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Girardi back in dugout, owner isn’t in stands

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Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi sat in the home dugout Friday for the first time since a rift with his boss erupted, the details and ramifications of the episode still fuzzy.

Girardi said he hasn't seen owner Jeffrey Loria in more than a week. They clashed when the Marlins last played in Miami on Aug. 6, prompting a clubhouse meeting that lasted nearly 90 minutes.

"Everyone is going to speculate about what happened," Girardi said before his team opened a homestand against Atlanta. "I know exactly what happened. I don't think it's my job to share."

Loria, sitting behind the plate at the Aug. 6 game, was berating the umpire when Girardi told him or asked him to stop, witnesses said. Loria angrily left his seat and confronted Girardi in the manager's office after the game.

Loria has declined to comment on the episode or respond to published reports that he fired Girardi, then changed his mind.

When asked Friday if he was asked that day to step down, Girardi hesitated and said, "Um, no. But there's internal stuff that's meant to stay internal, and that's what it will do on my part."

Regarding friction within the organization, Girardi said, "Internal is internal."

In his first year as a manager, Girardi has helped baseball's youngest team exceed expectations. The Marlins were widely projected to lose more than 100 games but instead began the weekend on the fringe of the NL wild-card race.

Girardi, under contract through 2008, hedged when asked about returning next season.

"I don't know where I'm going to be tomorrow," he said. "As a player I didn't worry about where I was going to be the next year, and as a manager I don't think like that. That's just not my personality."

Loria didn't attend Friday's game against Atlanta but was expected to be at the ballpark this weekend, a team spokesman said.

FOULKE RETURNS TO BULLPEN: The Boston Red Sox activated former closer Keith Foulke from the 15-day disabled list on Friday between games of their doubleheader against the New York Yankees, their second reinforcement of the day.

Before the opener, the Red Sox added Eric Hinske to the roster and optioned left-hander Craig Breslow to Triple-A Pawtucket. Hinske, the 2002 AL Rookie of the Year who was acquired on Thursday from Toronto, had three doubles in the 12-4 loss to the Yankees.

Foulke, who finished all four games of Boston's 2004 World Series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, was placed on the DL on June 13 with elbow tendinitis.

To make room for him, Jason Johnson was designated for assignment after allowing four runs in 4 1-3 innings in Friday's first game to lose his eighth consecutive decision.

WILSON JOINS CARDINALS: Preston Wilson signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, after being released by the Houston Astros earlier this week. Wilson batted .269 with nine home runs and 55 RBIs with the Astros, but disappointed them with a lack of power. The Cardinals hope to improve their lineup against left-handed pitching.

"This was a pretty nice opportunity for us," assistant general manager John Mozeliak said. "He gives us some stability, too, because he can play all three outfield positions."

ALSO: Washington Nationals second baseman Jose Vidro came off the 15-day disabled list Friday. Vidro has been out with a left hamstring injury since July 17. ... Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list before Friday's doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals. Infielder D'Angelo Jimenez was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento.