cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:18 AM

Preview: Tigers (48-39) at Indians (46-42)
Game: 4
Venue: Progressive Field
Date: July 08, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


By the time he gets to Citi Field for the All-Star game next Tuesday, Max Scherzer could own a share of the AL record for consecutive winning decisions to open a season.

The Detroit Tigers' right-hander, though, has a couple of starts before then.

Scherzer will try to become the second pitcher to open 14-0 in the last 27 years Monday night when the AL Central-leading Tigers conclude their four-game series visiting the second-place Cleveland Indians.

There was no surprise Scherzer (13-0, 3.09 ERA) was one of six Tigers named to the All-Star team Saturday, as he's off to a start manager Jim Leyland told the team's official website is "hard to believe." With a career-best sixth consecutive winning start on Wednesday - he allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings in a 6-2 victory at Toronto - Scherzer became the first pitcher to begin 13-0 since Boston's Roger Clemens opened 14-0 in 1986.

The AL record is 15-0, set by Cleveland's Johnny Allen in 1937 and equaled by Baltimore's Dave McNally in 1969.

"(My) record's kind of overblown," Scherzer told the Tigers' official website. "I'm playing a part on a great team here. Every time I start, they're always picking me up, they're always making plays. That's the reason why I'm 13-0."

A major league-best 7.87 run-support average has surely helped Scherzer, who's 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA in eight road starts. He improved to 2-0 against the Indians (46-42) this season by giving up one run in eight innings of a 5-1 victory at Cleveland on May 21.

Scherzer has won his last two starts at Cleveland after going 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA in his first four.

He'll face an Indians team that snapped a four-game losing streak - and a seven-game skid in this series - with Sunday's 9-6 victory. Michael Brantley went 3 for 4 with two homers, a double and a career-best five RBIs to help Cleveland climb within 2 1/2 games of the division lead.

"Michael Brantley looked like Barry Bonds,' Tigers All-Star right fielder Torii Hunter said after his team's five-game win streak was snapped.

The Indians will go for the series split with Scott Kazmir (4-4, 4.86) getting his first look at the Tigers since 2010 while with the Los Angeles Angels. The veteran left-hander was 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his previous two starts before not earning a decision in a 6-5 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday when he surrendered three runs in five innings.

Kazmir has a 8.53 run-support average while going 4-0 with a 4.26 ERA in six outings at Progressive Field.

He could use all the support he can get the way All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Hunter have been hitting. Cabrera, the major league leader with a .368 batting average and 90 RBIs, belted his 28th homer Sunday among his four hits. That tied the reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner with Cecil Fielder for the most home runs by a Tiger before the All-Star break.

Hunter is 12 for 23 with two homers and 11 RBIs in the last five contests after hitting a game-tying three-run shot and finishing with a season-best four RBIs on Sunday.

Indians All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis, 2 for 11 with five strikeouts this series, is 1 for 7 with a double off Scherzer this season, but Nick Swisher is 3 for 3 with a triple and a double.

Only one other player - Houston's Carlos Corporan (two homers) - has more than one extra-base hit against Scherzer in 2013.


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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Tigers at Indians
Fri, Jul 5 Final 7 to 0
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Tigers at Indians
Sat, Jul 6 Final 9 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Tigers at Indians
Sun, Jul 7 Final 6 to 9
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 4
Tigers at Indians
Mon, Jul 8 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:20 AM

Preview: Nationals (46-42) at Phillies (43-46)
Game: 1
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: July 08, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Since manager Davey Johnson decided to flip-flop his batting order, the surging Washington Nationals appear to have found their groove at the plate.

Seeking a fifth straight win, the Nationals may need another big offensive showing in Monday night's opener against the Philadelphia Phillies given the way scheduled starter Dan Haren has struggled.

After his team was limited to a total of one run and 13 hits in consecutive losses July 2 and 3, Johnson moved shortstop Ian Desmond up to second in the batting order and dropped outfielder Jayson Werth down to sixth.

