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MLB roundup: Ramirez begins minor-league stint Sunday

The SportsXchange

Get ready for the return of Manny Ramirez.

The always colorful slugger is expected to report to Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday, as he prepares for a May 30 return to the big leagues.

Ramirez is participating in extended spring training games while he serves his 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. He expects to join the team when eligible.

"I will be ready," Ramirez told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I'm going to go crazy to please the fans."

---Major League Baseball will announce on Wednesday that Citi Field in New York will host the 2013 All-Star Game, CBSSports.com reported Tuesday.

Officially, Major League Baseball and the Mets have only issued a press release saying that a "major" announcement will be made at City Hall in New York Wednesday morning.

Next season's All-Star Game is scheduled for July 9, 2013.

---New York Yankees closer David Robertson has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left oblique, the team announced Tuesday.

This is a significant blow for the Yankees, who will be without their regular closer, Mariano Rivera, for the rest of the season because of knee injury.

The right-handed Robertson was injured while pitching against Seattle on May 11, and the Yankees did not disclose how long they expect Robertson to be sidelined.

For the season, Robertson is 0-1 with a 2.51 earned-run average and one save.

To take his place on the roster, the Yankees recalled right-handed reliever Cody Eppley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

----Brian McNamee said he saved medical waste after injecting Roger Clemens with steroids because his wife was concerned that McNamee would wind up taking the blame.

The former strength coach has said he injected Clemens multiple times with steroids and human growth hormone. He explained that, in an effort to appease Eileen, he took a swab and cotton ball from a Clemens' steroid injection in 2001, and brought it home in a can.

Prosecutors are using the waste as physical evidence to prove that Clemens lied to Congress in 2008 when he denied using steroids or HGH.

Prior to McNamee's testimony, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton dismissed a second juror for sleeping through part of the proceedings. Her departure leaves 14 jurors, including two alternates.

---Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is expected to begin a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, the team announced.

The third baseman will serve as the PawSox's designated hitter and get three at-bats, then will play the field Thursday. Barring any setbacks, he could rejoin the Red Sox in Philadelphia on Friday.

Youkilis has been out since April 29 with a back strain. He was eligible to be activated on Monday. In his stead, rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks has hit .304 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 11 games.

---Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau took another round of early batting practice Tuesday, and could return to the team as early as Wednesday.

The 31-year-old told trainers that his sore left wrist felt good, according to an ESPN.com report. The team is scheduled to head to Cleveland on Wednesday.

---Starting pitcher Jordan Lyles was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. The 21-year-old posted a 3.49 ERA with 32 strikeouts in six starts at Triple-A. He started once this season in the big leagues, on April 29 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Reliever David Carpenter was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Lyles. He has a 4.02 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings this season.

---The Washington Nationals purchased the contract of catcher Carlos Maldonado from Triple-A Syracuse, to replace the injured Sandy Leon. The 33-year-old Maldonado was batting .211 in 21 games with the Chiefs. He's hit .185 in 62 career big-league plate appearances.

Leon was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a high right ankle sprain. A few days ago, the team learned that starter Wilson Ramos will need surgery for a torn ACL in his right knee and will likely miss the rest of the season.

---The St. Louis Cardinals placed outfielder John Jay on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a right shoulder sprain, and recalled Shane Robinson to take his place.

Jay was initially injured last month, but has felt discomfort over the past week. The team hopes his condition will improve with rest.

---The Oakland A's claimed left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley off waivers Tuesday from the San Francisco Giants.

Blackley made four relief appearances for the Giants, posting a 9.00 ERA. He will join Grant Balfour, Luke Hughes and Rich Thompson as the fourth Australian to play for the A's this season.

To make room for Blackley on the 40-man roster, the A's transferred right-handed pitcher Joey Devine to the 60-day disabled list.
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