MIAMI - All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell is expected to miss the rest of the regular season after breaking his left hand, a blow to the Marlins' playoff hopes.
Lowell was hit by Expos reliever Hector Almonte's pitch in the eighth Saturday night. X-rays showed a break in Lowell's fourth metacarpal.
Lowell was to be examined by a hand specialist today, team officials said. He leads the Marlins, who are contending for the NL wild card, with 32 homers and 105 RBIs, both career highs, and is hitting .277.
Also, catcher Ramon Castro rejoined the Marlins and proclaimed his innocence two days after he was arrested and charged with raping a woman in his hotel room.
MICKELSON WON'T PITCH: Phil Mickelson won't be trading in his pitching wedge for the pitcher's mound this weekend.
The Tigers said they will not offer a minor-league contract to the golfer, who threw batting practice Friday to 18 Toledo Mud Hens players hoping to earn a chance to pitch in a real Triple-A game.
OBITUARY: Claude Passeau, who pitched a one-hitter for the Cubs in the 1945 World Series, died in Lucedale, Miss. He was 94.
SOSA BALL AUCTION: Sammy Sosa's 500th homer sold for $44,823, the highest of eight bids placed through an auction house. College student Zach Kirk, 22, sold it to help pay for his education.
BRAVES: Rookie first baseman Mike Hessman hit a two-run homer, then was optioned to Triple-A Richmond. Catcher Johnny Estrada is likely to be recalled from Richmond.
PIRATES: Utilityman Rob Mackowiak was placed on probation for a drunken driving arrest in May.