cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:25 AM

Preview: Diamondbacks (42-38) at Braves (47-34)
Game: 3
Venue: Turner Field
Date: June 30, 2013 1:35 PM EDT


The Atlanta Braves' bats are springing to life and might further do so against a pitcher having trouble figuring out what's wrong.

Atlanta tries to extend Trevor Cahill's woes and complete a three-game sweep of a fellow division leader in Sunday's matchup with the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

Through June 5, the Braves topped the NL with 81 homers and were among the league leaders with 4.5 runs per game. A big offensive funk followed, failing to go deep in 10 of 17 games while averaging 2.6 runs. They went 6-11 and reached double digits in hits just three times.

That's happened in four of the past five games as Atlanta has gone 4-1, batting .307 with six homers and 14 doubles. The Braves (47-34) didn't have a double-figure scoring effort in June until rallying for seven runs in the eighth inning Saturday to beat Arizona 11-5.

"It was a good day offensively, it really was, and hopefully that can carry on for quite a while," manager Fredi Gonzalez told the team's official website.

Keying Atlanta's NL-best 23rd comeback win was Jason Heyward, who had the tying RBI double and is among many Braves shaking off a slump. He's 7 for 17 with five extra-base hits over the past four games, scoring four runs and driving in four. Heyward had been 3 for 22 in his previous six games.

Dan Uggla drove in two runs Saturday and has hit .350 in five games after a 4-for-24 funk. Freddie Freeman was 1 for 3 for the fourth straight game following a 2-for-24 stretch, hitting a two-run homer after going 10 games without an RBI.

Even B.J. Upton, batting .178, had two RBIs after going seven games without one.

"It just seems we are playing better and better baseball every day all around," Upton said. "That's kind of scary that we're just going to get better."

Cahill (3-9, 4.29 ERA) clearly needs to get better for an Arizona rotation which has gone 21 consecutive starts without winning.

The right-hander is 0-5 with a 7.34 ERA in his last seven outings as opposing batters have hit .329. He's failed to get through six innings in five starts this month.

"It's tough, because I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and work on some things, but also try not to change too much," Cahill said.

He was tagged for six runs and eight hits in five innings of a 7-5 loss at Washington on Tuesday.

"I don't know if he's trying to change his delivery or what. He changes from pitch to pitch," catcher Miguel Montero said. "... He's a guy that doesn't need to do too much."

The only two times Cahill faced the Braves came last season and he lost both, allowing 13 runs in 10 2-3 innings.

Atlanta counters with Paul Maholm (8-6, 3.75), who is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA in six home starts this year. The left-hander won at Milwaukee last Sunday despite a subpar outing, giving up four runs and eight hits in five innings of a 7-4 victory.

Maholm was 0-3 against the Diamondbacks before winning the last matchup, throwing seven innings of one-run ball in an 8-1 victory July 13 while with the Cubs.

While Atlanta's 6 1/2-game lead atop the East is the largest in baseball, Arizona (42-38) has lost five of six to see its West lead cut to two.

"We'll have to figure things out, we'll have to switch things around," manager Kirk Gibson said.

The Diamondbacks have dropped 12 of 15 in Atlanta, where Paul Goldschmidt is batting .120 in eight career games.


-----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Diamondbacks at Braves
Fri, Jun 28 Final 0 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Diamondbacks at Braves
Sat, Jun 29 Final 5 to 11
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Diamondbacks at Braves
Sun, Jun 30 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:27 AM

Preview: Brewers (32-47) at Pirates (50-30)
Game: 3
Venue: PNC Park
Date: June 30, 2013 1:35 PM EDT


The Pittsburgh Pirates are playing so well that they have to feel they can earn a rare win over Kyle Lohse.

