MLB Notes

BRAVES: John Smoltz is likely to spend his entire major league career with Atlanta after agreeing to a contract extension Thursday that could be worth $39 million.


Smoltz, who turns 40 next month, will be back for a 20th season in 2008 with a deal that guarantees him about $14 million.

The new contract also includes a $12 million option for 2009 that becomes guaranteed if Smoltz pitches 200 innings the previous season. The club has an option for 2010, at a cost of $13 million if he pitches 200 innings in '09 or $12 million if he falls short of that total.

RED SOX: No paint, no ink, no ketchup.

Nothing but Curt Schilling's blood was seeping through his socks in the 2004 postseason, current and former Red Sox said Thursday after a rumor resurfaced that the pitcher milked his injury for drama while helping Boston end its 86-year title drought.

On Wednesday, Baltimore announcer Gary Thorne said during his broadcast of the Red Sox-Orioles game that Boston backup catcher Doug Mirabelli admitted it was a hoax.

"It was painted," Thorne said. "Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR."

But Mirabelli denied ever talking to Thorne, telling The Boston Globe that Thorne's comment was "a straight lie."

"I never said that," Mirabelli told the paper. "I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood."

RANGERS: Sammy Sosa set a major league record Thursday with home runs in his 44th ballpark at Jacobs Field.

Sosa hit the first pitch from Cleveland starter Paul Byrd into the left-field seats leading off the sixth inning. He added another homer in the eighth inning off reliever Tom Mastny.

Sosa had been tied with Ken Griffey Jr., and Fred McGriff with homers in 43 ballparks. The only stadiums currently in use where the 38-year-old has not hit a homer are RFK Stadium in Washington and the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

TWINS: Torii Hunter was hit by a pitch in the mouth from Kansas City's Zack Greinke on Thursday and was taken to a hospital, where he received three stitches.

Hunter was cut on the inside of his mouth. He was listed as day-to-day.

Leading off the bottom of the second inning, Hunter took a 2-2 fastball directly to the mouth.

After gathering himself, he took a couple of steps toward Greinke.

Hunter then dropped to the turf near home plate as manager Ron Gardenhire and Minnesota's medical staff ran onto the field. Hunter needed a towel to clean up the blood.

LATE SCRATCHES: Griffey Jr. was a late lineup scratch from the Cincinnati lineup vs. St. Louis because of soreness in his chest.

Derek Jeter was also late scratch from the New York Yankees' lineup against Toronto because of a bruised left thigh.



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