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Inside Baseball / THE BOTTOM HALF

Off The Wall

September 02, 2007|Peter Yoon

Looking back

The Cincinnati Reds had two runs taken off the scoreboard and Edwin Encarnacion lost a hit when Adam Dunn was called out for missing third base on an apparent two-run single in the fourth inning Thursday night. The ruling by crew chief Wally Bell and third base umpire Chris Guccione changed the score from a 2-1 Reds lead to a 1-0 Pirates lead. With the bases loaded and two out, Encarnacion hit a line drive to left field. Ken Griffey Jr., who was on third, and Dunn, who was on second, both scored standing up. But the Pirates successfully appealed that Dunn failed to touch third, and he was called out on what became a force play at third.

Looking ahead

Pedro Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, will make his first start of the season Monday at Cincinnati. Martinez has been on the disabled list all season after rotator cuff surgery last October. He has made four rehabilitation starts, including last Monday, when he gave up an unearned run and five hits in six innings. Martinez said he expects to be limited to 75 pitches. The timing couldn't be better because the Mets have had their division lead cut from seven games to three since Aug. 25.

It's a fact

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have the worst record in the majors, but they will be a factor in two American League pennant races. That's because their final 28 games include six against New York, six against Boston, four against Seattle and three against the Angels -- all first- or second-place teams in their divisions. According to Stats LLC, it is the toughest remaining schedule of any team based on opponents' winning percentage.

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MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

ANGELS IN THE MINORS

SEAN O'SULLIVAN, P

Cedar Rapids, Class A

A 6-foot-1, 220-pound right-hander, O'Sullivan, 19, might be the hottest pitching prospect in baseball as the minor league season draws to a close. He is 6-1 with a 1.17 earned-run average in 10 starts since the beginning of July and hasn't given up more than three earned runs in any start during that span. In his last two starts, he gave up only an unearned run and seven hits with 11 strikeouts and a walk in 16 innings. For the season, the 2005 third-round pick from Grossmont College is 10-6 with a Midwest League-leading 2.06 ERA. He has given up only 125 hits and 39 walks in 152 1/3 innings.

SEAN RODRIGUEZ, SS

Arkansas, double A

Rodriguez, 22, has struggled some for the first time in his five-year pro career, but he's again showing the promise he flashed last year, when he batted .307 with 29 home runs and 86 RBIs over two minor league stops. He's batting only .252 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs at Arkansas but is batting .281 with three home runs in his last 10 games. A third-round draft pick in 2003 from Miami Braddock High, where he was a third-team prep All-American, Rodriguez was most valuable player of the Pioneer League in 2004, his first full pro season. Last season, he was a California League All-Star.

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