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Ump takes return toss away from catcher

ANAHEIM, Calif.— Yankees C Russell Martin said plate umpire Laz Diaz found a most bizarre way to punish him for arguing balls and strikes during Wednesday's game against the Angels.

Martin said Diaz refused to allow him to throw new baseballs back to his pitchers after foul balls. The umpire instead made the tosses.

"He said that it was a privilege that I had to earn, for me to throw the ball back," the three-time All-Star said. "That's never happened to me before. I even told him, because there's guys on base, I like to keep my arm loose. Nope. 'I'm not letting you throw the ball back.' That's pretty strange, to me."

Martin had words with Diaz early in the game, and Martin said Diaz "was punishing me."

Diaz was unavailable for comment because Martin spoke nearly an hour after the game.

Major League Baseball would look into Martin's story, a spokesman said.

Oriole says Jays too Knowing: After giving up four homers to the Blue Jays on Wednesday, Orioles RHP Jason Hammel took some blame but also told the Baltimore Sun: "When you're not locating your fastball, you're going to give up some home runs here, but the swings they were taking on the breaking stuff, it was pretty amazing to me. I don't think you can take swings like that not knowing they're coming." In the past, teams have alleged the Blue Jays were stealing catchers' signs and signaling from the outfield.

Orioles lose Markakis: Baltimore OF Nick Markakis has a broken bone in his right wrist and was scheduled to have surgery today. The injury, which happened on a slide into a base a week ago, was aggravated Tuesday. The typical recovery time is three to four weeks.

No June for Howard? Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told CSNPhilly.com that 1B Ryan Howard likely won't return from his torn Achilles tendon by the end of June, as the team originally had hoped. Asked if Howard, doing rehabilitation work in Clearwater, could be back by the All-Star break, Amaro said, "I don't know."

Hate toward Brewers' wife: C Jonathan Lucroy told a Milwaukee radio station his wife has received hateful messages on Facebook since he broke his right hand in a hotel room accident Sunday. Lucroy said he was reaching under the bed for a sock while his wife, Sarah, shifted a suitcase, which fell on the hand.

"It's been a battle for me personally because there's no one to blame, and my wife is getting killed by this," Lucroy said. "It's not like she's … not feeling guilty enough already."

Lucroy was put on the DL and was to have surgery Thursday.

Clemens trial: Roger Clemens lost something off his fastball in his 40s but he succeeded by pitching smarter, former manager Phil Garner testified in the pitcher's perjury trial in Washington. "He continued to have great success but for different reasons," said Garner, who managed Clemens with the Astros from 2004-06. "He didn't just overpower teams; he outsmarted teams." Clemens is on trial, accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using steroids or human growth hormone.

Blue Jays: 1B Adam Lind was outrighted to the minors after hitting .186 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 34 games.

Dodgers: CF Matt Kemp went on the 15-day DL for the second time in May because of a left hamstring strain. Two games into his return, he aggravated the injury scoring from first on a double late Wednesday.

Indians: DH Travis Hafner had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss at least one month.

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia missed his third straight game, and the team may put him on the DL because of a torn muscle in his right thumb, ESPN.com reported.

Rockies: SS Troy Tulowitzki went on the DL because of a strained left groin injured when he left the box on a groundout.

Ump takes return toss away from catcher 05/31/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:36pm]

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