A vote of confidence for Joyce

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, after seeing a replay of the blown call at first base last Wednesday night that cost Detroit's Armando Galarraga a perfect game, came to the defense of umpire Jim Joyce.

"It happened to the best umpire we have in our game," Rivera told Tom Verducci of SI.com. "The best. And a perfect gentleman. Obviously, it was a mistake. It was a perfect game. It's a shame for both of them, for the pitcher and for the umpire. But I'm telling you he is the best baseball has, and a great guy. It's just a shame."

Here's the cure

With a win on Monday night, the Los Angeles Angels improved to 8-1 since Kendry Morales broke his leg jumping on home plate in a celebration following his game-ending grand slam against Seattle on May 29.

Maybe the Phillies should try something like that.

Hard to replace

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will undergo more tests on his ailing lower back, a setback that will further delay his effort to return from the disabled list, where he's been since mid-April.

Roberts injured his back stealing a base against Toronto on April 9. Since then the Orioles have used seven different players in the leadoff spot in place of Roberts, who last year was voted the team MVP and set new career highs in doubles (56), runs (110), and RBIs (79).


Cleveland designated veteran infielder Mark Grudzielanek for assignment, giving them 10 days to move him or release him. The 39-year-old hit .273 with 11 RBIs in 30 games. He got 30 hits this season and all of them were singles. He spent last year in the minors while recovering from an ankle injury. . . . A's righthander Justin Duchscherer underwent season-ending surgery on his troublesome left hip. . . . The Twins have placed second baseman Orlando Hudson on the 15-day disabled list to make room for rightfielder Michael Cuddyer, who returned Tuesday after taking bereavement leave for four games after the death of his father-in-law. Hudson's left wrist has been slow to heal since a scary collision with teammate Denard Span on May 30. . . . Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is going for a further examination of his injured ribs. Ellsbury has played only nine games this season because of four broken ribs. He will be checked by Lewis Yocum on Wednesday in Los Angeles.