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News briefs: Hank Aaron gets honorary Princeton degree

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PRINCETON, N.J. -- Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron can add an honorary degree from Princeton University to his trophy case.

The former home run record-holder was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities for making America a better place with his "imperishable example of grace under pressure."

The university cited how he kept his cool while pursuing Babe Ruth's home run record nearly 40 years ago.

Princeton keeps its list of honorary degree recipients secret until the commencement ceremony. University President Shirley Tilghman gave the address, as she usually does. Full Story

Uggla takes an unexpected seat on Braves' bench

ATLANTA -- Slumping Braves second baseman Dan Uggla was given an unexpected day off.

Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez made the announcement before Atlanta played the San Diego Padres. Uggla and Gonzalez had a conversation before the game.

"Anytime I'm out of the lineup," Uggla said, "it's not my idea."

Uggla, who signed a five-year, $62 million contract after the Braves acquired him in a November trade with Florida, has just four hits in his last 47 at-bats -- dropping his season batting average to .178.

Rays' Niemann ready for rehab stint

Rays starting pitcher Jeff Niemann threw 45 pitches in a simulated game Monday with no setbacks, so he'll head out on a rehab stint soon.

"The last bullpen and today was the test," he said. "We were going full-bore, everything felt great. I think I’m ready to take the next step."

Niemann was placed on the disabled list May 6 with a strained lower back. The Rays will figure when his rehab stint begins based upon the timetable of throwing a 60-pitch game, a 70-pitch game, then a 90-pitch game. After his 90-pitch start, he'll rejoin the Rays' big-league rotation five days later.

Niemann is 1-4 with a 5.74 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 31 1/3 innings this season. Andy Sonnanstine has taken Niemann's place in the rotation since the injury. However, Alex Cobb has been recalled and will start for the Rays.

Pujols shifted to third base, again

ST. LOUIS -- For the second time this month, Albert Pujols is starting for the St. Louis Cardinals at third base.

Manager Tony La Russa's lineup against the San Francisco Giants leaned heavily to offense and got Jon Jay, batting .390 his last 14 games, back into the mix. Lance Berkman moved from right field to first base and Jay started in right against Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong.

Pujols made his first start at third base since 2002 on May 16 at home against the Phillies and fielded five chances flawlessly. Pujols is a two-time Gold Glove winner at first base, and La Russa said Pujols was above average defensively at third.

La Russa said the star slugger told him he'd do whatever it takes to help the team.

Hall of Famer Gwynn says he's doing 'good'

LOS ANGELES -- Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn said he's doing well seven months after revealing he has cancer in a salivary gland.

Gwynn underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatment, and he said his test results have come back OK.

"I'm doing good," he said at Dodger Stadium, where he visited his son Tony Jr., a reserve outfielder for the Dodgers. "I plan on being around here for a while."

Gwynn will undergo another round of testing in a couple weeks.

On the cusp of call up, Jays prospect hurt

It looked as if Brett Lawrie was getting closer and closer to the big leagues -- instead he's headed to a Las Vegas hospital to get a X-rays on his left hand, the National Post reports.

Lawrie was hit on the top of the left hand in the first inning against the Tucson Padres.

Earlier in the day, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweeted that "signs point" to Lawrie being called up on Friday. That's uncertain now.

Before the Jays' game with the Indians, Jays general manger Alex Anthopoulos told reporters Lawrie was "close" to being called up.

Pirates' Doumit out a month, broken ankle

You know, it's not going to cause outrage like another play at the plate, but Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit is out at least a month with a fractured left ankle, the Pirates announced on Twitter.

Doumit was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with what was then termed a sprained ankle, but it's apparently more than that.

Doumit was hurt on a play at the plate in the second inning of Sunday's loss to the Cubs. He didn't get run over like Buster Posey, but he showed that even if a player slides, it can still be dangerous. Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena slid while trying to score on a sacrifice fly. Doumit was blocking the plate with his left leg and Pena's hard slide hurt Doumit's ankle. The difference between Doumit's injury and Posey's is the lack of ligament damage in Doumit's ankle.

Doumit was hitting .269/.333/.441 with four home runs this season. The team called up catcher Dusty Brown on Monday to help replace Doumit.

Padres' Maybin has no structural damage in knee

ATLANTA -- Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin underwent an MRI exam that showed no structural damage in his right knee.

San Diego manager Bud Black said the team doesn't have complete results of the examination, but he added Maybin was available as a pinch-hitter against the Atlanta Braves.

