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Monday, September 12, 2005
Harden tender, won't start until at least next week news services

Oakland A's: Rich Harden's next start has been delayed. The A's planned to pitch him against the Red Sox on Friday, but changed their mind Sunday, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Harden's return was put off when he felt pain and quit after throwing two changeups 15 pitches into a workout Sunday morning, the paper reported.

Harden hurt his right shoulder Aug. 19 and has not pitched since.

"That pitch got him," pitching coach Curt Young told the Times. "He threw a couple of fastballs but wasn't right. He had to stop."

A's recall Bocachica, Garcia
Outfielder Hiram Bocachica, who broke his right wrist during spring training, and reliever Jairo Garcia were recalled from Triple-A Sacramento by the A's.

The club also designated right-hander Seth Etherton for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Bocachica.

He was batting .444 in 20 games before he was hit with a pitch on the wrist by Milwaukee's Matt Wise. Bocachica, who was in camp as a non-roster invitee, began a rehab assignment in the Arizona Rookie League on Aug. 26, and recently played in five postseason games for Sacramento.

Garcia is beginning his second stint with the A's. He appeared in one game while he was with Oakland from June 17-21.

Houston Astros: Third baseman Morgan Ensberg, who hasn't played in a week after being hit by a pitch, has a contusion on his right hand and is listed as day-to-day.

"It's discouraging because we're coming down to the most important part of the season," Ensberg said in a story in Monday's online edition of the Houston Chronicle. "We control our own destiny at this point. I can't really offer the team anything, and that really stinks."

The contusion was discovered during an MRI on Monday.

Manager Phil Garner said Ensberg suffered soft tissue damage when he was hit Sept. 5 by a pitch from Philadelphia's Brett Myers.

Ensberg, who leads the Astros with 35 home runs and 96 RBIs, began taking anti-inflammatory medication on Monday.

Boston Red Sox: Johnny Damon was not in Boston's starting lineup Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays because of a sore left shoulder.

Damon got a cortisone shot after last Friday night's game against the New York Yankees. He sat out Saturday and was the DH for the Red Sox on Sunday. He has been playing with discomfort since hurting the shoulder on a slide the previous Sunday against Baltimore.

Damon said the cortisone shot wore off quickly.

"I just have to keep battling and working through it," he said.

Gabe Kapler started in center field for the Red Sox and batted ninth. Second baseman Tony Graffanino moved up to the leadoff spot.

Minnesota Twins: Left-hander Johan Santana will miss his scheduled start Wednesday against Detroit because of a blister on his middle finger.

Santana, the AL Cy Young winner last year, is 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA and leads the majors with 207 strikeouts.

Francisco Liriano will start for the Twins on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Zach Duke will not pitch against St. Louis in this week's series, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. His sprained left ankle remains tender.

Josh Fogg will start in his place Tuesday. Duke could pitch in the Cincinnati series, the paper reported.

"We're being cautious," general manager Dave Littlefield told the Post-Gazette.

Fogg sent to bullpen
The Pirates demoted Josh Fogg to the bullpen for the second time this month and recalled right-hander Ian Snell from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday.

Snell, who was 11-3 with a 3.70 ERA in the minors, will take Fogg's start Tuesday night against St. Louis. Fogg is 6-10 with a 4.97 ERA and had been in danger of losing his spot in the rotation earlier this month when an injury to Dave Williams gave him a reprieve.

Fogg is winless since Aug. 11 and has said he expects to be traded in the offseason. He's 39-41 since the Pirates acquired him from the Chicago White Sox before the 2002 season and has made 119 straight starts in the major leagues since his last relief appearance.

Fogg left his last start in the sixth after Arizona's Chad Tracy singled off his hand, but threw in the bullpen on Sunday.

U.S., Nicaragua, Puerto Rico reach World Cup quarters

Jeffrey Deardorff and Benjamin Zobrist each drove in two runs to help the United States beat the Czech Republic 7-3 on Monday in Amsterdam, Netherlands, giving the Americans a quarterfinal berth in the Baseball World Cup.

Nicaragua also earned a quarterfinal spot with an 11-4 victory over Taiwan, and Puerto Rico advanced with a 7-4 win over Spain. In other games, it was: Panama 5, South Africa 1; South Korea 12, Sweden 2; Brazil 4, Canada 12; and Colombia 1, Australia 5.

Japan will play South Korea in one quarterfinal Wednesday, but the other matchups won't be determined until after the United States meets Taiwan on Tuesday.

Chicago White Sox: Reliever Damaso Marte showed up late and was sent home Sunday. His return is uncertain, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"I have a rule on my team: If you're not on the [disabled list] and late, you're not going to be on my team," manager Ozzie Guillen told the paper. "I did it to Magglio Ordonez. I did it to Bobby Jenks."

Guillen said that Marte did not have permission from any of the coaches to arrive late.

"If you don't respect my teammates, I don't want you around the club the next couple days," Guillen told the Tribune. "Get your stuff out of here and come Tuesday, and we'll see what happens. I have more people to worry about if I let that thing go."

Cincinnati Reds: Reliever Ben Weber accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Louisville, effectively ending his season with the Reds.

The Reds signed Weber as a free agent over the offseason, paying him $600,000 on a one-year deal. Weber appeared in only 10 games and had an 8.03 earned run average when he went on the disabled list May 9 with a bulging disc in his neck. He never returned.

The Reds designated him for assignment last Tuesday. Louisville's season is over, so Weber won't pitch again this season.

Cleveland Indians: Right-handers Fausto Carmona and Jason Davis were recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before the Indians opened a crucial three-game series against the Oakland Athletics.

Carmona was recalled for one day earlier this season. Davis is beginning his fourth stint with the Indians, who enter Monday's game leading the AL wild card by 1½ games over the New York Yankees and the A's by 2½ games.

Cleveland has won seven straight.

The 21-year-old Carmona went a combined 13-8 with a 3.68 ERA 27 games between Buffalo and Double-A Akron. He also won his last three postseason outings for the Bisons.

Davis, who began the year in Cleveland's starting rotation, is 4-2 with a 4.69 ERA in 11 games for the Indians.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.