THT Daily: Rookie Nights

Major League News for September 7

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

Yesterday’s Results
American League
CHA     8  BOS     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
TB      4  MIN     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
TOR     3  CLE     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
SEA     5  DET     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYA     8  KC      3    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAA     8  BAL     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
OAK     9  TEX     6    (Recap and Boxscore)

National League
FLA     2  ARI     0    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYN     8  ATL     0    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYN     4  ATL     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU     5  PHI     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
WAS     7  STL     6    (Recap and Boxscore)
CHN     7  PIT     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
SF      3  CIN     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAN     2  MIL     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
SD      2  COL     0    (Recap and Boxscore)

Today’s Games
Visitors                         Home                        Starts (EDT)
PIT - Chacon S. (1-2, 6.00)      CHC - Marshall S.* (5-9, 5.05)   2:20 pm
PHI - Lieber J. (6-9, 4.93)      FLA - Johnson J. (12-6, 2.99)    7:05 pm
LAD - Penny B. (15-7, 3.97)      NYM - Glavine T.* (12-6, 4.13)   7:10 pm
CLE - Lee C.* (11-10, 4.63)      CWS - Buehrle M.* (12-11, 4.71 ) 8:05 pm
DET - Verlander J. (15-7, 3.27)  MIN - Baker S. (4-7, 6.55)       8:10 pm
WAS - Bergmann J. (0-1, 6.24)    COL - Cook A. (9-13, 4.15)       8:35 pm
STL - Weaver J. (2-4, 5.34)      ARI - Batista M. (10-5, 4.34)    9:40 pm


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     83  55 .601    0.0   82     1    sparkline graph
BOS     75  65 .536    9.0   70     5    sparkline graph
TOR     73  67 .521   11.0   73     0    sparkline graph
BAL     61  78 .439   22.5   60     1    sparkline graph
TB      56  84 .400   28.0   57    -1    sparkline graph
American League Central     
DET     85  55 .607    0.0   84     1    sparkline graph
MIN     80  58 .580    4.0   77     3    sparkline graph
CHA     80  59 .576    4.5   79     1    sparkline graph
CLE     66  72 .478   18.0   76   -10    sparkline graph
KC      52  89 .369   33.5   53    -1    sparkline graph
American League West        
OAK     80  59 .576    0.0   74     6    sparkline graph
LAA     75  65 .536    5.5   73     2    sparkline graph
TEX     72  69 .511    9.0   74    -2    sparkline graph
SEA     66  73 .475   14.0   67    -1    sparkline graph

National League East        Pwins  Diff
NYN     86  52 .623    0.0   81     5    sparkline graph
FLA     70  69 .504   16.5   70     0    sparkline graph
PHI     70  69 .504   16.5   71    -1    sparkline graph
ATL     66  73 .475   20.5   71    -5    sparkline graph
WAS     61  78 .439   25.5   60     1    sparkline graph
National League Central     
STL     74  64 .536    0.0   71     3    sparkline graph
CIN     69  71 .493    6.0   67     2    sparkline graph
HOU     68  71 .489    6.5   70    -2    sparkline graph
MIL     64  76 .457   11.0   61     3    sparkline graph
CHN     56  83 .403   18.5   57    -1    sparkline graph
PIT     56  84 .400   19.0   60    -4    sparkline graph
National League West        
LAN     74  65 .532    0.0   74     0    sparkline graph
SD      73  66 .525    1.0   71     2    sparkline graph
SF      70  70 .500    4.5   70     0    sparkline graph
ARI     65  74 .468    9.0   67    -2    sparkline graph
COL     63  76 .453   11.0   68    -5    sparkline graph

Wildcard Standings
American League
MIN     80  58 .580    0.0
CHA     80  59 .576    0.5
BOS     75  65 .536    6.0
LAA     75  65 .536    6.0
National League
SD      73  66 .525    0.0
PHI     70  69 .504    3.0
FLA     70  69 .504    3.0
SF      70  70 .500    3.5
CIN     69  71 .493    4.5
HOU     68  71 .489    5.0

