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AL notebook: Twins' Baker needs season-ending elbow surgery

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Baltimore: RHP Joel Pineiro signed a minor league contract with the Orioles and was assigned to Class AAA Norfolk (Va.). Pineiro, 33, made three appearances for the Phillies this spring before he was released. He spent last season with the Angels, going 7-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 27 games (24 starts). ... 3B Josh Bell started in right field for Norfolk on Tuesday, and he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, lowering his average to .105. He didn't play Wednesday. Bell, 25, has become sort of an odd man out with the Orioles after he was one of the club's top prospects the past three years.

Boston: Former manager Terry Francona won't be part of the upcoming festivities celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Now an analyst for ESPN, Francona is still upset at how he was portrayed after leaving the team last season. He told the Boston Globe that "somebody went out of their way to make me look pretty bad." ... LF Carl Crawford, recovering from offseason wrist surgery, was in Boston on Tuesday to be examined for soreness in his left elbow. Reached by the Boston Herald, both Crawford and Red Sox GM Ben Cherington downplayed the situation. Crawford said he's "just sore" and "everything is good." Cherington suggested that Crawford may hold off from throwing for a few days.

Chicago: 1B Paul Konerko was icing his right hamstring and getting treatment on his lower back, but the team captain said that both lingering issues from spring training were minor. It was more maintenance than concern. At the same time, that's also why manager Robin Ventura used Konerko at designated hitter Monday. Konerko was back at first base Wednesday. ... Kosuke Fukudome earned his first start of the season, given the nod so that RF Alex Rios could get some rest. Fukudome went 1-for-4 in the win over Cleveland. Ventura has now started every player on his bench at least once.

Cleveland: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez's next start has been pushed back from Saturday to Sunday as a result of Tuesday's postponement. Tuesday would have been game three of Jimenez's five-game suspension for hitting Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki with a pitch in spring training. ... Through the season's first five games, three of the Indians' regulars are batting below .100. 1B Casey Kotchman went 1-for-5 Wednesday to raise his average to .095, while 2B Jason Kipnis and CF Michael Brantley each went 0-for-4, dropping their averages to .095 and .059, respectively.

Detroit: DH Victor Martinez may play this season after all. After microfracture left knee surgery in January, Martinez was expected to need another procedure in April to repair his anterior cruciate ligament, but Dr. Richard Steadman determined that wasn't necessary, the team announced. Martinez won't know a timetable for his return until a follow-up MRI in July. ... RHP Max Scherzer vowed to take his Friday start as scheduled despite battling an illness that forced him to leave the ballpark Tuesday. Scherzer threw a bullpen session Wednesday, and how he recovers from that will determine whether manager Jim Leyland will push his start back a day. ... LHP Drew Smyly, 22, will have his contract purchased from Class AAA Toledo (Ohio), and he'll make his big-league debut Thursday against the Rays. He had a 4.00 ERA in 18 Grapefruit League innings. OF Clete Thomas, who had no at-bats in three game appearances this season, will be designated for assignment.

Kansas City: CF Lorenzo Cain was held out of the lineup for the series finale at Oakland due to a mild left groin strain. Cain was injured when he bumped into the wall after tracking down Daric Burton's long drive in the second inning Tuesday, and he was pulled after three innings. Manager Ned Yost said he had planned on giving Cain a rest Wednesday anyway. With the Royals off Thursday, Yost is hopeful Cain will be back in action Friday for the home opener. ... RHP Aaron Crow logged his first big-league save in unusual fashion Tuesday. He pitched a spotless seventh inning in a rain-abbreviated, 3-0 victory at Oakland. Rain halted action for good in the top of the eighth.

Los Angeles: RHP Jerome Williams allowed two runs in six innings Tuesday in his second rehab start for high-A Inland Empire (San Bernardino, Calif.). Williams, on the disabled list due to a strained left hamstring, could join the Angels' rotation the first time the team needs a fifth starter, Sunday at Yankee Stadium. ... The Angels have five players who have hit 30 home runs in a season at some point during their careers (1B Albert Pujols, OF Torii Hunter, OF Vernon Wells, OF Bobby Abreu and DH Kendrys Morales). Only the Yankees have more players on their roster with 30-homer seasons to their credit (seven).

