Games from the 28th:
Tampa Bay Rays 10 - Oakland A's 8
Hideki Matsui was the starting DH and batted third. He went 1-for-3: single to right (run scored), ground out to first, line out to first, walk (run scored). Matsui has now hit safely in 6 straight games.
Texas Rangers 4 - Minnesota Twins 1
Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at short and batted second. He went 0-for-3: ground out to third, ground out to second, ground out to second. Nishioka was then replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the 8th.
Yoshinori Tateyama entered in the top of the 8th, with a runner on first, 1 out, and the Rangers up 2-1. Tateyama struck out the one batter he faced before he was replaced by Arthur Rhodes. Final line: 0.1 IP, 1 BF, 8-6 NP-S, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB,1 SO, 0 HR.
Toronto Blue Jays 8 - Baltimore Orioles 5
Koji Uehara entered the game in the bottom of the 7th, with Orioles down 8-4, and tossed a shutout inning in relief. Final line: 1 IP, 4 BF, 11-10 NP-S, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR.
Pawtucket Red Sox 2 - Lehigh Valley IronPigs 1
Hideki Okajima entered the game in the bottom of the 8th, with Pawtucket up 2-1, and tossed a perfect inning in relief. Final line: 1 IP, 3 BF, 16-11 NP-S, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR.
The Chicago Cubs traded Kosuke Fukudome to the Cleveland for 2 minor leaguers. A snip from an article posted by the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan:
Fukudome, who was traded to the Indians on Thursday along with about $4 million for two mid-level prospects, was supposed to provide the left-handed bat that former manager Lou Piniella pined for during the '07 playoffs.
The Cubs even went so far as to call the Japanese consulate after the trade was consummated.
Though a solid defensive player with a good on-base percentage, Fukudome's mediocre numbers and lack of power made him a hard sell for the Cubs. They had to pick up all but $775,000 of the estimated $4.7 million remaining this season on Fukudome's contract, and received Triple-A right-handed reliever Carlton Smith and Class-A outfielder Abner Abreu, neither of whom is considered a lock to make it to the majors.
And the latest on Hiroki Kuroda:
The Yankees, not thrilled about the price on Jimenez, remain involved on Kuroda.
Same goes for the Red Sox, who are telling teams they are focused on getting a right-handed hitting outfielder, but remain active with both Jimenez and Kuroda.
According to sources, the Dodgers continue to believe that Kuroda will eventually agree to go somewhere, with New York and Boston thought to be his top two picks.
By the end of this season, Hiroki Kuroda will have four years of major-league service.
But for the Dodgers – or the team that acquires him before Sunday's non-waiver trade deadline – Kuroda will be treated as if he has six or more, like the more conventional major-league free agents.
However, Kuroda's contract stipulates that he will be eligible for Article XX(B) free agency after this season. Thus, his team can offer him salary arbitration and collect draft pick compensation if he qualifies for it through the Elias Rankings.
From ESPN's Jim Bowden:
Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Indians, Rangers final 5 on Kuroda #Trades
From ESPN's Jason Stark:
One friend of Kuroda told the Daily Rumble that because his final start before the deadline is out of the way, the 36-year-old right-hander can finally focus on whether he will agree to getting traded to one of the five teams pursuing him.
"He's a very deliberate thinker," Kuroda's friend said. "He's just a very thoughtful guy, and he didn't want to get into this [trade scenario] until he got through this start."
So now that that's over with, the Dodgers can finally zero in on their options. The Yankees have "strong interest," according to one source who spoke with them. The Tigers appear to have made Kuroda the first choice on their starter wish list. The Red Sox were the only contender to scout his start Wednesday. The Indians and Rangers have stayed involved.
From SI.com's Jon Heyman:
The strong belief among some contenders is that the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda will not waive his no-trade clause for a deal. At least five American League clubs have checked in on him -- the Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, Rangers and Yankees. While Kuroda has been noncommittal on his no-trade powers, it seems to some like a long shot that he'd accept.