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AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES

BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Yankees Send Gooden to the Bullpen

April 21, 1996|Associated Press

Dwight Gooden, 0-3 with an 11.48 earned-run average in three starts for the New York Yankees, was demoted to the bullpen Saturday.

Gooden, back in the majors after a 1 1/2-year suspension for violating his drug after-care program, was dropped from the rotation a day after his worst outing of the season, a 7-1 loss to Minnesota.

"I have no problem with it," Gooden said. "That tells me a lot of work needs to be done."

Gooden gave up six runs on six hits and four walks in three-plus innings Friday night. Manager Joe Torre informed Gooden of the decision when the pitcher arrived at the Metrodome for Saturday night's game.

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The San Diego Padres dodged a major scare when doctors determined that Tony Gwynn won't need surgery on his inflamed right heel.

Gwynn, leading the majors with a .472 average, headed home from Atlanta on Saturday and underwent an MRI on his heel, which forced him to miss three starts. He was given a cortisone shot and will remain in San Diego. He is expected to play Wednesday.

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The Houston Astros put pitcher Greg Swindell on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left groin muscle. Swindell, 31, injured himself while fielding a ground ball during the second inning of Houston's 13-5 victory over Cincinnati on Friday night. . . Outfielder Thomas Howard rejoined the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday after a medical rehabilitation stint at triple-A Indianapolis. The Reds optioned outfielder Mike Kelly to Indianapolis.

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