Game of the Day

I suppose a no-hitter trumps Padres rookie, Paul McAnulty, hitting his first major league HR in the bottom of the 11th in a scoreless game versus the Rockies to give San Diego a 2-0 win. So…

Florida rookie Anibal Sanchez, hurled a CG, 4-walk, 6-K, 0-hit shutout against the Diamondbacks to record the first no-hitter in MLB since Arizona’s Randy Johnson threw a perfect game to beat Atlanta 2-0 on May 18, 2004. There was much rejoicing.

See below in Player News for more on McAnulty’s and Sanchez’s heroics.


ARIZONA                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
O Hudson 2b             4  0  0  0   0  1   1  .289
C Jackson 1b            3  0  0  0   1  1   0  .275
L Gonzalez lf           2  0  0  0   2  0   0  .273
E Byrnes cf             4  0  0  0   0  0   3  .275
C Tracy 3b              3  0  0  0   0  2   2  .277
C Quentin rf            3  0  0  0   0  1   0  .230
S Drew ss               3  0  0  0   0  0   1  .308
M Montero c             3  0  0  0   0  1   1  .000
Ed Gonzalez p           2  0  0  0   0  0   1  .250
 T Pena p               0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 a-C Counsell ph        0  0  0  0   1  0   0  .261
 J Cruz p               0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Totals                 27  0  0  0   4  6   9

a-walked for T Pena in the 8th.

BATTING: Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - C Tracy 1. GIDP - O Hudson. 
Team LOB - 4. 

FLORIDA                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
H Ramirez ss            3  0  1  0   1  1   3  .283
D Uggla 2b              3  0  0  0   1  0   2  .289
M Cabrera 3b            4  1  1  1   0  2   2  .334
J Willingham lf         4  0  1  0   0  1   2  .277
M Jacobs 1b             4  0  0  0   0  3   2  .268

 W Helms 1b             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .308
J Borchard rf           3  1  2  1   0  0   0  .236
 E Reed pr-cf           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .114
M Olivo c               2  0  0  0   0  1   0  .268
A Amezaga cf-rf         1  0  0  0   1  0   0  .274
A Sanchez p             2  0  0  0   0  0   1  .087
Totals                 26  2  5  2   3  8  12

BATTING: 2B - J Borchard (6, Ed Gonzalez). 3B - H Ramirez (10, Ed Gonzalez). HR 
- J Borchard (9, 2nd inning off Ed Gonzalez 0 on, 1 Out), M Cabrera (24, 4th 
inning off Ed Gonzalez 0 on, 0 Out). S - A Amezaga , A Sanchez. RBI - J 
Borchard (26), M Cabrera (103). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J 
Willingham 1, H Ramirez 2. Team LOB - 6. 
BASERUNNING: CS - H Ramirez (12, 2nd base by Ed Gonzalez/M Montero). 
FIELDING: E - M Cabrera (14, throw). DP: 1 (D Uggla-M Jacobs-H Ramirez). 
    ARIZONA         - 000 000 000   --   0
    FLORIDA         - 010 100 00x   --   2

ARIZONA                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Ed Gonzalez (L, 1-3)          6       5   2   2   2   5   2   5.47
T Pena                        1       0   0   0   0   0   0   5.18
J Cruz                        1       0   0   0   1   3   0   4.37

FLORIDA                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
A Sanchez (W, 7-2)            9       0   0   0   4   6   0   2.89

Ed Gonzalez pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.

HBP - M Olivo (by Ed Gonzalez). Pitches-strikes: Ed Gonzalez 87-56; T Pena 
6-4; J Cruz 22-12; A Sanchez 103-67. Ground balls-fly balls: Ed Gonzalez 5-7; T 
Pena 2-1; J Cruz 0-0; A Sanchez 12-9. Batters faced: Ed Gonzalez 25; T Pena 3; 
J Cruz 4; A Sanchez 31. 
UMPIRES: HP--Jeff Kellogg. 1B--Jerry Meals. 2B--Mike Reilly. 3B--Rob Drake. 

