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MLB Roundup: Two teams to start 2014 in Australia; Kostos, Bochy suspended

The SportsXchange

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks will open the 2014 season with a two-game series in Australia, the Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday in Sydney.

The Sydney Cricket Ground will play host to the games on March 22-23, 2014, according to the report.

"This is a significant win for Sydney and again delivers on my election commitment to bring major events to NSW (state of New South Wales)," NSW premier Barry O'Farrell said. "It's estimated the matches will deliver a $13 million benefit for the local economy, as well as attract visitors from interstate and overseas."

The cricket field will require modification to accommodate American baseball. Dugouts, a clay infield and pitcher's mound, and additional seating are part of the plan, sports minister Graham Annesley said.

The games would be the first between two Major League Baseball teams in Australia. The Chicago White Sox traveled there in 1914 to play a New South Wales team.

The Telegraph reported that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks would be in Sydney for six days and open their workouts to the public.

---The Chicago Cubs added an arm to their bullpen, acquiring right-hander Henry Rodriguez from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor-league pitcher Ian Dickson.

Rodriguez, 26, was designed for assignment last week by the Nationals after going 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 17 appearances this season. While opponents are batting just .203 against him, Rodriguez has struggled with control problems, walking 16 batters in 18 innings. His career ERA is 4.23 in five seasons with the Nationals and Oakland A's.

Dickson is 2-2 has a 6.88 ERA in 11 appearances this season, including three starts, spanning in 35 1/3 innings for Class A Kane County. The Cubs selected the 6-foot-5 Dickson in the 35th round of the 2011 draft.

To make room on the roster for Rodriguez, the Cubs designated right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez for assignment. Sanchez, 24, was 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in six relief appearances for Triple-A Iowa.

---San Diego Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin is right back where he was a week ago with another significant injury.

Maybin, who had just returned after missing missing 45 games wih an impingement and inflammation in his right wrist, hurt his right knee diving for a ball in the outfield during Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies.

The Padres announced Wednesday that the diagnosis is a posterior cruciate ligament tear that will keep Maybin sidelined for six to 10 weeks. His projected return date would be sometime in August.

The injuries have limited Maybin to 14 games this season. He is hitting just .157 in 51 at-bats with one home run, five RBIs and four stolen bases. The latest injury occurred in his fourth game back after recovering from the wrist problem.

With Maybin out again, the Padres will keep using Chris Denorfia and Will Venable in center field.

---San Francisco Giants pitcher George Kontos will still have to serve a three-game suspension, even though he was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday.

Kontos will have to serve the suspension and pay an undisclosed fine when he is brought back to the major league club. The penalty is for intentionally throwing at the Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game at PNC Park.

Both teams had been issued a warning about throwing at each other earlier in the game by umpires.

Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

Kontos can appeal the penalty.

Also, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was suspended for Wednesday's game at Pittsburgh for Kontos' intentional actions even after the umpires' warning was issued.
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