American League notebook -- Thursday, July 19, 2012

The SportsXchange

Baltimore: RF Nick Markakis is batting .387 (12-for-31) since returning from the disabled list after the All-Star break and taking over as the Orioles' leadoff hitter. ... DH Chris Davis hit a long home run in the second inning to snap an 0-for-12 slide. Over a longer stretch, he had been in a 3-for-26 (.115) skid. ... SS J.J. Hardy is in a 7-for-69 (.101) slump since June 29. He is 3-for-19 (.158) since snapping an 0-for-28 skid with a home run July 14.

Boston: 2B Dustin Pedroia (sprained right thumb) came off the disabled list and was in the starting lineup, batting third. To open a roster spot, 1B Mauro Gomez was sent to Class AAA Pawtucket (R.I.). ... LHP Felix Doubront became the second 24-year-old Red Sox pitcher since 1987 to win at least 10 games in a season by throwing six solid innings against the White Sox on Wednesday. "Coming out of spring training, Vegas would have given you pretty good odds that he would not have been the first (pitcher) on our staff with 10 wins," manager Bobby Valentine said.

Chicago: LH reliever Donnie Veal, 27, was recalled from Class AAA Charlotte (Fort Mill, S.C.), where he was 6-3 with one save and a 2.08 ERA in 29 relief appearances. He is the 21st pitcher the White Sox have had on their roster this season. To clear a roster spot, LHP Pedro Hernandez was sent to Charlotte after allowing eight runs in four innings Wednesday while taking the loss against Boston. ... The spot start by Hernandez allowed the White Sox to push RHP Jake Peavy, LHP Chris Sale and RHP Philip Humber back one day so they could face Detroit over the weekend.

Cleveland: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez has ridden a month-to-month roller coaster this season, and his 6-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday added to it. Jimenez pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and five walks while throwing 103 pitches. Jimenez's ERA the past three months: 6.75 in May, 2.78 in June and 7.48 in July. ... RH reliever Esmil Rogers has limited opposing hitters to a .202 on-base percentage since joining the Indians in a June 12 trade with Colorado. That's the lowest opponents on-base percentage by any reliever in the majors, with a minimum of 17 innings pitched, since that date.

Detroit: 3B Miguel Cabrera hit his 21st home run of the season, but it was the first he had pulled to left field since July 4. Cabrera is locked in at the plate, going 10-for-28 with three home runs, five RBI and eight runs in his past seven games. ... LF Andy Dirks (right Achilles tendinitis) sustained a mild setback early in the week. However, he still hoped to start a rehab assignment this weekend.

Kansas City: C Jason Kendall, who missed the 2011 season because of two surgeries on his right shoulder, was signed to a minor league contract. Kendall, 38, reported to Class AA Northwest Arkansas (Springdale, Ark.) and was expected to begin playing games Friday. ... LHP Will Smith was recalled from Class AAA Omaha (Papillion, Neb.) to make his fourth major league start of the season. He allowed four runs on eight hits in a career-high 6 1/3 innings and took the loss against Seattle. To make room for Smith on the roster, RHP Vin Mazzaro was optioned to Omaha.

Los Angeles: 1B Albert Pujols, nursing a left sore foot, was the designated hitter Thursday. He fouled a ball off the foot in New York last weekend and aggravated it when he stepped on a base wrong. It was Pujols' eighth start as the designated this season. ... The Angels and Rangers, the top two teams in the AL West, will play in Anaheim this weekend and again in Texas 10 days later. Seven of the Angels' next 13 games are against the Rangers. The Angels lost seven of the last 10 games against Texas, but they took two out of three against the Rangers in Anaheim on June 1-3.

Minnesota: RHP Scott Baker, who had Tommy John surgery in April, said he is on schedule to begin a throwing program the first week in August. He expects to be ready when spring training starts in mid-February. The Twins have a $9.25 million club option on Baker for 2013, but they almost surely will let him test the market. ... 3B Trevor Plouffe hit a double in the first inning Thursday to extend his career-best hitting streak to 17 games. He is 22-for-67 (.328) with four homers and 11 RBI during the streak.

New York: RH reliever David Phelps, 25, who is 1-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 games (three starts) with the Yankees this season, was recalled from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Moosic, Pa.). To clear a roster spot, RH reliever D.J. Mitchell was optioned to the Class AAA club. ... By scoring four runs in the first inning in a 6-0 victory over Toronto on Wednesday, the Yankees became the second team in the live ball era (since 1920) to score at least three runs in 42 consecutive games. The 1994 Indians had a 48-game streak.

Oakland: RHP Brandon McCarthy, on the disabled list for three weeks due to a right shoulder strain, threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and is expected to throw another Saturday. He hopes to throw to hitters next week. There is no timetable for his return. ... LHP Brett Anderson threw a bullpen session Wednesday, and manager Bob Melvin confirmed what Anderson said the previous day, that Anderson would begin a rehab assignment with high-A Stockton (Calif.) on Saturday. Anderson had Tommy John surgery a year ago.

Seattle: RHP Felix Hernandez continues on his hot streak that is now seven games long. He is 4-0 in that stretch with a 1.36 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 53 innings. The run he gave up in the fifth inning Thursday ended a streak of 19 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out three in eight innings, and he leads the AL with 143 strikeouts. ... RHP Erasmo Ramirez threw a bullpen session Thursday, his second since going on the disabled list because of a right elbow strain. He is scheduled to throw a simulated game Saturday in Tampa Bay, after which he might be ready to start a rehab assignment.

Tampa Bay: OF Matt Joyce was stiff and sore after playing two games since coming off the disabled list following side muscle and back strains. He was unavailable Thursday and is a question mark for Friday. ... Sam Fuld, coming back from right wrist surgery performed during the spring, went 2-for-5 and played nine innings in right field for Class AAA Durham (N.C.) on Wednesday. He could return to the Rays by the end of the homestand on Sunday.

Texas: LH reliever Robbie Ross was charged with a run Wednesday when RH reliever Alexi Ogando allowed a runner he inherited to score. It ended Ross' stretch of scoreless innings at 24. It was his first earned run in a two-month stretch that covered 31 1/3 innings. That broke by one inning the club record set by Frank Francisco (2008-09). ... 1B Mitch Moreland, out since May 20 due to a strained left hamstring, has participated in on-field baseball drills over the last few days. He could begin a rehab assignment Monday.

Toronto: IF/C Yan Gomes was recalled from Class AAA Las Vegas, with RH reliever Sam Dyson sent to Class AA (Manchester) New Hampshire to make room on the roster. Gomes was needed as infield insurance after 3B Brett Lawrie sustained a bruised left calf Wednesday when he fell into a camera well trying to catch a foul ball. Lawrie is day-to-day. ... LHP Ricky Romero was 8-1 with a 4.34 ERA after beating Miami on June 27. Now he is 8-6 with a 5.22 ERA. In his past five starts, he is 0-5 with an 8.33 ERA, allowing 40 hits and 16 walks while striking out 15 in 27 innings.
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