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Baseball Notebook: Thome ninth on homer list

Sun., Sept. 5, 2010

Jim Thome passed Mark McGwire for ninth place on baseball’s all-time home run list Saturday, hitting a pair of homers for Minnesota in a 12-4 victory over Texas in Minneapolis to reach 584 for his career.

Thome sent a pitch from Rangers starter Colby Lewis soaring 449 feet into the second deck above right field leading off the third inning.

Then in the fourth, with two on and two out, Thome hit a drive to left-center that landed in the bullpen and made it 9-0, finishing Lewis.

This was Thome’s 46th career multihomer game. He has 20 homers in just 237 at-bats this season, reaching that milestone for the 16th time in his career.

Next up on the homer list is Frank Robinson with 586.

• The Twins are bringing up prized prospect Ben Revere, a speedy outfielder who was their first-round draft pick three years ago.

The Twins selected Revere’s contract from Double-A New Britain.

A-Rod, Pettitte nearing return

Injured stars Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte are getting closer to rejoining the New York Yankees.

Pettitte threw 50 pitches in a simulated game at Yankee Stadium and said he had no problems with the strained left groin that’s kept him out since July 19.

“I didn’t feel anything,” Pettitte said. “It was great. A step in the right direction.”

One of the batters he faced was Rodriguez, sidelined with a strained left calf. The slugger said he’s close to being ready to play and will meet with Yankees staff to determine if he’ll come off the disabled list today, the first day he’s eligible.

Pettitte plans to throw a bullpen session Monday and the next step for him could be a rehab start in a minor league playoff game next week. If all goes well, he could return to the Yankees’ rotation the following week.

Texas assigns Prior to Triple-A team

Former National League All-Star pitcher Mark Prior has been acquired by the Texas Rangers after spending the last month with the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League.

Prior will be assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Prior, who turns 30 on Tuesday, worked in relief for the Flyers. He threw 11 innings, striking out 22 of 44 total batters faced while not allowing an earned run.

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