Baseball Notable

After watching the Chicago White Sox' bullpen blow leads in consecutive games to the Chicago Cubs, general manager

Kenny Williams

sounded off yesterday, saying the team's overall play has been "embarrassing."

The bullpen gave up nine runs in a combined 21/3 innings Friday and Saturday in back-to-back losses at Wrigley Field.

"Everything is irritating me," Williams said. "I hope something changes. I hope we go out there and play to our capabilities to a much more consistent level. This is embarrassing."

The White Sox are 21-19 after yesterday's series finale, a 10-6 victory.

The team activated Jim Thome from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Ryan Sweeney to triple-A Charlotte. Thome, who was out with a strained muscle in his rib cage, pinch-hit yesterday. He walked and scored a run.

Jason Giambi could lose his spot on the Yankees' roster if it is determined that he used performance-enhancing drugs, the New York Daily News reported yesterday.

The newspaper, citing anonymous sources, said the Yankees would consider voiding the deal if Giambi used steroids after they signed him as a free agent in 2001.

Giambi told a grand jury during the Balco investigation in December 2003 that he used steroids and human growth hormone, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2004.

Rookie outfielder Josh Hamilton was sent back to Cincinnati by the Reds to be checked out by team doctors one day after he was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal ailment.

The 25-year-old, who has come back from drug and alcohol addiction, was taken to Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland at 5:45 a.m. Saturday.

Cincinnati activated righthander Aaron Harang from the bereavement list to start against the Cleveland Indians and optioned infielder Jeff Keppinger to triple-A Louisville. Harang was the losing pitcher in a 5-3 decision.

The Boston Red Sox recalled lefthander Kason Gabbard from triple-A Pawtucket to start against the Atlanta Braves and optioned pitcher Devern Hansack to Pawtucket. Gabbard allowed six hits and two runs in five innings to win the game, 6-3. After the game, Gabbard was optioned back to Pawtucket, and reliever Manny Delcarmen was called up.

The Braves recalled infielder Martin Prado from triple-A Richmond and put righthander Anthony Lerew on the 15-day disabled list because of inflamed nerves in his right forearm. Prado started at second base against Boston.

The Pittsburgh Pirates optioned first baseman-outfielder Brad Eldred to triple-A Indianapolis and activated catcher Humberto Cota (sprained left shoulder) from the disabled list.

- Inquirer wire services