Pat Burrell’s stint in Tampa Bay is over.
The Rays designated the ex-Philadelphia slugger for assignment before Saturday’s 3-2 win over Seattle and selected the contract of former Texas Rangers infielder Hank Blalock from Triple-A Durham.
Burrell has struggled since signing with the Rays two months after helping the Phillies beat Tampa Bay in the 2008 World Series. He batted .221 with 14 homers and 64 RBI in 2009, while making the transition from everyday outfielder to designated hitter.
The 33-year-old Burrell was hitting .202 with two homers and 13 RBI in 24 games this season.
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A’S SUMMON CUST FROM MINORS
The Oakland Athletics promoted slugger Jack Cust from Triple-A Sacramento and activated right-hander Justin Duchscherer from the 15-day disabled list.
Duchscherer was scheduled to start against the Los Angeles Angels, but the A’s made a last-minute change and sent Tyson Ross to the mound for his first major league start due to a recurrence of the inflammation in Duchscherer’s troublesome left hip.
ROCKIES’ HAMMEL OFF DISABLED LIST
The Colorado Rockies activated right-hander Jason Hammel from the 15-day disabled list and started him in the second game of their day-night doubleheader against Washington.
Hammel strained a right groin muscle in his start against Arizona on April 26. The South Kitsap High graduate pitched seven innings against the Nationals on Saturday, giving up three runs on six hits. Hammel got the win and is now 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA in five starts.
To make room for Hammel, the Rockies put outfielder Eric Young on the 15-day DL with a stress fracture of his lower right leg.
KICKED BALL ALMOST UTLEY HOMER
A long fly by Chase Utley and a bizarre bounce almost had Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart playing soccer.
The Phillies had two on with two outs in the second inning of a 10-6 victory when Utley hit a deep drive to right field at Miller Park.
The ball hit the wall, caromed directly at Hart’s left foot and then bounced over the wall. Umpires ruled it a ground-rule double for Utley. If the ball had hit Hart’s foot and never touched the ground, it would’ve been a home run.
Replays were inconclusive.
Yankees DH-first baseman Nick Johnson could be out three more weeks if the cortisone shot for his injured right hand works. If Johnson needs surgery he could be out another four to six weeks after the operation. ... The Yankees will push back Javier Vazquez’s start to Friday against the Mets. … The Mets dropped Oliver Perez from the rotation and sent him to the bullpen. Shortstop Jose Reyes was moved from third in the batting order to his more familiar leadoff spot.
Both have been struggling. Reyes was pleased with his change, while Perez said he understood the reason behind his demotion.
“I don’t like to go to the bullpen, but that’s best for the team,” Perez said. “Right now I have trouble.”
Perez is 0-3 with a 5.94 ERA in seven starts. The left-hander gave up four home runs Friday in a loss at Florida, when he lasted only 3 1-3 innings for the second consecutive outing.
Florida Marlins catcher John Baker has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right elbow.
The move was retroactive to Thursday, and Florida recalled outfielder Bryan Petersen from Triple-A New Orleans.
Baker first hurt his elbow early in spring training, and the injury flared up late last month, sending his batting average plummeting to .218.
Brett Hayes, who has 11 career at-bats, started at catcher Saturday night against the New York Mets.
The Marlins also released Doug Mientkiewicz on Saturday after the first baseman played in only four games for the team’s Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans.
Mientkiewicz, who signed a minor league contract last week, is again a free agent. He went 4 for 16 with a double for New Orleans.