning.

John Smoltz (10-5) pitched a five-hitter and won his sixth consecutive decision in his 53rd complete game. He struck out eight, walked none and retired 18 consecutive batters after giving up a leadoff single to Gabe Gross in the second inning. “I’m going to keep pitching like that until they say you’ve been officially eliminated from the playoffs,” he said.

Jeff Francoeur, leading the Braves with 10 game-winning RBIs, hit an RBI double off Derrick Turnbow in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night. Francoeur said he wanted to atone for failing to deliver in similar situations as the Braves lost two of three in Cincinnati a week ago. “I love it,” Francoeur said of facing the pressure in the bottom of the ninth. “I thought when I got up, here’s a chance to atone a little bit for Cincinnati for the team and for John, for Bobby (Cox). We’ve been playing hard.”

Ambiorix Burgos (2-5) now leads the AL with 11 blown saves after another implosion Friday. Royals manager Buddy Bell said he will remain patient with the 22-year-old Burgos. “It’s a learning process for him,” Bell said. “He needs to understand what is a good pitch for him and what is not.”

The Chicago White Sox defeated Detroit 5-0 Friday night to snap Justin Verlander‘s seven-game personal winning streak. Verlander (14-5), who gave up a season-high 13 hits in just five innings, was working after a nine-day layoff so he could get extra rest, failed in his bid to become the majors’ first 15-game winner and lost for the first time since Chicago beat him June 7.

Alex Rodriguez hit his 453rd career home run — tying injured teammate Gary Sheffield for 30th place on the career list — in the Yankees’ 7-4 loss to the Angels on Friday.

Jim Thome hit his 35th home run of the season in Chicago’s 5-0 win over Detroit on Friday night. Thome’s 35 homers are the most by a left-handed hitter in White Sox history. He had been tied with Robin Ventura, who hit 34 in 1996. It was also the 465th of his career, tying him with Hall of Famer Dave Winfield for 27th place all-time.

Andy Pettitte hit his first career homer and matched a season high with 10 strikeouts in a 4-2 victory Friday over San Diego.

Jose Contreras pitched a three-hitter for his first career shutout Friday in Chicago’s 5-0 victory over Detroit.

Mark DeRosa went 3-for-4 with a homer and six RBI to lead Texas to a 14-7 victory over Seattle on Friday. The six RBIs matched DeRosa’s career high, set only two days earlier when he had a pair of three-run homers in a 14-0 victory at Oakland. He also had a five-RBI outing last week against the Los Angeles Angels. His 12 homers and 60 RBI are already career highs.

Albert Pujols, who has a .398 average (70-for-176) with 18 homers and 15 doubles at PNC Park, went 4-for-4 with two doubles to raise his average to .571 (12-of-21) with nine extra-base hits against the Pirates this season. After the third of Pujols’ four hits, Duke walked past him and said, “Take it easy on me.”

Right-hander Braden Looper has a sore back and manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday he expected Looper to be sidelined for a few days. He didn’t pitch Friday night.

The Royals recalled RHP Adam Bernero from Triple-A Omaha and optioned OF Shane Costa to Omaha.

Several Dodgers have hit particularly well against left-handers this season, including Nomar Garciaparra at .434 and Olmedo Saenz at .435. They and teammates Russell Martin (.372), Andre Ethier (.370) and Rafael Furcal (.340) faced another left-hander in Friday night’s series opener against San Francisco, the Giants’ Noah Lowry. Ethier extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

Manager Felipe Alou said he is taking RHP Jamey Wright out of the rotation. Wright has lost seven of his past eight decision and is 6-10 overall, with a 5.18 ERA. RHP Brad Hennessey will come out of the bullpen to join the rotation and start Monday, which was Wright’s scheduled spot. Hennessey is 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 25 appearances, including six starts.

RHP Brandon Webb will make his first start since July 31 Saturday night against Florida. Webb missed a start with shoulder tendinitis. He is 12-4 and leads the NL with a 2.74 ERA.

Juan Pierre, who stole his 41st base of the season Thursday against the Brewers, is the 10th Cub — sixth since 1900 — to steal 40 bases in his first season with the team. Only three — Walt Walmot (1890), Bill Maloney (1905) and Eric Young (2000) — have reached 50.

Chan Ho Park (7-7) lasted five innings in his first start since being treated for intestinal bleeding with blood transfusions last week. Park allowed three runs and eight hits. He struck out three and walked two. “For the layoff and what he’s gone through, he threw the ball well,” said San Diego manager Bruce Bochy. “He had some bad luck. But overall, I thought he had good stuff.”

SS Khalil Greene returned to the starting lineup after missing six games with a sprained middle left finger. Greene met with a hand specialist in Houston early Friday, then told manager Bruce Bochy his finger felt fine during batting practice. “He felt good in the cage and didn’t want to wait,” Bochy said.

3B Chipper Jones, returning from a strained left oblique injury, began an injury rehab assignment at Double-A Mississippi on Friday.

