One of the base-running sausages, a familiar sight at Milwaukee Brewers games, is missing.

Someone wearing the Klementís Racing Italian Sausage costume recently posed with bar patrons in Cedarburg, Wis. The 7-foot-long, $3,000 costume was in a backroom at the Milwaukee Curling Club during a Feb. 16 fundraiser. Someone saw the sausage walk out the door that evening and it hasnít been seen since.

The costume is owned by Milwaukee-based sausage company Klementís. The Racing Sausages, including the Bratwurst, the Polish Sausage, the Hot Dog and the Chorizo, are a popular sight running bases at Brewers home games.

The costumes are available for rent.

Cedarburg police Detective Jeff Vahsholtz tells the Journal Sentinel that police are interviewing bar patrons and looking for the costume.

Mets pitcher out with strain

Top New York Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler was scratched from his start against the St. Louis Cardinals because of a mild oblique strain.

General Manager Sandy Alderson says Wednesday the hard-throwing right-hander was injured swinging a bat in the cage.

The 22-year-old Wheeler says the side muscle was stiff, and he doesnít believe itís anything serious.

This would have been Wheelerís second spring outing. He tossed two scoreless innings in relief Saturday, reaching the mid-90s on the speed gun with his pitches.

Wheeler was excited to face outfielder Carlos Beltran for the first time. Wheeler was the key acquisition for the Mets in the deal that sent Beltran, the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year, to the San Francisco Giants in 2011.

Left-hander Darin Gorski started in Wheelerís place.

Ortiz on leave

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has left the team for a few days to return to the Dominican Republic for a personal matter.

Before Wednesday nightís game against the Baltimore Orioles, Boston manager John Farrell said that Ortiz, who has yet to play this spring training, should be back by Friday.

Farrell declined to say what Ortizís personal matter was.

WBC starts Friday night

The World Baseball Classic begins late Friday night and once again Japan is the team to beat. The Japanese won the international tournament the first two times it was played, in 2006 and 2009.

The group-play round will be held in four locations around the globe ó Japan, Taiwan, Puerto Rico and Arizona. The semifinals and final will be in San Francisco.