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American League team-by-team notebook -- Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The SportsXchange

Baltimore: RHP Chris Tillman remains optimistic his ailing elbow won't sideline him for long. Tillman told MASNsports.com he's taking time off from throwing but will continue to work out in anticipation of resuming a throwing program soon. ... 3B Manny Machado went into Wednesday having committed just one error at third base since being recalled on Aug. 9 and playing every inning during that stretch. Before he arrived, Orioles third basemen made 24 errors.

Boston: Noted baseball sabermetrician Bill James has returned to a position of power with Red Sox, according to the Boston Herald. Principal owner John Henry told the paper that James had fallen "out of favor over the last few years for reasons I really don't understand." ... RF Cody Ross' home run Tuesday, his 20th of the season, tied the game. It was the 10th time this year his homer had either tied the game or given the Red Sox the lead.

Chicago: LHP Chris Sale was supposed to be shut down this season, his first as a starter, at around 160 innings but has pitched a career-high 163 and is still scheduled to make five more starts. Manager Robin Ventura said he will look to give Sale and another young starter, LHP Jose Quintana, an extra day or two between starts down the stretch. ... RH closer Addison Reed allowed a run in a non-save situation and has a 5.66 ERA (13 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings) in such situations this season.

Cleveland: RHP Justin Masterson's victory Tuesday was his first at Detroit. In three career starts at Comerica Park before Tuesday, Masterson was 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA. ... CF Michael Brantley went into Wednesday having hit safely in 15 consecutive games against the Tigers. That's the longest streak by an Indians player against the Tigers since Kenny Lofton hit in 17 straight from May 1993 to August 1994.

Detroit: RH reliever Al Alburquerque made his 2012 debut Tuesday and retired all four hitters he faced. "His velocity wasn't quite as hard," manager Jim Leyland said. "I was really pleased." Alburquerque was in the 94 mph range with his fastball, down from a peak of 97-98 his rookie season. ... CF Austin Jackson and DH Delmon Young were absent when the Tigers took their 2012 team picture. Jackson was late by minutes and Young didn't show up until the players were coming back into the clubhouse.

Kansas City: OF David Lough, a September call-up from Class AAA Omaha (Papillion, Neb.), was in the starting lineup, but as the center fielder because manager Ned Yost said he wants to see how Lough does there. His first three starts were in right field. ... RHP Jeremy Guthrie is 4-1 in his last six starts. In his last two starts, both victories, he has allowed three earned runs in 14 innings.

Los Angeles: RHP Jered Weaver traveled back to Southern California early to have his bruised upper arm/shoulder examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum. Weaver was hit in the arm by a line drive during his start Sunday. His next start is "on hold," manager Mike Scioscia said. ... 1B Albert Pujols extended his season-high hitting streak to 14 games with a double in the third inning. Pujols has doubles in each of his last five games and 40 for the season. It is the seventh 40-double season of his career.

Minnesota: LHP Scott Diamond has passed his career mark for innings pitched and will be monitored the rest of the season. "We're very aware of the innings pitched," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's going to be right up there at 200 innings when it's all said and done. We know where he's at, and we know how many starts he has left." ... LF Josh Willingham was out of the lineup because of a sore hamstring that has bothered him the last several days. After an off day today, he hopes to return Friday.

New York: LHP Andy Pettitte faced hitters for the first time since his left leg was fractured by a line drive in late June. He threw 15 pitches in a simulated inning and is scheduled to throw about 30 pitches Friday. ... IF Ramiro Pena, who had been designated for assignment over the weekend, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Moosic, Pa.).

Oakland: RHP Brandon McCarthy was struck on the right side of his head by a line drive by Erick Aybar. McCarthy fell to the ground and struck his head on the ground when he landed, but he never lost consciousness and left under his own power. He was taken to Summit Medical Center in Oakland for precautionary reasons. ... LH reliever Jordan Norberto (shoulder) told the San Francisco Chronicle he hopes to be cleared to play catch in the next day or two and potentially return to the A's by the final week of the regular season.

Seattle: CF Franklin Gutierrez, plagued by injuries this season, was taken out of Tuesday's game when his groin tightened. "What we don't want to happen, obviously, with a tight groin is for him to pull it," manager Eric Wedge said. "If he does, the season is over." ... RHP Blake Beavan didn't allow a walk Tuesday for the 10th time this season, the most such starts in the big leagues. Despite taking the loss, he's 6-3 with a 4.12 ERA since being recalled from Class AAA.

Tampa Bay: RH closer Fernando Rodney, who took over the major league lead with his 42nd save Tuesday, is just the sixth pitcher in major league history to have at least six saves against the Yankees in a single season. He joined Danys Baez, Bobby Thigpen, Tom Henke, Darold Knowles and Lee Smith. ... Evan Longoria was the DH for the second straight game. Manager Joe Maddon said the team is just being cautious with its star slugger, who missed more than three months with a hamstring injury. "It's just staying with the program, making sure that we keep him well, guard against any problems and really listen to him conversationally," Maddon said. "I want to be very cautious with him."

Texas: LHP Matt Harrison has allowed 12 runs, 10 earned, in 10 innings in losing his last two starts since taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Aug. 24. He also has allowed four home runs in that two-start span. ... 2B Ian Kinsler was picked off for an AL-leading fifth time this season Tuesday. It also tied the Washington/Texas franchise record, set by Otis Nixon in 1995. "He's crossing the dish," manager Ron Washington said. "I'm not worried about anything else. He is a catalyst for us."

Toronto: 1B David Cooper aggravated his back injury Tuesday in a playoff game for high-A Dunedin (Fla.) on a rehab assignment. Manager John Farrell said Cooper probably will be shut down for the season. ... LHP Ricky Romero, originally scheduled to start Saturday's game, has been pushed back to Wednesday instead. Farrell said Romero, who has lost 12 consecutive decisions, seems to do better with extended rest.
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