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Clemens leaves game, is day-to-day

Roger Clemens strained his left hamstring and had to leave Houston’s 4-2 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals and fellow ace Chris Carpenter after five innings Saturday night.

Clemens said he tweaked his hamstring during his at-bat in the second inning, when he struck out while trying to bunt. The Astros said he was day-to-day, and the 43-year-old right-hander said he hoped to make his next scheduled start Friday at Milwaukee.

“I tried to stay in there. We wrapped it and tried to keep it from getting worse. I threw everything trying to stay in there,” he said. “I just wanted to eat up some innings.”

Bagwell returns to Astros

Jeff Bagwell was back with the Houston Astros but isn’t likely to be activated before next weekend.

Bagwell, on the disabled list since May 4 because of a shoulder injury, went 2 for 9 in three games on a rehabilitation stint at Double-A Corpus Christi.

“It went well, it went as expected,” Bagwell said. “I was probably a little bit behind, but I got to see a lot of pitches, got to get back the feeling of actually being in the batter’s box in game situations. So that was good. Am I 100 percent, ready to go and all that? No, not yet.”

Bagwell was sore and tired after playing three straight days, all as the designated hitter, but said he didn’t feel any pain in his arthritic right shoulder.

The next step for Bagwell will be a series of intense batting practice sessions that may include simulated game situations against some of the Astros pitchers.

“We have to kind of take it day by day. It’s going to take some time,” Astros general manager Tim Purpura said. “We need to get to a point where he can start developing some strength.”

When Bagwell went on the DL, he was hitting .250 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 24 games for the Astros.

Pirates demote Fogg from rotation

Josh Fogg was dropped from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ rotation after nearly four seasons to give more starts to rookie Paul Maholm and the previously injured Oliver Perez down the stretch.

Fogg (6-10, 4.97 ERA) learned of the decision hours after losing to the Cubs 7-3 Friday night, giving up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Because of the move, Fogg is certain the Pirates will trade him during the off-season.

“I feel like it’s pretty much written in stone now,” Fogg said. “I don’t know what they’re thinking, but from the signs I’m getting, I don’t feel like I’m in the plans for the future. It’s unfortunate, I enjoy the organization and I’ve had a good time here but, right now, it doesn’t look good.”

Fogg, 28, has won only twice in his last 17 starts and is winless since Aug. 11.

The right-hander is 39-41 since being traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Pirates before the 2002 season, going 12-12 that season, 10-9 in 2003 and 11-10 last season.

Cards’ Duncan back in uniform

St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan was back in uniform after baseball officials agreed to review his four-game suspension.

Duncan missed Friday night’s series opener at Houston when he started to serve his suspension for his part in a scuffle during batting practice last month in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh hitting coach Gerald Perry was suspended for eight games and Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon drew a one-game suspension for escalating the shoving match, which broke out before the Cardinals’ 8-3 victory over the Pirates on Aug. 24. Perry and Duncan had to be restrained by players.


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