American League team-by-team notebook -- Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Baltimore: RHP Chris Tillman, who is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA in his past five starts, will pitch the series opener against Boston on Friday. Tillman has allowed more than three earned runs only twice in 13 starts this season. ... DH Jim Thome and 3B Manny Machado on Wednesday became the fourth teammates in major league history to homer in the same game when one was at least 40 years old and the other 20 or younger, according to Elias. Thome, 42, and Machado, 20, joined Hank Sauer and Orland Cepeda (twice in 1958), Willie Mays and Chris Speier (twice in 1971), Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. (1990).

Boston: 2B Dustin Pedroia is the first Red Sox player to reach 1,000 hits and 100 steals within his first seven major league seasons. The only other second basemen in major league history to reach those marks in seven seasons are Del Pratt (1912-18), Chuck Knoblauch (1991-97) and Ray Durham (1995-2001). ... Former team captain Jason Varitek was hired as a special assistant to the general manager. "He will be involved in ... major league personnel decisions, evaluations, and mentorship and instruction of young players," GM Ben Cherington said in a statement.

Chicago: Manager Robin Ventura said that he had yet to settle on a starter for Sunday's game against the Rays. LHPs Francisco Liriano and Jose Quintana are the likely candidates. ... LHP John Danks said he was ahead of schedule in his rehab from left shoulder surgery performed Aug. 6, and he could start his throwing program by Nov. 1 as long as there are no setbacks. Danks is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Cleveland: RHP Roberto Hernandez threw a 60-pitch, four-inning simulated game Wednesday, and he also took part in pitchers' fielding practice. He has not pitched in a game since spraining his right ankle Aug. 27. There is still a chance he could get into another game this season. ... SS Asdrubal Cabrera was removed from Wednesday's game after the first inning due to a mid-back strain. He is day-to-day.

Detroit: RHP Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start Friday at Minnesota due to a return of soreness in his right deltoid muscle. He will be replaced by LHP Drew Smyly. Manager Jim Leyland said he hoped Scherzer could start the final game of the regular season but wasn't sure. ... Bill Behm, trainer for the Tigers' World Series-winning teams in 1968 and 1984, died following a long illness. He was 90.

Kansas City: 1B Eric Hosmer strained his right shoulder while diving for Quintin Berry's two-run triple past first base in the second inning at Detroit. Hosmer, who is hitless in his past 18 at-bats, will be re-evaluated Friday, but he is not expected to play in the series opener at Cleveland. ... SS Alcides Escobar bruised his right shoulder while diving to catch Jhonny Peralta's fly to shallow center in the seventh inning. He left the next inning, and he'll be examined further Friday.

Los Angeles: RF Torii Hunter has made it to the playoffs six times in his 16 big-league seasons but never to the World Series. "It motivates me. I'm very energetic right now," Hunter said. "I've been around a long time, so maybe I want it a little more than most." ... LH reliever Andrew Taylor had been in the majors nearly four weeks before making his debut in the series finale against Seattle. He got two flyouts and walked a batter.

Minnesota: RHP Samuel Deduno, pulled from his Wednesday start due to vision problems, was diagnosed with left eye inflammation. He was having tests to find the cause of the problem, and it was uncertain if he would pitch again this season. ... IF Alexi Casilla went 2-for-3 off CC Sabathia on Wednesday, making him 12-for-21 (.571) lifetime against the Yankees lefty. That's the second-highest average of any player with at least 15 career at-bats against Sabathia, trailing only the .583 (14-for-24) mark of Manny Ramirez.

New York: Alex Rodriguez, who bruised his left foot on a foul ball Tuesday and sat out Wednesday, returned to the lineup as the designated hitter. He might be able to play third base Friday. ... 1B Mark Teixeira (strained left calf) participated in a simulated game at Tampa, taking seven at-bats and playing an inning in the field, according to manager Joe Girardi. The team hopes Teixeira will be ready to rejoin the lineup in the regular season.

Oakland: CF Coco Crisp remained out of the lineup with conjunctivitis. Crisp has started only one of the past 11 games, but he has hit in the batting cage each of the past three days. Manager Bob Melvin hopes Crisp will be available during the series against Seattle this weekend. ... LHP Brett Anderson played catch, making 20 throws at a distance of 60 feet and 15 at 75 feet. "It went well," he said. "No issues." Anderson, who strained a right side muscle Sept. 19, remains hopeful he will be able to start in the postseason.

Seattle: With his win over the Angels, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma continued his second-half surge. In his past 13 starts, Iwakuma is 7-3 with a 2.39 ERA. The rookie is 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA in four appearances (three starts) against the Angels. ... RHP Felix Hernandez was lifted after six innings and 103 pitches Wednesday with a 3-2 lead over the Angels. The Seattle bullpen wound up blowing the game. Asked why he didn't go longer with Hernandez, manager Eric Wedge said, "It's late in the season; in another situation you might, but it wasn't the right thing to do."

Tampa Bay: C Jose Molina missed a second consecutive start due to a right quad strain, which occurred during Tuesday's game. He is day-to-day. ... 1B Carlos Pena had gone 8-for-21 (.381) in his past seven games through Wednesday, pushing his average above .200 for the first time since July 8. "He understands to a certain extent he's underachieved this year offensively," manager Joe Maddon said. "All he wants to do is help us win."

Texas: By earning his 18th win, LHP Matt Harrison tied the franchise's single-season record for victories by a left-hander. Kenny Rogers had 18 wins in 2005. If Harrison can prevail in his final regular-season start, he'd have the Rangers' highest single-season win total since 1998, when Rick Helling won 20 and Aaron Sele won 19. ... RHP Yu Darvish, who missed his Tuesday start due to a stiff neck, is penciled in to start Sunday against the Angels. He is due to throw a bullpen session Friday.

Toronto: SS Yunel Escobar was in the starting lineup for the series opener against the Yankees, his first game in Toronto since serving a three-game suspension for writing an anti-gay slur on his eye-black patches. "He's remorseful," manager John Farrell said. ... By allowing seven homers Wednesday at Baltimore, the Blue Jays increased their big-league-leading total to 199 this season. Minnesota is second, having allowing 191 homers.

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