Alfonso Soriano proved with three homers in his first three at-bats Friday night in Atlanta that the early-season power slump is history.
Soriano led off the game with a homer off Lance Cormier’s first pitch before adding another first-pitch homer in the second inning.
Soriano’s third homer came in the fourth inning, leaving him in excellent position to become the 16th major league player – and the first Cub – to hit four homers in a game.
“I was trying to hit it hard and make a good swing and see what happens,” said Soriano, who walked, grounded out and singled to left in his final three plate appearances.
Zumaya may miss year
Until Joel Zumaya actually returns to the mound, Detroit manager Jim Leyland isn’t counting on seeing the hard-throwing reliever for a long time.
“The reports are that Joel Zumaya will be back in August,” Leyland said. “However, I’m not in any way, shape or form counting on that, and it would not surprise me if he was not ready to pitch before the season is over.”
Zumaya had surgery in mid-May to repair a ruptured tendon in his right middle finger. He was expected to miss three months.
Percival will return
Former All-Star closer Troy Percival, out of the majors since injuring his right arm in the middle of the 2005 season, will try to make a comeback with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 37-year-old Percival and the Cardinals agreed on a minor league contract.
Clearing the bases
The Minnesota Twins activated All-Star catcher Joe Mauer from the disabled list after he missed more than a month because of a strained left quadriceps. …New York Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz will have surgery Tuesday to insert a pin in his broken right wrist that was injured when Boston’s Mike Lowell ran into him at first base last weekend. … Houston first baseman Lance Berkman was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed sum, three days after he was ejected against Colorado and tossed his batting glove and equipment bag onto the field. … Chicago Cubs outfielder Cliff Floyd was placed on the bereavement list as he returned to Chicago to be with his sick father.
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