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Originally published July 19, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 22, 2007 at 9:08 PM

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AL Wire Notes | Tigers' Sheffield draws fine for criticizing umps

Detroit Tigers veteran Gary Sheffield was fined an undisclosed amount on Wednesday by Major League Baseball for criticizing umpires. "Our highly professional umpires...

Detroit Tigers veteran Gary Sheffield was fined an undisclosed amount on Wednesday by Major League Baseball for criticizing umpires.

"Our highly professional umpires protect the integrity of the game on the field. Attacks on their professionalism and character will not be tolerated," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.

The often-outspoken Sheffield declined comment before the Tigers' game at Minnesota.

His punishment stemmed from remarks he made in June regarding a suspension he received for allegedly throwing a piece of his broken bat at plate umpire Greg Gibson in a May game in Cleveland. Sheffield and Tigers manager Jim Leyland disputed Gibson's claim.

When the suspension was reduced from three games to two last month, Sheffield still wasn't happy and lashed out at the umpires.

"It just goes to show you it wasn't true and how corrupt the umpiring system is," he said then. "They can make a statement, and that means it's true."

Boston: SS Julio Lugo extended his hitting streak to eight games, following an 18-game stretch in which he went 3 for 46 (.065). ... Reliever Mike Timlin has thrown 13-2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.

Chicago: 1B Paul Konerko has been one of the AL's hottest hitters for nearly two months. He's batting .349 with eight homers and 22 RBI in his past 22 games.

Cleveland: OF Grady Sizemore, who seems to make a sensational catch every game for the Indians, laid out against the White Sox to grab Paul Konerko's sinking liner.

Detroit: OF Magglio Ordonez homered and doubled against Twins LHP Johan Santana, improving to .419 with five homers in 43 at-bats against the two-time AL Cy Young winner.

Kansas City: Octavio Dotel got his 10th save in 13 chances, completing four scoreless innings by the Royals' bullpen against Boston.

Los Angeles: Struggling RHP Ervin Santana (5-11, 6.22 ERA) was sent to AAA Salt Lake a day after he was shelled by Tampa Bay and lost his fifth consecutive decision. C Mike Napoli was activated.

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Minnesota: All-Star OF Torii Hunter left in the fourth inning of the loss to Detroit with a strained hamstring. ... 1B Justin Morneau was responsible for half the 14 runners left on base by the Twins.

New York: Mariano Rivera got his fourth save in five days and his 15th save in 17 chances. He is perfect since blowing his first two opportunities this season. ... Alex Rodriguez's 39-game errorless streak is the longest active run by a third baseman in the majors.

Oakland: 3B Eric Chavez sat out his third straight game with a lower-back injury but is expected to return to the lineup this weekend. ... DH Mike Piazza, on the DL since May 3 with a sore shoulder, could rejoin the A's soon. He has been rehabbing in the minor leagues.

Tampa Bay: Closer Al Reyes returned from the DL, where he had been since July 3 because of a mild rotator-cuff strain.

Texas: Take struggling RHP Robinson Tejeda out of the mix and the Rangers' rejuvenated rotation has a 3.55 earned-run average since June 14.

Toronto: After stranding 12 runners each of the previous two nights, the Blue Jays left 13 on base against the Yankees — eight through the first six innings.

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