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MLB roundup: 2013 schedule features Astros move, interleague play changes

The SportsXchange

The Houston Astros' move to the American League will create a 2013 baseball season that includes at least one Interleague game every day, and 19 divisional games for all teams, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.

The league released its tentative 2013 master schedule, which includes the Astros' shift to the AL West. The World Baseball Classic is also scheduled to return during Spring Training.

The ESPN "Sunday Night Baseball" opener is March 31, with teams to be determined, then 12 Opening Day games scheduled for April 1. The Cincinnati Reds, who traditionally begin the season, will open against the Los Angeles Angels.

The regular season ends on Sun. Sept. 29, after two straight years of concluding on a Wednesday, to allow for more flexibility in postseason scheduling.

With Houston set to play its 51st season in the AL, there will be 15 teams in each league, with five teams in each of the six divisions. Houston begins its home season against interstate rival and new division rival Texas on April 2-4.

Teams will play divisional opponents 19 times, six or seven games against non-divisional league opponents, and 20 Interleague games throughout the season, spread out over eight series.

Some reunions will occur this season. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen will return to Chicago to face the White Sox on May 24. Former Yankees star Don Mattingly will bring his Los Angeles Dodgers to Yankee Stadium on June 18-19.

---X-rays taken on the wrist of Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse came back negative.

Morse, 30, is nursing a bone bruise. He will miss the next three days, then test it this weekend in Atlanta.

Morse missed the first two months of the season of the season with a lat strain. He returned June 2 and batted .285 with 13 home runs in 354 at-bats.

---New York Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte said he was ready to rejoin the team after a 55-pitch bullpen session Wednesday.

Pettitte was 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts until he broke his ankle in a start against the Cleveland Indians. At this point, he's waiting to see what the Yankees decide. It's possible that the team could have Pettitte thrown another simulated game to build his pitch count up.

---Texas Rangers right-hander Roy Oswalt has a strained right forearm and won't throw for two or three days, according to an ESPN.com report.

Oswalt left a start Sunday in Tampa Bay after two innings with elbow soreness. He allowed four runs on six hits in a 6-0 Rays' win. It was his first start since Aug. 23, following a move to the bullpen.

Oswalt is 4-3 with a 6.29 ERA in 54 1/3 innings with the Rangers. He's appeared in 13 games.

---The Los Angeles Dodgers placed infielder Adam Kennedy on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right groin, and reinstated shortstop Dee Gordon.

Kennedy, 36, ends his 2012 season hitting .262 in 86 games. His final start was Friday's in San Francisco. The Dodgers placed Kennedy on the 60-day to clear roster room on its 40-man roster for minor leaguers.

In addition to Gordon, the team recalled pitcher Stephen Fife and utility man Elian Herrera.

---Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen ended his self-imposed Twitter exile, so look out below.

The always expressive manager -- for better or worse -- last week issued his first tweet since late May 17, with a, "Iam. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack" message, then tweeted for five straight days. A few months earlier, Guillen had sworn off the social media site for life.

Now he's back.

"I was bored," Guillen told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark Tuesday.

---Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Jared Hughes thought the issue of his alleged racial remark had been resolved when he had a telephone conversation with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, but he felt a need to defend himself after hearing Phillips repeat his accusation on television, according to CBSSports.com.

"I didn't say those things,'' Hughes told CBSSports.com. "That's not who I am. That's not how I was raised. I didn't say anything like that.''

According to the report, the Pirates TV broadcast from Monday night's game seems to support Hughes' claim.

Although Hughes swore at Phillips as Phillips tossed the ball toward him after being hit by a Hughes pitch, the tape does not appear to show Hughes used the word "boy,'' as Phillips claims.

Hughes was under the impression the issue was closed when he spoke to Phillips on Andrew McCutchen's cell phone the next day. But when asked about the incident during a television interview Tuesday night, Phillips again claimed Hughes made a racial comment.
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