BASEBALL NOTEBOOK

Mets dump former World Series MVP to clear roster space

NEW YORK — The Mets have released struggling right-hander Livan Hernandez to clear roster space for former closer Billy Wagner, who has made a quick recovery from elbow surgery.

Hernandez (7-8) allowed six earned runs in a 10-1 loss to San Francisco on Monday, the latest in a string of poor outings for the 34-year-old former World Series MVP. Hernandez had a 5.47 ERA this season, and the Mets were 2-10 in his last 12 starts.

Tim Redding will start in his place Saturday against the Phillies, although manager Jerry Manuel said it’s possible the club will look at some young arms when rosters expand Sept. 1.

Wagner hasn’t pitched since Aug. 2, 2008, after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. The 38-year-old has 385 career saves.

Rangers activate OF Cruz

ARLINGTON, Texas — Nelson Cruz is back in the Texas Rangers’ lineup after missing more than two weeks with a sprained left ankle. Cruz was activated from the 15-day disabled list and inserted into the starting lineup in right field for Thursday night’s game against Minnesota. The All-Star slugger spent the last three days on a rehab stint with Class AAA Oklahoma City, where he was 0 for 10 in three games.

Orioles pick up RHP

DETROIT — The Baltimore Orioles have claimed right-handed pitcher Chris Lambert off waivers from Detroit. The 26-year-old Lambert was 0-1 with a 14.85 ERA in two relief appearances with the Tigers this season. He was 6-7 with a 3.55 ERA in 21 starts with Class AAA Toledo.

Reds pitcher to DL

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds have placed RHP Johnny Cueto on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of inflammation in his right shoulder. RHP Micah Owings, on the disabled list since July 27 with a tight right shoulder, was activated. Cueto is 8-10 with a 4.61 ERA in 24 starts. Owings, 6-11 with a 5.35 ERA, is scheduled to make the start Friday at Pittsburgh for Cueto.

Minor leaguers suspended

NEW YORK — Yankees minor leaguers pitchers Nestor de Leon and Ramon Rodriguez have been suspended for 50 games each after positive tests under baseball’s minor league drug program.

Associated Press

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