Originally created 07/31/05

Major league baseball notebook



The Chicago Cubs are close to getting two of their biggest stars back.

Kerry Wood and Nomar Garciaparra are expected to return from the disabled list Friday in New York for a series against the Mets, general manager Jim Hendry said Saturday. Reliever Scott Williamson also could be activated Friday.

"It looks like, without snags this week, we're going to activate all three of them on the same day, which would be very refreshing," Hendry said.

Wood will pitch in relief for the first time in his career, hoping it will allow him to keep pitching despite shoulder problems.

YANKEES: Left-hander Alan Embree signed with the pitching-starved Yankees on Saturday, hoping to bolster their bullpen as they chase his former team, the Boston Red Sox, in the American League East.

Released by the Red Sox on Friday after being designated for assignment 10 days earlier, Embree was fishing back home in Oregon before he agreed to a deal with New York late Friday.

He jumped on a flight from Portland, landed at 8:15 a.m. and said it felt as though he was "behind enemy lines" when he arrived at Yankee Stadium on Saturday morning.

"I got rid of my Boston bag as quick as I could," Embree said.

To make room for Embree, the Yankees designated left-hander Buddy Groom for assignment. They have 10 days to trade, release or send him to the minors.

- Yankees starter Jaret Wright allowed two runs and four hits over 2q innings in his first rehabilitation start since injuring his right shoulder in April.

Wright threw 65 pitches - including 39 strikes - in a Gulf Coast League game against Atlanta minor leaguers.

MISSING TEEN: A 13-year-old boy went to the restroom at Yankee Stadium and never returned, and searches of the stadium, nearby fast-food restaurants and train stations by hundreds of police and security guards were fruitless.

Majelique Lewis, of Stamford, Conn., disappeared Friday night during the seventh-inning stretch of the Yankees-Angels game, police said.

His mother immediately reported him missing to security, who notified police about an hour later. Every stadium exit is monitored by security cameras, and Lewis' mother did not spot him on hours of recorded images.

Blue Jays: Toronto placed left-hander Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday and recalled pitcher Dustin McGowan.

Lilly is suffering from biceps tendinitis.

TIGERS: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez was ejected in the fourth inning of Saturday's game against Oakland for arguing with plate umpire Ted Barrett.

Rodriguez appeared to make contact with Barrett after being ejected and then threw a bag of balls and his equipment on the field before leaving the dugout.

The ejection came two pitches after Jay Payton's grand slam gave the Athletics a 4-3 lead.