Outfielder Ryan Church returned to the Mets' lineup last night following his second concussion of the season.

He was injured May 20 trying to break up a game-ending double play at Atlanta and hadn't started since.

Church also sustained a concussion when he collided with teammate Marlon Anderson in an exhibition game March 1.

"It just happened. It was a fluke," Church told the Associated Press. "They told me to just quit running into people and I'll be fine."

Trivia time

The Phillies took high school catcher Mike Lieberthal with the No. 3 pick in the 1990 draft. Who was No. 1?


The Cubs beat the Rockies, 5-3, to complete their first perfect homestand of at least seven games since April, 1970. Chicago is 26-8 at Wrigley Field this season but 10-13 on the road. The Cubbies play 23 of their next 31 games on the road, starting on the Left Coast.

Speaking of the West, the Arizona Diamondbacks went 11-17 in May but lost just a half-game of their lead in the feeble NL West, where every other team entered yesterday's play with a losing record.


St. Louis manager Tony La Russa was honored before the Cardinals-Pirates game yesterday. (No, not for running Scott Rolen out of town.) Saturday, he passed Red Schoendienst with his 2,000th game as the St. Louis manager, reaching the franchise's top spot. The organization gave him a check for $20,000, which he turned over to his Animal Rescue Foundation.


Chipper Jones was 0 for 4 in Atlanta's loss to Cincinnati yesterday, "dropping" his average to .405. . . . The Houston Astros sent righthander Jack Cassel to triple-A Round Rock and will activate righthander Geoff Geary from the 15-day disabled list before tomorrow's game at Pittsburgh. . . . Righthander John Smoltz, who has been on the DL since April 29 with a sore arm and shoulder, could be activated today and join Atlanta's bullpen.

Injury report

San Diego Padres pitcher Mark Prior will undergo season-ending surgery on his injured right shoulder, manager Bud Black said.

The surgery is the latest medical setback to a once-promising career. Prior, one of the top young pitchers in the game for the Cubs just a few years ago, has not pitched in the majors since Aug. 10, 2006.

Prior, 27, had surgery on the same shoulder in April 2007 while with the Cubs.

Trivia answer

Atlanta chose Chipper Jones with the No. 1 pick in 1990. Detroit took Tony Clark with No. 2