Gloria Aaron dies at 66

Updated: May 12, 2004, 1:06 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

MOBILE, Ala. -- Gloria Aaron, sister of baseball home run king Hank Aaron, has died. She was 66.

Gloria Aaron died Saturday in Mobile, according to a spokesman for her brother-in-law, U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta. The cause of death was not immediately known.

In addition to her brother, Gloria Aaron is survived by her mother, Estella; her other brother, James; and her sister, Alfredia.

During her life, Gloria Aaron was employed by the Mobile County Public Schools and Delchamps Corp.

Minnesota Twins: Catcher Matthew LeCroy was activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday by the Twins.

LeCroy, Minnesota's opening-day designated hitter, missed 27 games after straining an oblique muscle during a swing April 7 against Cleveland.

The Twins placed infielder Nick Punto on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained left oblique muscle, a move retroactive to Sunday. The team purchased infielder Alex Prieto's contract from Triple-A Rochester to back up Luis Rivas at second base.

To make room for Prieto, the Twins designated left-hander Carlo Pulido for assignment. Minnesota has 10 days to trade him, release him or send him outright to the minors.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays placed right-handed reliever Justin Speier on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with soreness in his pitching elbow.

Speier was 1-3 with a 4.32 earned run average and one save in 14 appearances. He worked a scoreless inning Monday against the Kansas City Royals and had allowed just one earned run in his last five outings, covering 6 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Aquilino Lopez from Triple-A Syracuse, where he was 0-1 with two saves and a 2.45 ERA.

He was with the Blue Jays earlier this season and was 0-1 with an 11.42 ERA in nine appearances. He allowed 15 hits, including four home runs, in 15 2/3 innings.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Devil Rays left fielder Eduardo Perez on Tuesday was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a torn left Achilles tendon and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

Perez sustained the injury while running the bases in the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Anaheim Angels.

The versatile veteran will have surgery Wednesday morning at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg. The procedure will be performed by Devil Rays orthopedist Dr. Koco Eaton.

Perez was batting .211 with a homer and seven RBI in 13 games for the Devil Rays this season.

To take Perez's roster spot, Tampa Bay recalled infielder-outfielder Damian Rolls from Triple-A Durham.

Seattle Mariners: Right-hander Rafael Soriano was placed on the 15-man disabled list Tuesday by the Mariners because of a sprained elbow ligament.

Seattle recalled infielder Ramon Santiago from Triple-A Tacoma.

Soriano is 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in six relief appearances over 3 1-3 innings. He strained an oblique muscle during spring training and spent time on rehabilitation assignments at Double-A San Antonio and Class A Inland Empire in California.

He was the loser in the New York Yankees' 7-6 win Sunday, and was put on the DL retroactive to Monday. The Mariners described the sprain as mild.

Santiago was acquired from Detroit on Jan. 8 and was hitting .180 (18-for-100) at Tacoma with no homers and six RBI.

Cincinnati Reds: Left-hander Mike Matthews was called up Tuesday by the Reds, who are trying to balance their bullpen.

Matthews takes the roster spot of right-hander Jimmy Haynes, who was placed on waivers Monday.

Matthews, 30, went 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 11 games for Triple-A Louisville. Matthews, who has pitched for St. Louis, Milwaukee and San Diego, agreed to a minor league deal with the Reds in January.

Phil Norton was the only left-hander in the bullpen until Tuesday.

Atlanta Braves: Left-handed reliever Armando Almanza, who had elbow surgery late last season and then signed with Atlanta as a free agent, was activated from the 15-day disabled list. He had been on the disabled list all season.

Almanza allowed two hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 30-day rehab assignment in the minors with a save and eight strikeouts. Last year he was 4-5 with a 6.08 ERA for the Marlins and he signed with the Braves as a free agent.

The Braves designated right-hander Will Cunnane for assignment. Cunnane was 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA in nine relief appearances covering 12 1/3 innings.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles recalled second baseman Jerry Hairston from his rehab assignment and he was in the lineup as the designated hitter against the White Sox.

The Orioles also placed left-hander Matt Riley on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday with tightness in his shoulder and recalled right-hander Daniel Cabrera from Double-A Bowie. Cabrera will start Wednesday night's game against the White Sox.

Hairston has been on the disabled list all season after breaking the ring finger on his right hand in Baltimore's first exhibition game March 4. He hit .271 with 21 RBIs last season, but missed half of the year with a broken foot.

Riley reported tightness in his shoulder Sunday after making his first relief appearance since being moved to the bullpen May 3. He is 1-1 with a 6.33 ERA in five games.

Cabrera was 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA in five starts at Bowie.

Oakland Athletics: Oakland activated utilityman Mark McLemore from the disabled list and optioned second baseman Frank Menechino to Triple-A Sacramento.

McLemore, 39, was in the lineup at second base when the Athletics started their road trip against the Tigers. He signed a one-year contract on April 5, about two weeks after surgery on his right knee.

McLemore, a .259 hitter over 18 seasons, is expected to help add some depth to the infield positions, where the A's have been relying on the inexperienced Bobby Crosby at shortstop and Marco Scutaro at second base. McLemore hit .233 in 99 games with Seattle last season.

Menechino hit .091 with one RBI in 13 games. He began the season on the disabled list with a strained right calf.

San Diego Padres: Right-hander Jason Szuminski, the first MIT graduate to play in the major leagues, was sent back to the Cubs organization by the Padres, who activated infielder Jeff Cirillo off the 15-day disabled list.

Szuminski, 25, was 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA in seven relief outings with the Padres, including three innings on Sunday against the Marlins.

