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News briefs: Cust agrees to minor-league deal with Phils

CBSSports.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a minor-league deal with Jack Cust.

Cust, a left-handed hitting outfielder, was released by Seattle earlier this month after hitting .213 with three homers and 23 RBI in 225 at-bats.

He'll be assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Cust averaged 28 homers and 76 RBI between 2007-09 for Oakland.

He had a career-best 33 homers in 2008. Cust also led the AL in strikeouts in each of those three seasons.

Cust is a career .242 hitter with 105 homers and 323 RBI in 10 seasons with six teams. Full Story

Cubs' Zambrano ejected after throwing at Jones

After coughing up his fifth home run of the game to the Braves -- coming off the bat of red-hot Dan Uggla -- volatile Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano had a conference with his pitching coach.

The Cubs were trailing with one out in the fifth. The guess here is Zambrano was told he wasn't coming out of the game just yet because the Cubs were trying to save the bullpen.

Zambrano then threw at Chipper Jones and got himself ejected. The Braves hadn't been showboating whatsoever on any of the five home runs, so the best explanation is that Zambrano had had enough and was ready to take his ball and go home.

As if his intent wasn't clear enough, Zambrano immediately and calmly started walking toward the Cubs dugout, even as the Braves' dugout emptied. He didn't want to fight [nor did anyone else, fortunately, as nothing happened once the benches were cleared].

Tigers' Alburquerque struck in head by BP ball

Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque was hit in the head and carted off the field during batting practice in Baltimore.

According to various reports, he was struck in the head by a fly ball off the bat of Robert Andino during Orioles batting practice as the Tigers' pitchers were playing catch down the left field line. He reportedly writhed in pain on the ground, kicking his legs, as medical personnel and teammates rushed to his aid.

He did eventually stand up and get onto a cart before being taken off the field [Detroit Free-Press].

Alburquerque has suffered a concussion and will be forced to spend the night in the hospital for observation [Roch Kubatko via Twitter].

Rays' Damon clears waivers

Last year Johnny Damon nixed a deal that would have sent him back to Boston. This year he may not have that luxury.

When Damon was a Tiger, he had a no-trade clause in his contract. With the Rays, he doesn't have that protection. And if anyone wants Damon, they need only call the Rays, because according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, Damon has cleared waivers.

Damon doesn't project as a Type A or B free agent, so the Rays wouldn't get anything for holding on to him. However, he's still a limited player, hitting .262/.317/.387 with little defensive ability.

He's stolen 11 bases, but been caught four times.

Rockies pitcher Nicasio recovering from surgery

ST. LOUIS -- Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy said pitcher Juan Nicasio was much improved and could be at Coors Field on Monday when the team returns from a seven-game trip.

Nicasio underwent neck surgery on Saturday to stabilize a fractured vertebra after being struck in the head by a line drive a day earlier.

Tracy met the media not long after a telephone conversation with the 24-year-old pitcher, who told the manager jokingly that he'd be ready to pitch in two weeks.

Team medical staff has been optimistic Nicasio will be back on the mound next spring.

Cardinals shuffle roster, make room for Rhodes

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals made a couple of roster moves to create space for reliever Arthur Rhodes, and welcomed Matt Holliday back to the lineup.

Holliday, the cleanup hitter, missed the previous two games after tweaking his lower back in the weight room. Manager Tony La Russa said Holliday gave him the "thumbs up" after taking early batting practice before the game against Colorado.

Rhodes joined the Cardinals in time for a three-game series against Colorado, although he threw 30 to 40 pitches in the bullpen and didn't think he'd be available until Saturday.

The left-hander was released by Texas earlier this week and said the Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees and one other team he couldn't recall had offered him a job.

Brewers 2B Weeks improving from ankle injury

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks says he's ahead of schedule rehabbing his badly sprained left ankle.

Weeks spoke for the first time since he stepped awkwardly on the first base bag and turned the ankle inward two weeks ago. Weeks said it was a third-degree sprain and confirmed he damaged ligaments.

He is expected to miss two to four more weeks, but said he was ahead of schedule and would consider playing through pain.

Right now, Weeks has only been able to run in the pool, but can walk and put weight on the ankle. He's also continued throwing, but hasn't taken any fielding or batting practice. Weeks is hitting .272 with 19 homers and 43 RBI in 104 games.

Rockies place Street on DL, activate Giambi

Rockies closer Huston Street hasn't pitched since August 8 with a mild triceps strain, and the injury has landed him on the 15-day disabled list. As a corresponding move, the Rockies have activated first baseman Jason Giambi.

Giambi was sidelined with a left quad injury (MLB.com via Twitter).

Street has gotten worse as the season has progressed. He started by converting his first 11 save chances with a 2.12 ERA. He does have 29 saves in all, but he also has three blown saves, three losses, a 4.06 ERA and has allowed a career-high 10 home runs.

Rafael Betancourt is the likely closing option with Street down.

ChiSox's Pierzynski leaves game after being struck by pitch

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was removed from the game against the Kansas City Royals after being hit by a pitch.

Pierzynski was hit in the left wrist by a pitch from Bruce Chen during the third inning. He stayed in the game to run the bases, but was replaced by Tyler Flowers before the fifth.

X-rays on Pierzynski's wrist were negative and he's listed as day-to-day.

Pierzynki entered the game hitting .295 with six homers and 39 RBI. He has started 95 of Chicago's 118 games at catcher this season.

Brewers reliever Rodriguez leaves game with cramps

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez left the game with a leg cramp after getting his first career hit in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rodriguez entered with two outs in the eighth. After finishing the inning, his spot came up in the batting order after Milwaukee had already scored three times.

Rodriguez hit a slow roller, then beat first baseman Garrett Jones to the bag for his first career hit in two at-bats.

Rodriguez warmed up for the ninth, but left after talking to trainer Roger Caplinger. The Brewers said Rodriguez exit with a right leg cramp, but Rodriguez spent most of his time on the bases trying to stretch his left leg.

Cubs sign Gretzky's son Trevor

ATLANTA -- The Chicago Cubs have agreed to terms with first baseman Trevor Gretzky, the son of hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

Trevor Gretzky was a seventh-round pick from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian High School.

The 6-foot-4 Gretzky had signed to play at San Diego State but instead will start his professional career with the Cubs.

Cubs spokesman Peter Chase said the team hasn't decided where Gretzky will begin his minor league career.

Padres activate C Hundley, demote backup Martinez

CINCINNATI -- The San Diego Padres have activated catcher Nick Hundley from the 15-day disabled list.

Hundley was in the starting lineup for the game in Cincinnati. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on July 8.

Hundley hit .174 (4 for 23) with 10 strikeouts in seven games during a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A San Antonio. He hit .222 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 45 games for the Padres before going on the DL.

Catcher Luis Martinez was optioned to Triple-A Tucson to make room on the roster for Hundley. Martinez has hit .263 in 13 games over two stints this season with San Diego. Right-hander pitcher Ernesto Frieri has started a rehab assignment with Tucson.

Copyright 2015 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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