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National briefs: Sox send Crain to Tampa Bay

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press

All-Star reliever traded for cash or player to be named

Monday, July 29, 2013 - 9:55 pm

BOSTON — The Tampa Bay Rays acquired injured reliever Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox on Monday in an attempt to bolster their bullpen for the AL East stretch run.

The White Sox will receive players to be named or cash for Crain, a 32-year-old right-hander who is 2-3 with a 1.15 ERA in 38 appearances. He was placed on the disabled list on July 3 with a right shoulder strain.

“Jesse has been one of the top relievers in the American League, not only this season but also throughout his entire tenure with the White Sox,” General Manager Rick Hahn said. “We cannot say enough about what Jesse has meant to our bullpen, and the positive impact he's had on our young relievers. We certainly think he has the ability to influence this year's pennant race very positively for the Rays.”

The deal was announced before the Rays faced the division-leading Red Sox in Boston on Monday night. Tampa Bay entered the night one-half game behind Boston in the AL East.

Chicago, which was in last place in the AL Central, had lost nine of 12 heading into Monday night's game in Cleveland. Crain was on the field hugging his former teammates as batting practice concluded.

Crain made the All-Star team for the first time this year but did not pitch because he was injured.

Tigers gets Astros' closer

DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers added some help for their shaky bullpen Monday, acquiring reliever Jose Veras from the Houston Astros for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.

Veras is 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA this season, and the 32-year-old right-hander has struck out 44 in 43 innings with only 14 walks.

Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski says the team is pleased to add an experienced arm to the bullpen.

Detroit entered the season with a lot of uncertainty at the closer spot, and although Joaquin Benoit has pitched well in that role of late, the AL Central-leading Tigers still needed bullpen depth. Aside from Benoit and Drew Smyly, none of their other relievers have been all that effective on a consistent basis.

MLB may try to punish A-Rod under CBA, not drug rules

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball may try to suspend Alex Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement instead of its drug rules, which would eliminate any chance of delaying a penalty until after the case goes to an arbitrator, The Associated Press has learned.

Rodriguez has never been disciplined for a drug offense, and a first offender under baseball's Joint Drug Agreement is entitled to an automatic stay if the players' association files a grievance — meaning the penalty is put on hold until after an arbitrator rules.

While use of banned performance-enhancing substances falls under the drug agreement, MLB may argue other alleged violations are punishable under the labor contract, a person familiar with management's deliberations told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

Taking that action would prevent the New York Yankees third baseman from returning to the field, even if he recovers from a quadriceps injury cited by the team as the reason for keeping him on the disabled list.

And merely threatening to use that provision might give MLB leverage to force a deal.

The Yankees expect Rodriguez to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, of attempting to obstruct MLB's investigation, and of not being truthful with MLB in the past when he discussed his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada.

Four years ago, Rodriguez admitted using PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03. He has repeatedly denied using them since.

Obama salutes Giants

WASHINGTON — President Obama says the San Francisco Giants are making a “habit” of dropping in at the White House.

Obama welcomed the 2012 World Series champions Monday at a South Lawn ceremony honoring their victory and their community service work. The Giants swept the World Series in October, defeating the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in the final game after nearly being knocked out earlier in the playoffs.

The president says their second title in three seasons was because of stellar pitching, defense and timely hitting. But Obama didn't predict that finish. On the campaign trail last year, he anticipated a World Series between the White Sox and the Washington Nationals.

The crowd of well-wishers included Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Indians 3, White Sox 2

CLEVELAND — Pinch-hitter Jason Giambi homered over the center field wall leading off the ninth inning to give the Cleveland Indians their fifth straight win, 3-2 over the Chicago White Sox.

Giambi, batting for struggling Mark Reynolds, belted a 1-1 pitch from Ramon Troncoso (1-3) high over the wall and into the bushes in center. It was the 436th career homer and ninth career walk-off shot for the slugger, who had a bucket of water dumped over his head by teammates after the game.

Chris Perez (3-1) pitched the ninth, allowing a two-out triple to Dayan Viciedo but got out of the inning on a nice catch by left fielder Michael Brantley.

The Indians moved within 2 1-2 games of the idle Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

The White Sox have lost four straight and 10 of 13.

Brewers 5, Cubs 0

CHICAGO — Carlos Gomez broke a scoreless tie in the ninth inning with an RBI single and Jeff Bianchi added a two-run double to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Monday night.

The Brewers, sitting in last place in the NL Central, won for the third time in eight games and ended the Cubs’ winning streak at three games.

Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler (3-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory.

Cubs reliever Pedro Strop (1-1) gave up the single to Gomez on an 0-2 pitch and Jean Segura easily scored from second to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

With one out and the bases loaded, Bianchi gave the Brewers insurance with a double to right to score two more runs and Rickie Weeks also added a two-run double as Milwaukee batted around in the ninth.