-- Baltimore Orioles : In a move to try to shake Sammy Sosa's slump, manager Lee Mazzilli benched the slugger Sunday. "I'm not disappointed," Sosa told reporters at Camden Yards. "It's just one day. What's the [big] deal? We talked. But you don't have to know what him and I talked about. Hey, I have been in that situation before. Everybody has got to go through that situation. I've got to deal with that. The only thing I can do is continue playing. Go out there every day and try to get out of my slump." Sosa will get his chance to break out of his funk Monday. Sosa will play Monday against the New York Yankees, the Washington Post reported Sunday. "We gave him some rest, but [Monday] he'll definitely play," Mazzilli told the newspaper. "He'll play. He'll go every day and get back to what he does best." Sosa is 1-for-34 in his last nine games, dropping his overall average to .227. "You have to decide the right time to sit a player down," Mazzilli told reporters before Saturday's game. "Sammy is a guy who has a lot of pride, and he wants to play every day. He is not going to come over and ask for a day off." Another receiver goes down: The Orioles placed Geronimo Gil on the 15-day disabled list Sunday to give the catcher ample time to recover from a bothersome thumb injury that occurred a month ago. Gil bruised his right thumb on June 4 in Detroit. He started nine games after that, sharing time with Sal Fasano while catcher Javy Lopez (broken hand) has been on the DL. Lopez could begin a minor-league rehabilitative assignment as soon as this week. In the meantime, Fasano will serve as the starting catcher and will be backed up by Eli Whiteside, who was recalled from Triple-A Ottawa on Sunday. Gil, who was wearing a cumbersome cast Sunday, is batting .202 with four homers and 14 RBI in 46 games. "His hand is worse today than it was yesterday. It's just not improving," Mazzilli said before Sunday's game against Cleveland. "We just felt that two weeks of complete rest would be the best thing to heal this thumb." San Diego Padres : Dave Roberts went from being a candidate for the disabled list to starting in center field and batting leadoff for the Padres. Roberts missed seven games after straining a tendon in his left knee against the Mariners on June 24. The Padres thought they would need to put Roberts on the DL to make room for reliever Paul Quantrill, but he made enough progress that Paul McAnulty, an infielder-outfielder, was optioned back to Double-A Mobile. "It feels a lot better," Roberts said before playing against the Giants. "We're going to be smart about taking days off before the All-Star break and having the All-Star break to recover. I think it's a good decision." Had Roberts been put on the DL, he would have been eligible to be activated next Sunday, the final day before the break. "It's gotten progressively better," said Roberts, who has a team-high 13 stolen bases. "I don't think taking another week off was needed." Washington Nationals : The team placed first baseman Nick Johnson on the 15-day disabled list after Sunday's game with a right heel contusion. Johnson has missed six straight games with the injury. The move was retroactive to June 27, one day after he injured his heel while crossing home plate against Toronto. The oft-injured Johnson has been on the disabled list seven times, including twice last year in his first season in the NL after being acquired from the Yankees. Johnson is hitting .320 with eight home runs and leads the Nationals with 42 RBI in 74 games. He played in only 73 games last season for the Expos. The team plans to purchase the contract of outfielder Matt Cepicky from Triple-A New Orleans on Monday. Cepicky was hitting .274 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI for New Orleans. Boston Red Sox : One day after recalling Abe Alvarez from Triple-A Pawtucket, the Red Sox sent the pitcher back down, along with infielder Ramon Vazquez. Left-hander Lenny DiNardo and right-hander Jeremi Gonzalez will be recalled from Pawtucket on Monday. DiNardo and Gonzalez have played briefly in Boston this season. DiNardo pitched in relief in two games, and Gonzalez was 1-1 in five appearances. Vazquez is batting .197 in 27 games with Boston this season. Alvarez is 7-3 with a 4.23 ERA in 16 starts for the Pawtucket. Arizona Diamondbacks : Injured closer Brandon Lyon threw from about 150 feet for eight minutes before Saturday's game and then stepped on the mound for the first time in a month and a half and threw 20 fastballs, The Arizona Republic reported. "Everything went well and it nice to get that first bullpen [session] in," Lyon told the paper. "Mechanically, everything in my arm felt good. My release point felt good. No problems." Asked how close he is to full strength, Lyon told The Republic: "Probably closer to 75 [percent]. Obviously, you don't want to [have a setback]. I just took it easy and tried to throw the ball down the middle." Cleveland Indians : The team placed right-handed reliever Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The move was made retroactive to Thursday. Betancourt is 2-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 29 relief appearances. He has not allowed a run in his last nine innings. The Indians also recalled right-hander Kazuhito Tadano from Triple-A Buffalo. Tadano was 3-3 with a 4.13 ERA and one save in 20 games, including five starts, with the Bisons. He has not pitched with Cleveland this season. Tadano was 1-1 with a 4.65 ERA in 14 games with the Indians in 2004. Houston Astros : The team recalled left-hander Mike Gallo from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned right-hander Ezequiel Astacio to Round Rock. Gallo was 4-2 with a 3.64 ERA in 37 games with Round Rock. He is 3-0 with a 4.08 ERA in 101 major-league appearances. Astacio is 0-4 with a 9.47 ERA in seven games with Houston, after starting and losing the second game of Houston's doubleheader against the Reds on Saturday. He went 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA in five June games at Round Rock and is 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA with the Express this season. Tampa Bay Devil Rays : Before their game against the Twins, the Devil Rays placed third baseman Alex Gonzalez and starter Doug Waechter on the 15-day disabled list. Gonzalez was placed on the DL retroactive to June 26 with a strained neck. He is batting .262 with four home runs and 17 RBI this season. Waechter, who is 3-6 with a 5.55 ERA in 16 games -- 12 starts -- for the Devil Rays, is sidelined with tendinitis in his right index finger. The move was made retroactive to June 29. In related moves, the Devil Rays recalled outfielder Joey Gathright and purchased the contract of left-hander Joe Beimel from Triple-A Durham of the International League. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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