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American League team-by-team notebook -- Monday, July 23, 2012

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Baltimore: SS J.J. Hardy, who homered Sunday but admitted after the game his recent struggles have been weighing on him, was out of the lineup the next day. Before his two-hit game Sunday, Hardy had hit .122 (15-for-123) in his previous 30 games. ... Omar Quintanilla got his first start as an Oriole in the finale at Cleveland, batting ninth and playing shortstop. Quintanilla, acquired Friday from the Mets for a player to be named or cash, appeared in two games at second base last weekend as a defensive replacement.

Boston: Manager Bobby Valentine was noncommittal when asked if LHP Jon Lester would make his scheduled start Saturday against the Yankees. "We just have to talk, figure it out," Valentine said. In his past three starts, Lester is 0-3 with a 15.32 ERA. ... RHP Scott Atchison, on the disabled list due to a right forearm strain, reported that he is pain-free. He is scheduled to make a rehab appearance Friday for Class AAA Pawtucket (R.I.), and he hopes to return Sunday after missing the minimum 15 days.

Chicago: Manager Robin Ventura reiterated that the closer role belongs to RH reliever Addison Reed, but he didn't rule out using newly acquired RH reliever Brett Myers in certain situations, the same way he's used LH reliever Matt Thornton in some matchups. "Whenever they call my number, I'll be ready," Myers said. ... RHP Gavin Floyd was reinstated to the active roster, taking the spot that opened when LH reliever Donnie Veal was sent down after Sunday's game. Floyd missed two starts due to right elbow tendinitis, the first disabled-list stint in his 11-year pro career.

Cleveland: RHP Roberto Hernandez threw a 35-pitch bullpen session, his first workout in front of the coaching staff. "He looked very good, very smooth," manager Manny Acta said. Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, is serving a three-week suspension in the wake of his arrest in the Dominican Republic for identity theft. He is scheduled to start a game Thursday for a minor league team still to be determined. ... OF Aaron Cunningham, who serves mostly as a defensive replacement, is struggling at the plate. In his past 51 games through the weekend, he batted .125 (7-for-56).

Detroit: RH closer Jose Valverde wasn't available to pitch Saturday or Sunday due to a stiff back. "With a day off (Monday) it should be fine," manager Jim Leyland said. "You just don't want to take a chance." ... 3B Miguel Cabrera, 29, hit his 300th career home run Sunday, becoming the 14th player to reach the milestone before age 30, according to STATS, LLC. "He's having a wonderful, wonderful career so far," Leyland said. "Hopefully it'll be a long career, and hopefully (it'll) end up in Cooperstown."

Kansas City: 1B Eric Hosmer went 6-for-15 (.400) in his first four games after being dropped from the third slot in the order. "I'm just trying to put him in a position where the weight of the world is not on his shoulders hitting in the three spot," manager Ned Yost said. ... Yuniesky Betancourt's ninth-inning home run Sunday against the Twins was his first career pinch homer and the 73rd in Royals history. It was the team's third this year. The others: Billy Butler, June 17 at St. Louis; and Lorenzo Cain, July 17 vs. Seattle.

Los Angeles: OF Vernon Wells (right thumb surgery) was 5-for-11 with a home run, a double and three stolen bases in his first three games of a rehab assignment with Class AAA Salt Lake (Salt Lake City). He is expected to remain with the Class AAA club through Friday, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City reported. ... The three-game series against the Royals this week is the Angels' only set against a team with a losing record in a 45-game stretch from June 18 through Aug. 9. The Indians fell one game below .500 with a loss Sunday, but they were over .500 when the Angels played them two weeks ago.

Minnesota: 3B Trevor Plouffe missed a third consecutive start due to a bone bruise on his right thumb. It's possible he could end up on the disabled list. ... 1B Justin Morneau is expected to be activated from the paternity list before Tuesday's game. His wife gave birth to the couple's second child Saturday.

New York: LHP CC Sabathia allowed three runs in seven innings Sunday at Oakland, getting a no-decision after the bullpen blew a one-run lead in the ninth. Sabathia threw only 98 pitches, as manager Joe Girardi continued to be cautious with his ace after Sabathia's recent stint on the disabled list. However, Sabathia likely will be turned loose for 110-120 pitches in his next start. ... OF Austin Romine is 4-for-21 (.190) through eight games on a rehab assignment with the Yankees' rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate. He has been on the disabled list all season due to a lower back strain.

Oakland: LHP Brett Anderson is due to make his second rehab start Thursday for high-A Stockton (Calif.). He pitched two innings of two-run ball for Stockton on Saturday in his first game appearance since having Tommy John surgery in July 2011. Anderson hopes to rejoin the major league rotation next month. ... C Kurt Suzuki ended his career-high 80-game homerless streak with a solo shot Sunday. He also ended a 17-game streak without an RBI, the longest such streak of his career.

Seattle: RHP Blake Beavan tied a career high by pitching eight innings Sunday, the deepest he's gone in a game this season in the majors or minors. Beavan threw 101 pitches and didn't walk anyone while improving to 5-6 with a 5.54 ERA. ... C/DH Jesus Montero went 12-for-26 (.462) with nine RBI on the Mariners' seven-game road trip that ended Sunday. He had gone 5-for-48 (.104) with no RBI in his previous 14 games.

Tampa Bay: RH reliever Brandon Gomes was optioned to Class AAA Durham (N.C.) after a one-day stay in the majors that didn't include a game appearance. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays might fill the roster spot by activating OF Sam Fuld from the disabled list. Fuld has been out season, and he had right wrist surgery in April. ... 3B Richie Shaffer, the Rays' first-round pick last month, made his pro debut Monday for short-season Hudson Valley (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.). He was chosen out of Clemson with the 25th overall pick.

Texas: RHP Colby Lewis landed on the disabled list, officially due to forearm tendinitis, the same ailment that kept him out for three weeks before he returned to start Wednesday. ESPNDallas.com reported that Lewis needs surgery to repair a torn ligament, and he might miss the rest of the season. LHP Martin Perez was recalled from Class AAA Round Rock (Texas), and he will start Tuesday unless he was needed in relief Monday. ... 1B Mitch Moreland (hamstring) began a rehab assignment with Round Rock, but after Tuesday's game, he'll take a break so his wife can be induced into labor. Moreland likely will resume playing Friday for Class AA Frisco (Texas) on Friday, and he could be ready to rejoin the major league roster by the start of next week.

Toronto: RHP Henderson Alvarez has a 7.58 ERA in the first inning but a 4.05 ERA in all other innings. "There are times when he comes out he's so strong he throws right through his sink and he doesn't quite have his release point," manager John Farrell said. ... SS Yunel Escobar, who went 5-for-12 in the weekend sweep of Boston, has at least one hit in 20 of his past 21 games against the Red Sox. He is hitting .333 (15-for-45) against Boston this year, .314 (43-for-137) in his career, well above his .285 overall average.
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