July 9, 2013 in Sports

Torn knee for Howard

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Ryan Howard has struggled since he signed a five-year contract extension worth $125 million in April 2010.
(Full-size photo)

By the numbers

41: Consecutive saves by Athletics’ Grant Balfour, breaking Dennis Eckersley’s franchise record.

6: Runs scored by the Braves in the 14th inning of a 7-1 win over the Marlins.

There’s a reason why Ryan Howard was limping around the field.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ slugger needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss at least six to eight weeks. An MRI on Monday confirmed the tear in his knee. A date for surgery hasn’t been set.

“It could have been much more significant damage,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We don’t want any of our players on the DL. But we know what it is and it’s treatable. Hopefully we can get him back in time to play this year.”

Howard, the 2006 N.L. MVP, went on the disabled list Saturday. The three-time All-Star was hitting .266 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs. He was noticeably hobbling during games before he was shut down. He said he continued to play through the pain because he thought he could perform.

Howard played his first game last season on July 6 after tearing his left Achilles tendon making the final out in the 2011 N.L. Division Series. The 33-year-old first baseman has been on a steady decline since signing a $125 million, five-year contract extension on April 26, 2010.

Howard averaged 50 homers and 143 RBIs between 2006-09. He hasn’t hit more than 33 or driven in more than 116 runs since then.

Darin Ruf, who hit 38 homers at Double-A Reading last year, replaces Howard. Ruf had been playing left field in Triple-A.

Clearing the bases

The Los Angeles Dodgers have placed center fielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list with joint inflammation in his troublesome left shoulder. … Boston Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller will have surgery on his injured left foot and likely miss the rest of the season. … The Milwaukee Brewers have activated slugger Ryan Braun from the disabled list and placed third baseman Aramis Ramirez on the disabled list with a nagging left knee injury. … The Oakland Athletics recalled former first-round pick Grant Green and the second baseman was in the lineup for the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. … The Kansas City Royals are making a switch in their rotation, moving Bruce Chen into a starting role and shifting Luis Mendoza to the bullpen. … Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb, hit in the head by a batted ball in June, hasn’t ruled out pitching again in the next month. … The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Scott Hairston from the Chicago Cubs for minor league pitcher Ivan Pineyro.

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