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AROUND THE AL

INDIANS: The team received permission from the commissioner's office to put RHP Jose Mesa on the restricted list while the closer is on trial for rape and assault charges. The ruling means Cleveland will not have to start the season a player short. Mesa can stay on the list indefinitely beginning Monday, the first day of his trial. If Mesa is acquitted, Cleveland would have to option a player to the minor leagues before reinstating him.

RHP Jack McDowell was scratched from his scheduled start Monday against the Yankees because of a slightly strained abdominal muscle. He said he strained the muscle while throwing on the side after his last start. Manager Mike Hargrove expects to leave spring training without a contract extension that would give him job security past the end of the season. "I mean, the season's 10 days away," Hargrove said. "I'd say that's a pretty good bet." His contract runs out after this season. The Indians set a park attendance record for the second straight day as 7,872 were in attendance. 1B Jim Thome sat out a second straight game with a sore right hand. Tony Fernandez returned to second base after sitting out with a sore left shoulder.

ATHLETICS: RHP Willie Adams is scheduled to have an MRI on his sore pitching shoulder, the team said. Adams, projected as the A's No. 2 starter behind RHP Ariel Prieto, will travel to Oakland to be examined by the team orthopedist.

MARINERS: Manager Lou Piniella had successful rectal surgery for a second time. "Everything went fine," club spokesman Tim Hevly said. "They found a very small abscess. They found exactly what they expected." Piniella, 53, was scheduled to be kept overnight at a Phoenix hospital, Hevly said, then go to the team hotel in Phoenix to recuperate. He had initial rectal surgery Feb.

1 in Tampa, making him late for the start of the Mariners' spring training in Arizona. It is unknown when he will return to manage.

RANGERS: OF Juan Gonzalez was placed on the 21-day DL and INF Edwin Diaz and OF Marc Sagmoen were optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

RED SOX: 1B Mo Vaughn will be moving up in the lineup from cleanup to the No. 3 spot, according to manager Jimy Williams. "I think this gives us a chance to get on the board quickly," Williams said.

ROYALS: LHP Chris Haney strained his left hamstring in Monday's 5-1 loss to the host Cardinals.

TIGERS: RHP Willie Blair, acquired with C Brian Johnson in a December trade with San Diego, became the first Detroit pitcher to go six innings. He held the visiting White Sox to a run and three hits, striking out five in a 5-1 win.

TWINS: OF Eric Anthony was reassigned to minor-league camp and was told he was free to make a deal with another team. RHP LaTroy Hawkins allowed three runs, nine hits and struck out four in five innings.

_ TIMES WIRES

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