Slugger rejoins Cards as Pujols rests

Reggie Sanders works out Wednesday, days before coming off the disabled list after a nearly two-month absence with a broken leg.

By wire services
Published September 13, 2005

ST. LOUIS - The Cardinals got Reggie Sanders back Monday but lost Albert Pujols for a short time.

Sanders was on the 15-day disabled list for nearly two months with a broken leg sustained in an outfield collision with Jim Edmonds on July 15.

"I'm ready," said Sanders, who started in leftfield Monday against Pittsburgh. "I don't think I'm going to be tentative at all. When you're injured, you try to get those things out of your mind and focus on what you need to focus on."

Manager Tony La Russa said Pujols has had a sore upper right leg since the team began a 10-game homestand a week ago. He said team trainers advised giving the first baseman "a day or two" off.

Pujols had little to say about the injury, saying "I'm fine" twice.

La Russa said Pujols' aggressive style of play brings on this type of minor injury.

"He chased a ball down on defense, he chased popups down the line, he plays the game," La Russa said. "He hasn't backed off on anything."

This injury is unrelated to the heel injury Pujols has played with all season.

"Every once in a while he tweaks it and then he gets some relief," La Russa said. "It hasn't been unrelenting. He'll make a move and all of a sudden jolt it."

Sanders' return brings the Cardinals back to nearly full strength. He had been among four regulars sidelined in midseason, and only third baseman Scott Rolen , out for the year after shoulder surgery in late August, has not come back.

"It's been a great story all year long, how we've been able to compensate for some really important pieces that have not been available," La Russa said. "He's an important piece and we're still hanging in there."

YANKS WOULD HOST PLAYOFF: The Yankees won a coin flip and would host the Red Sox if a one-game playoff is needed to break a tie for the AL East title.

If a game is needed to break a tie between the Indians and White Sox in the AL Central, the Indians would host, and if the Angels and A's need a tiebreaker in the AL West, the game would be at Anaheim.

In the event a tiebreaker is needed for the wild card, New York and Oakland would play at Cleveland and Oakland at New York.

NO CHARGES IN DEATH: No criminal charges will be brought against the officers involved in the fatal shooting of a college student at a raucous celebration by Red Sox fans in the fall, prosecutors in Boston said.

"There is no evidence that any officer on Lansdowne Street acted with any intent to commit a crime," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said at a news conference attended by Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole .

Victoria Snelgrove , 21, an Emerson College student, was shot in the eye socket with a pepper-spray pellet outside Fenway Park on Oct.21. Officers were trying to calm the crowd that had filled the streets after Boston's victory over the archrival Yankees to win the pennant.

CATCHER RETIRES: Dan Wilson , sidelined most of this season by a knee injury, announced his retirement. The Mariner, 36, tore his right ACL on May 4.

SOSA SUED: Sammy Sosa is being sued by a law firm that contends the Orioles slugger owes more than $22,000 for work in resolving tax disputes with the IRS. The lawsuit, filed this month in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, claims Sosa failed to pay the Boca Raton firm Tescher, Gutter, Chaves, Josepher, Rubin, Ruffin and Forman.

PIRATES: Right-hander Josh Fogg was demoted to the bullpen for the second time this month. Fogg is 6-10 with a 4.97 ERA and had been in danger of losing his rotation spot when an injury to left-hander Dave Williams gave him a reprieve. ... Shortstop Jack Wilson was scratched with a sore lower back, ending his streak of 98 starts.

RED SOX: Centerfielder Johnny Damon was not in the starting lineup because of a sore left shoulder. He has been playing with discomfort since hurting the shoulder on a slide Sept.4 against Baltimore.

TWINS: Right-hander Johan Santana will miss his start Wednesday against Detroit because of a blister on his middle finger.