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YANKEES: Alex Rodriguez 's strained right quadriceps will keep him from playing this week, causing him to miss this weekend's series against the crosstown rival Mets.

"It's still not where it needs to be. I don't see him playing this week," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. "You can't afford to have him come back for two days and lose him again for six weeks."

Rodriguez hasn't played since April 28 and is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Thursday.

RED SOX: Manny Ramirez returned to Boston's lineup with a blast.

After homering only once in his past 19 games, Ramirez hit a two-run shot in the first inning for the Red Sox at Minnesota on Monday. It was the 498th of his career and came off Twins starter Livan Hernandez .

Ramirez, who has eight homers this year, is in 24th place on baseball's all-time list.

Ramirez didn't start Sunday's game because of a sore right hamstring, though he did pinch hit in the ninth inning.

- Designated reliever Julian Tavarez for assignment, clearing room for the return of first baseman Sean Casey .

Tavarez, who turns 35 later this month, was 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA in nine games. The right-hander allowed 18 hits and nine walks in 12w innings.

The Red Sox have 10 days to trade, release or send Tavarez to the minors.

Casey was activated from the 15-day DL after recovering from a strained right hip.

METS: Pedro Martinez plans to throw a simulated game against minor leaguers Wednesday, another step toward a potential return to the rotation in June.

Martinez, who strained his left hamstring April 1 during his season debut, threw a bullpen session Monday. The three-time Cy Young Award winner missed most of the 2007 season following right rotator cuff surgery.

"It's frustrating how hard I worked," Martinez said. "My arm is feeling great. My arm really hasn't given me any problems, and now a hamstring."

DODGERS: Former Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal will be placed on the 15-day disabled list today because of a lower back strain that has caused him to miss five games.

Team spokesman Mark Rogoff said Furcal would go on the DL retroactive to May 6. He is eligible to return May 21.

The switch-hitting shortstop will receive a cortisone shot today and begin rehabilitation Wednesday.

Furcal is the third-leading hitter in the National League with a .366 average.

PADRES: Infielder Edgar Gonzalez joined his younger brother, Adrian , on Monday when San Diego purchased his contract from Triple-A Portland.

Edgar Gonzalez pinch hit and stayed in the game at third base, going 1-for-2 with a single and a strikeout.

To make room, the Padres designated infielder Callix Crabbe for assignment.


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