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American League team-by-team notebook -- Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Baltimore: RHP Jason Hammel is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his surgically repaired right knee Thursday. Making his second start since returning from the disabled list, Hammel had to exit Tuesday's game in the fourth inning when he felt something "grab" in the knee. ... RHP Chris Tillman, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 2 due to an inflamed nerve in his right elbow, is scheduled to rejoin the rotation for a Saturday or Sunday start at Oakland, according to MASNsports.com. LHP Zach Britton will start the other game.

Boston: RH reliever Scott Atchison was activated off the disabled list and rejoined the bullpen. He had been sidelined since mid-July due to a torn elbow ligament, and at one point he feared he might need Tommy John surgery. LHP Franklin Morales (shoulder) went on the 60-day DL. ... LHP Jon Lester struck out five Yankees on Tuesday, giving him 1,044 K's for his career. He broke the franchise record for strikeouts by a left-hander. The mark had been held by Bruce Hurst, who fanned 1,043 with Boston from 1980-88.

Chicago: RHP Gavin Floyd was activated from the disabled list and made his first start since Aug. 26. He had been sidelined due to a right elbow flexor strain, but he threw lengthy bullpen sessions Sept. 6 and Sunday. ... DH Adam Dunn was unsuccessful in his attempts to resume hitting before the game, so he was out of the starting lineup for the sixth consecutive game. He remains day-to-day.

Cleveland: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez threw his league-leading 16th wild pitch Tuesday, two shy of the Indians' single-season record shared by Otto Hess (1905) and Sam McDowell (1967). Jimenez led the NL in wild pitches in 2010 with 16. ... SS Asdrubal Cabrera missed his fifth start of the month and his third in a row due to a sore right wrist. Manager Manny Acta continued to say Cabrera wouldn't return to the lineup until he is pain-free.

Detroit: RHP Justin Verlander, the reigning AL MVP, is campaigning for 3B Miguel Cabrera to win the award this season. Verlander has been wearing a blue T-shirt that reads, "Keep the MVP in the D," and bears Cabrera's name and jersey number on the bottom. ... Rookie RF Avisail Garcia has caught the eye of manager Jim Leyland: "He's a very good defender with a chance to be a super defender. ... What I like is that he hits the fastball to right-center, and he pulls the breaking ball, and that's usually a pretty good sign."

Kansas City: RF David Lough, who missed the previous five games due to a right hamstring strain, was back in the starting lineup. He again served as the leadoff hitter, the position he's held in each of his five major league starts. ... 1B Eric Hosmer, who batted eighth Wednesday, entered play hitting .315 (78-for-248) in 71 games as the No. 6, 7 or 8 hitter. Over 58 games in the top half of the lineup, he had hit .172 (41-for-239).

Los Angeles: RHP Jered Weaver will make his first start in 10 days when he pitches Thursday against the A's. Weaver was skipped in the rotation due to biceps tendinitis. Trying to pitch through the discomfort in his previous five starts, Weaver was 1-3 with a 6.14 ERA. ... With OF Mark Trumbo mired in a second-half slump, veteran OF Vernon Wells has been getting more playing time. In his past nine starts through Tuesday, Wells was 9-for-32 (.281) with four home runs and nine RBI.

Minnesota: CF Denard Span was activated from the disabled list after missing the minimum 15 days due to a collarbone injury. He had played just five of the previous 16 games before landing on the DL. ... C Joe Mauer missed a second consecutive start due to back spasms. Limited to 82 games last season due to injuries and illness, Mauer had played in 131 games this year and avoided the disabled list.

New York: RHP Ivan Nova will return to the rotation for a Saturday start against the Rays. Nova, who has been sidelined since Aug. 22 due to right rotator cuff inflammation, had no difficulties in a simulated game Tuesday at Fenway Park. RHP Freddy Garcia will be bumped to the bullpen. ... LHP Andy Pettitte threw a simulated game Wednesday, a day after he was cleared to resume running. Pettitte, out since late June due to a broken left leg, hopes to rejoin the rotation next week.

Oakland: LH reliever Jerry Blevins earned his first save of the season and the second of his career with remarkable work Tuesday. Blevins came on in the ninth with the potential tying run at third, the potential winning run at first, no outs and the A's leading the Angels 6-5. He struck out Kendrys Morales and got Howie Kendrick to hit into a game-ending double play. ... RHP Dan Straily struck out a career-high eight Tuesday. During one stretch of his 6 2/3-inning outing, he retired nine consecutive batters on 23 pitches.

Seattle: Manager Eric Wedge and the coaching staff have mapped out a plan that they hope will help 1B Justin Smoak bounce back from a disappointing year. "We need to utilize the time in the offseason for him to develop better habits mechanically at home plate," Wedge said. ... 3B Kyle Seager drove in two runs Tuesday, giving him 81 RBI on the season. He's the first Mariner to top 64 RBI since Jose Lopez had 96, Russell Branyan had 76 and Franklin Gutierrez had 70 in 2009.

Tampa Bay: 2B Ryan Roberts, who left Tuesday's game with a strained left wrist, was back in the lineup the next night. Roberts was hurt when he awkwardly bent the wrist on a play at second base in the sixth inning. ... IF Sean Rodriguez is set to be activated off the disabled list when eligible Saturday, though he'll be limited to pinch-running, playing defense and possibly bunting. He broke his right hand Aug. 26 when he punched a locker.

Texas: RH reliever Mike Adams felt discomfort behind his right shoulder while allowing two runs in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday. He said he expected to sit out for several days. ... C Mike Napoli (left quadriceps strain) went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch Tuesday in his first rehab game for Class AA Frisco (Texas) in the Texas League championship series. It's possible he could be activated Thursday or Friday.

Toronto: Anthony Gose made his first start as a left fielder after making 16 starts in right field and eight in center field. Left field could be a regular position for Gose next year with Colby Rasmus in center and Jose Bautista due to return from wrist surgery to reclaim right field. ... LF Rajai Davis threw out Mariners DH John Jaso and home and third base Tuesday, giving him eight outfield assists this year. "He has made himself into a solid left fielder defensively," manager John Farrell said.
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