No timetable, but Junior hopes he's ready

Updated: July 21, 2004, 12:16 AM ET
Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds: Ken Griffey Jr. hopes to return to the lineup as soon as next week from a partially torn right hamstring that caused him to miss the All-Star Game.

Griffey said Monday he is running and spending as many as four hours a day rehabbing and working out in preparation for his return.

Reds spokesman Rob Butcher said Tuesday there is still no projected date for Griffey's return to the lineup.

Griffey was injured July 10 while trying to run down a drive to right-center in the fourth inning of a loss at Milwaukee. The next day, the Reds placed him on the 15-day disabled list.

Griffey has been on the disabled list six times since joining the Reds for the 2000 season.

Baltimore Orioles: Right fielder Jerry Hairston and second baseman Brian Roberts left the Orioles' game against the Royals after getting hurt on defense.

Hairston bruised his upper right side when he ran into the wall in the third inning, and Roberts was hit on his throwing hand by a bad-hop grounder in the fourth.

Both are day-to-day. X-rays showed no broken bones in Roberts' right hand.

Hairston, running at full speed, caught Mike Sweeney's long fly at the warning track and slammed into the wall with his arm extended. He stayed down on the track for a few seconds before getting up.

Roberts was injured by Angel Berroa's ground ball. He was charged with an error after throwing wide to first on the play, but the ruling was later changed and Berroa was credited with a single.

Karim Garcia moved from center field to right, and Luis Matos came in to play center field and bat in Hairston's spot. Luis Lopez replaced Roberts at second.

Texas Rangers: Right-hander Joaquin Benoit was placed on the bereavement list so he could return to the Dominican Republic after the death of his grandmother.

The Rangers recalled right-hander Nick Regilio from Triple-A Oklahoma to fill Benoit's spot on the roster. Benoit can miss up to seven days while on leave.

Benoit (3-5, 6.84 ERA) has appeared in 16 games for the Rangers, and was the losing pitcher Monday night against the White Sox. Working on nine days' rest, Benoit allowed seven runs on seven hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings.

Houston Astros: Right-handed pitcher Brandon Duckworth was sent to Triple-A New Orleans on the heels of his latest ineffective start. Pitcher Chad Qualls was called up to take his place.

Duckworth, one of three players who came to Houston in the offseason trade of closer Billy Wagner to the Philadelphia Phillies, is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 15 games this season.

He made six starts as an injury fill-in for Andy Pettitte and Wade Miller. His last came Monday, when he allowed just one run but gave up six hits and four walks and couldn't make it through the fifth inning as the Astros went on to lose 7-6 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Qualls, 25, was 3-5 with a 5.51 ERA in 25 games with New Orleans. However, in his last 11 appearances as a reliever he posted a 2.57 ERA. It's the first trip to the majors for Qualls, who was expected to be available for the Astros in Tuesday night's home game against the Dodgers.

New York Yankees: The Yankees optioned left-hander Alex Graman to Triple-A Columbus on and recalled reliever Scott Proctor from the Clippers.

Graman got just one out in his second major league start Monday night at Tampa Bay, allowing five runs and five hits in the Yankees' 9-7 loss. He was filling in for Mike Mussina, on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff right elbow.

Mussina is scheduled to resume playing catch Thursday. If all goes well, he could throw off a mound a few days later. Mussina probably will need two or three sessions on the mound before possibly pitching in a game.

Long man Tanyon Sturtze could take the open spot in the rotation and pitch in Boston on Saturday. New York also could go with Triple-A left-hander Brad Halsey, who was up earlier this season.

Kevin Brown allowed two runs on five hits in four innings in a rehab start for Columbus. Joe Torre doesn't expect Brown to return in time to pitch Sunday at Boston, but the manager hasn't completely ruled it out. Brown is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals optioned reliever Justin Huisman to Triple-A Omaha after a 12-3 loss to the Orioles.

The right-hander had one save and no decisions with a 6.84 ERA in 14 games.

The Royals will fill his roster spot before Wednesday's game in Detroit.

San Diego Padres: Outfielder Darren Bragg opted for free agency after being sent down to Triple-A Portland.

The Padres sent Bragg down after receiving shortstop Rich Aurilia in a trade Monday with Seattle.

Bragg batted .143 and scored two runs in nine games after signing as a free agent with the Padres on July 4.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press