American League notebook -- May 7, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Baltimore: RHP Jason Berken and RH reliever Stu Pomeranz were recalled from Class AAA Norfolk (Va.), giving the bullpen two fresh arms following Sunday's 17-inning game in Boston. Berken, 28, had no decisions and a 1.23 ERA in five starts for Norfolk, while Pomeranz, 27, had made three scoreless relief appearances covering 5 2/3 innings since his promotion from Class AA Bowie (Md.). ... RHP Tommy Hunter and C Ronny Paulino were optioned to Norfolk. Hunter allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings Sunday, and he was 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA on the season. Paulino was 9-for-30 (.300) with three RBI in nine games, but the Orioles had added Luis Exposito as a third catcher Friday.

Boston: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, who went 0-for-8 in Sunday's 17-inning loss to the Orioles, was bumped down to the No. 5 spot in the batting order for the series opener at Kansas City. It was the first time this season he didn't hit third or fourth. Through the weekend, Gonzalez had gone hitless in five or his past seven games, batting .182 (6-for-33) in that span. ... RHP Josh Beckett threw a bullpen session, putting him in line to return to the rotation for a Thursday start at home against the Indians. Beckett missed his Saturday start due to right lat stiffness.

Chicago: LH reliever Hector Santiago, recently removed from the closer role, won't be stretched out as a starter. Manager Robin Ventura said he intends to keep Santiago in a middle-relief role. All 23 of Santiago's minor league appearances last year came as a starter, and he went a combined 9-8 with a 3.60 ERA for high-A Winston-Salem (N.C.) and Class AA Birmingham (Hoover, Ala.). ... RHP Dylan Axelrod, who allowed two runs in a 4 1/3-inning start Sunday, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte (Fort Mill, S.C.). LHPs Eric Stults and Jose Quintana were called up from Charlotte. Quintana pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the opener of Monday's doubleheader, and Stults started the nightcap.

Cleveland: The first game of the doubleheader was a game of firsts for Indians pitchers. LHP Zach McAllister got his first career win, and LH reliever Nick Hagadone recorded his first career save. The last time Cleveland had pitchers earn their initial win and save in the same game occurred July 18, 1993, against the Angels, with Albie Lopez the victor following a Jerry Dipoto save. ... DH Travis Hafner's home run in the first game of the doubleheader was the 192nd of his career with the Indians. That tied him with Al Rosen for eighth place on Cleveland's all-time list. No. 7 is Andre Thornton with 214.

Detroit: RHP Doug Fister was activated off the disabled list to start against his former team, Seattle. He was traded to Detroit at the deadline last July and ran off an 8-1 record for the Tigers in 2011. Fister had been out since April 8 this year due to a strained left rib cage muscle. RHP Brayan Villarreal (0-1 with a 0.00 ERA in four games) was optioned to Class AAA Toledo (Ohio). ... RH closer Jose Valverde had two blown saves this season through the weekend, two more than he had all last year. "He's not quite as sharp as he was last year on a couple of pitches," manager Jim Leyland said, "and we're spoiled. I'm not worried about it."

Kansas City: RHP Luke Hochevar (2-3) will remain in the rotation despite having a 9.00 ERA through six starts, manager Ned Yost said. Hochevar gave up seven runs on seven hits, two of them home runs, in 2 1/3 innings Sunday in a loss to the Yankees. It was the second-shortest outing of his career. ... On Sunday, SS Irving Falu became the third Royal to hit a triple in his first big-league plate appearance, joining Brian McRae (Aug. 7, 1990) and Edgar Caceres (June 8, 1995). Falu, 28, was making his major league debut after playing 10 years and 949 games in the minors.

Los Angeles: RH reliever LaTroy Hawkins fractured the pinkie on his throwing hand Sunday when he caught a line drive off the bat of Blue Jays SS Omar Vizquel and turned it into a game-ending double play. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and the Angels recalled RH reliever David Pauley. In seven games (three starts) for Class AAA Salt Lake (Salt Lake City), Pauley was 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA. ... LH reliever Scott Downs also injured his left knee in the ninth inning Sunday, and he was being re-evaluated. The 36-year-old veteran had not allowed a run in 11 appearances and 9 2/3 innings through the weekend.

