Boston: With his lower back still bothering him, 3B Kevin Youkilis finally went on the 15-day disabled list. 3B Will Middlebrooks, 23, was called up from Class AAA Pawtucket (R.I.), where he was hitting .333 with nine homers and 27 RBI through 24 games. He started Wednesday in his big-league debut. ... RHP Aaron Cook, who had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract, will be called up to start Saturday against Baltimore in place of RHP Josh Beckett. According to manager Bobby Valentine, Beckett will sit out one start due to lat soreness. Cook went 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts for Pawtucket. ... The Red Sox got their pitching staff back to 12 men by recalling RH reliever Clayton Mortensen from Pawtucket and optioning 1B Lars Anderson to the Class AAA club. Mortensen had allowed one earned run in 10 innings for Pawtucket. Chicago: RH reliever Jesse Crain tested his strained left side muscle by playing catch Tuesday. According to pitching coach Don Cooper, Crain "still feels some stuff." Crain will be eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday in Detroit, but the White Sox will be very careful with Crain to make sure he isn't rushed back too quickly. ... C A.J. Pierzynski was in the starting lineup for the 10th time in the past 12 games, but manager Robin Ventura was looking ahead to the next break for Pierzynski. The plan at the start of the season was to get backup C Tyler Flowers more playing time, but Pierzynski has been so good at the plate, the team has needed his bat. Cleveland: RF Shin-Soo Choo, who missed the previous six games due to a tight left hamstring, was back in the starting lineup. He might have started Tuesday, but manager Manny Acta kept most of his left-handed hitters out of the lineup vs. White Sox LHP Chris Sale. ... The Indians had gone 11 consecutive games without hitting a homer prior to OF Shelley Duncan's blast in the seventh inning Tuesday. That was Cleveland's longest homer drought since the team went 14 consecutive games without a home run in April 1983. Detroit: OF Andy Dirks left Tuesday's game in the fourth inning when his left hamstring tightened, and he was out of the starting lineup the next day. However, he felt well enough to pinch-hit Wednesday, grounding into a game-ending double play. ... Jim Leyland managed the 1,600th winning game of his career Tuesday when Detroit defeated Kansas City 9-3. "All it means is I'm old," Leyland said. He has the most victories among active managers, and with two more, he'll match Fred Clarke for 16th on the all-time list. Kansas City: Royals starters had pitched 115 innings this season entering play Wednesday, the lowest total in the majors, and the starting staff's 5.48 ERA ranked 28th among the 30 big-league teams. "I've got to have two long men right now the way our pitching staff is going. We need to get more depth out of our starting rotation," manager Ned Yost said. ... RHP Luke Hochevar gave up five runs in the first inning Tuesday against Detroit, and he's allowed 12 runs in the first innings of his five starts this year. His first-inning ERA is 21.60. In all other innings, he has a 3.92 ERA. Los Angeles: The Angels timed OF Mike Trout going from home to first base in 3.53 seconds on a bunt single in Tuesday's game against the Twins. Third base coach Dino Ebel, who is responsible for timing runners for the Angels, said that is the fastest time he has seen during his eight years on the coaching staff. ... 1B Albert Pujols went into Wednesday's game with no home runs and five RBI in 96 at-bats. Braves CF Michael Bourn was the only player with more at-bats who had yet to hit a homer. Bourn, who had 100 at-bats through Tuesday, also was the only player with more at-bats than Pujols but fewer RBI, as he had driven in four runs. Minnesota: 1B/DH Justin Morneau got positive news Tuesday after undergoing an MRI on his left wrist in Minnesota. The wrist was found to have fluid buildup and inflammation but no structural damage. Morneau rejoined the team Wednesday in Anaheim, but he didn't start. ... LHP Francisco Liriano, returning to the rotation after the Twins skipped his previous turn to rebuild his confidence, pitched into the sixth inning Tuesday and managed to lower his ERA from 11.02 to 9.97. However, he fell to 0-4. "The result wasn't what I wanted, (but) I feel I made some better pitches than the last time," he said. New York: LF Brett Gardner was shut down for two days because of pain in his injured right elbow, but there is a chance he could return from the disabled list this weekend. Gardner will travel with the team to Kansas City for the upcoming four-game series, manager Joe Girardi said. ... RHP David Phelps will make his first major league start Thursday after impressing in long relief. Girardi is hoping he can throw between 75 and 90 pitches. "I'm really excited," said Phelps, who has a 3.57 ERA in six outings. "I'm trying as much as I can to take it like it's any other game, but it's a big deal for me." Oakland: 2B Jemile Weeks did not start because of slight groin tightness, according to manager Bob Melvin. Weeks said he thinks the cold weather in Boston was a contributing factor. The A's are off Thursday, and Melvin expects Weeks will play Friday at Tampa Bay. Weeks had two hits, two RBI, two runs and a stolen base Tuesday night. ... LF Coco Crisp was back in the lineup after missing the previous night's game with a sinus infection. With Weeks sitting out, Crisp hit leadoff in the series finale at Fenway Park. Seattle: The Mariners were 0-for-30 with runners in scoring position in their past four games through Tuesday. "Somebody has to step up and make it happen. The individual at-bats, we have to have more quality," manager Eric Wedge said. ... RH relievers Tom Wilhelmsen, Charlie Furbush and Steve Delabar, LH reliever Lucas Luetge and OF Casper Wells made the climb 420 feet above the turf at Tropicana Field to the catwalks above the field Tuesday. They did it at the suggestion of C John Jaso, who played with the Rays last year. Tampa Bay: DH/OF Hideki Matsui, who signed a minor league contract with the Rays on Monday, participated in his first workout in Port Charlotte, Fla., with a huge Japanese media contingent documenting his every move. Matsui is expected to see some action in extended spring training games before joining Class AAA Durham (N.C). ... Manager Joe Maddon on the loss of 3B Evan Longoria (hamstring) for four to eight weeks: "There's no crying in baseball. We've talked about it a thousand times, and it's been well documented." Texas: C Mike Napoli, who left Tuesday's game in the bottom of the ninth due to a bout of blurred vision, returned to the lineup the next day, playing first base. He said he was diagnosed with an ocular migraine, which disappeared quickly. ... Class AAA Round Rock (Texas) OF Leonys Martin was due to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He's expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks, according to Rangers GM Jon Daniels. Martin, a 24-year-old Cuban who signed a five-year, $15.5 million deal with Texas last year, is hitting .347 with a .423 on-base percentage, three homers and 11 RBI through 23 games for Round Rock. Toronto: SS Yunel Escobar and 2B Kelly Johnson exchanged places in the batting order, with Johnson leading off and Escobar hitting second. Johnson was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, and Escobar finished 3-for-5 with a three-run triple. ... RHP Joel Carreno, recalled from Class AAA Las Vegas before the game, pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the win. Carreno made one appearance for Toronto earlier this season, allowing four runs in six innings during an April 8 start at Cleveland. LH reliever Evan Crawford was optioned to Las Vegas after allowing two runs in four innings over five major league appearances.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jesse Crain