Since then, Washington (46-42) is averaging 8.0 runs with a .341 batting average while winning four straight games. Werth has gone 8 for 13 with five runs and Desmond has also scored five times while going 6 for 15.

Ryan Zimmerman provided the big blow with a grand slam and Bryce Harper added three hits in Sunday's 11-7 win over San Diego to cap a 5-2 homestand.

"We've played below our potential and now we're coming around,' Johnson said. "That's a good feeling.'

The Nationals, four games behind NL East-leading Atlanta, will try to extend their longest win streak since a five-game run from May 4-10 in the opener of a seven-game road trip.

Haren (4-9, 6.15 ERA) is scheduled to come off the disabled list to start in place of Ross Detwiler, who was placed on the DL on Sunday with lower back trouble.

Haren, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury, is 0-6 with a 7.01 ERA while giving up 11 home runs in eight starts since beating Detroit on May 9.

The right-hander hasn't fared well against the Phillies (43-46) in two matchups this season, yielding seven runs and 11 hits - three homers - over 12 innings. Haren did not get a decision either time, but the Nationals lost both contests.

Ryan Howard, Domonic Brown and Erik Kratz have homered off Haren in 2013, though he won't have to face Howard after the slugger was placed on the DL on Saturday because of inflammation in his left knee.

Brown helped the Phillies fill the void with his 23rd homer and a triple in Sunday's 5-1 win over Atlanta. The outfielder is 8 for 21 with two homers and four RBIs in his last five games.

"We have to go right now,' said Brown, who is 4 for 31 with one homer in 12 career home games against the Nationals. "We're definitely fighting and battling.

"Hopefully we can win the series against the Nats."

The Phillies give the ball to left-hander John Lannan (1-3, 5.15) as they return home looking for their fifth win in seven games.

Lannan has been inconsistent, going 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts since missing two months with a strained quad. He allowed four runs, a season-worst 11 hits and three walks over five innings in a 6-5 loss at Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

The former National pitched much better in his only career start against Washington on June 17, giving up two runs and six hits over five innings before leaving without a decision in a 5-4 win.

Werth appears to have a good chance to continue his surge since he's 9 for 27 with four homers all-time in this matchup.

Desmond, though, is 3 for 28 with 11 strikeouts in his last eight games in Philadelphia.

The teams have split the six meetings this season, with the Phillies taking two of three at home last month.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Nationals at Phillies
Mon, Jul 8 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 2
Nationals at Phillies
Tue, Jul 9 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Nationals at Phillies
Wed, Jul 10 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 4
Nationals at Phillies
Thu, Jul 11 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:22 AM

Preview: Athletics (52-37) at Pirates (53-34)
Game: 1
Venue: PNC Park
Date: July 08, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Though Jeff Locke hasn't received much attention from the national media, he figures to receive a bit more acclaim after making the NL All-Star team.

The 40-year-old Bartolo Colon will also be a part of next week's festivities.

These unlikely All-Stars are set to square off on the mound Monday night as the Pittsburgh Pirates open a three-game set against an Oakland Athletics team hoping to stay unbeaten in the series.

After going 1-6 with a 6.36 ERA in his first two major league seasons, Locke (8-1, 2.12 ERA) has come out of nowhere to post baseball's second-lowest ERA. The 25-year-old left-hander, whose only loss came at Dodger Stadium in his season debut April 7, will join teammates Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Jason Grilli at the Midsummer Classic.

"I was totally surprised. And felt honored. It's something they can't take away from you," Locke, who yielded three runs in 5 2-3 innings Wednesday in a 6-5 win over Philadelphia, told MLB's official website.

"It goes beyond the numbers; the confidence level is something I did not have before. I got a little edge on the mound."

Colon (11-3, 2.78), meanwhile, was the only Athletics player to make the AL squad. The 16-year veteran has two prior All-Star appearances, coming in 1998 and 2005.

"I feel extremely happy about it," he said through coach and interpreter Ariel Prieto. "I believe it's all about the work that I've been doing, since even before the season started. I thank the Oakland A's for giving me the opportunity to be part of them."

