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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 8, 2001


McGwire likely out until Monday

PHOENIX -- Mark McGwire, bothered by soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, won't be back in the St. Louis lineup until the Cardinals play their home opener Monday.

Manager Tony La Russa said Friday he expected McGwire to start against Arizona on Saturday, but he changed his mind on the advice of doctors.

McGwire won't be in the lineup against Randy Johnson today, either, La Russa said, "unless something dramatic happens tonight -- if some of this new medicine kicks in, and I don't expect it will."

La Russa said McGwire was trying different medication in an attempt to ease the persistent soreness. McGwire is discouraged by the lack of progress in the knee this spring.

"They're trying everything they can," La Russa said. "He's been in at seven o'clock in the morning for treatment all spring, and it's no better than it is today."

McGwire said Friday that he had trouble moving defensively and swinging the bat.

"You can do all the therapy you want, but if your knee doesn't respond to playing the game, moving around and hitting, and basically you're playing on one leg, it's not that good, is it?" he said.

McGwire would be available to pinch hit this weekend, La Russa said.

Jim Edmonds also was out of the lineup for the third game in a row Saturday because of a sore toe.

ASTROS: Moises Alou went through water therapy to help his strained right calf injury. The team believes he is improving enough that he should be able to return to the lineup when he is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.

PHILLIES: Adam Taliaferro didn't know last fall if he would walk again. On Saturday, the Penn State football player walked to the mound at Veterans Stadium and delivered the first pitch.

The pitch drew a standing ovation. In the days leading to the Phillies-Cubs game, Taliaferro needed some tips on throwing from Penn State trainer Glenn Jones.

"The first time I tried to throw it, the ball stayed in my hand," Taliaferro said. "My hand was tight. We had to work on it."

The 19-year-old shattered a neck bone and bruised his spinal cord making a headfirst tackle Sept. 23 against Ohio State.

Phillies pitcher Robert Person visited Taliaferro at the rehabilitation hospital and invited him to throw out the first pitch.

"It caught me by surprise how optimistic he was," said Person, who caught the pitch thrown by Taliaferro and gave him a glove. "I felt better about myself when I left. He's unbelievable, amazing."

REDS: Cincinnati optioned right-hander Rob Bell, who started Friday, to Triple-A Louisville and brought up left-hander Justin Atchley. Atchley made his major-league debut in the fifth inning against the Brewers and retired the only batter he faced.

ROCKIES: The team placed right-hander Juan Acevedo on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Craig Dingman from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Acevedo, acquired in a six-player deal with Milwaukee on Wednesday, aggravated a groin injury after throwing four pitches in relief Friday night.

TIGERS: Detroit put right-hander Brian Moehler on the 15-day DL with a sore shoulder and activated Dean Palmer. The team also called up right-hander Victor Santos from Triple-A Toledo and sent outfielder-first baseman Ryan Jackson to the Mud Hens. The Tigers also transferred catcher Matt Meluskey from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. He had shoulder surgery Thursday.

YANKEES: New York optioned infielder D'Angelo Jimenez to Triple-A Columbus of the International League to make room on the roster for Derek Jeter.

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