Baseball briefs – July 19

A.J. Burnett said he apologized to his New York Yankees teammates Sunday for a clubhouse fit that left him with cuts on both hands.

A.J. Burnett apologizes for tantrum

NEW YORK — A.J. Burnett said he apologized to his New York Yankees teammates Sunday for a clubhouse fit that left him with cuts on both hands.

Sporting a bandage on each palm, Burnett said he had no trouble playing long toss and the lacerations don’t affect his ability to grip the ball. He expects to throw his scheduled bullpen session Tuesday and take his next turn in the rotation Friday night against Kansas City.

Frustrated after two innings of an ineffective outing against Tampa Bay, Burnett slammed open a set of double doors Saturday, slicing both palms on the plastic lineup-card holders fastened to the entry.

The right-hander returned to the mound in the third, but was lifted after facing two more batters and giving up his fourth run of the game. It was Burnett’s shortest start in two seasons with the Yankees, and the Rays went on to win 10-5.

Burnett initially told trainer Steve Donohue that he was hurt in a fall, but revealed the real story once he calmed down. Burnett said Sunday he learned from the situation.

The bandage on the inside of Burnett’s right hand covered the meaty part of skin between his thumb and wrist. Even before the pitcher spoke to his teammates Sunday, Yankees captain Derek Jeter said the matter was over with and didn’t need to be addressed again.

Brewers complain about beanballs

ATLANTA — Milwaukee manager Ken Macha says he has complained to a baseball official about his batters being hit too often by pitches.

Macha says action needs to be taken to protect the Brewers, who have been hit by 47 pitches, the most in the majors.

Macha says he spoke with Bruce Froemming, a former umpire and current special assistant for Major League Baseball’s umpiring department.

Atlanta pitchers hit Prince Fielder in consecutive games on Friday and Saturday. On Fielder’s first at-bat after hitting a homer Saturday night, Atlanta’s Jonny Venters threw a pitch over Fielder’s head. Venters was ejected after he hit Fielder on the next pitch.

Braves manager Bobby Cox spoke with Macha in private before Sunday’s game but wouldn’t comment on the discussion.

Pettitte out with groin strain

NEW YORK — Andy Pettitte left the New York Yankees’ game against Tampa Bay in the third inning Sunday because of a strained left groin.

The pitcher was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI, the Yankees said.

Making his first start since pitching in the all-star game Tuesday night, the 38-year-old left-hander never appeared comfortable on a humid, 33-C afternoon.

He made a diving play on Carl Crawford’s sacrifice bunt in the first inning, moments before giving up a three-run homer to Carlos Pena.

Pettitte flexed his left leg after falling behind in the count 3-1 to Kelly Shoppach in the third. Yankees manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Dave Eiland and trainer Gene Monahan came out to check on Pettitte, who grimaced through a warmup pitch and then bent over at the knees before coming out of the game.

He was replaced by David Robertson with New York trailing 3-2. All-star lefty David Price was on the mound for the Rays in the rubber game of a three-game series.

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