T--2:13. Att--12,561. 
Weather: 76 degrees, cloudy. Wind: 0 mph, n/a.

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. You can read their daily updates at the Hit Tracker Blog.

Data for home runs per game at each ballpark are now available on the Hit Tracker site.  Through Sept. 6, each MLB game had an average of 2.25 homers, with the AL at 2.32 homers per game and the NL at 2.18 per game.  Here are the top and bottom parks for homers:

Top 5 most homers per game, by ballpark:
U.S. Cellular Field, 3.00 hr/game
Citizens Bank Park, 2.97 hr/game
Great American Ball Park, 2.92 hr/game
Rogers Centre, 2.70 hr/game
Camden Yards, 2.66 hr/game

Bottom 5 least homers per game, by ballpark:
AT&T Park, 1.63 hr/game
Angels Stadium, 1.63 hr/game
Comerica Park, 1.82 hr/game
PNC Park, 1.86 hr/game
Shea Stadium, 1.92 hr/game

Hitter                Pitcher               True Dist.  Std. Dist.  HR #
Lee, Derrek  CHC      Capps, Matt  PIT         421         428        6
Wilson, Preston  STL  Cordero, Chad  WAS       417         423       14
Teixeira, Mark  TEX   Blanton, Joe  OAK        420         421       26
German, Esteban  KC   Farnsworth, Kyle  NYY    425         415        3
Posada, Jorge  NYY    Diaz, Joselo  KC         425         415       19
Borchard, Joe  FLA    Gonzalez, Edgar  ARI     415         412        9
Cabrera, Miguel  FLA  Gonzalez, Edgar  ARI     413         411       24
Posada, Jorge  NYY    Hernandez, Runelvys  KC  415         405       18
Durham, Ray  SF       Franklin, Ryan  CIN      406         404       23
Wigginton, Ty  TB     Neshek, Pat  MIN         404         403       20
Teixeira, Mark  TEX   Blanton, Joe  OAK        409         399       27
Thome, Jim  CWS       Snyder, Kyle  BOS        419         397       39
Dye, Jermaine  CWS    DiNardo, Lenny  BOS      403         394       40
Kendrick, Howie  LAA  Cabrera, Daniel  BAL     395         391        3
Millar, Kevin  BAL    Santana, Ervin  LAA      393         390       11
Molina, Yadier  STL   Rauch, Jon  WAS          378         388        6
Norton, Greg  TB      Neshek, Pat  MIN         383         383       13
McAnulty, Paul  SD    Field, Nate  COL         404         382        1
Ruiz, Carlos  PHI     Pettitte, Andy  HOU      374         380        2
Thomas, Frank  OAK    Padilla, Vicente  TEX    384         378       32
Roberts, Brian  BAL   Santana, Ervin  LAA      380         378        9
Crisp, Coco  BOS      Contreras, Jose  CWS     389         375        8
McCann, Brian  ATL    Williams, Dave  NYM      385         375       17
Spiezio, Scott  STL   Schroder, Chris  WAS     368         374        9
Green, Shawn  NYM     Ray, Chris  ATL          389         368       13
Delgado, Carlos  NYM  Smoltz, John  ATL        380         368       36
Roberts, Brian  BAL   Santana, Ervin  LAA      370         366        8
Green, Shawn  NYM     McBride, Macay  ATL      365         361       12
Mauer, Joe  MIN       Hammel, Jason  TB        360         360       11
White, Rondell  MIN   Camp, Shawn  TB          355         354        6
Reyes, Jose  NYM      Davies, Kyle  ATL        373         353       17
Durham, Ray  SF       Kim, Sun-Woo  CIN        348         347       22
Wilson, Vance  DET    Meche, Gil  SEA          359         346        5
Inge, Brandon  DET    Meche, Gil  SEA          350         337       23

