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Baseball notes: Cincinnati Reds activate closer Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman missed season's first six weeks after being hit in the face by a line drive in spring training

The Cincinnati Reds activated reliever Aroldis Chapman from the 15-day disabled list before Saturday's game against Colorado, and Manager Bryan Price said the hard-throwing left-hander would move immediately back into the closer role.

Chapman had surgery March 20, a day after being struck in the left eye and nose by a line drive during a spring training game. Jonathan Broxton converted five of six save chances in his absence.


John Axford was demoted from the Cleveland Indians' closer role. Manager Terry Francona said Axford, 1-3 with a 4.91 earned-run average and nine saves in 11 chances, would be replaced by a four-man group that includes Cody Allen, Scott Atchison, Marc Rzepczynski and Bryan Shaw. . . . Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale, who hasn't pitched since April 17 because of a muscle strain near his left elbow, threw 50 pitches in a simulated game and said he remained on track to return from the DL in two weeks. . . . Atlanta placed right-handed setup man Jordan Walden on the DL because of a strained left hamstring. . . . Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez left Saturday's game against the Yankees after getting hurt while fielding a bouncer in the fourth inning. He appeared to grab the back of his left leg as he left the field.

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