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Red Sox get good news on Ramirez's MRI exam

By TIMES WIRES
Published August 25, 2006


ANAHEIM, Calif. - An MRI exam on Manny Ramirez's right knee showed no structural damage, but the Red Sox leftfielder wasn't in the starting lineup Thursday.

"He does have some patella tendinitis, which we kind of knew already," manager Terry Francona said. "So we eliminated some structural things that maybe worried us."

Wily Mo Pena started in leftfield, and Kevin Youkilis batted cleanup.

Ramirez left Wednesday's 5-4 win against the Angels after chasing a double in the corner by Orlando Cabrera and a two-run single by Juan Rivera in the third.

"I don't think we have a time frame," Francona said. "We'll have to listen to him and listen to the medical people and see where they think he is. It's probably going to come down to what he can tolerate."

Ramirez, hitting .328 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs, didn't start Tuesday because of a cramp in his right hamstring but flied out to the warning track as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss.

BRAVES: Reliever Danys Baez went on the disabled list with an appendectomy. Acquired from the Dodgers last month, the ex-Ray is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 games for Atlanta. Overall, he is 5-6 with a 4.53 ERA in 57 games.

METS: Rookie pitcher Brian Bannister, out with a strained right hamstring since April, is scheduled to return tonight. The son of former major-league pitcher Floyd Bannister won two games before getting hurt while running the bases April 28. He will start for Orlando Hernandez, whom manager Willie Randolph said will rest as a precaution because of the big division lead. The Mets are undecided about Saturday and said they might call up Oliver Perez from Triple A.

To make room for Bannister, former Northside Christian star Lastings Milledge was sent to Triple A. He hit .239 with four homers and 18 RBIs during two major-league stints.

Also, outfielder Ricky Ledee was designated for assignment to make room for Shawn Green, who was acquired from Arizona on Tuesday. Claimed on waivers from the Dodgers on Aug. 8, Ledee was 1-for-15 in 11 games.

PHILLIES: Centerfielder Aaron Rowand is scheduled to have his left ankle examined today to determine a course of action. He broke it Monday when he collided with second baseman Chase Utley while going for a fly ball.

ROYALS: First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz scheduled season-ending back surgery for Tuesday. A portion of a herniated disc, which has caused him to lose strength in one leg, will be removed. Mientkiewicz, out since July 26, hit .283 with four homers and 43 RBIs this year.

TWINS: Reliever Dennys Reyes agreed to a $2-million, two-year extension through 2008. Reyes, 29, Minnesota's only left-handed reliever, is 4-0 with an 0.96 ERA in 372/3 innings. He also has stranded 32 of 37 inherited runners.

YANKEES: Third baseman Alex Rodriguez took a few swings after missing Wednesday's game with a throat infection. He hoped to be available as a pinch-hitter.

BELLE SENTENCED: Ex-slugger Albert Belle received three months in jail and five years of supervised probation for stalking his ex-girlfriend. Belle, 39, pleaded guilty in July. The woman told police a Global Positioning System tracking device fell off her car and Belle threatened her.

UMP HOSPITALIZED: Paul Emmel was taken to a Chicago-area hospital after complaining of dizziness and nausea before the Cubs-Phillies game. His status was not disclosed.