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American League notebook -- Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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Baltimore: RHP Jason Hammel is still penciled in to make his start Friday against the Royals despite problems with his balky right knee. Hammel missed a turn in the rotation earlier this month due to the knee, and he had fluid drained earlier this week. ... CF Adam Jones went 2-for-3 with a walk, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, a career long. He is 22-for-62 (.355) with six homers and 12 RBI during the streak.

Boston: Adrian Gonzalez had started just five major league games as a right fielder before manning the position the past two days in Baltimore. However, with the Red Sox coming home this weekend, manager Bobby Valentine might not employ him in the more expansive right field at Fenway Park. "Even in a small outfield, we'll have to appraise that situation as we see it more," Valentine said. ... OF Scott Podsednik, in his second day back in the majors, hit his first big-league homer since Sept. 6, 2010, when he was playing for the Dodgers. "My job is to get on, get guys over and, at the very least, try to make a productive out," he said.

Chicago: 3B Brent Morel admitted that he not only has a bad lower back, which landed him on the disabled list Tuesday, but he has also been dealing with weight-loss problems that resulted in the team stepping in and getting him on a new diet. "It's not celiac disease, but it's just a sensitivity to wheat," Morel said. "I have to eat gluten-free, but actually I finally have been able to keep (some weight) on." ... C A.J. Pierzynski reiterated that he wants to return to the White Sox next season, but the free-agent-to-be knows that it could be a long shot. "If I'm not in their plans, I understand. It's a business," Pierzynski said.

Cleveland: RHP Josh Tomlin is scheduled to throw a 50-pitch simulated game Thursday morning. If he comes through that test OK, manager Manny Acta said a decision would be made on whether Tomlin is ready to go back into the rotation. Tomlin hasn't pitched in a game since May 7 due to an inflamed tendon in his right wrist. ... RH closer Chris Perez came into a home game Tuesday for the first time since ripping Indians fans for not supporting the team better. Cleveland is last in the majors in home attendance. Perez was greeted by mostly cheers as he jogged to the mound for the ninth inning. "Truly humbled. I didn't know what to expect," Perez said.

Detroit: The Tigers purchased the contract of Quintin Berry from Class AAA Toledo (Ohio), and he started as the center fielder and leadoff hitter in his big-league debut. "He can bunt for a base hit, plus he has tremendous speed and is a real good defender," manager Jim Leyland said. Berry, 27, hit .270 with 19 stolen bases in 39 games for Toledo. RH reliever Collin Balester (2-0, 6.50 ERA in 11 games) was designated for assignment. ... CF Austin Jackson may go on the disabled list when 2B/OF Ryan Raburn returns from the bereavement list Friday. Jackson has been out since May 16 with an abdominal strain.

Kansas City: IF Yuniesky Betancourt is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Class AA Northwest Arkansas (Springdale, Ark.). He has been out since May 2 due to a high right ankle sprain. ... RHP Nate Adcock, who yielded one run in five innings in a spot start Sunday against the Diamondbacks, will have his turn in the rotation skipped. With the Royals off Thursday, manager Ned Yost plans to start LHP Bruce Chen, RHP Felipe Paulino and RHP Luke Hochevar in the weekend series at Baltimore on their regular four days of rest.

Los Angeles: OF Torii Hunter probably will rejoin the Angels at some point early next week. "It's still open-ended," manager Mike Scioscia said. Hunter went on the restricted list after learning one of his teenage sons had been arrested as part of a sexual-assault investigation at a Dallas-area high school. ... SS Erick Aybar was not in the starting lineup Wednesday after being hit on the outside of his right knee by a pitch in the seventh inning Tuesday. Aybar flied out as a 10th-inning pinch hitter in the series finale at Oakland.

Minnesota: RHP Carl Pavano's next start will come Saturday, as the Twins seek to give his sore right shoulder some extra rest, manager Ron Gardenhire said. Pavano was scheduled to pitch Thursday, but RHP Cole DeVries will make his major league debut that night, with RHP Anthony Swarzak pitching Friday. ... When RHP P.J. Walters threw a complete game Tuesday against the White Sox, he became the first Minnesota starter to record an out in the eighth inning this season. Even after Walters' two-run outing, the Twins rotation had a 6.48 ERA, by far the worst mark in the majors.

New York: RH reliever Rafael Soriano "is my closer," manager Joe Girardi said, adding he would evaluate RH reliever David Robertson when Robertson returns from the disabled list after recovering from a strained left side muscle. Girardi noted Soriano's track record as a closer with the Rays and said he was comfortable putting him out there three days in a row. ... 3B Alex Rodriguez homered in each of his first two at-bats Wednesday, breaking a 52-at-bat homerless streak. The shots came a night after Rodriguez said he discovered something in his last at-bat and vowed to start hitting more homers.

Oakland: DH Manny Ramirez's May 30 date for joining the A's is not certain. According to manager Bob Melvin, Ramirez's arrival could be pushed back depending on the number of at-bats Ramirez gets in Class AAA and his production, as well as how comfortable Ramirez feels at the plate. Ramirez is serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy. Barring a rainout, he would be eligible to return May 30, his 40th birthday. ... 3B Brandon Inge, on the disabled list with a groin strain, has begun running sprints. He believes he will be ready to go when eligible to return Monday, and Melvin said he is cautiously optimistic that Inge will be activated that day.

Seattle: RHP Kevin Millwood has turned around his season since going 0-4 with a 5.88 ERA in his first six starts. In his past three starts, including Wednesday's win over Texas, Millwood is 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA. He has a 17-inning scoreless streak. ... CF Franklin Gutierrez took batting practice Tuesday, then ran Wednesday for the first time since being slowed by plantar fasciitis in late April. The Mariners plan to have Gutierrez return to Arizona this weekend to get some at-bats in extended spring training before sending him out on a lengthy rehab assignment. He could return in late June.

Tampa Bay: IF Drew Sutton batted cleanup, the first time in his big-league career he hit third, fourth or fifth. He delivered a two-run double in his first at-bat. Sutton said he knew manager Joe Maddon would try different things with the lineup when he saw 1B Carlos Pena hitting leadoff. Asked which was the bigger stretch, he said: "Probably me cleanup." ... RF Ben Zobrist made his first career outfield error Tuesday, misfiring on a throw to the plate. That ended an error-free streak of 270 games and 479 chances, the second-longest streak by an outfielder at the start of a career. The record is held by Darren Lewis (392 error-free games for Oakland and San Francisco from 1990-94).

Texas: OF Josh Hamilton has gone 11 consecutive games without a homer after hitting nine in his previous six games. "I see them doing the same thing they've always done with him," manager Ron Washington said of opposing pitchers. "He's just not making them bring the ball back into the zone." ... 3B Adrian Beltre, playing his 2,000th major league game, hit his 319th home run. He has hit safely in 13 of his past 14 games, going 18-for-58 (.310) with three homers and 11 RBI in that span.

Toronto: UT Yan Gomes, who has five RBI in six games, has played third base and first base but has yet to play catcher. "He's got great aptitude," manager John Farrell said. "He's not afraid. He's been mostly a catcher in his pro career, but what he's shown on the corners, the versatility and the ability to play both is outstanding." ... RF Jose Bautista hit his 12th homer of the season and his ninth in May, moving into a tie for eighth place on the Blue Jays' all-time homer list with 1B Fred McGriff at 125. Bautista reached that level in 489 games. McGriff played 578 games for Toronto.
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