BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRA
By Mark Simon, ESPN Research
The Yankees are banged-up and bruised, but somehow managed to beat the Red Sox twice in Fenway Park this week to re-establish a little bit of credibility after some early struggles in the series.
Somehow, the Yankees always seem to get it done, as evidenced by their two amazing wins over the Rangers and Mets last week and this week's rebounding effort.
Now, it gets a little easier for the Yankees with Kansas City coming to town for a three-game series this upcoming weekend. The Royals have dropped 12 straight overall and 14 in a row at Yankee Stadium. Don't be too surprised if these streaks continue and the Bronx Bombers get on a little bit of a roll.
• Brian Moehler beat Greg Maddux in the Marlins' 9-3 victory over the Cubs. Moehler defeated Maddux the only other time the two veterans opposed each other as starters, on Sept. 1, 1997 (Tigers at Braves). At the time of their first meeting, Maddux was already a four-time Cy Young Award winner and Moehler was less than a year removed from his big league debut.
Maddux is 0-4 this month after posting a 5-0 mark during April. Maddux is the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to lose his first four decisions in May in a season in which he went 5-0 (or better) in April.
• In Tampa Bay's 10-8 victory at Toronto, Carl Crawford became the first player to collect five hits and four stolen bases in a game since Rickey Henderson did it for the Yankees on April 11, 1988.
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WEDNESDAY'S NEWS AND NOTES
• OF Dan Ortmeier made his first start of the season for the Giants in their 10-4 loss to the Cardinals and went 1-for-3 with an RBI. But after the game, he was optioned to Triple-A Fresno.
Cub for life?
Aramis Ramirez isn't worried about being part of a midsummer purge if the Cubs continue to flounder, the Chicago Tribune reports. There has been no talk of trading Ramirez -- who's in the second year of a four-year, $42 million contract -- but he is the kind of player who could command great interest and several top-level prospects in return.
"I signed a four-year deal here," he told the newspaper. "If I was thinking of leaving, I wouldn't have signed. I would have gone on the free-agent market. I signed, and I expect to be here. ... But this is a business, and I know anything can happen."
Ramirez is making $10.5 million this season, and he will get $11 million in '07 and $11.5 million in '08. If he plays in 270 total games in '07 and '08, the '09 option year kicks in at $11 million. One thing he does not have is a full no-trade clause.
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