Lohse is 9-2 in his career against the Pirates, who will try for their ninth straight victory Sunday and a three-game home sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Pittsburgh (50-30) owns baseball's best record thanks to its longest win streak since a 10-game run June 26-July 5, 2004. The club has won 50 games before the start of July for the first time - the closest it had come to accomplishing that feat was the 1971 team that won its 50th game July 1 and captured the World Series.

"We're playing good baseball," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's nice to get to 50 wins but we're just trying to meet the demands of the game, honestly self-evaluate and get better every day. There is still a long way to go."

Pedro Alvarez is enjoying a career-high 12-game hitting streak in which he is batting .396 with six homers and 15 RBIs. He hit his 20th homer in Saturday's 2-1 victory.

Alvarez has one hit in his last 14 at_bats against Lohse (3-6, 3.69 ERA), who is 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA in his past six outings against the Pirates. He's 5-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 10 career games at PNC Park.

Milwaukee (32-47) has won four of the right-hander's last five starts as Lohse has gone 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA. He beat the Cubs on Tuesday, yielding three runs over seven innings in a 9-3 victory.

Lohse will want to be careful against Neil Walker, 8 for 21 against him, and Andrew McCutchen (9 for 30).

While the Pirates have struggled to beat Lohse, Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (1-1, 2.81) is winless against Milwaukee.

Morton is 0-4 with a 6.67 ERA in six starts versus the Brewers, although he hasn't faced them since 2011.

The right-hander has failed to get through six innings in his first three 2013 starts, lasting 5 2-3 and giving up six runs last Sunday in a 10-9, 10-inning victory over the Angels.

The Pirates have enjoyed five straight home sellouts - the longest such streak since PNC Park opened in 2001.

"The energy of the crowds has been unbelievable and we've been soaking it all up," said closer Jason Grilli, who improved to 15-for-15 in save chances at home Saturday. "You absorb it and try to use it to your advantage. We're playing for ourselves but we're also playing for about 40,000 people in the stands and an entire city."

The Pirates also lead the majors with a 20-11 record in day games while the Brewers are 9-20 for the NL's worst mark.

Milwaukee has totaled 10 runs while dropping four straight and has gone 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position in this series.

"We've got to get big hits," manager Ron Roenicke said.

Carlos Gomez is 4 for 9 in this series and batting .378 with four homers and eight RBIs in the season series.

Pittsburgh has taken eight of 12 meetings and can complete its first three-game sweep of Milwaukee since Aug. 28-30, 2009.

--------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Brewers at Pirates
Fri, Jun 28 Final 3 to 10
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Brewers at Pirates
Sat, Jun 29 Final 1 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Brewers at Pirates
Sun, Jun 30 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:29 AM

Preview: Tigers (43-36) at Rays (42-39)
Game: 3
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: June 30, 2013 1:40 PM EDT


The Tampa Bay Rays were without Evan Longoria on Saturday, but they didn't need much offense for a win over the Detroit Tigers.

If Jeremy Hellickson's last start was any indication, they also might not need a lot Sunday as he faces the visiting Tigers in the series finale.

Longoria, the team leader in home runs (17) and RBIs (47), missed a game for the first time this season Saturday, but Yunel Escobar singled home the winning run in the 10th inning in a 4-3 victory for Tampa Bay (42-39).

Longoria is dealing with a sore right foot, which caused him to leave Friday's 6-3 Tigers win. He's also expected to miss Sunday's game but could return Monday at Houston.

"I've been battling with the plantar stuff for the better part of a month now," he said. "I really don't have a definite prognosis. I know that at least for now, I'm not going to go on the DL, which is good, and I'm pretty optimistic about the way I feel today."

Three of the six quality starts this season for Hellickson (6-3, 5.11 ERA) have come in his last four games. He allowed one hit in a start for the second time in his career Monday, throwing seven shutout innings in a 4-1 victory over Toronto.

Hellickson, 4-1 in his last five starts, matched a season high with four walks but threw only 96 pitches.