Mental Health and the CBA
A particular bit of language in the latest CBA could have negative consequences for some players.
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-  Justin Brashear     C  4  2  0  1  1  0  1   
BOS A-  Chih-Hsien Chiang  2B  4  2  0  1  0  1  1   
DET A-  Casper Wells       LF  2  2  1  0  0  0  0   
FLA A-  John Raynor        CF  3  2  0  0  0  1  1   
HOU A-  Justin Tellam       C  4  2  0  0  1  0  0  .538 OBP during past week
NYM A-  Daniel Murphy      DH  3  2  1  0  0  0  0   
NYY A-  Francisco Cervelli  C  3  3  2  0  0  0  0   
SD  A-  Michael Campbell   RF  4  2  0  0  2  0  1   
SEA A-  Kevin Reynolds     CF  5  3  2  0  0  0  0   
TEX A-  C. Davis           1B  5  2  1  0  1  0  2   
ORG LVL PLAYER             IP   H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
ARI A-  Cesar Valdez       6.0  5  1  1  2  1  1   
BAL A-  Chad Thall         4.0  0  0  0  4  2  0   
DET A-  Thomas Thornton    7.0  4  1  0  5  0  0   
FLA A-  Kyle Winters       7.0  4  1  1  9  2  0   
HOU A-  Douglas Arguello   6.0  2  3  3  6  3  0   
HOU A-  Casey Hudspeth     6.0  7  0  0  3  0  0   
NYM A-  Eric Brown         8.0  5  2  1 13  0  0  0.75 ERA over past month
NYY A-  James Conroy       3.1  0  0  0  3  0  0   
PHI A-  Samuel Walls       4.0  1  0  0  2  1  0   
PIT A-  Henry Cabrera      6.0  0  0  0  8  3  0  27 K over last 23 IP

Player News

Player news items are provided by CBS

Anibal Sanchez was standing behind the mound when the scoreboard caught his eye, confirming what he already knew: He was one out from a no-hitter. He froze. For a couple of seconds, the Florida Marlins’ rookie didn’t move. “I said, ‘Wow. This hitter is the last one,'” Sanchez said. Then he collected himself and, in this year of sensational rookies, finished up the greatest performance yet. The 22-year-old Venezuelan brought the longest period without a no-hitter in major league history to a close Wednesday night, benefiting from three defensive gems by teammates to lead the Marlins over the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0. “This is the best moment of my life,” Sanchez said. “You never think that’s going to happen.” One of four rookies in the Florida rotation, Sanchez (7-2) walked four and pitched around an error. He struck out six and threw 103 pitches in his 13th career start. Sanchez finished it off in quick fashion in the ninth. He struck out Conor Jackson swinging on a 1-2 pitch, induced Luis Gonzalez to pop out to third, then retired Eric Byrnes on a sharp grounder to shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who fielded the ball carefully on one knee before throwing to first for the out. “The last ground ball, I wasn’t going to flub that,” said Ramirez, another rookie. “It wasn’t going to get past me.”

Rookie Paul McAnulty hit his first career homer, a two-run shot with one out in the 11th inning, and the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 2-0 on Wednesday night to remain within one game of the NL West lead. McAnulty, a September callup, hit a 1-0 pitch from Nate Field (0-1) to straightaway center field. It was just the fifth hit of the night for the Padres, who completed a three-game sweep. Todd Walker started the winning rally when he doubled into the right-field corner. McAnulty followed with his homer, which set off a wild celebration at home.

