Baseball

Red Sox release struggling Smoltz

John Smoltz has been released by the Boston Red Sox. Now the question remains: Will he pitch again?

The 42-year-old right-hander signed with the Red Sox in January after two decades with Atlanta, where he was a Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star. Smoltz was particularly memorable in the postseason, going 15-4 with four saves and a 2.65 ERA.

That record prompted Boston to take a chance and sign him to a $5.5 million, one-year contract, knowing he couldn’t pitch immediately as he recovered from right-shoulder surgery.

He never really made it back.

After eight starts with the Red Sox, Smoltz was 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA. General manager Theo Epstein flew to New York on Aug. 7 to give Smoltz the word in person that he was being designated for assignment. The team had until Monday to trade, release or send him to the minors.

Tom Glavine said he had not talked with his former Braves teammate, but he predicted Smoltz will pitch again.

“I’m sure someone will grab him,” Glavine said in a text message to The Associated Press.

Atlanta general manager Frank Wren said there is no room for Smoltz to make a return the Braves, where he won more than 200 games and had 150 saves.

“With the anticipated addition of Tim Hudson in the near future we have not pursued John Smoltz,” Wren said in an e-mail.

In his final appearance with the Red Sox, the Yankees battered Smoltz for eight runs on nine hits and four walks in 3 innings. He called being cut by the Red Sox “humbling.”

Huff goes to Tigers

The Detroit Tigers bolstered their offense for a pennant drive by obtaining first baseman Aubrey Huff from the Baltimore Orioles for a minor leaguer.

“I’ve been in last place basically my whole career, so this is an exciting time for me,” Huff said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The Tigers began Monday leading the Chicago White Sox by 21/2 games in the AL Central. The last-place Orioles obtained pitcher Brett Jacobson from Detroit and assigned the right-hander to Class A Frederick.

Huff is batting .253 with 13 homers and 72 RBI. The 32-year-old Huff recently hit his 200th career homer and should fit in nicely in a Detroit lineup that ranks 11th in the AL in runs and seventh in home runs.

Huff spoke briefly with Detroit manager Jim Leyland by telephone and said he expects to join the Tigers today, when they open a three-game home series against Seattle.

Short hops

The Texas Rangers are cutting ties with pitcher Vicente Padilla, 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA, putting the right-hander on unconditional waivers for the purpose of releasing him. The Rangers say he’s expected to clear waivers and become a free agent Wednesday. … San Diego Padres right-hander Chris Young, out since mid-June with shoulder inflammation, had arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder and will miss the rest of the season. … Atlanta Braves center fielder Nate McLouth is on the disabled list with a sore left hamstring. McLouth left Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies after aggravating a hamstring injury that forced him to miss two games last week.

  Comments