"He had that (satisfied look) and I really believe that you could see him gain momentum," manager Joe Maddon told the team's official website. "Out of all the starts this year that he may have pitched well, tonight was the game that I think may have righted the ship for him."

The right-hander owns a 1-3 record in four career starts versus the Tigers (43-36) despite a 1.96 ERA. He last faced them a year ago Sunday, leaving after 2 2-3 innings when he was struck in the leg by a liner from Prince Fielder, though he suffered no serious injuries.

Hellickson still has one of the AL's highest ERAs among qualifying starters, as does the man he'll face Sunday - Rick Porcello (4-5, 5.27).

The Detroit right-hander is coming off back-to-back losses, posting an 11.32 ERA. He was charged with seven runs and matched a season high with 10 hits allowed in 4 1-3 innings of a 14-8 loss to the Angels on Tuesday.

"I was just off," said Porcello, 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in four starts against the Tigers.

This game could also see a hangover from a tension-filled exchange late in Saturday's contest. Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 14 games, but he also yelled toward the Rays' dugout after striking out against Fernando Rodney in the 10th. The at-bat saw Rodney use an up-and-in pitch against Cabrera, who homered twice against Tampa Bay a day earlier.

Rodney said he was simply trying to back Cabrera off the plate a bit. Cabrera didn't speak about the incident, but manager Jim Leyland didn't shy away from commenting.

"I don't like it up there, and we will not tolerate that," he said. "Throwing in that area is not acceptable, and somebody pays the price for that throughout baseball. That's just the way baseball is."

Tampa Bay's James Loney is batting .415 during a 10-game hitting streak after going 3 for 5 on Saturday.


---------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Tigers at Rays
Fri, Jun 28 Final 6 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Tigers at Rays
Sat, Jun 29 Final 3 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Tigers at Rays
Sun, Jun 30 - 1:40PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:33 AM

Preview: Indians (43-38) at White Sox (32-46)
Game: 3
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field
Date: June 30, 2013 2:10 PM EDT


It's been over 18 years since the Cleveland Indians swept a four-game series from the Chicago White Sox.

The Indians may have to get the best of Chris Sale on Sunday to end that drought, but that wasn't a problem in their last matchup with Chicago's ace.

Since losing a season-high eight straight, the Indians (43-38) have gone in the opposite direction by winning 13 of 18 to pull within one game of AL Central-leading Detroit. Cleveland has won the first three of this series to put itself in position for its first four-game sweep of Chicago since May 29-June 1, 1995.

Nick Swisher has delivered the big hit in the last two victories. He homered to cap a four-run ninth inning in a 9-8 win in the second game of Friday's marathon doubleheader, and singled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth of Saturday's 4-3 victory.

"It's that never die attitude," Swisher said. "I just feel like we keep fighting. We keep doing our thing. This is a good squad."

Jason Kipnis continued his hot hitting with a two-run homer Saturday, making him 6 for 9 with six RBIs and six runs in this series.

Kipnis, who grew up in nearby Northbrook, Ill., is batting an AL-best .419 with 25 RBIs in June, and he's a career .424 hitter at U.S. Cellular Field.

"It's fun to hit them anywhere, but in Chicago with friends and family in the stands it makes it that much more sweet," Kipnis said.

He'll look to lead the Indians to their second win this season against Sale (5-6, 2.75 ERA) and seventh in nine meetings with the White Sox (32-46).

The left-hander is 0-4 this month despite a 3.15 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 34 1-3 innings. Sale, receiving a league-low 2.84 runs of support per outing, was in line for the win Tuesday against the Mets after striking out 13 over eight innings, but a dropped pop-up in the infield in the ninth kept him winless since May 17.

"Stuff happens," he said. "It's definitely not the first time that's happened and it's probably not the last, either. My record is irrelevant."

He was tagged for a career-high eight runs - including two homers - over 4 1-3 innings in a 9-4 loss at Cleveland on April 13. He was 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his first three starts against the Indians.