Randy Johnson took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, leading the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 8-3 on Wednesday night. Johnson (16-10) didn’t give up a hit until David DeJesus tripled to deep left-center leading off the seventh inning. Center fielder Johnny Damon slid to keep the ball from going by him, but came up well short. Earlier Wednesday, Florida’s Anibal Sanchez pitched a no-hitter against Arizona, the first no-hitter in the major leagues since Johnson’s perfect game for Arizona at Atlanta on May 18, 2004. Johnson allowed just the one hit and struck out eight in seven shutout innings, walking two. He had faced the minimum 18 batters before the triple — he walked Emil Brown in the second, but Ryan Shealy grounded into an inning-ending double play. After his triple, DeJesus was picked off third by Posada.

Jose Vidro picked a good time to start getting clutch hits. Vidro ended a game of comebacks, lining a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday to give the Washington Nationals a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. “I’ve missed a lot of chances to contribute to the ballclub,” Vidro said. “This has been the biggest hit of the year for me right now.” Vidro had gone 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position before a run-scoring single in the sixth — his first RBI since July 14. Hitting just 5-for-35 (.149) in his previous 10 games, he sat some while Washington used Bernie Castro, Marlon Anderson and Damian Jackson at second.”

Oliver Perez pitched his second career shutout for his first win since May, and New York completed a doubleheader sweep with an 8-0 rout of Atlanta. The Mets won the opener 4-1. Perez (3-11) tossed a career-best five-hitter in his first win for the NL East-leading Mets. Acquired from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, Perez struck out six and walked one in his third career complete game. His previous was on May 13, 2004, for the Pirates at Colorado, also in the second game of a doubleheader. His other shutout was April 25, 2004, for Pittsburgh at Cincinnati.

For Dodgers manager Grady Little, the only thing to discuss was Derek Lowe. Lowe allowed three hits and an unearned run in eight innings to help the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Wednesday night and stop a three-game losing streak. “Anything you said about this game outside of talking about Derek Lowe‘s performance would be secondary,” Little said. Lowe (14-8) won his fifth consecutive decision, giving up a double to Geoff Jenkins in the second, a single to Corey Hart in the third and an infield hit to Kevin Mench in the eighth. Lowe was 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA in August and has allowed only six earned runs in his last six outings.

Padres rookie sidearmer Cla Meredith (5-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings Wednesday to extend his scoreless innings streak to 29 — over 25 appearances — and break the franchise record for a reliever. Mark Davis set the old mark of 27 2/3 innings in 1988. The overall franchise record is 30 innings by Randy Jones in 1980.

Minnesota rookie left-hander Francisco Liriano threw 50 pitches during a three-inning simulated game Wednesday and could rejoin the Twins’ rotation next week. Liriano, on the disabled list since Aug. 8 with a strained ligament in his pitching arm, is tentatively set to make a minor league start Saturday. That would line him up to possibly pitch Sept. 14 against Cleveland. “Everything went really good,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s doing very well now. We’ll make sure he comes in with no soreness tomorrow.” The 22-year-old Liriano is 12-3 with a 2.19 ERA. His rehab outing would likely be with Triple-A Rochester. “I have no pain, no soreness,” Liriano said. “Everything is normal so far.”

Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was shocked when he heard the diagnosis. “It was one of those feelings you can’t describe,” he said. “You’re 22 years old. You go in for back pain, and you find out you have cancer.” Lester spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since he was told last week that he has a treatable form of lymphoma. He is to begin chemotherapy Friday and hopes to be back with the team by the start of spring training. Lester has anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a type of cancer that forms in the body’s lymph system. He said the first round of chemotherapy will begin at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and then he will travel to his home state of Washington for additional treatment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research in Seattle. The rookie pitcher originally was sidelined for back pain from an auto accident in mid-August. “Something stuck out” during a test in Tacoma, Wash., he said. “I thought I was in the best shape of my life, coming in here pitching, pitching in Fenway Park,” he said. “Obviously, there’s that denial. Why me? But right now there’s no time for that.” Enlarged lymph nodes were identified when Lester was tested to determine the cause of back pain that sent him to the disabled list on Aug. 28.

