Jeff Kent, second among the San Francisco Giants with 49 runs batted in and the team leader with a .301 batting average, wants to start tonight in an exhibition against the club's triple-A affiliate in Fresno and, if all goes well, aims for a return this weekend at Colorado.
Kent, the Giants' cleanup hitter, was injured by a sliding Alex Rodriguez of Seattle on June 9.
"If you give us Jeff Kent the last three weeks, are you going to tell me we wouldn't have been markedly better?" Manager Dusty Baker asked.
The Giants were 41-24 when Kent was injured, and went 5-11 without him until winning six of their last eight games before the All-Star break.
Cal Ripken, urged by newspaper columnists and others to take a day off to bolster a weak bat, said he will continue to play every day, extending a streak that has reached 2,566 consecutive games, until he is told by Baltimore Manager Ray Miller that he should sit.
Ripken, 37, is hitting .258 with seven homers and 36 RBIs.
The highest-scoring All-Star game in history brought NBC a 13.3 rating and a 25 share, 13% higher than the 11.8 rating and 21 share last year. It was the highest rating since 1995, when ABC got a 13.9 and 25.