Loewen plans to become an outfielder
Pitcher believes he can make it as a position player
With lingering elbow problems derailing his pitching career, Adam Loewen is going to try to come back as an outfielder.
"It's been six years, probably five or six years, since I've hit competitively in college," Loewen, who is hoping to talk to Rick Ankiel to get some advice, told The Baltimore Sun. "It's going to take time. It's going to be a real challenge, but Rick Ankiel did it, so at least I have somebody before me that did it that I can relate to."
A first-round selection in the 2002 draft, the 6-foot-5 left-hander batted .353 with a homer and 38 RBIs in 45 games during his one season at Chipola Junior College in Florida.
Amezega comes through as late insertion: Alfredo Amezega is the kind of player a manager likes to see on the field in the late innings of a tight game.
He entered Sunday's game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, and he singled and stole a base. Amezega remained in the game, and in the 11th inning, he singled and eventually scored the game-winning run in the Marlins' 3-2 win over the Phillies. Amezega now has 10 hits in his last 18 at-bats, including three pinch hits.
"That's why, when we put him in the game, we like to keep him in somehow because he's a game changer," manager Fredi Gonzalez told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "He's so flexible, you can put him in any kind of position, and he kind of energizes us."
Teagarden's first hit is one for the books: Rookie Taylor Teagarden made his first Major League hit a memorable one. The Rangers catcher hit a solo home run in the sixth inning on Sunday to break up Scott Baker's perfect game and lead Texas to a 1-0 win over the Twins.
"The only thing he didn't do was clean the stadium after the game," Texas closer C.J. Wilson told The Dallas Morning News about Teagarden.
"Baker was throwing so well at that point, I figured he was going to come with his best fastball, and he did," Teagarden said. "I just tried to put an easy swing on it and make contact."
Haren battles through illness for another gem: Dan Haren showed why he was an All-Star pitcher this year. The Arizona right-hander battled a sore throat and an upset stomach on Saturday, but he pitched well enough to lead the Diamondbacks to a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers.
"He didn't have his best stuff out there, but he battled and kept battling," catcher Miguel Montero told Arizona Republic.
"I woke up [with] a little sore throat and didn't have much energy, but throughout the course of the year, you can't feel great every game," Haren said. "I went out there and did the best I could. Fortunately, I had some good defense."
Hamstring mended, Percival taken off DL: Rays closer Troy Percival, who had been out with a sore left hamstring, was activated from the disabled list Sunday.
"My leg feels as normal as it can feel," Percival told The St. Petersburg Times. "Can I go out and give you a guarantee that something else isn't going to go or that it's going to go? I wouldn't do that. But it feels 10 times better than the last time coming off the DL."
Nix targeted for U.S. Olympic team: The Rockies optioned Jayson Nix back to Triple-A Colorado Springs in order to allow him to play for the U.S. Olympic team in the Summer Olympics in China. Nix had to be on an active Minor League roster by Monday in order to be eligible to play for the team.
"He has to clear waivers by Monday to be available to play in the Olympics," manager Clint Hurdle told The Rocky Mountain News. "To get an opportunity to play in the Olympics, it adds tremendous value to someone's career."
Walk-off grand slam a first for Miles: For just the third time this season and the 15th time in his career, Aaron Miles smacked a home run in the Cardinals' 9-5 win over the Padres on Sunday. This one, however, was a walk-off grand slam, the first walk-off hit of his career at any level.
"That's a feeling I wasn't sure I was going to get to experience, that walk-off homer," Miles told MLB.com. "But it happened to me. I'd never done it before -- not in the Minor Leagues or anywhere -- so it's a great feeling."
Lee's dominance shines in complete game: Cliff Lee was once again dominating on Sunday, tossing a complete-game gem -- his second complete game of the year -- in the Indians' 6-2 victory over the Mariners. Lee is 13-2 with a 2.29 ERA.
"It's fun to catch Cliff," catcher Kelly Shoppach told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "He's been able to throw all his pitches for strikes. He always makes me look like I'm calling the right pitch."
Dempster secures first road victory: For the first time since June 2, 2006, Ryan Dempster picked up a victory on the road in the Cubs' win over the Astros on Sunday. Now 11-4, Dempster worked eight strong innings and jokingly dismissed being harassed by reporters about road victories after the game.
"Finally won on the road. Oh, my God, such a relief," Dempster told The Chicago Tribune. "All the questions can stop now."
Teammate Kerry Wood isn't surprised by Dempster's overall success.
"Nobody in the game that I've played with works harder than he does," Wood said. "I saw him out running in Central Park [last week] while the rest of us were getting up with our families. The guy is unbelievable."
McLouth's mom always believed: Nate McLouth has come a long way in a short time -- from not being able to land a starting job to representing the Pirates in the All-Star Game last week at Yankee Stadium. This, of course, comes as no surprise to his family.
"We just knew," McLouth's mother, Pam, told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We never gave up believing he was going to get a shot, and that when he did, it would be a good thing. We knew that when the time was right for Nate, it would happen."
Smoltz to get a taste of TV while on DL: John Smoltz has found a way to keep busy while being on the disabled list. He is scheduled to work the pregame and post-game shows for SportsSouth on Wednesdays and Sundays.
"I'm definitely interested," Smoltz, 41, who will be six weeks out from his season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It's something I'd be willing to do on a limited basis. I couldn't do that to my kids when I retire."
Ozuna's speed put on display in debut: The Dodgers signed Pablo Ozuna after the infielder was released by the White Sox. Ozuna entered Sunday's game as a pinch-runner and scored the tying run in the ninth inning by coming home from first base on a double by Matt Kemp.
"He might be one of the only guys on the team who could get there from first base," catcher Russell Martin told The Los Angeles Times.
Rodriguez not thinking about saves record: Francisco Rodriguez continued his assault on Bobby Thigpen's single-season save record as he struck out the side against Boston in the ninth inning on Sunday to record his 40th save. He became the fastest player in history to 40 saves in a season, making it 10 games sooner than John Smoltz did when Rodriguez racked up that number in the 98th game of the season for the Angels.
"Forty is unbelievable," Rodriguez, who reached the milestone for the fourth consecutive year since taking over as full-time closer, told The Los Angeles Times. "But when you ask me about it, you make me think about the record. I don't want to think about the record."
Shoppach adds another blast: Kelly Shoppach hit his eighth home run of the season on Sunday in the Indians' 6-2 victory over the Mariners.
"I've always had some power," Shoppach told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "If I stay within myself, I know I can do some things as far as home runs are concerned. I've always hit a bunch. I was a doubles guy until I got to Triple-A, and then I learned to hit it a little farther. It's only one game."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.