â€¢ CHICAGO - Alfonso Soriano's sore hamstring is healing quickly and the Chicago Cubs center fielder hopes to return as soon as this weekend. Manager Lou Piniella said it'll probably be early next week before his leadoff hitter is ready.
Soriano, who signed a club-record eight-year, $136 million deal in the offseason, missed his fourth straight game Friday after straining his left hamstring Monday against the Padres.
Batting .245 with no homers, one RBI and one stolen base in his first 12 games with the Cubs, Soriano did some running Friday and will do so again Saturday to see how he feels.
There's an outside chance Soriano could pinch-hit this weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals, but Piniella wasn't excited about that possibility.
After Soriano was hurt, the Cubs called up Felix Pie, projected as their center fielder of the future. What happens to Pie when Soriano returns is still undetermined.
Mets honor Robinson
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â€¢ NEW YORK - The Mets paid tribute to Jackie Robinson on Friday night, five days after their game against the Washington Nationals was rained out on the actual anniversary of Robinson's debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.
Mets manager Willie Randolph wore No. 42 in honor of Robinson and escorted his wife, Rachel, to the podium for the commemoration, along with Jackie's son, David. Three tribute videos were shown on the video scoreboard at Shea Stadium, and the Mets also recognized four Negro League players during the ceremony.
Twins minor leaguer suspended
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â€¢ NEW YORK - Minnesota Twins pitcher Anthony Swarzak was suspended for 50 games Friday for testing positive for a drug of abuse under baseball's minor league testing program.
The 21-year-old right-hander was 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA in one start and one relief appearance over 5 2-3 innings this season for New Britain of the Double-A Eastern League.
He is the fourth minor leaguer suspended under the drug program this year, the second for a drug of abuse.