Damon could go on DL for first time in career


■ Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt returned to Houston on Saturday after experiencing more discomfort in his strained left hip. Oswalt was to be examined in Houston on Saturday. On Friday, he felt more pain in the hip when he tried to throw on flat ground. ”He just tried to put a little more into his throw and it just didn't feel good,“ Manager Cecil Cooper said. ”I don't think you can take any chances with Roy, he means too much.“ Cooper said he couldn't speculate on when Oswalt will next pitch.

On the shelf

■ The Rockies have placed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the 15-day disabled list with a cut on his right hand. Tulowitzki was hitting .166 with three home runs and 16 RBI this season. He missed 46 games earlier this season due to a left quadriceps tendon tear.

■ Athletics shortstop Bobby Crosby went on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained left hamstring. Crosby started Oakland's first 84 games before he was sidelined Thursday.

Short hops

■ The Indians signed free-agent pitcher Jeff Weaver to a minor-league contract on Saturday, giving the veteran a shot at making his sixth big-league team. Weaver was 7-13 with a 6.20 ERA in 27 starts for the Mariners last year and pitched this season for Triple-A Nashville from May 1 to June 11 when he was released by the Brewers.

■ Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday, a day after the lefty gave up five runs in the fifth inning in a 9-1 loss to the Brewers. Gorzelanny (6-7) has struggled all season after a breakout campaign last year when he went 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA.

■ Dodgers right-hander Brad Penny is expected to be out through the All-Star break after experiencing more pain in his shoulder Saturday during a simulated game. Penny (5-9), who's on a seven-game losing streak, has been on the disabled list since June 15 with tendinitis and other shoulder problems. He pitched well through the first three innings of his simulated game but stopped in the fourth inning when he felt discomfort.

Johnny Damon's injured left shoulder was wrapped tightly and the Yankees outfielder admitted to having some pills to dull the pain.

One day after he crashed into the left-field wall on one strange triple, Damon sounded resigned to the fact he might not be able to recover in time to prevent the first DL stint of his 14-season major-league career.

”It means a lot,“ Damon said of his run avoiding the disabled list, ”but if I can't go out there and help the team I understand the decision.“

Damon sprained and bruised his shoulder trying to track down Kevin Youkilis' line drive in the third inning of New York's 6-4 loss to the Red Sox on Friday.

Damon got an X-ray and an MRI, which revealed a sprained acromioclavicular joint.

Manager Joe Girardi said he needed to talk to General Manager Brian Cashman and head trainer Gene Monahan before making a decision on whether to place Damon on the DL.