Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak, a former Stratford High School and University of South Carolina standout, was demoted to Triple-A by the Seattle Mariners.

Smoak was sent down to Tacoma late Monday, batting .189 and in the midst of an 0-for-19 slump.

“Hey, this is for (Justin),’’ Mariners manager Eric Wedge told reporters. “This is what we feel like is the right thing to do for him right now to give him a break, to give him a different environment without the pressure of the big leagues.

“To where he can go down there and work to get on track, to find it. And to find it with some consistency.’’

Smoak was told of the demotion in a post-game meeting Monday night after a 4-1 loss to the Yankees.

“I think everybody’s seen what’s been going on,’’ Smoak said. “It’s just one of those things where you go down there, get your work in and I get back to where I was a couple of months ago. It’s a matter of just getting that feel and finding something day-in and day-out that gets you to where you want to be.’’

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter expects to begin a rehab program next week following surgery to relieve nerve compression that left his arm and much of the right side of his body numb.

The 37-year-old Carpenter gave no guarantee Tuesday that he’d be back next season. Carpenter didn’t know when he’ll be able to throw again, but said the surgeon, Dr. Greg Pearl of Dallas, told him there were no complications.

ST. LOUIS — Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly threw three 20-pitch simulated innings in the bullpen, taking another step toward a rehab assignment from a shoulder injury.

Lilly is 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA in eight starts, and has been on the 15-day disabled list since late May with shoulder inflammation. He stepped it up Tuesday from the last session four days earlier when he threw 40 pitches.

The next step would be a simulated game throwing to hitters.

1912 Red Sox World Series trophy to be auctioned

AP Photo BX108, BX106, BX107


BOSTON (AP) — The 1912 Boston Red Sox World Series trophy presented to team manager Jake Stahl is going on the auction block.

The sterling silver trophy will be auctioned Aug. 2 at Camden Yards in Baltimore during a national sports collectors convention.

The trophy’s current owner is Red Sox fan Robert Fraser. He says several companies wanted to auction it off for the 100th anniversaries of the team’s World Series win against the New York Giants and the opening of Fenway Park. The Westwood, N.J., real estate broker says he and his wife paid $74,000 for it in 2007.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions says it expects the trophy will fetch more than $300,000.

Fraser says there were two trophies made but no one knows what happened to the other one.