Infected Blue Jays Are a Cause for Concern

Sunday, July 16, 2006; E06

The Blue Jays disinfected their clubhouse after being forced to place RHP Ty Taubenheim on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with an infection in his left foot, the second Toronto player to be placed on the DL because of a staph infection.

RF Alex Rios still hasn't rejoined the club since suffering a staph infection in his lower left leg in late June.

Because of the nature of Taubenheim's injury, the Blue Jays worked with health inspectors to ensure the Blue Jays' home clubhouse was not the source of infection. Following the inspection, the clubhouse was disinfected for precautionary reasons.

Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse said the "clubhouse was absolutely not the source of the infection." They don't know how Taubenheim was infected.

Stenhouse said health inspectors examined the entire clubhouse over the all-star break, including the shower and hot tub areas.

Rios didn't appear to suffer a cut after fouling a ball off his leg on June 27 but the area swelled and became sore. Blue Jays trainer George Poulis said the injury was weird because there was no visible break in the skin that might have allowed the troublesome bacteria to enter. Rios was given strong antibiotics.

The all-star is out of the hospital and rehabbing with the Blue Jays, but Manager John Gibbon s doesn't expect him back before July 24.

Rios underwent two surgical procedures to remove fluid from the infected area, delaying his return. The 25-year-old is having a breakout season, batting .330 with 15 homers and 53 RBI. Taubenheim was 1-5 with a 4.89 ERA.

· TORONTO TOPS SEATTLE: Bengie Molina 's RBI single in the 14th lifted the Blue Jays to a 7-6 win over the Mariners. Scott Downs , Toronto's ninth pitcher of the game and the last in the bullpen, pitched the 14th to get the victory.

Blue Jays starter Roy Halla day allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. Raul Ibañez homered and drove in four runs for the Mariners.

· HUNTER AILING: Twins CF Torii Hunter was taken to a hospital for X-rays on his sore left foot after leaving Minnesota's game at home.

Hunter, who struck out swinging in the first inning against Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia , came out of the game after playing two innings. He fractured his left ankle last July 30 when he crashed into the wall in Boston, ending his season.

Nick Punto , who started the game at third, replaced Hunter in center.

-- From News Services

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