American League team-by-team notebook -- Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012

The SportsXchange

Baltimore: RHP Tommy Hunter closed out Wednesday's blowout loss, but it wasn't necessarily a sign that he's bound for the bullpen. Hunter threw just 14 pitches to get the final two outs -- mixing in a walk -- in what amounted to a side session. ... LF Lew Ford's double Tuesday was his first hit since Sept. 21, 2007, when he played for Minnesota. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ford's gap of nearly five years between hits was the longest since Valentino Pascucci had a drought of nearly seven years from 2004-11.

Boston: RH reliever Clayton Mortensen, called up from Class AAA Pawtucket (R.I.) before Tuesday's game, got the win that night with 2 2/3 scoreless innings against Detroit. His reward: a return to Pawtucket the next day, as the Red Sox activated newly acquired LH reliever Craig Breslow. ... OF Daniel Nava was placed on the disabled list due to a sprained left wrist. The Red Sox recalled C Ryan Lavarnway from Pawtucket to give the team catching insurance with Kelly Shoppach nursing a shin injury.

Chicago: The White Sox juggled the rotation to push back LHP Chris Sale, who is dealing with a "dead arm." Sale, who last pitched Friday, had been expected to start a game this weekend against the Angels, but instead he'll start during the series against the Royals early next week. ... RH reliever Brian Bruney (hip and hamstring) threw a scoreless inning Tuesday in his first rehab appearance for Class AAA Charlotte (Fort Mill, S.C.). He hopes to get back into the big-league mix when rosters expand in September.

Cleveland: RHP Josh Tomlin, 5-8 with a 5.81 ERA in 18 games (16 starts), was moved to the bullpen. RHP Corey Kluber will be called up to start Thursday. Kluber, 26, is 11-7 with a 3.59 ERA in 21 starts for Columbus. ... DH Travis Hafner was placed on paternity leave, and the Indians recalled UT Vinny Rottino from Class AAA Columbus (Ohio). Rottino hit .182 with two homers and five RBI in 18 games with Cleveland earlier this season. He was batting .299 with four homers and 32 RBI in 30 games for Columbus.

Detroit: RHP Justin Verlander's streak of throwing at least six innings ended at 63 starts when Tuesday's game at Boston was halted due to rain in the sixth inning. The only longer streaks since 1921 were by RHP Bob Gibson (78, 1967-70) and LHP Steve Carlton (69, 1979-82). ... Although DH Victor Martinez has said he hopes to return this season, GM Dave Dombrowski said the team isn't counting on it. Martinez had left knee microfracture surgery in January, and his leg muscles remain weak, according to Dombrowski.

Kansas City: RH reliever Jeremy Jeffress was recalled from Class AAA Omaha (Papillion, Neb.), where he was 5-4 with two saves and a 4.97 ERA in 37 appearances. He appeared in two April games with Kansas City, pitching two scoreless innings. Jeffress takes the roster spot of RH closer Jonathan Broxton, who was traded Tuesday to the Reds. ... Jeff Francoeur hasn't started since Saturday, with Lorenzo Cain taking over in right field. Francoeur entered Wednesday in a 5-for-49 (.102) slump.

Los Angeles: RHP Jered Weaver went 6-0 with a 2.23 ERA in July. He is the first AL pitcher to win six games in one month since White Sox RHP Jose Contreras in September 2005. ... OF Mike Trout hit 10 home runs and scored 32 runs in July. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the third rookie to finish a month with 10 or more home runs and 30 or more runs. Frank Robinson had 11 home runs and 33 runs for the Reds in August 1956, and Luke Easter had 11 home runs and 30 runs for the Indians in June 1950.

Minnesota: RF Ben Revere went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. In that stretch, Revere is hitting .355 (22-for-62). CF Denard Span also extended his hitting streak to 10 games (.463, 19-for-41). ... RHP Alex Wimmers, the Twins' first-round pick in 2010, was due to be re-examined in Minneapolis by team doctors after missing most of the year with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. GM Terry Ryan said he didn't know whether Wimmers, 23, would need Tommy John surgery.

New York: IF Ramiro Pena was optioned to Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Moosic, Pa.) to clear a roster spot for newly acquired IF Casey McGehee. Pena was called up last week when 3B Alex Rodriguez went on the disabled list, and he went 0-for-4 in three games with the Yankees. ... Ichiro Suzuki played left field for the first time in a regular-season game. He had played there once in the 2001 playoffs. Suzuki has hit safely in all nine games he's played for the Yankees (9-for-36, .250).

Oakland: SS Cliff Pennington will take batting practice on the field Thursday, and he's due to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday. He has been out since July 20 due to a sore left elbow. ... LHP Dallas Braden, whose throwing session to hitters last week was cut short by a groin strain, played catch Wednesday, and he is likely to throw off the mound again soon. Braden has been sidelined since undergoing left shoulder surgery in May 2011.

Seattle: CF Franklin Gutierrez (concussion) got good news from the medical crew and will be able to keep upping his workouts and he attempts to get back on the field. Manager Eric Wedge said Gutierrez likely will stay in the Pacific Northwest and work with Class AAA Tacoma (Wash.) when the Mariners head out on the road this weekend. ... LHP Jason Vargas has put together seven consecutive quality starts (six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs), the best streak by a Mariner this season. He finished July with a 5-0 record and a 1.64 ERA in six starts.

Tampa Bay: 3B Evan Longoria was taking a two-day break from his rehab assignment due to soreness in his previously torn left hamstring, but manager Joe Maddon said it was not a significant setback. Longoria is set to resume play Thursday as the designated hitter for Class AAA Durham (N.C.), and he could rejoin the Rays next week. ... The Rays released DH Hideki Matsui, who had been designated for assignment last week. Matsui hit .147 (14-for-95) with two homers and seven RBI in 34 games for Tampa Bay.

Texas: LHP Martin Perez was optioned to Class AAA Round Rock (Texas), opening a roster spot for the arrival of RHP Ryan Dempster. Perez made five appearances (three starts) for Texas, going 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA. ... LHP Derek Holland allowed three homers in 6 1/3 innings in the Rangers' 6-2 loss to the Angels on Tuesday. Holland has allowed 19 homers this season, but 16 in his last nine starts (54 innings). He's allowed multiple homers six times in that nine-start span.

Toronto: RF Jose Bautista (left wrist inflammation) might avoid a minor league rehab assignment by facing live pitching in a simulated-game situation. "Jose, as honest as he is, he'll indicate to us what he feels most comfortable with," manager John Farrell said. ... LHP Ricky Romero has lost seven consecutive starts, but he was encouraged by his last outing, particularly the way he threw his four-seam fastball. "It seems like almost every mistake that I've made this year gets hit. I'll find a way to get through it. Just got to continue to stay positive and keep working," he said.
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