Biggio to retire at end of season

HOUSTON - Houston Astros infielder Craig Biggio plans to retire at the end of the season after a 20-year career in which he joined the elite 3,000-hit club.

"I get to go out on top. The 3,000th hit night was the best. I'll never forget that," Biggio said at a news conference Tuesday. "I'm in a good place. I think I've done everything I could on a baseball field."

The 41-year-old got his 3,000th hit on June 28.

"I just can't believe it's over. It's gone by fast," he said. "I have no regrets. I played the game the right way."

Biggio is batting .247 with 24 doubles, five homers and 31 RBIs. He began Tuesday with 3,014 hits, six shy of tying Rafael Palmeiro for 23rd place.

Biggio has played his entire major league career with the Astros, becoming the longest-tenured player in franchise history.

A seven-time All-Star, Biggio starred at Seton Hall and was the 22nd player selected in the 1987 amateur draft. He caught his first four seasons.

n Cards' Carpenter has season-ending elbow surgery: Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter had reconstructive elbow surgery Tuesday, an operation likely to sideline him for at least a year.

The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner, out since opening day, had surgery in early May to remove bone spurs and was on a rehab assignment for Class A Palm Beach when he developed swelling and stiffness on July 8.

St. Louis team physician Dr. George Paletta operated Tuesday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in Carpenter's right elbow.

n Tigers recall Vasquez, option CapellaN: Right-hander Virgil Vasquez was recalled by the Detroit Tigers from Triple-A Toledo to start the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox.

Right-hander Jose Capellan was optioned to Toledo to clear a roster spot.

Vasquez made one start earlier this season for the Tigers and lost to the Twins on May 13 before being sent back to the minors.

n Padres' Barrett suspended for game: San Diego's Michael Barrett was suspended for one game and fined $1,500 Tuesday, two days after he was ejected from a game against Philadelphia.

Barrett and Padres manager Bud Black were ejected in the fifth inning of San Diego's 9-0 loss after Barrett was called out on strikes by plate umpire Chris Guccione and then argued.

n Alou's return delayed, but only for a few days: Moises Alou's expected return from the disabled list was pushed back to the end of the week, after an exam on Tuesday showed tendinitis in his right shoulder.

"We're going to back him up a bit, go day to day on him," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Hopefully Mo will be back in the next day or two."

The 41-year-old outfielder hurt himself Sunday taking a swing in a rehab game. He said he didn't feel right throwing and came out of the game. An MRI exam revealed the tendinitis.