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Twins' Radke to start Thursday in possible test for playoffs
By TIMES WIRES
Published September 27, 2006
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said right-hander Brad Radke will start Thursday against the Royals.
Radke, the former Jesuit standout who pitched much of the season with a torn labrum and stress fracture in his throwing shoulder, felt good after a bullpen session Monday. His last start before going on the disabled list was Aug. 25.
"(Radke) feels great," Gardenhire said. "But you just don't know. He threw a great bullpen session."
The Twins clinched a playoff berth Monday. Johan Santana and former Gibbs standout Boof Bonser will start the first two games of the division series. If Thursday's start goes well, Radke (12-9, 4.46) could start Game 3.
METS: Right-hander Pedro Martinez will make his final start of the regular season today, and manager Willie Randolph says his only concern is having the veteran healthy for the playoffs. Martinez was on the disabled list from Aug. 16 to Sept. 15 with a strained right calf, but he indicated he is fully recovered. "Health. Health. Health. It's a beautiful thing," Martinez said. A strong outing would convince Randolph to start Martinez in the playoff opener.
NATIONALS: The team canceled batting practice and players were allowed to show up at the ballpark late because a chartered Amtrak train carrying the team home from New York derailed early Tuesday morning. No one was injured when the train went off track as it slowed approaching the station at Wilmington, Del.
TIGERS: Detroit plans to skip Justin Verlander's start this week to give the rookie right-hander a break before the playoffs. Verlander (17-9, 3.63 ERA) has pitched 186 innings this season after pitching 130 last season in the minors and two starts with the Tigers. The Tigers skipped one of his starts last month because of arm fatigue. Right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, Tuesday's starter, might skip his scheduled start Sunday to get ready for the postseason.
O'NEIL STILL WEAK: Buck O'Neil has been hospitalized because of extreme fatigue, and friends are becoming increasingly worried about the 94-year-old former Negro Leagues player. O'Neil spent about three days in the hospital in August and went back in twice this month. An official of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., said he visited Buck on Tuesday. "He's very fatigued and he's lost his voice," Bob Kendrick said. "Buck can only talk at a whisper. It's my understanding that doctors are continuing to do tests and they still are not sure what the problem is."
DMITRI YOUNG SENTENCE: Former Tigers player Dmitri Young was sentenced to a year of probation for assaulting his former girlfriend. He pleaded no contest in June to a domestic violence charge. He was accused of assaulting 21-year-old Michelle Schumaker at a Birmingham hotel April 14. Young had faced up to three months in jail and a $500 fine. The Tigers released him Sept. 6.