Minnesota: LHP Scott Diamond was recalled, and he likely will start Tuesday's game against the Angels. Diamond, 25, was 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in six starts for Class AAA Rochester (N.Y.). To make room, the Twins demoted RHP Liam Hendriks to Rochester. The organization's 2011 minor league pitcher of the year, Hendriks was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in four starts for Minnesota this season. ... Brian Dozier, whose contract was purchased from Rochester, got the start at shortstop and batted second in his major league debut. Jamey Carroll moved from shortstop to second base, and he was bumped to the No. 9 spot in the batting order.

New York: 2B Robinson Cano's grand slam Sunday doubled his homer and RBI totals for the season. Before the at-bat, he had been tied for 11th on the team with four RBI, and he was hitting .111 (3-for-27) with runners in scoring position. "The biggest thing is that I feel good. I've felt good the whole year," Cano said. ... CF Curtis Granderson collected his 1,000th and 1,001st career hits Sunday, but he'll have a tough time adding to that total Tuesday. Granderson has a career .065 average (3-for-46) against Rays RHP James Shields, striking out 14 times while drawing only one walk.

Oakland: With seven saves this season, RH closer Grant Balfour has 17 for his career, tying Graeme Lloyd for the most by an Australian-born player. However, Balfour has blown two of his past four save chances, and he has a 16.20 ERA over his past five appearances. ... LH reliever Pedro Figueroa has not allowed a run in 2012, including spring training, seven innings; Class AAA Sacramento (West Sacramento, Calif.), seven innings; and since being called up to Oakland, 4 2/3 innings. He has given up two hits and three walks while striking out two in four appearances for the A's.

Seattle: C John Jaso and umpire Mike Everitt caught RHP Hector Noesi by surprise in the third inning Sunday. After a foul ball near the plate, both Jaso and Everitt threw a ball back to Noesi, causing the Mariners starter to do a little duck-and-cover number on the mound. "It never happened to me before," Noesi said. "It was like, 'Run away.'" .. Rookie LH reliever Lucas Luetge had made 12 appearances without allowing an earned run through the weekend. The Mariners record for games pitched at the start of a career without yielding an earned run is 13, set by RH reliever Mark Lowe in 2006.

Tampa Bay: RHP James Shields gets a second crack at the Yankees on Tuesday. He allowed six runs in five innings against New York in the season opener. In his subsequent five starts, Shields is 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA, having struck out 36 and walked nine in 36 1/3 innings. ... LF Desmond Jennings' status for Tuesday's game remained uncertain, as there was no update from the Rays on his condition. Jennings left Sunday's game with what described by the team as left knee soreness, and he was not available to the media after the game.

Texas: 3B Adrian Beltre returned to action in the series opener at Baltimore, serving as the designated hitter. Beltre had missed five consecutive starts after aggravating a leg injury in Toronto early last week. ... RHP Yu Darvish has 30 strikeouts in his past three starts: 10 against the Yankees on April 24, nine at Toronto on April 30, and 11 at Cleveland on Sunday in his first loss. Darvish is the first pitcher since Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg in 2010 to have two double-digit strikeout games in his first six major league appearances.

Toronto: DH Edwin Encarnacion, who was playing first base Sunday, survived a hard-hit ball off his face in the seventh inning. Angels 2B Maicer Izturis' grounder took a bad hop at the last moment, glancing off Encarnacion's cheek. "It wasn't on the cheekbone or the jaw, so fortunately, while it looked ugly, he escaped without any issue," manager John Farrell said. ... RF Jose Bautista is 7-for-48 (.146) with two homers and six RBI over his past 13 games. Though he is hitting .183 on the season, he has a .313 on-base percentage thanks to 19 walks, tied for fifth in the AL through Sunday.

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