Colon had posted a 1.37 ERA in winning a career-high eight consecutive starts before allowing two runs in seven innings Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. He is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts against the Pirates (53-34), but hasn't faced them since 2007.

The Athletics (52-37) have had their way with Pittsburgh, taking all nine matchups in the series by a 65-28 margin. Oakland's only previous visit to PNC Park came in 2002.

Sitting one-half game ahead of Texas in the AL West, the A's are coming off their eighth win in 11 games, 10-4 at Kansas City on Sunday. Josh Reddick, Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard all homered, going a combined 7 for 14 with nine RBIs.

"It's nice to make the All-Star team and everything, but at the same time we're a big family here and we have our eyes set on the goal of the Fall Classic rather than the Midsummer Classic," winning pitcher A.J. Griffin said. "We're just trying to continue to play good baseball as a team and not worry about stuff like that."

The Pirates are tied with St. Louis for the NL's best record, but they are looking to avoid a fifth loss in seven games after falling 4-3 in 11 innings at Wrigley Field on Sunday. Starling Marte hit a game-tying homer in the ninth before Pittsburgh came undone in the 11th following Russell Martin's first error of the season.

"We're playing to win," manager Clint Hurdle said, "and if you've watched that guy play all year … You just move on."

While Pittsburgh has outscored opponents 41-21 during an eight-game winning streak in interleague play, the A's are 20-7 versus NL foes dating to last June.

Oakland will need to be wary of Alvarez, who is hitting .333 with eight homers and 19 RBIs in his last 19 games. He is also batting .389 with five homers and eight RBIs in his last 10 interleague contests.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Athletics at Pirates
Mon, Jul 8 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 2
Athletics at Pirates
Tue, Jul 9 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Athletics at Pirates
Wed, Jul 10 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:24 AM

Preview: Braves (50-38) at Marlins (32-55)
Game: 1
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: July 08, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The Miami Marlins didn't hit many home runs during their dismal hitting-challenged start to the season, but a recent power surge has them playing better.

That could spell trouble for the Atlanta Braves' Mike Minor, who has been susceptible to giving up homers in his recent starts.

After being cooled off with their first three-game losing streak in a month, the Marlins try for their seventh win in eight home games Monday night against the Braves.

Although Miami (32-55) ranks near the bottom of the major leagues with 53 homers, the team has had a much different look offensively since getting Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison back in the lineup.

Stanton and Morrison, who missed a combined 97 games due to injuries, have totaled nine homers and 23 RBIs since returning to action one day apart June 9 and 10.

The Marlins have hit 24 home runs in their last 27 games after totaling 29 during a 16-44 start. They had won 16 of 24 before getting swept in St. Louis, falling 3-2 on Sunday as they failed to homer for the first time in six games.

"We're young, we're learning, we'll get there," Morrison said.

Miami, last in the NL East, hopes to bounce back with a season-best fourth straight home win. The Marlins hadn't lost three in a row since June 3-5.

Minor (8-4, 3.15 ERA) will try to hold the Marlins without a home run in back-to-back games for the first time since June 12 and 14, but he's had trouble keeping the ball in the park lately. The left-hander, who will face Miami for the second straight time, has allowed five homers in his last three outings after giving up nine in his first 14.

Minor has gone 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in his last four starts, yielding four runs over six innings of a 6-3 home loss to the Marlins on Wednesday.

Stanton has two home runs off Minor, his only two hits in 11 career at_bats against him. Stanton is 2 for 20 with eight strikeouts versus Atlanta this season.

The division-leading Braves (50-38) dropped the final two games of the recent three-game series with the Marlins. They lost for the eighth time in 11 road contests Sunday, 7-3 to Philadelphia.

"I really can't tell you why. It's one of those things,' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "To be a championship team, you have to win at home and on the road.'

Following Saturday's trade of Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers, Kevin Slowey (3-6, 4.24) looks to take advantage of another opportunity in the Miami rotation. The right-hander was 1-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 starts before being demoted to the bullpen in June.

