MLB notes: Hidden-ball trick thwarted

Kensuke Tanaka (37) of the San Francisco Giants steals second base in front of the tag of Everth...

Kensuke Tanaka (37) of the San Francisco Giants steals second base in front of the tag of Everth Cabrera (2) of the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park on July 11, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:01 PM ET

San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera attempted the classic hidden-ball trick on Friday night -- and almost pulled it off.

In the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants, Cabrera secretly held the baseball after Pablo Sandoval got to second base with an RBI double. Once Sandoval strayed a few feet from the bag, Cabrera tagged him.

It seemed to work perfectly, except for two problems.

First, timeout was called. Second, the pitcher cannot be standing on the mound for this move to be considered legal.

The last time the hidden-ball trick was accomplished was on June 8, 2007 by Boston Red Sox shortstop Julia Lugo against Arizona Diamondbacks Alberta Callaspo.

COBB RECOVERING

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb has been cleared for batting practice after sustaining a concussion on June 15.

The 25-year-old was hit on the side of his head by a line drive from Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Despite continuing to experience some post-concussion symptoms, Cobb is steadily improving.

“I think most of the symptoms are gone,” Cobb told MLB.com. “I still experience a little vertigo randomly, but you can’t even compare how much better I am from where I was.

"I’m extremely anxious to get out there and face hitters. There is no concern in my mind right now that I’ll be worried. I would like to get out there as soon as possible.”

Cobb resumed bullpen sessions last week, and will participate in batting practice on Sunday.

LOCKE OUT OF ASG

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke will not play Sunday against the New York Mets and has opted out of the all-star game.

Locke experienced tightness in his back in last week's 2-1 loss to Oakland, but the problem is not considered to be serious.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Locke "feels a little bit off" and will rest during the all-star break. He is expected to return on his next scheduled start, July 21.

The 25-year-old has posted a 2.15 ERA in 109 innings over 18 starts this season.

MANNY COMEBACK

Is Manny almost back to being Manny?

Twelve-time MLB all-star Manny Ramirez continued his bid to return to the big leagues Friday night, going 3-for-5 with a home run while powering triple-A Round Rock to a 7-6 win over Omaha.

In six games with the Texas Rangers' affiliate, Ramirez is hitting a respectable .286 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs.

Ramirez, 41, recently returned from a stint in the Chinese Professional Baseball League where in 49 games, he hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs.

The Dominican-born outfielder hasn’t played a major league game since 2011 when he retired with the Tamp Bay Rays.

Major League Baseball issued a statement shortly after Ramirez's retirement indicating he had tested positive for high levels of testosterone and was facing a 100-game suspension.

With his suspension considered served, Ramirez is back looking for another chance at the elite level and has reportedly already been tested for PEDs in the minor leagues, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Through two decades in the majors with five different clubs, Ramirez hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs.

WORST GAME EVER

Stephen Strasburg struggled last night as the Washington Nationals suffered an 8-3 loss to the Miami Marlins.

The 24-year-old Strasburg surrendered five hits, four walks, and threw just 33 out of 66 pitches for strikes in giving up a career-high seven runs over two innings.

“It’s frustrating,” he told MLB.com. “I threw ball one, ball two. The batters put a good swing. I was too much open to home plate to start. That messed everything up from there. It caused me to fly open even more.”

This was his shortest outing since being pulled after two innings on May 31 due to a lat strain.

IBANEZ SEEKS RECORD

Raul Ibanez’s successful season continues.

The Seattle Mariners outfield went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, and three RBIs in Friday’s 8-3 victory over the L.A. Angels.

The 41-year-old has totaled 24 home runs in 71 games this season. Should he keep this up, Ibanez could make history.

Only six other players in MLB history have hit more home runs in their 40s in a single season than earlier in their careers, according to Baseball Reference.

Ibanez is looking to top 34 home runs, which he accomplished with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.


Videos

Photos