Purple leg can't keep Brian Giles down

Purple leg can't keep Brian Giles down

Brian Giles' teammates were awed that the gritty outfielder continued playing with a hamstring injury even though the back of his thigh had turned purple.

Giles suffered the injury on June 19th and only missed one start before earning a seven-game break leading into the All-Star Game.

"I promise you, most guys would have been on the disabled list," pitcher Jake Peavy told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Brian Giles is a flat-out gamer. The way he competes every day, it's a great thing for the young guys on this team. From all the blood that settled, his leg was dark purple."

"First time I've seen a purple leg. I've never seen anything like that before," outfielder Scott Hairston said.

Bengie Molina gets power boost: After going 160 at-bats without a homer, Bengie Molina cracked two long balls Tuesday night.

"I've been through a lot," Molina told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Having a game like today, I'm not saying how it's going to end up, but it's a step up and a boost of confidence."

Rodriguez getting plenty of bullpen assistance: The Angels' bullpen hurled six innings of scoreless ball on Tuesday night. Darren Oliver, Jose Arredondo, Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez blanked the Indians over the final six innings. Rodriguez earned his 41st save.

"The bullpen has been strong all year long," Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times about a relief corps that has combined for a 3.21 ERA and held opponents to a .213 batting average since June 1. "That's one of the reasons I've been successful, because those guys give me the ball in the ninth inning in such good shape. If I would say I'm doing this by myself, that would be selfish. I have to give credit to them. It's teamwork."

Carpenter takes another step in comeback: Chris Carpenter, who has not pitched in the Major Leagues since Opening Day of 2007, made a rehab assignment on Sunday for Double-A Springfield as he continues to work back from Tommy John surgery. He didn't allow a run in four innings and felt no discomfort on Monday.

"I feel good," Carpenter told MLB.com. "I was happy with the way my arm feels today. I'll throw a [bullpen session] tomorrow and see what happens. I didn't think it was going to feel that much different than last Monday did, and it was definitely different. I was fired up a little bit."

Nady wants to walk more: Xavier Nady, who has only 11 multi-walk games in his five-year career, wants to improve his patience at the plate.

"When you're feeling good at the plate, you're seeing the ball well," Nady told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Obviously, your pitch selection is going to be better. I still think I can improve on [drawing walks]. It comes down to pitch selection, getting ahead in the count, being selective and aggressive. You try to get yourself in a favorable count and get a good pitch to hit. If you don't get one to hit, you take what they give you and get some walks."

First start an impressive one for Miner: Zach Miner made his first start of the season on Monday night, tossing six shutout innings in the Tigers' 19-4 victory over the Royals. Miner threw 88 pitches in his first start since 2006.

"I love doing it," Miner told the Detroit Free-Press. "I'm very grateful for them giving me the opportunity. I'm glad the first one went well, but I've got to make another one in five or six days."

Richard set for big-league debut: Clayton Richard is scheduled to make his Major League debut on Wednesday for the White Sox against the Rangers. He posted a combined 12-6 record with an ERA of 2.44 between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte.

"Richard is going to start [on Wednesday]," manager Ozzie Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We talked about it -- we talked to the Minor League staff. We tried a different way -- we tried to get him in the bullpen and get his feet wet. This kid's on a roll now, he's having a good year. Why not take a shot with him to see how he handles it?"

Scott continues second-half hitting prowess: Luke Scott, who was named the AL Player of the Week last week, had seven hits in his first 13 at-bats after the All-Star break.

"He's a streak hitter," Orioles manager Dave Trembley told MLB.com. "And when he hits, he'll hit anybody. He'll be patient, not chase bad pitches. He'll hit the ball to the other side of the diamond. I think he's showed steady improvement. ... He's a second-half player [and] always has been."

Durham gets fashion help on first day with new team: Ray Durham needed some help figuring out which hat went with which uniform during his first full day as a Milwaukee Brewer, but that is about the hardest thing he had to go through.

"It's been an easy transition," Durham told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about his move from the Giants to the Brewers. "Most of these guys I've played with, most of these guys I've played against, so I already knew a bunch of these guys."

Clark will see more action back in Arizona: Tony Clark, reacquired by Arizona in a trade with San Diego, will play a larger role with the Diamondbacks.

"He needs to get consistent at-bats, because he's going to play more in the field than he did in San Diego," Melvin told the East Valley Tribune. "He needs to get his reps out there."

"If I can help win a game, whether starting or off the bench, that's what I want to do," Clark said.

Matsui opts for rehab over surgery: Hideki Matsui has opted to try to rehab his left knee instead of having season-ending surgery.

"It was up to me as far as what I wanted to do," Matsui told Newsday. "If I were to get surgery now, I don't think I'd be able to come back this year, and I still have a strong desire to come back this year and be a force for the team."

Damon makes quick recovery from injury: Johnny Damon, who went on the disabled list for the first time in his career after slamming into Yankee Stadium's left field wall and hurting his shoulder on July 4, was back in the lineup on Monday without a rehab assignment. In his first game back, he went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and one run scored.

"I told them I didn't need to go down and get at-bats," Damon told the New York Daily News. "I felt I could get in there, see pitches and battle until I feel real good. Everyone was speculating what would happen, but I know myself better than anyone. I told them two days ago, I'd be ready on Sunday and I was."

Chris Young's rehab progressing nicely: Chris Young believes he's ready to return to the San Diego rotation after throwing 72 pitches in a five-inning rehab assignment for Class A Lake Elsinore.

"I'd like to get out and compete at the big league level," Young told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "If it was up to me, that's where I'd be. I felt good tonight. I felt like I could've gone longer tonight, could've gone 90 [pitches] easily. But there are other elements at the big league level you have to deal with -- like adrenaline."

Teagarden has Beijing on his mind: Not long after hitting his first Major League home run, Taylor Teagarden was sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma Monday and will prepare to catch for the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing.

"Anytime you get sent down, you're disappointed," Teagarden told the Dallas Morning News. "But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in the Olympics."

Bartlett expected to return from DL this week: The Tampa Bay Rays are likely to get Jason Bartlett back from the disabled list, perhaps as early as Thursday. The shortstop said he felt "close to 100 percent" after his workout on Monday. He has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a sprained right knee.

"Watching him run, there was no hesitation," manager Joe Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "I'd say he didn't run 100 percent; I'd say maybe 75-80 percent it looked like. And without any kind of difference in regard to what he looked like normally."

Jacobs' blast lands him in long-ball club: Mike Jacobs joined Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez as Marlins with at least 20 round-trippers this season.

"I have confidence whether I hit a home run or strike out," Jacobs told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I'm a big believer you can't put your head down and mope and pout when you're not swinging well."

-- Red Line Editorial