Maybin, who was acquired in a November trade with the Florida Marlins, did not play in the Padres' previous three games. He was diagnosed with patellar tendinitis after an early departure May 16 in a win at Arizona.

Blake Tekotte started his fourth straight game in Maybin's spot Tuesday night.

Phillies call up LHP Zagurski from Triple-A

WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Phillies have recalled left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Zagurski was promoted Tuesday. He fills the roster spot opened when the Phillies optioned right-hander Vance Worley to Lehigh Valley after Monday's game against Washington.

Zagurski has appeared in two games for Philadelphia this season, allowing a run in 1 1/3 innings. He was 1-0 with nine saves in nine opportunities and a 1.88 ERA in 14 games for Lehigh Valley.

Worley was 2-1 with a 3.75 ERA in six games, four of them starts, for Philadelphia. In his last appearance, he gave up eight runs and 12 hits in three innings Sunday against the Mets.

MRI provides good news for Padres' Maybin

Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin got good news on Tuesday as an MRI on his right knee showed no structural damage, but there is still no decision on a course of action for his recovery.

"That was my biggest thing … that there was no structural damage," Maybin told MLB.com.

Maybin was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game on Tuesday with swelling his bursa sac of his knee.

The team won't determine whether Maybin needs a trip to the disabled list until they return home on Thursday.

Reds promote Reineke to start vs Brewers

CINCINNATI -- The Reds promoted right-hander Chad Reineke from Triple-A Louisville to start the second game of their series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Reliever Tom Cochran was optioned back to Louisville. The left-hander was called up on Sunday but didn't get into a game.

Reineke has a 2-1 career record in four starts and one relief appearance with San Diego and Oakland in 2008-09. He's filling in for Homer Bailey, who re-injured his pitching shoulder last Thursday and went back on the 15-day disabled list.

The Reds currently have four pitchers on the disabled list: Bailey, Aroldis Chapman, Matt Maloney and Sam LeCure.

Sandoval takes early batting practice

ST. LOUIS -- The San Francisco Giants got an encouraging sign from Pablo Sandoval, who took early batting practice and could be close to a rehab assignment.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that Sandoval swung away right-handed and had pitches flipped to him batting left-handed, getting about 75 swings in all and driving the ball. Sandoval is on the mend from right wrist surgery.

Sandoval is scheduled to take batting practice from both sides on Wednesday and could start a rehab stint that would give him 20 at-bats or so this weekend.

Slumping Aubrey Huff, batting .219 with four homers, was not in Tuesday night's lineup against St. Louis. Bochy said Huff might be trying too hard to compensate for injuries to Sandoval and Buster Posey, and could get two days off.

BoSox move Sat. start time to accommodate Bruins fans

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox have moved up the starting time of Saturday's game against the Oakland Athletics to 1:10 p.m. so that fans will be able to also watch the Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The game had originally been scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

The hockey game between the Bruins and the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

The Red Sox made similar changes in 2008 and 2010, when the Celtics reached the NBA Finals.

Struggling Figgins to sit out next few days

SEATTLE -- Mariners third baseman Chone Figgins will sit for the next few days as he continues to struggle at the plate.

Seattle manager Eric Wedge said Figgins would get the time off before the second game of a three-game series against Baltimore. Figgins is in an 0-for-22 slump and was dropped from second to eighth in the batting order Monday.

Figgins also committed sixth error of the season in Seattle's 4-3 win over the Orioles on Monday. He is hitting just .190 overall. Luis Rodriguez started at third and hit eighth.

Figgins is in the second year of a $36 million, four-year deal he signed in December 2009.

Nats reschedule rainout with Pirates for July 2 DH

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals have rescheduled their postponed game with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a part of a doubleheader on July 2.

The game was originally scheduled for May 17 but was rained out. The first game of the doubleheader will start at 3:35 p.m., with the second game following at 7:05 p.m. or later, depending on the conclusion of the opener. The traditional doubleheader will require a single ticket for admission to both games.

Washington has already played a pair of doubleheaders this season because of rainouts. The Nationals swept Milwaukee at home on April 17, and split at St. Louis on April 20.

Andrus out of Rangers' lineup

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was out of the lineup one day after a teammate accidentally stepped on his left foot.

Andres Blanco was listed as Andrus' replacement against Tampa Bay.

Andrus was going after a grounder up the middle in sixth inning of Monday night's 11-5 win over the Rays and crossed paths with Texas second baseman Michael Young.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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