The Baltimore Orioles cut five players Sunday, including two who pitched for the team last year: Hayden Penn and Kurt Birkins.
Penn and Birkins were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, along with utility player Brandon Fahey. The Orioles also reassigned pitchers Jon Leicester and Rob Bell to their minor league camp in Sarasota.
In addition, the Orioles sent right-hander Sendy Rleal to their minor league camp to continue rehabilitation of a sore right elbow that has kept him sidelined since March 6. He remains on the camp roster, but has virtually no chance of opening the season with the Orioles.
Penn couldn’t find a spot in a starting rotation that essentially was in place at the outset of spring training. The right-hander was 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA, but he issued seven walks in 10 innings.
Penn is 3-6 in 14 major league appearances. He was winless in six starts last September with Baltimore.
Birkins went 5-2 in 35 games last season with Baltimore, and Rleal was 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA in 42 games.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, out of contention for the fifth spot in the rotation due to a sore shoulder, will go through two to three weeks of rehabilitation before throwing.
He has not thrown since Wednesday’s start against the New York Mets, when he allowed two runs in three innings. The left-hander first felt pain after throwing 2 1-3 innings against Boston on March 16.
Kuo said he told trainers his shoulder was sore but was cleared to continue pitching. He stayed on schedule and threw a bullpen session before his start last week.
Two points from defeat, Justine Henin played up to her billing as the new No. 1.
Henin, who reclaimed the top ranking less than a week ago, came from behind three times in the third set Sunday and beat Virginie Razzano 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (5) at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Henin erased a 5-1 deficit in the final set to reach 5-all. Serving at 5-6, love-30, she rallied for 6-all. Then she fell behind 2-0 in the tiebreaker before staging one last charge and closing out the third-round victory with a forehand winner.
Razzano never reached match point, but three times she was two points from winning.
Sacramento guard Kevin Martin injured his eye early in the second quarter of the game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
The Kings said Martin, their leading scorer at 20.8 points per game, wouldn’t return. He had double vision, the team said.
Martin drove the lane while being defended by James Jones on Sacramento’s first possession of the second quarter, and came away holding his hand to his eye in obvious pain.
He stayed in the game and made one of two free throws, but went to the locker room a few minutes later.
Pablo Perez was in stable condition Sunday after surgery to remove shrapnel from his legs following an accident in the season-opening Indy Pro Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Car owner Chip Ganassi said Perez is scheduled for more surgery today and doctors hope to transfer him to a hospital in Indianapolis as soon as possible. He was awakened Sunday by doctors who asked Perez to wiggle his toes, and the driver responded.
He was injured when he and Sean Guthrie touched wheels, igniting a five-car crash. The impact sent Guthrie’s car hurtling into the energy-absorbing SAFER Barrier and Perez’s car into the catch-fencing.