He's 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA in three career starts against the Braves, though he pitched well against them April 8, giving up two runs in seven innings of a 2-0 loss.

Slowey, however, gave up four runs in two innings of relief in an 11-3 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday. Justin Upton should be happy to see him again, as he's 4 for 4 with a homer and double against Slowey.

Brian McCann had three more hits Sunday and has gone 19 for 32 (.594) with two homers and seven RBIs in his last eight games.

Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons have pounded Miami pitching, going 21 for 49 in the season series.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Braves at Marlins
Mon, Jul 8 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Braves at Marlins
Tue, Jul 9 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Braves at Marlins
Wed, Jul 10 - 12:40PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:25 AM

Preview: Twins (37-48) at Rays (49-40)
Game: 1
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: July 08, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


Some outstanding starting pitching has sparked the surging Tampa Bay Rays.

Scheduled starter Roberto Hernandez has been far from dominant, but his teammates haven't helped his cause, either.

Hernandez will try to lead the Rays to a fifth straight victory Monday night with the Minnesota Twins in town for the first of four matchups.

With David Price delivering a complete-game in Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox, Rays starters have a 1.67 ERA during an 8-1 run that's lifted Tampa Bay (49-40) a season-best nine games over .500.

"It's really been dictated by a very strong starting pitching," manager Joe Maddon said. "Yesterday Matt (Moore), then of course today David and we turn it over tomorrow."

The only Tampa Bay defeat during its last nine games came with Hernandez (4-10, 4.95 ERA) on the mound. The right-hander threw six-plus innings of three-run ball in Wednesday's 4-1 loss at Houston. Hernandez has a 5.06 ERA in his last four starts - but he has a 1.69 run-support average in those contests, all losses.

"He has been good,' Maddon said. "Velocity is good, slider is good, changeup is good. Everything is good - we just haven't scored any runs for the guy.'

Hernandez has faced the Twins 21 times (17 starts) in his career - tied for the most against any team - but none since 2011 while with Cleveland. He is 5-9 with a 5.05 ERA.

The Twins (37-48), a season-worst 11 games under .500, have dropped seven of eight following Sunday's 11-5 loss at Toronto.

Minnesota, losers of 10 of 11 against AL East opponents, continues its 10-game trip with Samuel Deduno (4-3, 3.47) on the hill. The right-hander has been a bright spot on a staff with one of the majors' worst ERAs at 4.50, recording five quality starts in eight outings since being called up from Triple-A Rochester. Deduno allowed three runs in six innings of Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees.

"Deduno gave us an opportunity and I like what he did,' manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Deduno has never pitched against the Rays.

He'll face a Tampa Bay team that's batting .290 with 5.4 runs per game in its last nine. Leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings has been a big part over that stretch, leading the Rays with 14 hits and 10 runs.

"He's been drawing some walks, he's been working deep counts, he's getting on base again more often, which means more stolen bases, more havoc," Maddon said. "It's all about him."

Desmond did his part against Minnesota last season, hitting .375 (9 for 24) with two homers and five RBIs as Tampa Bay won five of six meetings, including two of three at Tropicana Field.

First baseman James Loney, whose career-best 16-game hitting streak ended Sunday, is the only active Ray with an at-bat against Deduno. He's 0 for 1 with a walk in that matchup.

Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer is 12 for 28 off Hernandez, while Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe both have two home runs against Tampa Bay's starter.

The Rays are trying to match a season-best six-game home winning streak, while the Twins have dropped 10 of 13 on the road.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Twins at Rays
Mon, Jul 8 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Twins at Rays
Tue, Jul 9 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Twins at Rays
Wed, Jul 10 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 4
Twins at Rays
Thu, Jul 11 - 12:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:27 AM

Preview: Cubs (38-48) at White Sox (34-51)
Game: 1
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field
Date: July 08, 2013 8:10 PM EDT


While he's attracting attention from other teams, Matt Garza claims to be focused on the next start for his current club.

