Baseball notebook

YANKEES: New York Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu was removed from the starting lineup for Thursday night’s game against Tampa Bay due to a sore left wrist. Abreu was hurt while sliding into second during a stolen base in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 8-4 victory over the Rays. X-rays were negatives, and the Yankees said Abreu is day to day.

CUBS: Chicago ace Carlos Zambrano has right rotator cuff tendinitis and inflammation, an MRI confirmed Thursday, a potential obstacle to Chicago’s chances of winning the World Series for the first time in a century. Zambrano received a shot of anti-inflammatory medication and hopes to return to the rotation next week. General manager Jim Hendry said Zambrano hopes to start throwing again when the team begins a series in St. Louis on Sept. 10. If all goes well, Zambrano would start at Houston in the following series.

NATIONALS: The Washington Nationals, who rank in the bottom half of Major League Baseball in attendance despite a new ballpark, are lowering some of their season ticket prices for next season. Prices will go down for 7,500 seats in the 41,888-seat Nationals Park, mostly in the outfield sections. Seats in most of the discounted sections will cost $5 to $10 less per game, lowering the stadium’s average season ticket price for a non-premium seat to approximately $29. The team opted not to lower the prices of the expensive seats behind home plate, where sparse attendance has sometimes created an embarrassing image on television. Those tickets sell for as much as $400 per game. The Nationals, in last place in the NL East, are averaging 29,509 fans per game, 18th in the majors and well below the National League average of 34,204 following Wednesday’s games.

PHILLIES: Philadelphia Phillies third-base coach Steve Smith was suspended Thursday for two games and fined because of an argument with umpires during a game in Chicago last week. Smith is scheduled to begin serving his suspension Friday night when the Phillies play the New York Mets.

REDS: Cincinnati Reds right-hander Josh Fogg left after three innings Thursday because he strained his groin while scoring on a sacrifice fly. Fogg gave up five runs against Pittsburgh, his latest poor start, then left after tagging up from third base on Jeff Keppinger’s fly to center field. Since returning from a bad back that landed him on the disabled list, Fogg has only one victory in 10 starts.

Associated Press

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