Szuminski was acquired by the Padres in a trade with the Royals on Dec. 15, 2003, after the Royals had selected him from the Cubs in the 2003 Major League Rule 5 Draft.

Szuminski will report to the Cubs Triple-A team in Iowa.

Cirillo, who broke his right index finger the first week of the season, batted .348 (8-for-23) with three doubles and eight RBIs in seven games at Triple-A Portland.

New York Yankees: Special assignment instructor Rob Thomson sustained a broken left jawbone when struck by a batted ball in a freak accident before the game against Anaheim.

Thomson, who served as New York's third-base coach earlier this season after the death of Luis Sojo's mother, was behind a protective screen and lightly tossing batting practice to Miguel Cairo in an indoor cage when he was injured.

The ball came off Cairo's bat, ricocheted off a chair that had been pushed aside and hit Thomson.

Thomson never lost consciousness. General manager Brian Cashman said Thomson told him, "I staggered, but I didn't go down."

Thomson was to have surgery Tuesday night and be released from the hospital in a day or two.

San Francisco Giants: Starter Jerome Williams left in the fourth inning against the Phillies with a slight biceps strain, and first baseman J.T. Snow left the after the fifth inning as a precaution after hitting the back of his head on the ground.

The team said Williams would be re-evaluated Wednesday.

He threw a 2-0 pitch to David Bell for another ball, then shook his throwing arm. Assistant trainer Ben Potenziano, pitching coach Dave Righetti and manager Felipe Alou all went to the mound to check on Williams, He walked off and was replaced by Wayne Franklin.

Snow was chasing a foul ball by Marlon Byrd in the fourth inning, lunged over the dugout railing but didn't make the play. He fell hard as he came back and struck his head on the ground. The Giants said they did not believe Snow had a concussion.

Byrd then hit a three-run triple to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead.

Baltimore Orioles: Shortstop Miguel Tejada left the game against the White Sox in the first inning after straining a muscle in his right shin. He is listed as day-to-day.

Tejada hurt his leg when he extended it to grab a relay throw from left fielder Larry Bigbie. He stood up straight and then hopped on his left leg, trying not to put weight on the right. Trainers came out to look at him, and he hobbled off the field, hopping about the last 25 feet.

Chicago Cubs: Pitcher Mark Prior soon can add college graduate to his resume.

Prior is scheduled to receive his bachelor's degree in business from the University of Southern California during graduation Friday.

Prior will speak at the Marshall School of Business ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium.

He was drafted by the Cubs and signed a $10.5 million, four-year contract in June 2001 after his junior season, when he was 15-1 with a 1.69 ERA. He spent the past three offseasons finishing his undergraduate classes.

Last season, Prior helped the Cubs reach the NL championship series and made his first All-Star appearance.

"This is another illustration of Mark's personal character," Southern Cal coach Mike Gillespie said. "He made a determination to graduate for as long as we have known him."

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox chose Felix Diaz to fill the fifth spot in their rotation, and the right-hander is expected to be called up from Triple-A Charlotte in time to pitch Thursday.

Diaz, acquired in the July 2002 trade that sent Kenny Lofton to the Giants, is 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA in seven games at Charlotte. He has struck out 32 while walking only five in 39 1-3 innings. Diaz is tied for the International League lead in victories and ranks fifth in strikeouts.

"He earned (the right) to be here," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "The kid is a warrior and throws strikes."

The White Sox haven't said who will be sent down to make way for Diaz. Guillen wants to make sure that Sandy Alomar's sore hip is OK before making a decision.

Milwaukee Brewers: Shortstop J.J. Hardy, the top prospect in the Brewers' minor league system, likely will miss the rest of the season with a separated left shoulder.

Hardy's shoulder popped out for the third time since last fall when he checked his swing on an inside fastball Sunday at Ottawa, where the Indianapolis Indians were playing. He flew to Milwaukee on Tuesday, and Brewers team doctor William Raasch recommended surgery.

Hardy will seek a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum in California.

Hardy's shoulder first popped out of its socket last fall when he was with the U.S. team that failed to qualify for the Olympics. It happened again in spring training, forcing him to miss some playing time.

General manager Doug Melvin said Hardy had a bone bruise but no tears in the labrum.

With recovery time anywhere between three and six months, the Brewers hope Hardy will be ready to play in the Arizona Fall League and then in winter ball to make up for the time he'll miss this season.

Minnesota Twins: Third baseman Corey Koskie left the game against the Mariners with a strained sternum.

Koskie, who entered the game batting .250 with five home runs and 15 RBIs, left after the second inning and was replaced by Michael Cuddyer. It wasn't immediately clear how he was injured.

Koskie, who has been given occasional days off this season to prevent his sore back from flaring up, is day-to-day.

Philadelphia Phillies: First baseman Jim Thome left the game against San Francisco with a left thumb injury.

Thome was hurt -- the team called it a "tweaked" thumb -- fielding Tyler Walker's grounder in the fifth inning.

He drove in a run with a triple, singled and scored a run.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox optioned right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim to Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday night, a day after he was removed from the starting rotation because of a second consecutive poor outing.

Kim was 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA in three starts after being activated from the 15-day disabled list on April 29. He missed the first 19 games of the season with a right shoulder strain.

The Red Sox said they will replace him on the roster before Wednesday's game.

Kim lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up six runs -- four earned and two more on a passed ball when he crossed up Jason Varitek in Monday's 10-6 loss to Cleveland.

Bronson Arroyo will replace Kim in the rotation and start Saturday in Toronto.

Kim prefers to start but pitched primarily out of the bullpen last season. He signed a $10 million, two-year contract over the offseason.

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