Closing in on a runaway division title, the New York Mets might have found another pitcher. Dave Williams delivered his fourth solid performance in a row, and New York received home runs from Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader. After spending most of an injury-plagued summer in the minors, Williams is 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts for the Mets, who have won all four of those outings. “He’s been a very, very pleasant surprise,” manager Willie Randolph said. “So far, I like what I see.” Asked if Williams has a chance to make the playoff roster, Randolph said the left-hander is an option — just like everyone else on the staff.

Rich Hill struck out 11 in 7 1/3 innings in a no-decision on Wednesday against the Pirates. Hill set a team record for strikeouts by a left-hander, topping Steve Wilson’s 10 on July 15, 1990, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed two runs – one earned – on four hits.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays left-hander Casey Fossum is scheduled to have surgery Friday on his injured throwing shoulder. The procedure to repair fraying of the rotator cuff and labrum will be done by Devil Rays team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Koco Eaton. “They’ll go in there and clean it up,” Fossum said. “I should be ready for spring training.” Fossum missed the first 5 1/2 weeks of the 2004 season after surgery on the shoulder the previous September. Dr. James Andrews reviewed Fossum’s test results.

Colorado’s Jason Jennings and San Diego’s Clay Hensley each threw three-hit ball for seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 Padres victory in a pitcher’s duel on Wednesday night. Hensley struck out five and walked five in the no-decision.

Stephen Drew (hand) returned to action on Wednesday at Florida and went 0-for-3.

Juan Encarnacion (hip) returned to action on Wednesday at Washington and went 0-for-3.

Pittsburgh SS Jack Wilson continues his recovery from an inner ear infection. Tracy thinks Wilson could make his return to the starting lineup on Saturday when the team travels to Cincinnati. Wilson has missed 12 straight starts.

Pirates starter Zach Duke allowed one unearned run and six hits in seven innings in a no-decision on Wednesday at Chicago. “Our guy was terrific,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. “Really they shouldn’t have scored a run off of him in the seven innings that he pitched. It was one of his better games of the year. He had it all working.”

Derrek Lee refused to take his birthday off. Turning down Cubs manager Dusty Baker’s offer to rest, Lee hit a grand slam on his 31st birthday, leading the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 Wednesday night. Lee has homered on four straight birthdays, and has five home runs in his career on his birthday. “He wasn’t going to play today, but he kind of pleaded with us that he always hits home runs on his birthday, so I guess I have to listen to him. That was a big one,” Baker said.

Chris Capuano (11-10) dropped to 1-6 in his last 11 starts, allowing two runs and five hits in eight innings on Wednesday against the Dodgers.

Phillies starter Randy Wolf, making his eighth start since returning from Tommy John surgery, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings for a no-decision on Wednesday against Houston.

Andy Pettitte allowed two runs —- one earned — and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings for Houston in a no-decision on Wednesday at Philadelphia.

Jorge Posada hit a pair of three-run homers, leading the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 8-3 on Wednesday night.

Runelvys Hernandez (5-9) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings in a loss on Wednesday against the Yankees.

Jermaine Dye, who left Monday’s game in the seventh inning with a tight back, returned to action on Wednesday and hit his 40th homer in Boston.

Kyle Snyder, who pitched seven shutout innings in a win Friday over Toronto, was tagged for five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings in a loss on Wednesday against the White Sox.

Jose Contreras pitched eight strong innings to carry Chicago to an 8-1 win over the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night. Contreras (12-7), who was 0-3 in his previous four starts, held the Red Sox to one run and four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Jim Thome went 4-for-4 with his 39th homer in a revamped White Sox lineup to carry Chicago to an 8-1 win over the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night.

Cliff Floyd (achilles’) returned to action on Wednesday in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Atlanta and went 1-for-3.

Carlos Beltran (knee) returned to action on Wednesday in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Atlanta and went 0-for-2 with two walks.

Chipper Jones (oblique) missed Wednesday’s doubleheader at New York.

