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BASEBALL : DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES : Mets Send Darling, Minor Leaguer to the Expos for Reliever Burke

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<i> Associated Press</i>

Ron Darling, the senior player on the New York Mets, was traded to the Montreal Expos along with a minor league pitcher on Monday for reliever Tim Burke.

Darling, a 30-year-old right-hander, was about to be dropped from the Mets’ starting rotation in favor of Sid Fernandez, who is scheduled to come off the disabled list Friday.

“It’s better for me to have a chance to pitch every fifth day rather than not pitch and mop up,” Darling said. “I was not going to play a significant role down the stretch.”

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Darling came up to the majors in 1983 and went 99-70 for the Mets with a 3.50 earned-run average.

His best years began in 1985, when he was 16-6. He then went 15-6, 12-8 and 17-9, but slipped to 14-14 in 1989 and was dropped from the rotation last year, going 7-9 with a 4.50 ERA.

“Darling’s fastball has not been effective the last few years,” Met Manager Bud Harrelson said.

Burke, 32, has a 3-4 with 4.11 ERA in 37 games for the Expos. He has converted only five saves in 12 chances. However, he is 43-26 in his seven-year career with 101 saves.

The Expos also got left-hander Mike Thomas, who had a 2.41 ERA and 15 saves at Class-A Columbia of the South Atlantic League.

Outfielder Robin Yount was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 6 by the Milwaukee Brewers. It was the first time Yount was officially put on a disabled list since 1978, when he was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Yount spent Sunday night at Sinai Samaritan Medical Center, where he has been treated since last Thursday night for aftereffects of a passed kidney stone.

Catcher Mike Heath of the Atlanta Braves will be out for the remainder of the season following elbow surgery. The Braves said 15 loose bone chips were removed from Heath’s right elbow.


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