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Marlins’ Castro Claims Innocence

From Associated Press

Backup catcher Ramon Castro rejoined the Florida Marlins and declared his innocence Saturday, two days after he was arrested and charged with raping a woman in his hotel room.

Castro, who was available for Saturday night’s game against the Montreal Expos, gave a brief statement but refused to answer questions.

“I just want to say I apologize to the team, the organization, especially my teammates, and my family,” he said. “And that’s all I have to say. And I’m innocent.”

Asked why he was apologizing if he was innocent, Castro said, “I am innocent” as he was led away by a team official.

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Florida Manager Jack McKeon said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Castro, who entered the game hitting .289 with three home runs and six RBIs. Castro did not play Saturday.

A 28-year-old woman accused Castro of assaulting her in the player’s hotel room following Wednesday night’s game in Pittsburgh, police said.

According to court records, the woman told police Castro threw her on a hotel bed, pulled off her clothes and held her down. The woman tried to push Castro away and told him to stop, but he continued to sexually assault her, the documents said.

The woman went to a hospital early Thursday morning, and staff members there called police. The woman was treated and released for what police described as minor physical injuries.

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A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4.

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Pittsburgh Pirate utilityman Rob Mackowiak was placed on probation for a drunken driving arrest in May.

Under terms of Friday’s plea in Allegheny County Court, Mackowiak will serve six months of probation and have his driver’s license suspended for 30 days.

Mackowiak, 27, was charged with DUI after police saw him driving the wrong way on a one-way street about 3 a.m. on May 23, in the city’s Strip District, an area with a number of nightclubs.

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The Oakland Athletics signed knuckleballer Steve Sparks to a minor league contract and assigned him to double-A Midland.

The right-hander was released by the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday after going 0-6 with two saves and a 4.72 earned run average in 42 appearances.

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The Texas Rangers purchased right-hander Mickey Callaway’s contract from triple-A Oklahoma, and he started against the Minnesota Twins.

The Rangers created a roster spot for Callaway on Friday night when they optioned right-hander Rosman Garcia to Oklahoma.

Callaway, who was released by the Angels earlier this season on July 28, gave up two runs and five hits in six innings and took the loss on Saturday.

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Sammy Sosa’s 500th home run baseball sold for $44,823, the highest of eight bids placed through an auction house.

A college student caught the ball at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati and decided to sell it to help pay for his education. MastroNet, Inc., began taking bids on Aug. 11.


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