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Ex-pitcher Parque admits to HGH use

July 24, 2009|Associated Press

Jim Parque, a former pitcher for the White Sox and Tampa Bay, says he used human growth hormone "about six times" after he was cut by Chicago in 2002 and before he tried a comeback with the Rays the next season.

Parque made his confession in a lengthy, first-person account printed Thursday in the Chicago Sun-Times. He says he tried HGH in a bid to recover from a shoulder injury that he blames for derailing his career.

"It never gave me more strength or bulked me up, but it provided quicker recoveries," Parque wrote.

"I began to throw harder because my shoulder felt no pain. I was able to withstand more throwing, creating a work environment that I had not experienced in two years."

Parque, who played at UCLA and Crescenta Valley High, made five starts for Tampa Bay in 2003, compiling an 11.94 earned-run average. He never pitched again in the majors. In 2007, he was named as a drug user in the Mitchell Report.

Betancourt traded

The Cleveland Indians traded reliable reliever Rafael Betancourt to Colorado for minor league pitcher Connor Graham.

Betancourt, who has spent his entire seven-year career with Cleveland, learned of the deal after the Indians' 5-4 victory over the Blue Jays.

The Rockies are a game ahead of San Francisco for the National League wild-card berth and nine games behind the first-place Dodgers in the West and wanted to strengthen their bullpen.

Injury report

Houston Astros slugger Lance Berkman has been put on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left calf. Berkman has missed five starts because of the injury, but the Astros had hoped he would heal quickly and could avoid a stint on the DL. . . . . Philadelphia Phillies relievers J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin were put on the disabled list. Romero has a strained left forearm, and Durbin strained a muscle in his back. Tyler Walker and Andrew Carpenter were recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill their roster spots.

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