Giants starter Schmidt will pitch Wednesday

Updated: September 27, 2005, 10:18 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

San Francisco Giants: With the Giants still alive in the NL West race, ace Jason Schmidt will start against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

Schmidt hasn't pitched since tweaking a groin injury against Los Angeles on Sept. 17. That forced him out after five innings.

Schmidt is 12-6 with a 4.29 ERA.

Pedro Astacio (3-2) is scheduled to start for San Diego on Wednesday.

After rallying to win 3-2 Monday night, the Giants trailed the NL West-leading Padres by three games. San Diego's magic number for clinching the division was four going into Tuesday night's game, meaning San Diego could wrap it up by winning two of the final three games of the series.

Bonds' knee tweaked, but he'll play
With every play that tests Barry Bonds' right knee, the Giants will hold their breath.

He chased a fly ball in the second inning and skipped to take pressure off the knee after making the catch.

While he told the San Jose Mercury News that he aggravated the knee making the catch, he also said he'll be able to play Tuesday.

St. Louis Cardinals: Larry Walker returned to the lineup on Tuesday, five days after receiving a fourth cortisone shot for a herniated disc in his neck.

Walker was batting cleanup in the opener of a two-game series against the Houston Astros. Manager Tony La Russa said he anticipated Walker starting four of the five remaining regular-season games with a day off on Thursday factoring into that decision not just for Walker but the entire lineup.

"The whole point about resting guys is all academic as of this week because we've got days off, and I don't have to rest anybody," La Russa said.

The fourth injection was timed to allow Walker, 38, to play a few games before the postseason.

"We knew this was going to happen and we did it," Walker said. "Everything's been right on target, and hopefully I get the same result that I did from the other shots when I came back. I think I played fairly well after the shots."

Walker, a three-time NL batting champion and seven-time Gold Glove outfielder, was batting .278 with 13 homers and 49 RBI in 302 at-bats in what was supposed to be his first full season with the Cardinals. The injury has limited him to 95 games and he is likely to retire after the season.

Boston Red Sox: The rainout Monday juggled the Red Sox rotation for Sunday.

Curt Schilling, who was scheduled to pitch Saturday against Randy Johnson, will instead pitch Sunday against Mike Mussina after sliding from Monday night to Tuesday night.

Tim Wakefield, scheduled to start Tuesday night, will get the afternoon start and come back on three days of rest to pitch Saturday.

"We set it up a long time ago in what we thought was our best order," manager Terry Francona told the Boston Globe. "So you stay with that. Then when it rains, we make adjustments."

David Ortiz is about to take off. The designated hitter will have an airplane named after him on Tuesday by low-fare carrier Song. The plane, a Boeing 757, will be named "Big Papi No. 34."

The carrier, an affiliate of Delta Airlines, is christening the plane in Ortiz's honor as it expands flights out of Logan Airport. Song has an affiliation with the Red Sox in which it flies patients from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a cancer treatment center for children, to spring training to see the team play.

Los Angeles Angels: Even with the Angels on the verge of securing their second straight division title, Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle is boycotting his hometown team.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim moved within a victory of clinching the AL West with a win over Oakland on Monday, but Pringle is finding it difficult to attend games.

The city sued the team after owner Arte Moreno changed the club name from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Pringle has not attended any Angel games this season.

"It's important for the community to support the team, but I'm personally not attending," Pringle said in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times. "It's a challenge to be there when you're suing the team."

Pringle and council members Richard Chavez and Harry Sidhu have avoided games, donating their complimentary tickets to nonprofit groups and relatives. Council members Lori Galloway and Bob Hernandez have put aside their differences and attend games in the city's suite.

"I don't want the lawsuit to affect my support of the team," Galloway said. "It's not the team's fault. I'm very proud of the Anaheim Angels."

The trial is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Atlanta Braves: Blaine Boyer, who has played an important role in the Braves' bullpen, got a bit of good news on his ailing right shoulder.

Boyer underwent an MRI after being forced out of Monday night's loss to the Colorado Rockies when his shoulder began hurting again.

The MRI confirmed that Boyer's shoulder was merely inflamed and his status was day to day, according to trainer Jeff Porter.

"It's OK," said Boyer, whose shoulder was heavily wrapped when he walked into the clubhouse before the second game of the series against the Rockies. "There's nothing wrong."

The Braves hope the rookie right-hander will recover in time for an expected trip to the playoffs. He has been one of the most effective relievers in the shaky Atlanta bullpen, going 4-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 42 games.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE