• The Rays reinstated right-hander Alex Cobb from the 60-day disabled list, and he made his first big league start Thursday, two months after being hit in the head by a batted ball. Cobb was struck on the right ear June 15 by a liner hit by Kansas City's Eric Hosmer. He threw five effective innings Thursday, allowing one earned run on three hits.
• Bud Selig knows that many people believe the 211-game suspension he issued to Alex Rodriguez was excessive, including A-Rod himself, as indicated by his appeal. The commissioner doesn't care. “It's not difficult for me at all,” Selig said Thursday at the conclusion of the owners' meetings. “I spent many, many hours thinking about it. I know why I did it and what I did. I thought it was eminently fair then, and I think it's eminently fair today.”
• Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay threw six innings in his first rehab start since being sidelined by a shoulder injury. Halladay gave up three runs and six hits, struck out four and walked three in a game for the Gulf Coast League Phillies against Pittsburgh minor leaguers.
• The Nationals recalled right-hander Drew Storen from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned fellow reliever Ryan Mattheus to their top farm club. The 26-year-old Storen was sent down July 27 after going 3-2 with two saves and 5.95 ERA in 47 games.
• The Royals designated second baseman Elliot Johnson for assignment to make room for newly acquired infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Toronto sent Bonifacio to the Royals on Wednesday for cash or a player to be named. He was in the starting lineup Thursday at third base.
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