The White Sox have lost four straight and 12 of 16 to drop a season-worst 14 games under .500.

"We've lost a lot of close games," Saturday's starting pitcher Dylan Axelrod said. "I think, three runs or less, kind of games we've been in. It's been real close to being, who knows, we could be the other way around if the little breaks were going our way."

Justin Masterson (9-6, 3.63) looks to end a five-start road losing streak for the Indians. Since a 3-2 win over the White Sox on April 22, the right-hander is 0-5 with a 5.54 ERA in five road outings. He appeared poised to end that skid Tuesday at Baltimore, taking a 3-1 lead into the seventh before giving up five runs - including two homers - in an eventual 6-3 loss.

Masterson is 2-4 with a 5.20 ERA in his last seven starts overall after opening the year 7-2 with a 2.83 ERA in his first 10.

He's dominated the White Sox this season, winning both starts while allowing two runs and nine hits in 16 innings.

Masterson is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA in eight starts in Chicago.


-------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Indians at White Sox
Fri, Jun 28 Final 9 to 8
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Indians at White Sox
Sat, Jun 29 Final 4 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Indians at White Sox
Sun, Jun 30 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:35 AM

Preview: Royals (37-41) at Twins (36-41)
Game: 4
Venue: Target Field
Date: June 30, 2013 2:10 PM EDT


After a rare offensive outburst a day earlier, the Kansas City Royals' bats seemingly came back to Earth on Saturday, stymied by a pitcher in his big league debut.

On Sunday, they'll hope Ervin Santana - who has dominated Minnesota in recent years - can give the Twins a dose of their own medicine in the series finale at Target Field.

Kansas City (37-41) connected for a season-high four homers in Friday's 9-3 win, then took its seventh loss in 10 games in a 6-2 defeat Saturday. Minnesota (36-41) starter Kyle Gibson held them in check over six innings, marking the eighth time in 11 contests the Royals have been held to three runs or fewer.

"We got kind of put in a hole early there," Eric Hosmer said of his club, which trailed 5-0 after the first and came up empty handed in a bases-loaded situation in the eighth. "We were trying to inch back, and inch back. Just fell short."

They'll turn to Santana (5-5, 2.74 ERA), who has been one of baseball's best pitchers this month. His 1.56 ERA in June leads the majors as he's limited opponents to 22 hits and one home run over 34 2-3 innings in five starts. However, the right-hander wasn't as sharp in last start, allowing three runs in six innings before leaving without a decision in a 4-3 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday.

Sunday should provide Santana a good opportunity to get back on track, though, as he's won his last three starts against the Twins while yielding four runs over 24 1-3 innings. The most recent - Santana's home debut with Kansas City - saw him toss eight innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 victory April 8.

Scoring the lone run for Minnesota in that game was Joe Mauer, who could again be the Twins' best chance for offense against Santana. His .467 average (14 for 30) off Santana is the second highest by any player with 20 or more at_bats against him. However, Mauer is hitless in three straight games - going 0 for 10 - for the first time since an 0-for-19 skid over five contests in late April.

The Twins had scored three runs or fewer in four straight games - three losses - before Saturday, when Trevor Plouffe and Justin Morneau combined to drive in five runs. Plouffe's two-run homer extended the second-longest hitting streak of his career to 11 games. The .273 hitter is 13 for 43 (.302) during the streak, which began two games after he returned from a concussion and strained left calf that sidelined him for three weeks.

Minnesota will start Kevin Correia (6-5, 3.82), who has been strong over his last three starts, going 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA. The loss came in his last outing, a 4-2 defeat at Miami on Tuesday. Correia threw five scoreless innings before loading the bases and yielding a two-run single in the sixth, his final inning.

"I felt I made one bad pitch that inning and that was enough to give up a couple of runs," he said."

The right-hander faced off with Santana on April 8, giving up three runs in 7 1-3 innings.

----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Royals at Twins
Thu, Jun 27 Final 1 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Royals at Twins
Fri, Jun 28 Final 9 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Royals at Twins
Sat, Jun 29 Final 2 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 4
Royals at Twins
Sun, Jun 30 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:37 AM

Preview: Angels (38-43) at Astros (30-51)
Game: 3
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Date: June 30, 2013 2:10 PM EDT


Getting swept at home by the last-place Houston Astros had to be one of the low points of the season for the Los Angeles Angels.

They can return the favor Sunday in Houston as they try for their longest unbeaten road trip in nearly 11 years.

One of the favorites to challenge for the AL West heading into 2013, Los Angeles fell 11 games out of first place June 3 as the Astros finished a four-game sweep in Anaheim with their season-best sixth consecutive win.

While the Angels (38-43) are still well off Texas' and Oakland's pace in the division race, they've hit the halfway point of the season on a five-game winning streak following Saturday's 7-2 victory. They've gone 11-5 since a 2-9 skid that started with a 6-3 loss to Houston (30-51) on May 31.

The Angels have won six in a row on the road - their longest run since a 10-0 stretch last season - and are now eyeing their first 6-0 trip since Sept. 2-8, 2002.

Scheduled starter C.J. Wilson (7-5, 3.88 ERA) hasn't been at his best outside Anaheim, going 3-3 with a 5.36 ERA in eight outings. He allowed five runs in five innings of Tuesday's 14-8 victory at Detroit, telling the Angels' official website it was one of his "worst outings of the season," but it was also his season-best third straight winning start.

Wilson hasn't had a longer such streak since going 4-0 from Aug. 15-30, 2010, while with Texas.

He'll get his fourth look at the Astros this season. In the only one at Houston, he had a season-high 12 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings but surrendered all the runs - just two earned - in a 7-6 loss May 7. The left-hander split the other two starts but pitched well in both, yielding four runs in 13 1-3 innings.

Wilson will face an Astros team batting .182 while dropping three of four to open a nine-game homestand.

However, Brett Wallace has a hit in all four games since getting called back up while driving in five runs, including a two-run homer Saturday.

"He just looks like he has much more confidence," manager Bo Porter said. "... he's attacking the ball."

Lucas Harrell (5-8, 4.84) will try to attack an Angels lineup batting .296 with 35 runs during their winning streak.

Los Angeles, though, has scored just three runs in two matchups with the right-hander this season, and two came off solo homers by Josh Hamilton.

Harrell didn't give up any long balls in his last outing, but he was tagged for seven runs in 3 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 13-5 loss to St. Louis. He had a 1.73 ERA in his first four starts this month.

"I left the ball up, and when you leave the ball up against a team that hits they're going to hit," Harrell said.

Hamilton is starting to do that, going 8 for 19 on the trip to lift his batting average to .221. He also made two superb catches at the wall Saturday, possibly robbing home runs each time.

"If you don't do it at the plate you want to do it in the field, and during that stretch I wasn't doing it either way," he said. "I felt like I wasn't. But I feel better."

Mike Trout has a team-high 10 hits on the road trip but has only a single in six at_bats off Harrell. So do Mike Trumbo and Albert Pujols, who enters in a 1-for-16 slump.

Erick Aybar has hit .417 with eight RBIs in the past six games.

--------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Angels at Astros
Fri, Jun 28 Final 4 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Angels at Astros
Sat, Jun 29 Final 7 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Angels at Astros
Sun, Jun 30 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:39 AM

Preview: Reds (46-35) at Rangers (47-34)
Game: 3
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: June 30, 2013 3:05 PM EDT


Mat Latos got back in the win column his last time out after seeing his long undefeated streak come to an end. Yu Darvish, meanwhile, is still trying to put the brakes on his winless streak.

The right-handers face off Sunday as the visiting Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers meet in the rubber match of their three-game series.

