Baseball

MLB notes: Mauer back behind the plate in minors

Joe Mauer is back to crouching behind the plate, a bit tired but still committed to being a catcher. The rehabilitating Minnesota Twins star caught three innings Thursday in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla., his first action on defense since he was sent to the 15-day disabled list nearly two months ago with weakness and soreness in his legs.

Mauer went 0-for-5 at the plate, with two flyouts to left field and three groundouts to the right side of the infield against a group of Tampa Bay Rays minor-leaguers. After the game, he said he was out of breath and "a little fatigued" but otherwise feeling fine.

"There's a lot of pain gone, which is good," Mauer said. "I was in a lot of pain to start the season."

Despite the wear and tear, Mauer said he's not concerned about changing positions. "I've been asked that question ever since I was 20 years old," Mauer said. "My answer hasn't changed."

Angels make emergency landing

Delta Airlines says a charter flight carrying members of the Angels made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport because of a mechanical problem. Airline spokesman Anthony Black said Thursday that the Boeing 737-800 was approaching the Los Angeles area Wednesday night when an indicator warned of a possible problem with the hydraulic system. The aircraft, destined for Orange County's John Wayne airport, was redirected to LAX.

Revere gets the call again

The Twins put designated hitters Jim Thome (strained left quadriceps) and Jason Kubel (sprained left foot) on the 15-day disabled list. Minnesota, which has the worst record in the majors, recalled former Lexington Catholic standout Ben Revere from Triple-A Rochester, and he was immediately inserted into the lineup Thursday night in right field. Revere, a 2007 first-round pick, went 1-for-3 with an RBI double and a stolen base in an 8-2 win over the Royals. He hit .303 in 32 games with the Red Wings.

World Classic adds 12 countries

The World Baseball Classic is expanding by 12 countries, with Israel, Thailand and France among the newcomers set to take part in 2013. There will be 28 teams in the next competition that features major-league players. Japan won the first two WBC events in 2006 and 2009.

The new nations will play in a 16-team qualifying round. The other first-time participants are Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Spain. Winners from the qualifying round in the fall of 2012 advance to the WBC tournament in March 2013.

Royals prospect out for season

Left-hander John Lamb, one of the Royals' top prospects, will undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. The team announced that Lamb will have the ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery on Friday. Lamb made eight starts this year at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and was 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA.

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