The right-hander will seek to lead the Chicago Cubs to their first season sweep of the White Sox in 15 years in Monday night's makeup game at U.S. Cellular Field.

Garza's name has continued to swirl in trade rumors, but it's hardly hindered his pitching. He's gone 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his last four starts.

"For the past six or seven years my name always comes up (as a potential trade target). Until my phone rings, I'm going to be a Cub. I'm just worried about the next five days," Garza said after allowing one run over eight innings of a 3-1 win over Oakland on Wednesday.

Garza (4-1, 3.45 ERA) will try to keep rolling by leading the Cubs (38-48) to a 4-0 finish against their crosstown rivals after their May 28 game was rained out. They didn't take as much time to record their only other season sweep of the White Sox, winning three games June 5-7, 1998.

"If we win (Monday), it'd be nice to sweep any series," manager Dale Sveum told the team's official website. "But it's a little anticlimactic to how it could've been if we had played the games when they were supposed to be played."

The Cubs have won seven of 11 after taking two of three from NL Central co-leader Pittsburgh this weekend. They recovered from their 18th blown save of the season for a 4-3 win in 11 innings Sunday.

The Cubs have a team-record 11 wins in interleague play this season, posting a 2.99 ERA while hitting 23 homers in 17 games against the AL in 2013.

The White Sox (34-51) have been heading in a different direction, losing nine of 11 after a three-game sweep by Tampa Bay over the weekend. The club lost 3-1 on Sunday and has scored nine runs in its last five contests.

Alex Rios has struggled badly of late, batting .190 with no homers and five RBIs in his last 21 games. He's hitting .114 (4 for 35) in his last 11 matchups with the Cubs and is 5 for 28 (.179) all-time against Garza.

"It's the same thing day in and day out. It just gets old. You have to grind it out. That's it," Rios told the team's official website.

In his first start against the Cubs, Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50) will try to build on a solid effort his last time out. The left-hander gave up two runs over seven innings of a 4-2 defeat to Baltimore on Wednesday.

Santiago, who matched a career high with nine strikeouts, has attempted to help himself by moving his bullpen sessions back one day.

"You get that one day instead of having two days off, of getting that feel off the mound," he told the team's website.

Santiago will likely have to face a rejuvenated Alfonso Soriano, who is expected to serve as the designated hitter for this game. Soriano, batting .342 with five homers and 14 RBIs in his last nine contests, has gone 8 for 17 with two home runs and six RBIs in four games as the DH this season.

Soriano has a .384 average in 29 lifetime games at that spot, 112 points higher than his career average. He's 10 for 29 with two homers in his last eight games against the White Sox.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:29 AM

Preview: Reds (50-38) at Brewers (35-52)
Game: 1
Venue: Miller Park
Date: July 08, 2013 8:10 PM EDT


Homer Bailey was unhittable his last time out.

That hasn't been the case when the Cincinnati Reds right-hander has faced the Milwaukee Brewers.

Six days after tossing baseball's first no-hitter of the year, Bailey gets the ball Monday night when these NL Central foes play at Miller Park for the first time this season.

After going 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in his previous three outings, Bailey (5-6, 3.57 ERA) struck out nine and walked just one in Tuesday's 3-0 victory over San Francisco. It was the first no-hitter since he threw one Sept. 28, at Pittsburgh.

"To do it once is extra special," said Bailey, who joined Jim Maloney and Johnny Vander Meer as the only Reds with multiple no-hitters. "To do it twice - I don't really have the words for it right now.'

Bailey, who will be pitching on an extra days' rest with Thursday's game against the Giants postponed, isn't even entertaining the thought of joining Vander Meer as the only major leaguer to throw back-to-back no-hitters. Vander Meer pulled that off in 1938.

"You can't go into the game thinking about it," Bailey said. "The first guy will probably get a hit, and that will be the end of it."

That's a possibility the way Brewers leadoff man Norichika Aoki is swinging the bat. He's 14 for 33 (.424) while hitting safely in seven straight.

