Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, who is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, likely will start Wednesday's game against Milwaukee, Manager Dusty Baker said yesterday.
With the return of Wood and Mark Prior, who is scheduled to start today against the White Sox, the Cubs' rotation will be at full strength.
"I look at it as we acquired two quality guys, similar to a trade," Baker said. "We've done what we could with who we could. We've sort of treaded water."
Wood (1-1, 6.15 ERA) has been on the disabled list since May 3. Prior (4-1, 2.93 ERA) went on the DL with a fracture in his right elbow May 28.
"We've got a lot of time left," RHP Greg Maddux said. "We're over .500. We need to get 20 games over to have a legitimate shot at the postseason. . . . The Astros came from a lot further back last year."
* DIFFERENT RELIEF FOR GAGNE: A day after undergoing season-ending surgery on his pitching elbow, Dodgers RHP Eric Gagne showed up at Angel Stadium wearing a cast and a relieved smile.
"Why not? I get paid," the 29-year-old right-hander replied when asked why he was attending the game so soon after his operation. "I'm here to give myself moral support -- be with my teammates. It's good to be here, worry about the good stuff, winning a ballgame."
Gagne was expected to undergo ligament replacement surgery Friday, but the operation performed by Frank Jobe and Ralph Gambardella in Los Angeles turned out to be much less serious.
"It was a real relief last night when I realized what was going on," Gagne said.
* WYNN-WYNN SITUATION: The Astros retired the uniform number of three-time all-star Jimmy Wynn, honoring the slugging exploits of the "Toy Cannon." Wynn wore No. 24 in his career in Houston.
Wynn was driven around Minute Maid Park in a black sedan to a standing ovation in a pregame ceremony. Wynn clearly enjoyed the cheers.
Wynn, 63, played with the Astros from 1963 to '73. He was traded to the Dodgers in 1973, where he spent two all-star seasons before moving to Atlanta in 1976 and the New York Yankees and Milwaukee in 1977.
Wynn ranks among Houston's top 10 in homers, runs, hits, games, at-bats and walks. He hit a career-high 37 home runs in 1967, a club record until Jeff Bagwell hit 39 in 1994.
During the 20-minute ceremony, Astros owner Drayton McLane, former Astros star and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, Houston Mayor Bill White and a handful of other speakers praised Wynn.
OF Jason Lane gave up his No. 24 jersey number for No. 16.
* START OVER?: Alex Sanchez, claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Thursday, started in right field in his first appearance with the Giants -- and was involved in two of the team's five errors, the most in six years, in its loss to Oakland.
Sanchez dropped a fly ball by Eric Byrnes in the eighth, then collided with CF Jason Ellison moments later. Ellison was charged with the error that allowed Johnson to reach.
All three San Francisco outfielders made errors in the loss, something Manager Felipe Alou said he hadn't seen since managing Class A ball in Florida.
* DIAMOND VISION: A 30-inch silver boot was awarded to the Rangers following their victory over Houston to signify the winner of the Lone Star series. The Rangers also won in 2001 and 2004. The award replaces the glass boot that was damaged when the Rangers brought it home after winning last year.
Afterward, the wives of Rangers and Astros players and coaches participated in a charity softball game, dubbed the "Diamond Boot."
* FAMILY CHANNEL: Brothers Duane and Glen Kuiper broadcast the Athletics-Giants game on the local Giants' broadcast TV station.
The added bonus? Their other brother, Jeff Kuiper, produced the game and their 80-year-old father, Henry Kuiper, a standout fast pitch softball hurler in his day, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
-- From News Services