Braves 2B Marcus Giles went 2-for-4 in the nightcap of a doubleheader on Wednesday in New York, his first action since medical tests Sunday in Atlanta determined he has a healthy heart and he was cleared to resume playing. Last weekend in Philadelphia, Giles was told he might have a heart defect.

Kyle Davies entered 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA in five career games against the Mets, but he’s been roughed up in both major league starts since returning from a torn right groin. He allowed six runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts over five innings in another loss on Wednesday in Game 2 of a doubleheader in New York.

Jake Westbrook, who had won his last three starts, allowed three runs on 11 hits in six innings for a loss on Wednesday at Toronto.

Travis Hafner – Cleveland’s leader in home runs and RBI – didn’t start Wednesday for the fifth straight game because of a bruised right hand. Hafner was hit by a pitch Friday night. “He’s getting better,” said manager Eric Wedge, who added Hafner might play Thursday.

Ted Lilly matched his career high in victories, working six solid innings as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Wednesday night. Lilly (12-12), who won 12 games in 2003 with Oakland and in 2004 with Toronto, gave up two runs and four hits with five strikeouts. He also walked four.

Twins starter Carlos Silva allowed one hit, one walk and had two strikeouts over six scoreless innings in a no-decision on Wednesday at Tampa Bay. The right-hander, who threw only 59 pitches, left the game with an upset stomach.

Jason Hammel allowed one run and three hits over six innings in his fifth career start in a no-decision on Wednesday against Minnesota.

Vicente Padilla allowed six runs on nine hits with four Ks over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision on Wednesday at Oakland.

The A’s expect closer Huston Street, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, to come off the disabled list from a groin injury Friday at Tampa Bay.

Michael Young had three hits Wednesday after going 4-for-5 in Tuesday night’s 5-4 win and he is 12 shy of reaching the 200-hit mark for the fourth straight season.

Joe Blanton, a 12-game winner as a rookie last season, matched his season high by allowing 11 hits but didn’t walk a batter for the second time in four starts in a win on Wednesday against Texas. He allowed six runs through six innings.

Frank Thomas homered for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, giving the Big Hurt career homer No. 480 and his 32nd in his comeback season after two injury-shortened years with the White Sox.

Mark Kotsay’s troublesome back screams at him when he sprints through the outfield or takes a swing. Right now, he plans to play through the pain. The Oakland Athletics are in a pennant race, and the center fielder has never gone beyond the regular season in the big leagues. Kotsay hit a go-ahead, three-run double and matched his career high with four RBI, Frank Thomas homered for the second day in a row and the A’s avoided a three-game sweep with a 9-6 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. Kotsay took the field still nursing spasms in his upper back that kept him out Tuesday.

Daniel Cabrera allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and six Ks through five innings in a no-decision on Wednesday against the Angels.

Ervin Santana (14-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one in a win on Wednesday against the Angels. He rebounded after losing 9-0 at Detroit in his previous start. “His stuff looked good,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “We were very pleased that he got stronger as the game went on and finished seven innings, because in the beginning it looked like it might be a little pitch count issue or he was going to have trouble getting past the middle innings because it was very hot out there.” Santana’s teammates rapped out 15 hits after managing six runs and 18 hits in the series’ first two games.

Sun-Woo Kim (0-1), obtained by the Reds on Tuesday from Colorado, allowed two runs and four hits in five innings for a loss on Wednesday against the Giants. Kim had a 19.29 ERA in six relief appearances for the Rockies before he was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs. “My command wasn’t great,” Kim said. “My best pitch is my fastball, and it wasn’t working to left-handers.”

Jonathan Sanchez won his first major league start on Wednesday at Cincinnati. Sanchez (3-0), who had made 22 relief appearances, allowed one run and two hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two. “I just wanted to get ahead of the hitters,” Sanchez said. “It’s just like going in in relief; you’ve got to throw strikes.” Alou said that Sanchez, making a spot start because Noah Lowry had an irritated left elbow, surprised Cincinnati hitters with a “sneaky” fastball in the low-90 mph range. “He’s got a sinker, but he also has a four-seamer that rises,” Alou said.

