Day: August 20, 2011

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Tigers’ Brandon Inge homers in return to major leagues


The Tigers promoted veteran infielder Brandon Inge from Triple-A Toledo on Saturday, after watching him catch fire for a three-week stretch against a lower level of competition in the International League.

He has apparently carried some of that minor league momentum with him back to Detroit.

Inge finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two RBI in his return to the big leagues Saturday, helping the first-place Tigers to a 10-1 blowout win over the second-place Indians. He also played the entire game at third base, experiencing no difficulty on defense.

Inge, a former All-Star, is expected to draw semi-regular starts at the hot corner down the stretch.

Ted Lilly exits start with stiffness on left side of neck

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From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times comes word that Dodgers starter Ted Lilly had to be removed from Saturday’s game against the Rockies due to stiffness on the left side of his neck.

Lilly told reporters that he has been bothered by the neck discomfort since sleeping awkwardly a few days ago in Milwaukee. The pain got worse and worse as Saturday’s start rolled on, and he departed with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The veteran southpaw allowed three earned runs on three hits, striking out five but issuing three walks.

The Dodgers are hopeful that Lilly will feel well enough to make his next scheduled start.

Lilly, 35, has posted a 4.58 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 117/35 K/BB ratio through 149 1/3 innings this season.

Jose Altuve hits leadoff inside-the-park home run

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Astros second baseman Jose Altuve recorded the first home run of his major league career on Saturday night against the Giants. And he did it in style.

Serving as Houston’s leadoff hitter in the bottom of the first inning, Altuve launched a deep fly ball to left field. It struck the top part of the wall at Minute Maid Park before taking a few awkward bounces against the padding.

By the time Giants center fielder Cody Ross corralled the ball, Altuve was rounding third — and blowing through a stop sign from Astros third base coach Dave Clark. Altuve crossed home plate standing up. doesn’t allow embedding on all of its videos, so you’ll have click here to watch the round-tripper.

Altuve, 21, is batting .321/.336/.406 with seven extra-base hits and six RBI through the first 111 plate appearances of his major league career. He was promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi in mid-July.

Carlos Beltran hits in batting cage, nearing return

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Carlos Beltran will be back shortly.

According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the veteran outfielder took swings in a batting cage from both sides of the plate on Saturday afternoon without experiencing any lingering pain or discomfort in his once-strained right hand.

Beltran has been on the 15-day disabled list since August 8. He’s eligible to return to the major leagues Tuesday, but the Giants are likely to wait until later in the week to officially activate him. Thursday or Friday seems realistic.

Beltran was acquired from the Mets in late July for pitching prospect Zach Wheeler. The 34-year-old is batting .284/.378/.495 on the season, but just .244/.261/.356 in 46 plate appearances since joining San Francisco.

Cole Hamels on track to start next Friday after light bullpen session

Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants

Cole Hamels was scratched from his scheduled start this week due to inflammation in his left shoulder, but David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal reports that he is on track to return next Friday against the Marlins after throwing 25 pitches in a light bullpen session earlier today.

Hamels hasn’t pitched since giving up three runs on six hits and four walks over six innings last Friday in a loss to the Nationals. Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said today that the southpaw will not be on a pitch count in his return.

Speaking of returns, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said that third baseman Placido Polanco will not need any minor league rehab games and could be activated from the disabled list on Monday. The news on Jose Contreras isn’t nearly as positive. The veteran right-hander was scheduled to throw a bullpen session today, but it was scratched after he experienced what Manuel called “a setback.”