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Baseball Notes: Ortiz: Never knowingly took steroids

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz says he "never knowingly took any steroids" and he's definitely a Hall of Famer.

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz says he "never knowingly took any steroids" and he's definitely a Hall of Famer.

The remarks by the 39-year-old designated hitter came in a column Thursday for the Players' Tribune, a website founded by former Yankees star Derek Jeter that gives professional athletes a platform.

Ortiz also voiced his displeasure that he will "always be considered a cheater" to his detractors. Ortiz contends nobody in baseball has been tested more for performance-enhancing drugs than he has - more than 80 times since 2004.

Ortiz writes: "I have never failed a single one of those tests, and I never will."

Chisox claim Drabek

The Chicago White Sox claimed pitcher Kyle Drabek off waivers from Toronto Friday.

Drabek spent most of 2014 at triple-A Buffalo. He made two appearances with Toronto, working three scoreless innings.

Over parts of five seasons with the Blue Jays, the 27-year-old righty went 8-15 with a 5.27 ERA.

Tanaka to start opener

Masahiro Tanaka will start the New York Yankees' opener April 6 against Toronto. Manager Joe Girardi made the expected announcement. CC Sabathia will have his streak of six straight opening-day starts for New York end. The lefty is coming back from season-ending knee surgery in July and has 11 opening-day starts overall.

A-Rod kin pleads guilty

A cousin of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge, the last remaining defendant to do so in the probe into performance-enhancing drugs illegally provided to athletes through a South Florida clinic. Yuri Sucart admitted in Miami federal court that he conspired with others to distribute human growth hormone to athletes, some of high school age. Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Sucart faces between eight and 14 months in prison at sentencing June 4.

M's reliever suspended

Seattle Mariners reliever David Rollins was suspended 80 games for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball announced Rollins' suspension, saying he tested positive for stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid.

Rollins will not appeal the suspension.

Indians demote Salazar

The Cleveland Indians optioned Danny Salazar to triple-A Columbus. Salazar had been in the running to win one of the two open spots in Cleveland's starting rotation, but the righthander has struggled this spring.

- Associated Press