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MLB roundup: Braves place Chipper on disabled list

The SportsXchange

--The Atlanta Braves placed third baseman Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list after Friday night's game because of a leg bruise.

The move was back-dated to Wednesday, when he last played. He had been pinch-hitting since May 18.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Jones may not be ready when he is eligible to come off the DL June 7.

"It's not getting better and we are starting to play a little bit short-handed," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It's not fair for him and it's not fair for the team."

Jones was injured when a one-hopper hit by the Tampa Bay Rays' B.J. Upton got him on the left leg.

-- After his third blown save in the last five save situations, Brandon League is out as closer for the Seattle Mariners.

Manager Eric Wedge said Saturday that he will not name a specific closer, but will play matchups late in the game. League will next be used in a non-save situation in order to work himself back toward the closer's role.

"We're not going to name a closer," Wedge said. "We don't feel like that's where we are with the rest of the guys in our bullpen right now."

League blew a one-run lead Friday night against Anaheim. He allowed three runs in the ninth, and committed a crucial throwing error, to drop to 0-4 with a 4.43 ERA. His command (12 walks after walking 10 all of last year) has abandoned him. As has his split-finger fastball. League primarily uses two pitches, with his split-finger as his out pitch. But, no one is being fooled currently.

League had a horrid week last season that he was able to work out of on his way to becoming an All-Star. He finished with 37 saves and blew just five in 2011. This season, he has already blown four for a Mariners team scratching just to reach .500.

--Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz became just the eighth player since 1918 to have two career eight-RBI games, according to MLB.com.

Cruz drove in a career-tying eight runs Friday night in the Rangers' 14-3 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx did it three times. Cruz joined Joe DiMaggio, Nomar Garciaparra, Jim Northrup, George Selkirk and Jim Spencer with two.

Gehrig (1930) and Spencer (1977) are the only players who drove in eight runs twice in one season.

Cruz also has had four games since last season in which he has had six RBI. Three of those games occurred in 2011. Only Gehrig had four games with six RBI in one season (1930).

--DNA testing that showed traces of Roger Clemens' cells on a collection of steroid-laced medical waste was reviewed in court on Friday in the former pitcher's perjury trial in Washington, D.C.

Included in the tested items was a needle used for injections that likely contained Clemens' genetic material.

Government witness Alan Keel, a veteran DNA analyst from a private lab in California who performed the tests, took the stand on Friday, the New York Daily News reported.

Keel spent the day on the witness stand describing his forensic examination of a needle, tissues, blood-stained gauze and cotton balls that McNamee said he saved in 2001. Keel said he found DNA of Clemens and McNamee on the items.

"I would expect to find this profile unique to only one person that has ever lived on the planet," Keel said.

The items were turned over to the federal government by Clemens' former trainer Brian McNamee in 2008.

Keel said there was only an 1-in-173 trillion chance that cotton balls apparently stained with Clemens' blood could possibly belong to another randomly selected Caucasian American.

Keel said a needle he tested was comparable to one Clemens submitted to federal agents in 2008. According to Keel, the chances the needle had of being a different match from Clemens was 1 in 449. Because the sample contained only six to 12 cells, Keel said there is almost no way it could be faked, countering what Clemens' lawyers have been arguing.

"In my opinion, it would be virtually impossible for someone to have left only the trace amount of material by design," Keel said.

The medical waste came from a Miller Lite beer can that McNamee used to store as evidence in 2001.

--The Houston Astros announced Saturday that they acquired minor league catcher Jobduan Morales from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Triple-A outfielder Justin Ruggiano.

Morales, 20, has not played this season. Last year, he hit .272 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 52 games at rookie-level Jamestown of the New York Penn League, and went 3-for-9 with two RBI in three games with Single-A Greensboro.

Morales will report to the Astros extended Spring Training facility in Kissimmee, Fla.

Ruggiano, 30, is batting .325 with five homers and 29 RBI in 49 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

--The Cleveland Indians announced Saturday that they placed catcher Carlos Santana on the seven-day disabled list with a mild concussion.

Santana left Friday night's game in the eighth inning after taking a foul ball off his face mask. He is batting .245 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 43 games.

The Indians also called up outfielder/catcher Luke Carlin from Triple-A Columbus and transferred left-hander Rafael Perez to the 60-day DL.

Carlin batted .227 with one homer and 10 RBI in 20 games for Columbus. Perez has been on the DL since April 27 with a strained left latissimus (back muscle). He went 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA in eight relief appearances before the injury.

--Four days after designating pitcher Jason Marquis for assignment, the Minnesota Twins released the struggling right-hander Saturday.

Marquis will become a free agent if he is not claimed within 48 hours of his release. MLB.com reported that the Twins tried to trade Marquis, but could not find any takers.

Marquis, 33, has an 8.47 ERA in seven starts. He signed a one-year deal worth $3 million before the season.

--Minnesota Twins right-hander Francisco Liriano is moving back to the rotation.

After making five relief appearances, Liriano will start Wednesday against the Oakland A's at Target Field. He will take the spot of righty Anthony Swarzak, who struggled mightily in his previous start and has flu-like symptoms.

"I'm just looking forward to the start," Liriano told MLB.com. "I've always been a starter. It's what I want to do, so I'm pretty happy. So I'm looking forward to doing my job and getting better."

Liriano went to the bullpen after six bad starts to begin the season. He had a 9.45 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. In relief, he was a little better with a 4.91 ERA in 7 1/3 innings.

Even though Liriano allowed four runs on five hits over 2 2/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers Friday, manager Ron Gardenhire said he was ready to return as a starter.

"We liked the way he was handling himself out there, and he needs to get back out there," Gardenhire said. "We need him in our rotation. We can't just keep bouncing around from guy to guy."

Liriano said being in the bullpen gave him a chance to work on his pitching mechanics and clear his head.

"Mentally and physically I'm fine," he said. "I stayed positive and didn't lose my confidence. So I'm just looking forward to Wednesday and trying to get better at everything."
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