1B Adam LaRoche returned to the starting lineup after missing two games. LaRoche was hit on the forearm by a Bronson Arroyo pitch last Saturday, but he said he also has been troubled by a jammed wrist he suffered while diving for a ball and a hamstring before that. LaRoche had his left wrist wrapped for Friday’s game.

RHP Ben Sheets (chest) is scheduled to start Saturday. His status for the start was confirmed Friday when he had a light throwing session with no difficulty. Manager Ned Yost said he is carrying 13 pitchers as protection if Sheets is limited Saturday. He said RHP Geremi Gonzalez or RHP Rick Helling would be used if Sheets can’t make the start.

RHP Rich Harden, on the DL since June 5 with a strained ligament in his right elbow, played catch Friday. “He has an unhealed ulnar collateral ligament,” trainer Larry Davis told the San Jose Mecury News. “That’s the reason why it still hurts.”

LHP Mark Mulder (shoulder) made a second minor league rehab start Friday night, in Triple-A, but the Cardinals won’t decide until Saturday if he will rejoin their rotation or make a third minor league start.

RHP Kirk Saarloos will make Tuesday’s start against the Seattle Mariners. Saarloos pitched four innings of four-hit relief last Tuesday in his first action since the All-Star break. Saarloos has a career 9.50 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays, his worst against any AL team.

OF Rocco Baldelli was back in the lineup Friday and manager Joe Maddon said he’s going to be careful with him the rest of the year. “Just to get him back playing again is a pretty big accomplishment,” Maddon said. “We need to monitor him closely and do whatever it takes for him to play 140-150 games next year.”

OF Carl Crawford may eventually move to the third spot in the lineup but he’s staying in the second slot for now. “He likes the two hole so much and he’s having a good year,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He likes to feel comfortable. He could be a solid three hitter no doubt about it. He has all the ability. He can be almost anything.”

Tigers SS Carlos Guillen has always hit the White Sox well. In 66 career games before Friday, he was batting .343 with 12 doubles, seven triples, six homers and 38 RBI against the White Sox.

Manager Jimmy Leyland might try to get starter Jeremy Bonderman some extra rest. The Tigers skipped Justin Verlander’s last start and gave Kenny Rogers two extra days rest. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that Bonderman will be bumped back nine days, it may be three extra days, whatever, it may be two extra days,” Leyland said.

RHP Edinson Volquez makes his second start of the season Saturday night. “I just want to see him give us a chance to win again,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I want him to continue to take the experience he’s getting up here, and go forward with the level of play.” By the way, John Koronka was awesome in his Triple-A start Friday and Thomas Diamond was outstanding in his Double-A outing. John Danks will pitch on Volquez’s day in Triple-A … interesting.

SS Michael Young had a three-run double in Thursday night’s game, raising his season average with the bases loaded to .778 (7-for-9) with 18 RBI. He is hitting .400 (26-for-65) with 70 RBIs in his career in that situation. The career average is fifth among active major league players.

RF Ichiro Suzuki played in his 354th consecutive game Friday, and hasn’t missed a game since July 10, 2004.

3B Nick Punto was given the day off Friday despite having hit safely in four consecutive games. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he will start to rest some players heading into the stretch run. Shortstop Jason Bartlett, who has played every game since being recalled from Rochester on June 14, is likely to get the next break this week.

Reliever Scott Downs will make a spot start for Toronto on Saturday as the Blue Jays work through their injury problems. Pitchers Justin Speier, Gustavo Chacin, and Pete Walker are all on the DL. Chacin, who has been on the DL since June 10 with left elbow problems, is making a rehabilitation start Monday and could join the team by the end of next week.

The Indians are keeping a close eye on RHP Adam Miller at Double-A Akron. The 21-year-old right-hander pitched a four-hit shutout Thursday night and has 33 strikeouts in his past 22.2 innings.

2B Mark Grudzielanek had just one error in 497 chances entering play Friday, the best mark at his position.

Reliever Octavio Dotel, coming back from elbow ligament-replacement surgery last year, has not yet convinced the Yankees’ observers he is throwing crisply enough to help at the big league level, manager Joe Torre said.

Depending on whether he’s needed in relief next week, RHP Sidney Ponson could start during the Aug. 18 day-night doubleheader at Boston.

LF Hideki Matsui, recovering from a broken left wrist, was back at Yankee Stadium. He was examined by team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon, who said he should maintain his current rehabilitation program for 10 days. Matsui, hurt May 11, has still not resumed hitting with a full-size bat.

Garret Anderson’s second-inning homer Friday was his first in 25 career at-bats against RHP Cory Lidle.

RHP Ervin Santana, who left Thursday night’s start after five pitches when he was hit on the left knee by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland’s Jason Michaels, does not appear to be seriously hurt. “He’ll probably be able to make his next start,” manager Mike Scioscia said. Scioscia had said right-hander Dustin Moseley could be recalled from Salt Lake if Santana is unable to pitch next week.

Mike Lowell was beaned hard in the helmet in the first inning Friday but stayed in the game. In the third, he dove into the stands to catch a foul ball. Then he singled in a run and stole a base in the bottom of the third.

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