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American League notebook -- Thursday, June 21, 2012

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Baltimore: RF Nick Markakis is still battling some soreness where his right hand is healing from surgery June 1 to remove a broken hamate bone. Markakis, who will be re-evaluated Friday, remains ahead of schedule, manager Buck Showalter said. ... LHP Jamie Moyer could be close to rejoining the Orioles. The 49-year-old veteran, who pitched for Baltimore from 1993-95, is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts for Class AAA Norfolk (Va.). He signed a minor league deal with the Orioles this month after he was released by the Rockies. Moyer went 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 10 starts for Colorado this season.

Boston: 2B Dustin Pedroia was back in the lineup after missing one game due to renewed discomfort in his right thumb. He missed six games three weeks ago because of a torn muscle in the thumb. ... LF Carl Crawford is due to begin a rehab assignment Saturday as a designated hitter for the Red Sox's rookie-level affiliate in the Gulf Coast League. Crawford had arthroscopic left wrist surgery in January, and his rehab has been slowed due to a strained left elbow.

Chicago: OF Kosuke Fukudome went 2-for-10 in his first three rehab games with Class AAA Charlotte (Fort Mill, S.C.). He has been out since June 4 due to a strained right side muscle. OF Jordan Danks has taken his spot as a late-inning defensive replacement, and he's hit better than Fukudome, too, going 5-for-13 (.385). Fukudome was 7-for-41 (.171) before getting hurt. ... 2B Gordon Beckham went 3-for-9 with a homer and four RBI in the Cubs series. In his career, Beckham is a .347 hitter (25-for-72) with four homers and 12 RBI in 22 games against the White Sox's cross-town rivals.

Cleveland: 2B Jason Kipnis leads the Indians in home runs (11), RBI (41), stolen bases (17), hits (75) and runs (46). "We have some stud second basemen in the American League. It's a tough crowd, but without a doubt Jason has played like an All-Star, and he has the numbers," manager Manny Acta said. ... 1B Casey Kotchman hit .149 (10-for-67) in April, but he's batted .266 (37-for-139) since May 1. He's hitting .364 (8-for-22) in his past six games. "He's had better at-bats in the last month. He knows what he's doing at the plate," Acta said.

Detroit: C Bryan Holaday was optioned to Class AAA Toledo (Ohio) with C Alex Avila returning from the disabled list. Avila had been out the minimum 15 days due to right hamstring tightness. C Gerald Laird left Wednesday's game with a left hamstring cramp, but he felt well enough the next day for the Tigers to send down Holaday. ... RF Don Kelly bruised his left knee while falling into the stands after making a catch on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. He left the game in the eighth inning, and he's listed as day-to-day.

Kansas City: RHP Felipe Paulino threw 54 pitches, 33 for strikes, in three innings Wednesday during a rehab start with Class AA Northwest Arkansas (Springdale, Ark.). Paulino, who is on the disabled list due to a strained right groin, allowed three runs on four hits. He might rejoin the Kansas City rotation Monday. ... CF Lorenzo Cain went a combined 3-for-8 in his first two rehab games for Northwest Arkansas. Cain has been limited to five major league games this year because of a groin strain and a torn hip flexor.

Los Angeles: The Angels reset the rotation after activating RHP Jered Weaver from the disabled list Wednesday and having a day off Thursday. RHPs Dan Haren and Ervin Santana will start on six days' rest Friday and Saturday, respectively, against the Dodgers. RHP Garrett Richards will remain in the rotation with RHP Jerome Williams (asthma) going on the DL. Richards will start Sunday. ... The Angels have won 12 of 18 games this month and five of six series. Since Mike Scioscia became manager in 2000, the team has a .571 winning percentage (192-144) in June.

Minnesota: C Joe Mauer missed his third consecutive start due to a swollen right thigh that was healing slower than he had hoped. "I thought I'd be able to do a little bit more. It's real frustrating," he said. ... LH reliever Brian Duensing will get a start Saturday at Cincinnati. Duensing is 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 30 relief appearances this season. He made 28 starts for the Twins last year, going 9-13 with a 5.24 ERA.

New York: Cuban LHP Omar Luis Rodriguez agreed to a minor league contract worth between $4 million and $5 million, MLB.com reported. The 19-year-old was declared a free agent earlier this month, but he had until July 2 to sign or he would have been subjected to the new guidelines that limit spending on international prospects to $2.9 million before teams are assessed penalties. ... LH reliever Boone Logan allowed two runs in a one-inning appearance Wednesday, snapping his 13-game scoreless streak. Logan still has an 18-game, 12-inning shutout streak on the road.

Oakland: C Derek Norris was called up from Class AAA Sacramento (West Sacramento, Calif.), and he went 0-for-3 in his major league debut. Manager Bob Melvin said that Norris would split time with Kurt Suzuki, who is batting .215 with no homers. Norris, 23, hit .273 with eight homers and 36 RBI in Class AAA. IF/C Josh Donaldson (.153 in 28 games) was optioned to Sacramento. ... LH reliever Pedro Figueroa (1.50 ERA in nine games) also was optioned to Sacramento, clearing a roster spot for the return of LH reliever Jordan Norberto. Norberto was out three weeks due to a left shoulder strain.

Seattle: After giving up five homers in a Wednesday loss at Arizona, LHP Jason Vargas has allowed a big-league-high 20 homers on the season. Vargas is 1-3 with an 8.63 ERA in four starts this month, yielding 10 homers in that span. ... LH reliever Oliver Perez, a starter earlier in his career, is adapting to life in the bullpen. After being called up last week, he's appeared twice and has allowed one hit in two scoreless appearances covering 2 1/3 innings.

Tampa Bay: IF Jeff Keppinger (broken right big toe) went 3-for-4 Thursday, and he finished 6-for-21 (.286) in six rehab games for Class AAA Durham (N.C.). He is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list before Friday's series opener in Philadelphia. ... IF Brooks Conrad was claimed off waivers from the Brewers, who designated him for assignment Tuesday. Conrad, 32, went 3-for-40 (.075) with two homers and six RBI in 25 games for Milwaukee this year. The Rays hadn't announced if he would join the major league club or Durham.

Texas: 1B Mitch Moreland likely will be placed on the disabled list due to a strained left hamstring, GM Jon Daniels said. The Rangers plan to fill first base, at least for the time being, with DH/IF Michael Young, C Mike Napoli and IF Brandon Snyder. ... RHP Yu Darvish threw a season-high 122 pitches while pitching eight innings for the second consecutive game Wednesday in a 4-2 win over San Diego. "In the sixth, seventh and eighth, he got stronger and showed you what a good pitcher does. Once we took the lead, it was over," manager Ron Washington said.

Toronto: RHP Joel Carreno, called up to make a spot start Wednesday, was optioned back to Class AAA Las Vegas after taking the loss at Milwaukee. RH reliever David Pauley, acquired off waivers from the Angels on Wednesday, will be activated Friday. ... RHP Sean O'Sullivan was acquired from the Royals in a cash transaction, adding another arm to the battered Blue Jays pitching staff. O'Sullivan, 24, was 5-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 17 games (five starts) for Class AAA Omaha (Papillion, Neb.) this year. He went 2-6 with a 7.25 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) for Kansas City last year.
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