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MLB notes: Jimenez arrives with goal to help Indians to title

Thu., Aug. 4, 2011

Ubaldo Jimenez joins Cleveland with high expectations. (Associated Press)
Ubaldo Jimenez joins Cleveland with high expectations. (Associated Press)

The Cleveland Indians gave Ubaldo Jimenez a few days to pack his bags and gather his thoughts after acquiring him from the Colorado Rockies at the trading deadline.

They’re hoping he arrived in time to revive their chances of winning the A.L. Central.

Jimenez joined the Indians in Boston on Wednesday, four days after they sent four prospects to the Rockies for the 2010 All-Star who threw a no-hitter en route to a 19-8 record last year. He is scheduled to start for Cleveland against Texas on Friday.

“At first, I was a little surprised,” Jimenez said Wednesday night. “I heard so many rumors the last two weeks. I didn’t know where I was going to end up. … When I heard I was going to the Indians, I got really excited – especially the way they’ve been playing.”

Jimenez started this season 1-7, but he had won five of seven decisions before being sent to the mound on Saturday even though he knew he was going to be traded.

MLB puts Rodriguez under scrutiny

New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez will be interviewed by Major League Baseball as part of its investigation of his involvement in illegal poker games.

Rodriguez also faced questions about his gambling habits in 2005, when the Daily News reported he attended games at an underground poker club in New York. The slugging third baseman later acknowledged “it wasn’t the right thing to do,” and checked with MLB before holding a charity poker tournament the following year.

Now baseball wants to talk to him again.

“We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation,” MLB said in a statement. “As part of the investigation, the commissioner’s office will interview Mr. Rodriguez.”

Clearing the bases

Matt Stairs, the career leader in pinch-hit home runs, plans to retire. Washington cut the 43-year-old Stairs on Monday after he hit just .154 in 56 games. … Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg is expected to throw Sunday in the minor leagues, a significant step in his recovery from elbow surgery. Strasburg will throw an inning or two for Class A Hagerstown. It will be his first appearance in a game since he underwent reconstructive elbow surgery last September. … Pittsburgh activated catcher Ryan Doumit (Moses Lake) from the 60-day disabled list. Doumit had been on the disabled list since suffering a severely sprained left ankle on May 29.

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