The Detroit Tigers unconditionally released designated hitter Dmitri Young after Wednesday’s loss to the Seattle Mariners. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said the move was “strictly performance related.” Young was activated from the disabled list July 21 after he left the Tigers on May 22 to undergo treatment for substance abuse at a California rehab center. He was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Wednesday’s 5-4, 10-inning loss. “I’m not going to talk,” said Young, whose bags were packed for the upcoming series at Minnesota. Young spent 30 days in the rehabilitation facility and three weeks working out with minor league teams. He concluded his time away from the Tigers by hitting .452 in eight games at Triple-A Toledo.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, out since Aug. 31 with a muscle strain near his right elbow, will get one more day of rest before testing his arm again. Rivera is to throw Friday in Baltimore, manager Joe Torre said Wednesday before New York closed a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Rivera has not pitched since Aug. 31 against Detroit. “With the off day Thursday, we just figured we would wait the extra day and see where we are,” Torre said.

Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said Joel Pineiro, who worked 3 2/3 innings of perfect relief in Tuesday’s win, will not be considered for a spot in the rotation.

Detroit SS Carlos Guillen (hamstring) might be ready to play Friday at Minnesota.

Detroit’s Kenny Rogers gave up four runs and eight hits over seven innings in a no-decision on Wednesday against Seattle. Rogers had won his previous four starts, giving up just three runs combined in those games.

Gil Meche gave up two runs — both on solo homers — five hits and three walks over seven-plus innings in a no-decision on Wednesday at Detroit.

Hideki Matsui made a rehab start with the minor league Trenton Thunder Wednesday as he works his way back from the broken wrist he injured in May. The Thunder, the Yankees’ Double-A Eastern League affiliate, issued 90 media credentials for the playoff game against the Portland Sea Dogs. Sixty went to Japanese journalists. Matsui, hoping to regain his batting stroke for the playoffs, sprayed the field with line drives and hit the ball over the right-field wall during 20 minutes of batting practice. His left wrist heavily taped, he also participated in fielding and running drills, and said afterward that he felt fine. “I was hitting the ball well,” said through a translator. “I think I’ll be fine out there.” Matsui struck out in the top of the first. His timing appeared to be off as he fouled off three pitches, barely nicking them.

Mike O’Connor allowed only three hits over five scoreless innings in a no-decision on Wednesday against St. Louis.

Chris Carpenter allowed five runs — four runs — on nine hits with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision on Wednesday at Washington.

The 39-year-old John Smoltz allowed three runs and eight hits on 125 pitches in six innings, surpassing 200 innings for the season, in a loss on Wednesday at the Mets. The right-hander gave up a season-high seven runs in five innings of his previous start, an 8-6 loss to San Francisco.

The Pittsburgh Pirates recalled left-hander Juan Perez from Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday. Pittsburgh also purchased the contracts of catcher Carlos Maldonado and left-hander Shane Youman from Indianapolis. All three players have no major league experience.

Right-handed pitcher Chris Spurling was designated for assignment to make room for Mike Maroth on Detroit’s 40-man roster.

The Detroit Tigers activated Mike Maroth on Wednesday, more than three months after his last start. The left-handed pitcher was placed on the 60-day disabled list May 26 and had surgery June 2 to remove bone chips from his elbow. He was 5-2 with a 3.56 ERA.

Reds closer Eddie Guardado will have ligament-replacement surgery on his left elbow, an operation that usually sidelines pitchers for at least a year. Guardado had been on the DL since Aug. 20 with a sore left forearm, but he thought it was getting better. On Wednesday, an MRI exam revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament, the Reds said. David Weathers, Rheal Cormier, Bill Bray, Gary Majewski, Ryan Franklin and Scott Schoeneweis will be in a bullpen-by-committee situation through the end of the season.

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