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American League team-by-team notebook -- Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The SportsXchange

Baltimore: 2B Robert Andino is ahead of schedule in his return from a strained left shoulder, according to manager Buck Showalter. Andino, out since July 16, is scheduled to move his rehab to the club's minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., this weekend, Showalter said. ... RHP Jason Hammel has yet to report to Sarasota. Hammel, who underwent right knee surgery July 16, is having routine soreness, according to Showalter.

Boston: LF Carl Crawford left Tuesday's game in the seventh inning, as the Red Sox want to protect his left elbow. One week after returning from the disabled list, Crawford said the sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow has held up well to the rigors of playing every day. Still, the injury could flare if he overextends his arm. ... After posting a 9.09 ERA in his first six starts, RHP Clay Buchholz has gone 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA in his past 11 starts. He has allowed more than two runs in just two of his past eight starts.

Chicago: 3B Kevin Youkilis left in the fourth inning because of a sprained left ankle, and the White Sox did not know exactly when he sustained the injury. Manager Robin Ventura didn't think the ailment was serious. ... C A.J. Pierzynski missed his second consecutive game due to a mild right side muscle strain. "He could play, but it's just one of those (things) where we don't want him to re-injure it and be out for any longer than he has to be," Ventura said.

Cleveland: OF Aaron Cunningham, whose seventh-inning squeeze bunt scored what proved to be the winning run Tuesday, was designated for assignment the next day. Cunningham had hit .175 in 72 games this season. The move cleared a roster spot for newly acquired IF/OF Brent Lillibridge. ... Even with Cunningham's successful squeeze, the Indians were last in the majors with eight sacrifice bunts on the season through Tuesday. "I'm not a big fan of giving up outs," manager Manny Acta said.

Detroit: OF Andy Dirks was 3-for-9 through the first three games of his rehab assignment with Class AAA Toledo (Ohio). He has been out since May 31 due to right Achilles tendinitis. ... LF/2B Ryan Raburn has been squeezed off second base with the addition of Omar Infante. He'll play mostly in left field against left-handed pitching, manager Jim Leyland said.

Kansas City: RHP Luke Hochevar was ejected for the first time in his career after hitting the Angels' Mike Trout with a fourth-inning pitch immediately following a Bobby Wilson homer. Hochevar allowed eight runs (six earned) on nine hits in three-plus innings. He entered the game 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his previous seven starts. ... LF Alex Gordon has hit safely in 14 of his past 15 games, going 28-for-65 (.431) in that span. He has 11 multi-hit games this month.

Los Angeles: 1B Albert Pujols, who left Tuesday's game two at-bats after swinging and missing on a pitch that struck his right elbow, did not play the next day. He was diagnosed with a bruise, and he is day-to-day. ... The Angels will have RHP Ervin Santana skip a start in an attempt to correct his mechanics. He will start a game during the July 30-Aug. 2 series at Texas, according to manager Mike Scioscia, and he'll be limited to five innings. In his past four starts, Santana is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA.

Minnesota: 3B Trevor Plouffe could wind up on the disabled list if he's not ready to return from a bruised right thumb by Friday, GM Terry Ryan said. Plouffe last played July 20 in Kansas City, so if he's not ready to go by the time the Twins begin a six-game homestand Friday, he would only need to be on the DL for just over a week before he would be eligible to return. ... RHP Nick Blackburn allowed at least six runs for the third time in his past four starts. He is 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA in that span, having yielded 34 hits in 20 innings.

New York: IF Ramiro Pena was recalled from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Moosic, Pa.) to fill the roster spot of injured 3B Alex Rodriguez. Pena was hitting .249 with one homer and 22 RBI in 80 Class AAA games. He appeared in 23 games for the Yankees last year, and he batted .100 (4-for-40). ... SS Derek Jeter scored the 1,823rd run of his career Tuesday, passing Eddie Collins for sole possession of 15th place on the all-time list. Jeter scored two more runs Wednesday, when he homered as part of a 3-for-4 game.

Oakland: LHP Dallas Braden threw a 33-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, and he will throw to hitters his next time out, a possible prelude to a rehab assignment. Braden had shoulder capsule surgery in May 2011. The A's believe he will be able to make some major league starts in September. ... LHP Brett Anderson will continue his rehab assignment Thursday, when he is scheduled to throw 60 pitches for Class AAA Sacramento (West Sacramento, Calif.). Anderson, who had Tommy John surgery in July 2011, is expected to rejoin the A's in mid-August.

Seattle: RHP Felix Hernandez has won five consecutive decisions, his longest winning streak of the year. In his past eight starts, he is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 60 1/3 innings while holding opponents to a .210 batting average. ... The outfield, from left to right, has featured Casper Wells, Michael Saunders and Carlos Peguero in the first three games post-Ichiro Suzuki. However, manager Eric Wedge said he would mix and match in the outfield, a process that will accelerate once Franklin Gutierrez (concussion) comes off the disabled list.

Tampa Bay: DH/OF Hideki Matsui, who was hitless in his past nine games and 16 at-bats, was designated for assignment. The 38-year-old veteran went 14-for-95 (.147) in 34 games for the Rays after his arrival in late May. Matsui was replaced on the roster by newly acquired IF Ryan Roberts. ... 3B Evan Longoria (hamstring) had a full workout Tuesday, and manager Joe Maddon said Longoria is "closer than you think" to starting a short rehab assignment. Initially upon his return, Longoria will be used as a designated hitter, Maddon said.

Texas: 3B Adrian Beltre, who left Tuesday's game after being hit in the helmet by a 92 mph pitch from Boston's Vicente Padilla, was back in the lineup the next day. An exam determined that Beltre didn't sustain a concussion. ... RHP Neftali Feliz pitched three scoreless innings Tuesday for Class AAA Round Rock (Texas), throwing 54 pitches. In three rehab outings, he has allowed one earned run in 6 2/3 innings. Feliz was due to be re-evaluated to determine the next step in his recovery from a sprained right elbow ligament.

Toronto: RH reliever Sergio Santos received what manager John Farrell said was "the best news that he could have under the circumstances" when surgery was performed Tuesday on his right shoulder. "Some wear and tear in the joint, no specific tears of any kind," Farrell said. Santos should be ready for spring training. ... RHP Drew Hutchison is scheduled to begin playing catch Friday. He has been out since June 16 due to a sprained right elbow, and there is no timetable for his return.
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