Baseball notes: Bud Selig will keep current All-Star format
In a strange quirk to interleague scheduling, the Braves have never played in Kansas City, so the eight-time All-Star was making his Kauffman Stadium debut. Jones entered as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and grounded a single past second baseman Ian Kinsler to another appreciative roar.
NL manager Tony La Russa suggested that Jones address the team before the game, and he took him up on the offer.
"We've won two. Win three, and that's a winning streak," Jones told the team. "We have an opportunity to do that tonight. And I am not going out losing my last one. So, you with me?"
Indeed, they were.
BILLY'S AT-BATS: Designated hitter Billy Butler, the Royals' lone All-Star representative, was given a standing ovation when he entered the game as a pinch hitter for David Ortiz in the seventh inning.
Butler grounded out to shortstop, but got another chance with Elvis Andrus on second base and one out in the ninth. After another ovation, Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan struck out Butler.
The affable Butler may not have gotten his chance if not for Ortiz, who started the game as the AL's designated hitter. It was Ortiz who pushed manager Ron Washington to make the lineup change.
"Washington wanted me to take a third at-bat," Ortiz said after leaving the game, "but I said, 'Let my boy come in for his fans.'"
METS' PITCHER HAS SHOULDER SURGERY: New York Mets pitcher Dillon Gee has undergone surgery to remove a blood clot from an artery in his throwing shoulder.
The team said Tuesday no timetable has been set for the right-hander's return, but he will miss his next start and likely will be put on the disabled list.
Gee complained of numb fingers on his right hand Sunday, a day after he pitched. Tests on Monday revealed the shoulder clot.
Doctors used a catheter to break up the clot. The 26-year-old pitcher will remain hospitalized for a day or two to make sure the problem is fully resolved.
Gee pitched eight innings of one-run ball in Saturday's 3-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. He was scheduled to start New York's first game after the All-Star break against the Braves.
He is 6-7 on the season with a 4.10 ERA and has been one of the Mets' most effective pitchers recently, with a 3.34 ERA over the last month.
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