NEW YORK — The Baltimore Orioles fired a high-ranking scout after Major League Baseball's newly formed investigative unit linked him to a gambling probe.

MLB was asked for assistance in the gambling inquiry about six months ago by the New York Police Department, a person with knowledge of the investigation said Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not have authority to speak publicly.

The fired scout, Alan Marr, was national cross-checker for the Orioles and the top person listed in the team's scouting directory. The gambling investigation that led to his firing was first reported Friday by

MLB's investigative unit is still actively investigating scouts as part of the gambling probe. There has been no indication games were fixed, the person with knowledge of the probe said.

Andy MacPhail, the Orioles president for baseball operations, declined to go into the reasons for Marr's firing.

"He's no longer our employee. That's all I can say," MacPhail said.

Marr declined to comment when reached at his home in Sarasota, Fla. His firing was first reported by The (Baltimore) Sun on July 4.

There was no indication whether the gambling investigation implicating Marr involved bets on baseball.

Under MLB rules, players, umpires and club officials or employees who bet on baseball games in which they have "no duty to perform" are subject to one-year suspensions. Players, umpires and club or league officials and employees who bet on games in which they have "a duty to perform" are subject to lifetime bans.

MARINERS ACTIVATE HERNANDEZ: Seattle ace Felix Hernandez was activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday to start against the Kansas City Royals. Hernandez sprained his left ankle covering home plate on a wild pitch in the Mariners' 5-2 win over the New York Mets on June 23. Hernandez, who was one out short of being eligible for a win, tried to stay in but left after a painful warmup pitch. Hernandez was 6-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 16 starts before the injury. The Mariners optioned right-hander Jared Wells to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Hernandez. Wells was just recalled Thursday from Tacoma, where he was 1-3 with a 4.41 ERA and 15 saves.

DODGERS OUT OF VERO BEACH: The Los Angeles Dodgers made their departure from Vero Beach official, terminating their facility use agreement. After calling Vero Beach their spring home for 61 years dating to when they were the Brooklyn Dodgers, they informed Indian River County, Fla., officials that they were exercising their option to terminate the agreement in anticipation of opening a $100 million, two-team facility in Glendale, Ariz.

RANGERS SHUFFLE PITCHING STAFF: The revolving door for the Texas Rangers pitching staff took another spin on Friday when the club sent Scott Feldman and Wes Littleton to the minors and called up Kameron Loe and Joselo Diaz from their farm system. Diaz will be the 26th pitcher used by the Rangers this season when he makes his debut with Texas. Littleton was sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma after being called up from that club on Wednesday. Feldman was optioned to Double-A Frisco.

NATIONALS OPTION BERNADINA: Outfielder Roger Bernadina was optioned to Triple-A Columbus by the Washington Nationals on Friday, ending a two-week experiment that saw the speedy rookie jump from Double-A to the majors. The 24-year-old Bernadina was recalled from Harrisburg and inserted into the lineup as the starting center fielder after Lastings Milledge was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain June 28. Bernadina hit .125 (5-for-40) and scored two runs in 10 games with the Nationals.

YANKEES SIGN LHP MILTON: The New York Yankees signed left-hander Eric Milton to a minor league contract Friday, returning Milton to the organization that originally drafted him. New York took Milton with its first round pick, 20th overall, in the June 1996 draft. Milton was traded to Minnesota two years later in the deal that sent Chuck Knoblauch to the Yankees. Milton, who had elbow surgery last June, will be assigned to Triple-A Scranton and immediately placed on the disabled list, allowing him to continue rehabbing at New York's minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.