ATHLETICS: Oakland recalled right-hander Jeff Gray from Class AAA Sacramento on Friday to provide help to an overworked bullpen. He has never pitched in the major leagues. Gray went 2-7 with a 4.39 ERA in 54 games with Sacramento. He had four saves and 50 strikeouts in 672/3 innings.
ORIOLES: Baltimore hitting coach Terry Crowley was suspended for Friday’s game against the Oakland Athletics for going onto the field to argue a strike call in a game two days earlier. According to Orioles manager Dave Trembley, a coach is not allowed to go onto the field to argue a call. Doing so results in an automatic rejection.
The Orioles announced they will bring Trembley back next season, exercising an option that was in the contract he signed last year. The club also added a team option for 2010. Trembley, 56, was appointed interim manager on June 18, 2007, replacing Sam Perlozzo. Trembley formally became the 17th manager in Orioles history when the interim tag was removed on Aug. 22 last year.
TWINS: Baltimore received for minor leaguer Brian Bass from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named or cash. The Orioles selected Bass’ contract from Class AAA Norfolk and added him to their major league roster. The 26-year-old Bass was 3-4 with a 4.87 ERA in 44 games with Minnesota this season, but the right-hander had not pitched for the Twins since mid-August.
RANGERS: Texas left fielder Marlon Byrd left Friday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox after spraining his left thumb while attempting to make a diving catch. Byrd was hurt in the first inning when he dove for AL batting leader Dustin Pedroia’s sinking liner that went for a double. X-rays were negative. The team said Byrd was day-to-day.
Rangers All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler will have season-ending surgery next week to repair a sports hernia. Kinsler last played Aug. 17, and was put on the disabled list the next day after an MRI revealed the injury. Kinsler was hopeful of avoiding surgery and possibly playing again this season. But things weren’t progressing like he hoped and the Rangers are out of the playoff chase.
RED SOX: Boston activated right-hander Josh Beckett, third baseman Mike Lowell and first baseman Sean Casey from the 15-day disabled list. Beckett, who had last pitched Aug. 17 due to right elbow inflammation, started Friday night against Texas. Lowell was back in the lineup for the first time since Aug. 12 after being sidelined by a strained right oblique muscle. Casey didn’t start, but was available for the first time since Aug. 19 after being out with a neck strain.
ANGELS: Los Angeles rookie infielder Sean Rodriguez has 37 strikeouts and nine walks in his brief major league career. But if he’d been paying attention earlier this week, he’d have one less punchout and one more free pass. Rodriguez struck out on what amounted to a 4-2 pitch in the fourth inning of the Angels’ 7-1 win over Detroit on Thursday. It happened after home plate umpire Tim Welke changed a 2-2 count to a 1-2 count after consulting with Rodriguez and Tigers’ catcher Brandon Inge.
BREWERS: Third baseman Mike Lamb was signed by Milwaukee. A nine-year veteran who has played for Texas, Houston and Minnesota, Lamb hit .233 with one homer and 32 RBI in 81 games with the Twins this year. He was released Thursday after being designated for assignment, and will not be eligible for Milwaukee’s postseason roster if the Brewers advance to the playoffs for the first time since 1982.
CARDINALS: Jason Isringhausen, twice demoted from St. Louis’ closer role last month before landing on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain, will have season-ending surgery next week. When Isringhausen was placed on the DL on Aug. 20 with a partially torn tendon and elbow tendinitis, the Cardinals said he likely would miss the rest of the year. The 35-year-old is scheduled for surgery next Friday.
GIANTS: Orlando Cepeda’s likeness has now been cast in bronze, joining his fellow Giants Hall of Famers to be honored with 9-foot statues in San Francisco: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal. Cepeda’s statue will be dedicated today following a Latin fiesta in front of the Giants’ waterfront ballpark, before the team takes on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants will honor Cepeda’s special day by wearing their “GIGANTES” jerseys for the game.
Cepeda, following Clemente before him, was among the pioneers in professional baseball from his native Puerto Rico. Nicknamed “Cha Cha” or “Baby Bull,” Cepeda was signed by the New York Giants in 1955 and went on to hit .297 lifetime with 379 home runs and 1,365 RBIs in 2,124 career big league games.