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FORMER RAY SORIANO CLEARED FOR FAST RETURN

Times wires

NEW YORK - Yankees setup man and former Rays closer Rafael Soriano will likely avoid the disabled list after an MRI exam on Wednesday revealed only mild inflammation in his right elbow.

Manager Joe Girardi said the right-hander wasn't available Wednesday night. Soriano is scheduled to play catch today and might be available when the Red Sox visit Friday night.

Soriano had 45 saves to help Tampa Bay win the AL East last season but he has a 5.79 ERA in 15 appearances for New York.

In other Yankees news, trainer Gene Monahan, 66, will retire after the season, ending one of the longest tenures of service in franchise history after 49 years.

MORALES ENDS REHAB: Angels 1B Kendrys Morales won't play this season after deciding to have another surgery on his left ankle. The Cuban slugger broke his ankle last May 29 while jumping on home plate to celebrate a game-ending grand slam. Also, the Angels put RH reliever Francisco Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury. RHP Kevin Jepsen was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.

ASSISTANT ARRESTED:Charlie Samuels, the Mets' clubhouse manager for 27 years, amassed a secret hoard of memorabilia, including an autographed 1986 World Series warmup jersey, that he intended to use to fund his retirement, prosecutors said in announcing his arrest. In other Mets news, 1B Ike Davis returned to New York for an MRI exam on his injured left calf.

AYBAR WAS JAILED: Former Rays INF Willy Aybar was imprisoned for three months in the Dominican Republic after he beat his wife, according to the website raysindex.com. Aybar's wife spent time in intensive care. Aybar also was jailed in 2008 on domestic violence charges. Aybar, 28, who spent the past three seasons with Tampa Bay, signed Tuesday with the Edmonton Capitals of the independent North American League.

LA RUSSA'S RECOVERY: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa headed to St. Louis to recover from a painful bout with shingles but was in touch with interim manager Joe Pettini before the game against the Cubs.

EX-GM DIES:Bill Bergesch, who was Reds general manager from 1984-87 and also spent several years in the Yankees front office during a long career as a major-league executive, died Tuesday at a retirement home in Stamford, Conn. He was 89.

OBITUARY:Dick Walsh, a former executive with the Dodgers, Angels and the North American Soccer League who played a key role in the development and construction of Dodger Stadium, died May 6 at his home in Fullerton, Calif. He was 85.

A'S: LHP Dallas Braden is scheduled to have surgery Monday in New York to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder.

BRAVES: RH reliever Peter Moylan will have surgery to repair a bulging disc in his lower back and said the recovery could take eight to 12 weeks.

BREWERS: LF Ryan Braun left the game early with a left ankle contusion and is day to day.

CUBS: C Geovany Soto went on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. C Welington Castillo was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. ... LHP Doug Davis is set to start Saturday in his first appearance since elbow surgery in October.

DODGERS: LH reliever Hong-Chih Kuo went on the 15-day disabled list with what the Los Angeles Times reported is a psychological issue. LHP Scott Elbert was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

PHILLIES: C Brian Schneider strained his left hamstring and expects to miss some time. Starting C Carlos Ruiz is already on the disabled list with lower back inflammation. ... 2B Kevin Frandsen, who was playing at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, was suspended for 50 games after a positive test under baseball's minor-league drug program.

ROCKIES: RHP Esmil Rogers will have an MRI exam for suspected rotator cuff damage after cutting short a throwing session.

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