MLB Notes

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BRAVES: Left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez is set to come off the disabled list today, 13 months after ligament replacement surgery in his elbow.

Gonzalez's return also comes two weeks after closer John Smoltz had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder. Manager Bobby Cox said Gonzalez could move into the closer's role. "We'll see. We'll play it by ear," Cox said. "We certainly want him there."

CUBS: Left fielder Alfonso Soriano will have his broken left hand re-examined Friday and hopes to return before the All-Star break next month. Soriano was hurt when he was hit by a pitch from Atlanta's Jeff Bennett in the second inning of a game on June 11.

CARDINALS: A second opinion backed up St. Louis' hope that ace pitcher Chris Carpenter , whose surgically-repaired elbow has bothered him the past few weeks, might still be able to join the rotation this year.

Carpenter, the NL Cy Young Award winner in 2005, was examined in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday by Dr. James Andrews . That exam confirmed the Cardinals' diagnosis that Carpenter, who made only one start last season before undergoing reconstructive surgery in July, was just working through typical rehab pains.

DODGERS: Put right-hander Brad Penny on the 15-day disabled list with a sore shoulder that has bothered him for much of the season, then sent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda back to Los Angeles to have a sore shoulder examined.

RED SOX: Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed two runs and three hits over five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday night, his first game action since straining his rotator cuff last month. He is expected to start for Boston on Saturday against St. Louis.

- Pitcher Bartolo Colon was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff lower back, and injured right-hander Curt Schilling was sent back to Boston for an examination with team doctors. Colon was injured Monday taking a swing during an at-bat. Schilling, on the 60-day DL since spring training with shoulder weakness, will be examined by medical director Dr. Thomas Gill .

YANKEES: Chien-Ming Wang was placed on the 15-day DL. He's expected to be sidelined until at least September after injuring his foot running the bases Sunday in Houston.

To fill Wang's spot in the rotation, New York will give right-hander Dan Giese a start Saturday against the Reds.

RANGERS: Infielder Hank Blalock's rehabilitation assignment has been delayed again. He is scheduled to rehab with Triple-A Oklahoma for three games starting Saturday.

WHITE SOX: First baseman Paul Konerko went on the 15-day DL for the first time in his career after straining his left side during pregame batting drills over the weekend.

INDIANS: Former All-Star third baseman Morgan Ensberg signed a minor league contract after getting cut by the Yankees earlier this month.


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