Aoki went 1 for 4 with a double off Bailey in Milwaukee's 6-0 victory June 15. Bailey was tagged for six runs and eight hits in seven innings in that contest, dropping his career record against the Brewers to 1-6 with a 6.00 ERA in 12 starts. It's his worst ERA against any team he's faced more than seven times.

Milwaukee (35-52), though, has dropped nine of 12 following Sunday's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets.

The Brewers could get a better result with Kyle Lohse (4-6, 3.43) on the mound. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.72 ERA in last six starts after striking out a season-high seven in Wednesday's 4-1 road win over Washington. Pitching on two days' rest after his previous outing at Pittsburgh was cut short due to a lengthy rain delay, Lohse fell short in his bid for a ninth complete game.

"I want to finish it, (but) it's tough to do," he told the Brewers' official website after yielding one run in eight innings. "You just want to go out and have a quality start."

Lohse is 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his last seven starts against the Reds. Facing them for the first time in a Brewers uniform, Lohse permitted three runs - one earned - in six innings of a 4-3, 10-inning loss June 14.

The Reds (50-38), losers of seven of nine outside Cincinnati, open their seven-game trip after dropping two of three to Seattle.

"We hit the ball a lot harder than the scorebook showed,' manager Dusty Baker said after his team had six hits in Sunday's 3-1 loss. "We didn't have a lot to show for it. I tell the guys to just keep swinging the bats.'

All-Star starters Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips hit a combined .244 (11 for 45) with 10 strikeouts on the just-completed 4-2 homestand. Votto is 5 for 19 and Phillips is 4 for 26 with a homer as the Reds have a 5-1 record against Milwaukee this season.

Jay Bruce, who is mired in a 2-for-20 slump, leads Cincinnati with three homers and six RBIs in those contests.

The Reds lost four of six at Milwaukee last season.


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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Reds at Brewers
Mon, Jul 8 - 8:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Reds at Brewers
Tue, Jul 9 - 8:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Reds at Brewers
Wed, Jul 10 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:31 AM

Preview: Dodgers (42-45) at Diamondbacks (47-41)
Game: 1
Venue: Chase Field
Date: July 08, 2013 9:40 PM EDT


PHOENIX (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to the desert, a trip that inevitably recalls the big brawl that erupted with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the last series between the two NL West rivals.

Players from both sides say that the blowup, while not forgotten, has been pushed aside in favor of the more pressing matter of competing for the West title.

"We've got more important things to worry about than buzzing somebody or fighting,' Arizona outfielder Cody Ross said.

Some of the Dodgers vowed after the June 11 incident that it wasn't over. Maybe some sort of revenge will be extracted far down the road, but probably not in the three-game series that begins Monday night.

Of course, that can change in a heartbeat.

"Right now I'm not sitting here thinking about Arizona. It's not one of those cases,' Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell said. "It's been like that for me before. In the past, you've had teams on your mind for weeks and months until you face them again. In this case, we got our tussling in and our fighting, so clean slate in my book. But if something pops off, it's just the way it goes.'

Zach Greinke (6-2, 4.30 ERA), the Dodgers pitcher on that fateful evening, starts Monday's opener. Ian Kennedy, who drew a 10-game suspension after he hit Yasiel Puig and Greinke with high inside pitches, triggering the melee, goes for Arizona on Tuesday.

Kennedy didn't want to talk about the significance of the matchup, calling it just another series.

It's a necessary attitude, Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said.

"It's not like this is our last series against them,' he said. "We're playing them a lot so you've got to really move on. You can't even think about it ... just play them like you play everybody else.'

The bench-clearing fracas drew eight suspensions from Major League Baseball.

Howell and Los Angeles infielder Skip Schumaker were suspended for two games and Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, who proclaimed at the time "it's not over yet, not at all,' drew a one-game ban. Arizona's Eric Hinske got a five-game suspension, later reduced to one game after MLB officials said he hadn't thrown a punch after all. Hinske is no longer with the team.