A 21-start regular season undefeated streak for Latos (7-1, 3.05 ERA), which dated back to Aug. 24, came to an end against Pittsburgh on June 18. But he rebounded last Sunday by yielding one run over 7 2-3 innings in a 4-2 victory at Arizona.

Latos matched a career high with 13 strikeouts, tied for baseball's third-most this year.

"You start striking out a lot of players, you start throwing a lot of pitches," said Latos, who registered 79 of his 110 pitches for strikes. "Maybe it would have been great to go all nine and not strike out 13, but I'll take it. It was a good win."

Darvish (7-3, 2.95) hasn't won since May 16 against Detroit. He's 0-2 despite a 2.93 ERA in seven outings since, receiving an average of only 2.35 runs of support in those games from a team that averages 4.3 runs per contest.

The longest Darvish went without a victory in his 16-win rookie season last year was three starts.

He has been troubled by the long ball lately, including his last start when he yielded a career-high three homers, all solo shots over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-3 road loss to the Yankees on Tuesday. Darvish also gave up two home runs in his prior start after allowing none in the previous three.

His average of 0.85 homers allowed per nine innings prior to the last two starts ranked as one of the lower figures among AL pitchers.

"He's pitching," manager Ron Washington said. "I don't see any difference in what he's been doing. Maybe at times he throws pitches he can get away with, but he didn't get away with it tonight."

After falling victim to two straight shutouts, the Reds' offense woke up in a 6-4, 11-inning victory Saturday. Shin-Soo Choo set the tone with a homer on the game's first pitch, and Devin Mesoraco put Cincinnati (46-35) ahead with a two-run homer in the top of the 11th for the Reds' second win in eight games

"Every streak starts with one. You got to get one before you get 10, six or whatever it is," manager Dusty Baker said. "I think one game can get you going. And the way you win it gets you going sometimes too."

Choo finished with three hits after going 1 for 19 over his previous six games, the only hit a home run.

Lance Berkman missed a second straight game for the Rangers (47-34) with a sore right knee, which he hurt while getting off the team's plane Thursday.

"(Berkman) can't be sore and come in here tomorrow ready to play," Washington told the team's official website. "I haven't talked to the doctors yet. He's not going to have that miraculous recovery. Tomorrow maybe a different story."

Ian Kinsler occupied Berkman's normal DH spot and went 0 for 5, continuing his slump as he's 2 for 18 over his last five contests.

-------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Reds at Rangers
Fri, Jun 28 Final 0 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Reds at Rangers
Sat, Jun 29 Final 6 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Reds at Rangers
Sun, Jun 30 - 3:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:41 AM

Preview: Cardinals (49-31) at Athletics (47-35)
Game: 3
Venue: O.co Coliseum
Date: June 30, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


The St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen just got a nice break.

Jake Westbrook will try to give that group even more rest.

The veteran sinkerballer goes for a third consecutive winning start in Sunday's series finale against the Oakland Athletics.

After rookie Shelby Miller was removed in the second inning of Friday's 6-1 series-opening loss, ace Adam Wainwright threw a five-hitter in Saturday's 7-1 victory.

It was an especially important performance after the Cardinals (49-31) had lost two straight and five of six to fall out of the top spot in the NL Central, and the team's previous six starters had a combined 6.75 ERA in 29 1-3 total innings.

St. Louis will try to build on its second victory over an AL team in eight tries with Westbrook (4-2, 2.21 ERA) looking to improve to 5-0 in interleague road starts since joining the Cardinals in 2010. The right-hander threw six innings of four-run ball in Tuesday's 13-5 victory at Houston.

It was Westbrook's third appearance since missing more than a month with inflammation in his elbow.

"I feel pretty good," he told the Cardinals' official website. "You're always going to have to grind through some things, being 35 with the elbow and body I have."

He hasn't won three straight starts since a five-start stretch from July 21-Aug. 11.

