Baseball

MLB notes: Ethier trying to push hitting streak to 30

The first player Ned Colletti acquired in a trade after the Los Angeles Dodgers hired him as general manager in 2006 was Andre Ethier, a little-known outfield prospect from the Oakland Athletics.

"We acquired him in December of '06, he was up here in May and he never went back," Colletti said.

Ethier has a 29-game hitting streak heading into a three-game series at the Mets opening Friday.

The 29-year-old right fielder is batting .387 during this stretch and has gone hitless in only one of his first 31 games. He is trying to become the 44th major-leaguer since 1900 with a hitting streak of at least 30 games during one season. His would be the eighth since 2000.

Once a player gets halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record of 56, pressure starts to increase.

"It's fun to be a part of, but I'm not going to let this thing eat at me," Ethier said.

Slumping Jeter gets day off

Derek Jeter was out of the starting lineup for the Yankees on Thursday, a day after leaving a game against Detroit with a right hip problem. Jeter said he felt fine, but Manager Joe Girardi wanted to give him and Alex Rodriguez a chance to rest by keeping them both out of the starting lineup.

Rodriguez later entered the game as a pinch runner, the first time he's done that since 1995.

Jeter left during the eighth inning Wednesday night. He said afterward it was nothing serious, but Girardi described him as day-to-day.

"It isn't an injury. I have had zero treatment. I wish I had something to tell you. I had no idea I wasn't in the lineup until I walked in and didn't see my name," Jeter said. "I'm not happy about it. I always want to play. But I'm not upset."

The 36-year-old Jeter is off to a quiet start, hitting .250 with only two extra-base hits. The Yankees are in the middle of a stretch of 16 games without an off day.

"I have to be smart about it. You can't play him every day when you're playing in 16 games in a row," Girardi said. "You just can't do it."

Short hops

■ The Astros put closer Brandon Lyon on the 15-day disabled list after an exam found a problem with his pitching arm and shoulder on Thursday. An MRI showed tendinitis in his biceps and a partial tear in his rotator cuff, which can heal without surgery. The Astros called up right-hander Jose Valdez, who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 2. Right-hander Mark Melancon will move into the closer's role for now.

■ The Red Sox put struggling reliever Bobby Jenks on the 15-day DL after his right arm cramped up during a loss to the Angels. The Red Sox said Jenks has a strained right biceps. Boston also placed right-handed reliever Dan Wheeler on the 15-day DL with a strained left calf.

Eric Hosmer, the top prospect in Kansas City's talent-rich minor-league system, will start at first base on Friday night in his major-league debut. He will replace the struggling Kila Ka'aihue at first base. Hosmer was hitting .439 for Triple-A Omaha with three home runs and 15 RBI in 26 games.

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