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Bonds' recovery progressing fast

Barry Bonds' strained right hamstring was markedly improved Sunday, and though he wasn't in the Giants starting lineup, he took batting practice, did some light jogging and rode a stationary bike.

In one round of batting practice, he hit three balls over the centerfield fence at Dodger Stadium.

"I'm all right," he said in the clubhouse before the Giants completed a three-game series at Los Angeles. "I won't know any more until (today)."

Giants trainer Stan Conte said Bonds, who hurt himself Friday night, had improved more than he expected.

"It seems to be getting down to one little spot, in the back of his leg, above his knee," Conte said. "He will be getting an MRI (today)."

When asked the best-case scenario for Bonds, Conte replied: "He could play by Wednesday or Thursday. If you would give me that, I would take it."

ROGERS DECISION PENDING: Rangers left-hander Kenny Rogers still was making up mind on whether to waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to the Reds.

"The first inclination is to stay here because it's home, but I'm not trying to lean either way right now," said Rogers, a Plant City resident. "We'll talk about it (today)."

SITE ANGERS UMPS: Major-league umpires demanded that the company manufacturing equipment used to evaluate them remove a reference saying umps support the system.

In a conference call, 45 umps told the officers of their union, the World Umpires Association, to made the demand on Questec Inc.

A screen on the company's Web site says of umpires and the system: "In general they support it!"

BLUE JAYS: Right-hander Luke Prokopec was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Prokopec, out since June 14 with a sore right elbow, will be a reliever.

BRAVES: Catcher Javy Lopez left the game with a strained right shoulder in the eighth. He got his second cortisone shot of the season on that shoulder after the game, but he said he didn't think the injury was serious.

CUBS: Outfielder Moises Alou was hit by a pitch leading off the eighth and left. Alou appeared to be hit on the right wrist or forearm. First baseman Fred McGriff has 20 homers for the 15th time, tied with Bonds for most among active players.

D'BACKS: Left-hander Randy Johnson earned his 3,600th career strikeout by striking out Padres pitcher Jake Peavy in the third. He has 3,604, 35 shy of passing Hall of Famer Tom Seaver for fourth place.

METS: Marco Scutaro made his major-league debut, taking over at second base in the sixth. He flied out in his only at-bat. Left-hander Mike Bacsik was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, and right-hander Jae Seo was recalled from Norfolk. Seo pitched a perfect eighth in his major-league debut.

PADRES: Right-hander Rodney Myers was outrighted to Triple-A Portland, and the contract of right-hander Brandon Villafuerte was purchased.

PHILLIES: Former first-round pick Brett Myers is scheduled to make his major-league debut Wednesday against the Cubs. Myers, a hard-throwing right-hander who was the 12th overall pick in 1999, is 9-6 with a 3.59 ERA in 19 starts at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

REDS: Infielder Juan Castro broke a career-worst 0-for-22 streak with a second-inning single. Third baseman Aaron Boone's 18th stolen base was a career high. Pitching coach Don Gullett, who pitched for the Big Red Machine, was inducted into the team Hall of Fame along with 19th century second baseman Bid McPhee.

ROYALS: First baseman Mike Sweeney did not play for the 10th straight game because of back stiffness. Manager Tony Pena hopes to get him back Tuesday in Detroit. Catcher A.J. Hinch left in the first after getting hit in the throwing hand by a foul ball. He was hospitalized for X-rays.

YANKEES: Closer Mariano Rivera was out of action one day after leaving a game against the Red Sox with tightness in his right shoulder. The right-hander was examined by team physician Stuart Hershon and was scheduled for an MRI exam today. Rightfielder Raul Mondesi returned to the starting lineup after spending Thursday night in the hospital when he felt short of breath. Right-hander Roger Clemens, on the disabled list with a right groin injury, threw 120 pitches of batting practice in Tampa and reported no problems. Right-hander Orlando Hernandez dropped his appeal and began serving a five-game suspension for hitting Toronto's Carlos Delgado with a pitch last week. The Yankees visit the Rays Friday-Sunday.

_ TIMES WIRES

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