Minnesota: RHP Scott Baker will undergo season-ending right elbow surgery, though not the "Tommy John" procedure. Baker will have his flexor pronator tendon repaired by orthopedist David Altchek. The operation will keep him sidelined six months, possibly ending his stay in Minnesota. The Twins have a $9.25 million option on Baker's contract for the 2013 season. ... C Joe Mauer was back behind the plate after playing consecutive games at first base. He has a career .392 average (29-for-74) in 20 games as a first baseman.

New York: Less than three months after retiring, former C Jorge Posada will get the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch Friday prior to the home opener. Posada, 40, played 17 seasons with the Yankees, winning four of the six World Series in which he participated. ... SS Derek Jeter hit a home run to open Tuesday's win over the Orioles, his first of the season. It was the 25th leadoff home run of Jeter's career, moving him past Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson for the most in Yankees history. ... RHP Freddy Garcia on Tuesday became the first pitcher in more than 23 years to throw five wild pitches in a game, only the seventh time in major league history that a pitcher has thrown at least five. Garcia said he had trouble gripping the ball on the chilly Baltimore night, and he gave up four runs on four hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Oakland: RF Josh Reddick was hit by a pitch from Kansas City LH reliever Jose Mijares in the bottom of the eighth inning, and he came out of the game under his own power. The pitch struck Reddick's right shoulder and appeared to then glance off his jaw. Coco Crisp, who had a scheduled day off, pinch-ran for Reddick and remained in the game. ... RH reliever Joey Devine, who had elbow-ligament replacement surgery in 2009, had the same surgery Tuesday after Dr. James Andrews discovered a torn ulnar collateral ligament and other elbow damage during an arthroscopic surgery. Devine is expected to be out 12 to 18 months, but his return from his first "Tommy John" surgery took slightly more than two seasons.

Seattle: C Adam Moore, who opened the season on the disabled list due to a broken right wrist, was activated and optioned to Class AAA Tacoma (Wash.). Moore went 4-for-6 in three spring games before getting hurt. He has played a total of 68 games with Seattle the past three years, hitting .197 with five homers. ... OF Carlos Peguero, the last hitter cut in spring training, won't be back with the Mariners anytime soon after sustaining a medial meniscus tear in his left knee while running the bases Sunday for Tacoma. He's scheduled for surgery Thursday and will miss four to six weeks. Peguero hit a team-best five homers this spring, then was 7-for-10 with two homers to start the season with Tacoma.

Tampa Bay: RHP Jeremy Hellickson was briefly hospitalized after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice in Detroit. According to manager Joe Maddon, Hellickson, who was throwing a bullpen session when hit, remained conscious and wasn't bleeding. "The ball actually hit the brim of his cap (first)," pitching coach Jim Hickey told MLB.com. "Probably helped a little." Hellickson's status for his scheduled Saturday start at Fenway Park was uncertain. ... LHP Matt Moore allowed only two runs Tuesday in his season debut, but he lasted just 6 2/3 innings because his pitch count was elevated by five walks. "Command, especially of my fastball, wasn't quite where it needed to be, but it will be there soon enough," he said.

Texas: While winning his first big-league start Tuesday, RHP Neftali Feliz featured the fastball the first time through the order, the slider the second time through, then went heavily to the changeup the third time through. "I was trying to use all my pitches, but the fastball is my pitch," Feliz said. "I'm going to use it when I need it. I'm going to use it to get outs." ... C Mike Napoli was hit in the ear flap by a pitch in the seventh inning Tuesday, but he finished the game. He wasn't in the starting lineup Wednesday, but manager Ron Washington said that was merely because it was Yorvit Torrealba's turn to play.

Toronto: RH closer Serio Santos and his wife are expecting the birth of their third child in California on Thursday, and Santos was due to leave the team after getting the save Wednesday afternoon in Toronto. The Blue Jays have an off day Thursday before opening a three-game series Friday at home against Baltimore. Santos is expected to be back with the team Saturday. ... LHP Ricky Romero has suddenly solved the Red Sox. He beat Boston in consecutive starts last September, then limited the Red Sox to one run in 8 1/3 innings in a win Wednesday. "He's the ace of that staff for a reason," Boston 3B Kevin Youkilis said. Prior to those three starts, Romero had been 2-6 with an 8.08 ERA in 11 starts against Boston.
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