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Braves to let six starters battle for five rotation spots

Published Aug. 14, 2012

ATLANTA — The Braves are moving to a six-man rotation for two weeks.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Monday he'll pick the best five starters at the end of August. The Braves are in a stretch of playing 20 consecutive days before a day off on Aug. 30.

"After that, we're going with five," Gonzalez said. "Somebody is going to have to go to the bullpen and that's just the way it is."

Gonzalez said he will not defer to seniority when picking his five-man rotation for September as the Braves chase first-place Washington in the NL East.

"No, we'll go with our best five and I can promise you on that," he said. "Our best five, or the five healthiest guys."

The Braves created a surplus in their rotation last month by trading for LHP Paul Maholm, signing RHP Ben Sheets and moving RHP Kris Medlen from the bullpen. RHP Tommy Hanson, who leads Atlanta with 12 wins, returns from the disabled list this week and is scheduled to start Friday against the Dodgers.

Hanson has been out with a strained lower back since July 31.

O'S ADD RELIEVER: The Orioles acquired LHP J.C. Romero from the Indians for minor-league INF Carlos Rojas. Romero, who was released from the Cardinals on May 14 after posting a 10.13 ERA in 11 games, is 34-28 with a 4.15 ERA over a 14-year career.

CARDINALS: An MRI exam revealed cartilage damage behind 1B Lance Berkman's left knee. The slugger, already on the disabled list, is unlikely to return this month.

DODGERS: 3B Jerry Hairston went on the 15-day disabled list with a left hip injury. INF Elian Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

PHILLIES: OF Nate Schierholtz went on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right big toe and is expected to miss three to four weeks.

RED SOX: RH reliever Andrew Bailey, out all season with a right thumb injury that required surgery, is expected to be activated from the disabled list today.

TWINS: INF Tsuyoshi Nishioka was sent back to Triple-A Rochester after going 0-for-12 with three errors over the past week. 3B Trevor Plouffe was reinstated from the disabled list.

WHITE SOX: 1B Paul Konerko cleared a battery of post-concussion tests and will resume physical activity today.

YANKEES: The club officially signed RHP Derek Lowe to a major-league contract and said it planned to use him in the bullpen.