Kennedy eventually dropped his appeal and served the 10 games.

Gibson and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly both were suspended for a game.

Before Sunday's game against Colorado, Gibson repeated that no one was throwing intentionally at anyone's head.

"I'll re-state this again,' he said. "Anybody that thinks anybody would try to hit anybody in the head, it's an illogical assumption. I don't even say that there's one person in the major leagues that could or would actually do that. I mean, people pitch inside. They're going to today, they're going to tomorrow, they're going to the day after that. That's part of the game.'

The Dodgers (42-45), after a slow start, have climbed back into contention, in what so far has been a weak division, although the Diamondbacks have remained in first for some time and play 10 straight at home before the All-Star break.

Arizona (47-41) swept three games from the Rockies this weekend while the Dodgers took two of three from San Francisco. That left the Dodgers alone in second place, 4 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks.

Los Angeles has bolstered its rotation with the addition of Ricky Nolasco.

"They're a different team than we played the last time,' Gibson said. "They're getting more of their guys healthy and they're very formidable. They continue to acquire guys to make themselves better. We just have to play good baseball and try and execute to beat them. If you get distracted by the sideshow, I think you inhibit your chances to do that.'

Gibson will give the ball to Randall Delgado (1-2, 3.67), who gave up two runs in seven innings of a 5-3 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday. The right-hander allowed three runs in five innings in his lone start against the Dodgers in 2011.

Greinke has won his last three starts but wasn't particularly sharp Wednesday in Colorado, yielding five runs and a career high-tying seven walks in five innings of a 10-8 victory.

The right-hander has gone 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA in six career starts against the Diamondbacks, the only team he's faced more than two times and hasn't beaten.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Dodgers at Diamondbacks
Mon, Jul 8 - 9:40PM EDT

GAME 2
Dodgers at Diamondbacks
Tue, Jul 9 - 9:40PM EDT

GAME 3
Dodgers at Diamondbacks
Wed, Jul 10 - 9:40PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:32 AM

Preview: Red Sox (54-36) at Mariners (39-49)
Game: 1
Venue: Safeco Field
Date: July 08, 2013 10:10 PM EDT


After the Seattle Mariners' successful road trip, Felix Hernandez will try to help his club start posting better results at home.

He'll be opposed by Jon Lester, who will attempt to end the Boston Red Sox's recent road woes by adding to his dominance over the Mariners on Monday night.

Seattle (39-49) went 4-2 in visits to Texas and Cincinnati, completing the trek with a 3-1 victory over the Reds on Sunday. The Mariners never trailed after Nick Franklin's second home run in three-game series in the first inning.

"It's a real good trip for us," manager Eric Wedge told the team's official website. "I think we would have liked to have won one more, but you don't get greedy this time of year. You work hard to win series. Our guys fought hard and played pretty good baseball."

Seattle hasn't performed as well lately at home, dropping six of nine, but having its ace on the mound could help. Hernandez (8-4, 2.69 ERA) has won his last three decisions, though he hasn't received one in his past three outings.

He's given up two runs in seven innings each of his last two starts while totaling 18 strikeouts, but received two runs of support in both contests. He's coming off a 4-2 win over the Rangers on Wednesday.

Hernandez was superb in his most recent matchup with the Red Sox on June 28, 2012, tossing a five-hitter and matching a career high with 13 strikeouts in a 1-0 home victory.

Headed to his fourth All-Star game, the right-hander will try to outpitch Lester (8-4, 4.41), who's been dominant in his last three starts against the Mariners.

The left-hander has won all three of those games with a 1.96 ERA, the most recent Sept. 4 when he have up three runs in six innings of a 4-3 victory at Seattle.

Lester is coming off a strong outing that snapped an eight-start stretch of shaky performances. He allowed one run in seven innings of a 2-1 win over San Diego, though he didn't get the decision.

Lester had posted a 6.99 ERA in his previous eight games, though he's 2-0 in his past three outings.