Westbrook, who last faced the A's in 2010 while with Cleveland, is 2-4 with a 3.12 ERA in six starts in Oakland.

The A's (47-35), winners of 15 of 18 at home, could really use a lengthy outing from Tommy Milone (6-7, 4.06) after Jarrod Parker left in the fourth inning Saturday with tightness in his right hamstring.

Milone, though, is winless in four starts and has logged 10 total innings in his last two after yielding three runs in a season-low 4 2-3 innings of Tuesday's 7-3 win over Cincinnati.

"I don't know, something was a little bit off," the left-hander told the Athletics' official website after his 103-pitch outing. "I wasn't able to throw it where I wanted to. It was just an uncomfortable feeling."

Milone can't afford another wild outing - he walked a carer high-tying four Tuesday - with the Cardinals batting a major league-best .339 with runners in scoring position. They went 4 for 7 in those situations Saturday.

Slugger Matt Adams provided the power with his first career two-homer game, while second baseman Matt Carpenter extended his hitting streak to nine. He's batting .359 during that stretch.

Oakland couldn't generate much offense Saturday - with no runners reaching second base until the eighth inning - but Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick each carry eight-game hitting streaks into the series finale. Both will get their first look at Westbrook.

With eight hits in 15 at_bats, A's center fielder Coco Crisp has the third-highest batting average (.533) off Westbrook among those that have faced him at least 15 times.

No Cardinals player has batted against Milone.

----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Cardinals at Athletics
Fri, Jun 28 Final 1 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Cardinals at Athletics
Sat, Jun 29 Final 7 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Cardinals at Athletics
Sun, Jun 30 - 4:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:43 AM

Preview: Cubs (34-45) at Mariners (35-46)
Game: 3
Venue: Safeco Field
Date: June 30, 2013 4:10 PM EDT


Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano are showing signs that they're emerging from lengthy slumps. The Chicago Cubs are hoping right-hander Edwin Jackson can start heading in the right direction with a matchup against the Seattle Mariners.

Jackson will try to earn his fourth victory in as many starts versus Seattle and help the Cubs win their series at Safeco Field on Sunday.

Castro was batting .131 (11 for 84) in his first 21 games this month, but is 6 for 19 in his past four and hit his first home run since April 30 in a 5-3 victory in 11 innings Saturday. Soriano had a two-run homer in the 11th and finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs.

Soriano is 7 for 18 in his last four games after batting .125 (6 for 48) in his previous 12. He's homered in each of the first two games in the series and is 7 for 12 in his three starts as a designated hitter this season.

"My swing is there now," Soriano said. "My hand is quick. I feel young. My hand is part of my swing. If my hand is quick, I have a lot of things to do to help the team."

The Cubs (34-45) have homered in a season-high nine straight games and Soriano's longball Saturday helped the team recover after Kevin Gregg blew his first save in 13 chances. Chicago's bullpen is 17 for 33 in save opportunities this season and blown an opportunity in each of the first two games of this series.

Jackson (3-10, 5.84 ERA) has also yet to shake his inconsistency this season but will face a team he's dominated in the past. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA, his best against any opponent, against Seattle (35-46).

The most recent of those matchups was April 18, 2009, and Jackson enters this game 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his last two starts after going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his previous two. He gave up six runs over 4 2-3 innings in Tuesday's 9-3 loss in Milwaukee.

"We've got to get more consistency," manager Dale Sveum told the team's website. "I think he knows the formula. His good games have been the conviction and the velocity and try to overpower people, and not finesse anything up there."

Even if he can find an improved form, Jackson might still have to outduel a resurgent Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 3.30). The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last four starts but hasn't gotten enough support to earn a victory in any of his last three outings.

Despite not having a feel for his curveball, Bonderman gave up two runs in 5 1-3 innings last Sunday against Oakland before the Mariners scored three times in the 10th for a 6-3 victory.

