Mariners, Athletics to open 2012 in Tokyo

Major League Baseball will open its season in Japan for the first time in four years when the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics hold a two-game set to start the 2012 campaign.

The series, set for March 28-29 at the Tokyo Dome, marks MLB’s fourth season-opening trip to Japan and first since the Boston Red Sox and Athletics played in 2008


Cleveland Indians bench coach Tim Tolman is stepping down from his role amid a battle with Parkinson’s disease. Tolman said he learned he had the disease two years ago. He expects to remain with the organization in an unspecified role. First base coach Sandy Alomar was picked to replace Tolman, 55, in Cleveland’s dugout next season. … St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan rejoined the team Wednesday for the final game of the regular season after missing more than a month to tend to his ailing wife. Duncan’s wife, Jeanine, is recovering from surgery on Aug. 21 to remove a brain tumor. Duncan, Manager Tony La Russa’s trusted assistant since the early 1980s, did not know how long he would be able to stay with the club because his wife has more medical appointments scheduled.


Kansas City prospect Bubba Starling, 19, was cited for underage drinking in Tempe, Ariz. The Royals said Starling was cited Saturday during a random alcohol check after the football game between Arizona State and USC. He and two other prospects cited during the stop did not test over the legal limit for driving. The other people were not identified.