He'll try to help the Red Sox to a rare win on the road, as they've dropped eight of 11 there.

Boston (54-36) earned its ninth victory in 10 games Friday against the Los Angeles Angels but dropped the final two contests of the set, including a 3-0 loss Sunday. The Red Sox blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning Saturday and lost in 11.

"I still like this team. Tonight, we didn't create a whole lot for ourselves, but this is a team that continues to battle," manager John Farrell told the team's website after the series finale. "There's a lot of good at_bats. We're going to put a lot of people on base. Tonight just wasn't one of them."

AL East-leading Boston will be trying to avoid its first three-game skid since May 11-14.

Seattle's Raul Ibanez, batting .360 during a 12-game hit streak, has two singles and five strikeouts in his past nine at_bats against Lester. Kyle Seager, hitting .500 in his last seven games, is 1 for 7 all-time versus Lester and is a career .205 hitter against the Red Sox.


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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Red Sox at Mariners
Mon, Jul 8 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Red Sox at Mariners
Tue, Jul 9 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Red Sox at Mariners
Wed, Jul 10 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 4
Red Sox at Mariners
Thu, Jul 11 - 3:40PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
07/08/2013 10:34 AM

Preview: Rockies (42-47) at Padres (40-49)
Game: 1
Venue: PETCO Park
Date: July 08, 2013 10:10 PM EDT


On the verge of matching the second-longest losing streak in team history, the San Diego Padres may be catching a break with a visit from another struggling club, the short-handed Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies, though, have dominated the season series and will try for their ninth win in 11 games against the Padres on Monday night.

Since its team-worst 13-game skid in 1994, San Diego (40-49) has lost more than nine in a row once, dropping 10 straight from Aug. 26-Sept. 5, 2010. The club is one defeat away from matching that slide after an 11-7 loss to Washington on Sunday to close a 10-game East Coast road trip.

San Diego scored 16 runs in the three games against the Nationals after totaling seven in the first six games of its skid, but it's given up 32 in the last four contests.

"You're finding different ways to lose each time," catcher Nick Hundley said. "Some days we pitched great and didn't hit. Other days, we swung great and didn't pitch. You try to find a nice combination of both and go from there."

The Padres return home to face a team that's dropped 17 of 24, including six of seven, and has two wins in its last 12 road games. The Rockies (42-47), however, recorded a three-game sweep in their most recent visit to San Diego from April 12-14, the beginning of a season series that's been a source of futility for the Padres.

Achieving similar results in this set could prove more difficult for Colorado with All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Dexter Fowler on the disabled list. Another Rockies All-Star, Carlos Gonzalez, had to leave a 6-1 loss to Arizona on Sunday because of a sprained right middle finger.

The NL home run leader didn't think the injury was serious.

"We're banged up but a lot of teams are. We've got to find a way to win games," manager Walt Weiss told the team's official website. "I feel confident that we'll show up (Monday) in San Diego and win the game. That's how I feel, but we've got to go out and do it."

A bounce-back effort from Tyler Chatwood (4-2, 2.75 ERA) would help. After going 4-1 with a 1.61 ERA in eight outings prior, the right-hander gave up season highs of six runs and 11 hits in a 10-8 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

Chatwood allowed four runs over 3 2-3 innings in his only start against San Diego, a 7-4 road win Sept. 14, and will pitch opposite a rejuvenated Edinson Volquez (6-6, 5.26) in his next one.

Volquez has gone 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts since a miserable performance in a 10-9 loss at Colorado on June 7. The right-hander gave up career highs of nine runs and 11 hits in 2 1-3 innings of that game, and is 0-3 with a 13.22 ERA in his last four starts against the Rockies - three this season.

Colorado is hoping Gonzalez can play Monday as he's 10 for 19 with three doubles and two triples all-time against Volquez.


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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Rockies at Padres
Mon, Jul 8 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Rockies at Padres
Tue, Jul 9 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Rockies at Padres
Wed, Jul 10 - 10:10PM EDT

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