"I threw one good (curveball) and four or five bad ones, basically lived with the fastball all day. You just have to battle through some starts and try to find a way to keep your team in the game," he told the team's website.

Bonderman has never pitched against the Cubs but six of their players have faced him. David DeJesus has the most experience, going 10 for 35 (.286), while Soriano is 3 for 10 with no extra-base hits and Scott Hairston is 3 for 4.

Endy Chavez has performed best against Jackson among current Mariners players, going 4 for 7 with a pair of doubles.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Cubs at Mariners
Fri, Jun 28 Final 4 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Cubs at Mariners
Sat, Jun 29 Final 5 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Cubs at Mariners
Sun, Jun 30 - 4:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24992 Followers:33
06/30/2013 08:45 AM

Preview: Giants (38-42) at Rockies (41-41)
Game: 3
Venue: Coors Field
Date: June 30, 2013 4:10 PM EDT


The Colorado Rockies' Michael Cuddyer will seek to extend his franchise-record hit streak by adding to Madison Bumgarner's recent struggles at Coors Field.

The left-hander has pitched well lately, though, and he'll try to help the San Francisco Giants avoid a seventh consecutive loss and their first three-game sweep in Colorado in 11 years.

Cuddyer wasted little time adding to his streak Saturday, pushing it to 26 games with an RBI single in the first inning. The Rockies (41-41) didn't score again in the 2-1 victory until Nolan Arenado singled in the ninth to end the game.

"A lot of positives today," manager Walt Weiss said. "A lot of great things happened today. ... Cuddy extending his streak, lot of good storylines today."

Cuddyer is batting .376 during the streak but just 2 for 9 in this series, though he did hit a two-run homer in Friday's 4-1 win.

Given Bumgarner's recent problems against him and in Colorado, it would appear Cuddyer has a prime chance to top the longest streak in the majors from 2012 - Jose Reyes' 26-gamer for Miami. A 27-game streak would be MLB's longest since Dan Uggla's run of 33 straight for Atlanta from July 5-Aug. 13, 2011.

Bumgarner (7-5, 3.20 ERA) is 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA in his last two starts at Coors Field and was tagged for a career-high nine runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 10-9 loss there May 17.

Cuddyer was on the disabled list that day but went 2 for 2 on April 8 in his only matchup this season with Bumgarner, who would allow only three other hits in 5 2-3 innings and beat the Rockies in a 4-2 win at San Francisco (38-42). Cuddyer is 3 for 6 with a double and a walk lifetime against him.

Bumgarner, though, has completed seven innings in three straight outings, allowing a combined four earned runs and 10 hits while striking out 23. He did have a three-game win streak snapped Monday with a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before his miserable outing in Colorado last month, Bumgarner was 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA in a 10-start stretch against the Rockies. His only poor performance in that span came at Coors on Sept. 11, when yielded five runs and 11 hits over 4 1-3 innings in a 9-8 win.

The Giants haven't been nearly as helpful on offense of late, batting .209 and scoring 12 runs during their longest losing streak since a seven-game skid June 26-July 2, 2010. They're also on the verge of their first eight-game road losing streak since May 12-20, 2000, and their first three-game sweep in Denver since May 24-26, 2002.

"It's not a good stretch," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'll leave it at that."

San Francisco, however, will face a pitcher who is making his season debut for the Rockies. Drew Pomeranz is being called up after going 8-1 with a 4.20 in 15 starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs this year.

Pomeranz is 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 26 career starts for the Rockies, including 22 last season. He's 1-1 with a 5.28 ERA in three against the Giants.

The Rockies are seeking their first three-game win streak since May 21-24, which was capped by a 5-0 victory in San Francisco. Colorado has won five straight home games against its NL West rival and six of eight overall meetings.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Giants at Rockies
Fri, Jun 28 Final 1 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Giants at Rockies
Sat, Jun 29 Final 1 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Giants at Rockies
Sun, Jun 30 - 4:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: