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Minors' HGH test nabs first

DENVER — Mike Jacobs became the first player suspended by Major League Baseball for a positive test for human growth hormone under the sport's minor-league drug testing procedures.

The 30-year-old Triple-A first baseman, who was in the big leagues from 2005-10, received a 50-game suspension Thursday for taking the banned performance-enhancing substance and was subsequently released by the Rockies.

Jacobs said he took HGH to overcome knee and back ailments.

"We have a program in place, and it did what it was supposed to do," commissioner Bud Selig said, adding he wants to get the rule to apply to major-leaguers, too. "We don't duck the issue."

Jacobs apologized. "Taking it was one of the worst decisions I could have ever made, one for which I take full responsibility," he said in the statement released through his representative.

He played six major-league seasons, collecting 100 homers and 310 RBIs with a career .254 batting average with the Mets, Marlins and Royals.

Umps wrong on homer call: Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, said Wednesday's Royals-Yankees umpiring crew, led by Dana DeMuth, should have called the ball hit by the Royals' Billy Butler a double instead of a homer, a key play in a 5-4 Royals victory. "There really was a misunderstanding," Torre said. "Obviously, from what went on, (the umpire) was very sure that that ball was a home run 'cause it hit that back fence, which is out of the park." Butler's ball appeared to strike the upper railing of a second wall behind the leftfield wall before bouncing back onto the field. Umpires ruled it a homer, reviewed it and again ruled it a homer. The ballpark's rule is that the ball must go into the stands to be a homer. MLB umpire supervisor Steve Palermo said "it was a misunderstanding of the ground rules. What they thought was, wasn't."

Giants' Wilson ailing: Closer Brian Wilson reported pain in his right elbow in blowing a save Monday and is listed as day-to-day. He had surgery on the elbow eight years ago. For now, rest and treatment are prescribed, so the team has elected not to put him on the disabled list.

Blue Jays: Struggling LHP Brad Mills (1-2, 8.35 ERA in four starts) was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Marlins: LHP Randy Choate was put on the 15-day disabled list because of left elbow inflammation.

Phillies: CF Shane Victorino's suspension for his part in a benches-clearing brawl at San Francisco on Aug. 5 was reduced from three games to two on appeal. He sat Thursday and will not play today.

Red Sox: 3B Kevin Youkilis, 32, was put on the DL because of a back injury, and catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway, 24, was called up from Triple-A.

Royals: RF Jeff Francoeur signed a two-year extension that should keep the 27-year-old with the club through the 2013 season.

Twins: Joe Mauer was in rightfield against the Yankees, the first time he has played there in the majors. Mauer has played catcher his entire career and some first base this summer while Justin Morneau was out. The Twins had little choice: Michael Cuddyer is bothered by a sore neck, Jason Kubel is tending to a family matter, and Triple-A callup Luke Hughes missed his flight.

White Sox: RHP Phil Humber was hit above the right eye by a Kosuke Fukudome line drive in the second inning and left the game against the Indians as a precaution. The team said he was alert and will be evaluated today.

Yankees: 3B Alex Rodriguez (torn cartilage in right knee) rejoined the team, but he's not ready to play. Manager Joe Girardi said the earliest he would come off the DL and play would be Saturday. Rodriguez is comfortable swinging the bat, but he's still missing his first-step quickness in the field and isn't at full strength when he turns going from first to third or second to home.

Minors' HGH test nabs first 08/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:26pm]
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