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MLB notebook: Longtime Rockies star Todd Helton announces retirement

| Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, 7:57 p.m.

Todd Helton has had enough.

Having decided earlier this year that this will be his final season, the Rockies' first baseman decided to go public.

“I didn't want to say I was going to return and then come back in,” Helton said before Sunday's game against Arizona. “I talked to my wife, and thought about my body and mentally how I felt going out there for every game. I'm 40. It's time to go. It's a young man's game.”

Helton has spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies and set franchise records in nearly every offensive category. He announced his decision after Saturday night's 9-2 loss, when he hit his 586th double.

Helton won the NL batting title with a .372 average in 2000, when he led the league with 59 doubles and 147 RBIs and also hit 42 home runs.

Helton joins Yankees closer Mariano Rivera among players retiring this year.

• Athletics right-hander Jarrod Parker was a late scratch from his scheduled start against the Rangers. Less than an hour before the series finale, the AL West leaders said Parker (11-6) wouldn't pitch because of illness. Left-hander Tommy Milone, who made his first career relief appearance Wednesday, took over as the starter.

• Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs on Sunday, breaking the Japanese single-season record set by legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh 49 years ago. Balentien hit the record-breaking three-run homer in the first inning, sending the ball over the left-field wall at Tokyo's Jingu Stadium to give his Yakult Swallows an early lead over the Hanshin Tigers. He then added a solo shot in the third for No. 57 to help the Swallows to a 9-0 win.

• Yasiel Puig was not in the Dodgers' lineup against San Francisco because of left hip soreness. Manager Don Mattingly said the rookie outfielder doesn't need an MRI. “It doesn't seem that serious,” he said.

• Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez left Sunday's game against the Blue Jays in the sixth inning after suffering a strained right groin.

— AP

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