cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:06 AM

Preview: Cardinals (62-41) at Pirates (62-42)
Game: 2
Venue: PNC Park
Date: July 30, 2013 7:35 PM EDT


An erratic offense, some inconsistent play and a 20-year playoff drought hasn't prevented the Pittsburgh Pirates from remaining near the top of the NL Central.

Now the resilient Pirates have a chance to move past the St. Louis Cardinals atop the division with a doubleheader sweep Tuesday at PNC Park.

Francisco Liriano won for the sixth time in seven starts and Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th home run in Monday's 9-2 series-opening victory that moved Pittsburgh (62-42) within a half-game of the slumping Cardinals (62-41).

Since averaging 3.2 runs and hitting .229 over a 14-game stretch, the Pirates have batted .267 and scored seven runs or more in three of their last five. They fanned four times Monday after striking out 62 times in their previous five games.

"We're a confident team,' said manager Clint Hurdle, whose club seeks its first playoff berth in 21 years. "I think we're a team whose confidence isn't built on its last game. It's not shattered by a losing streak."

Although they're 9-10 since July 6, the Pirates can take over the division lead behind A.J. Burnett (4-7, 2.96 ERA) in the first game of the doubleheader, which includes a make up of an April 16 rainout.

Burnett hasn't won since coming off the disabled list July 7 despite allowing only six earned runs over 23 1-3 innings in four starts, thanks largely to Pittsburgh's nine runs of support.

The right-hander has pitched well at PNC Park against the Cardinals, going 2-1 with 18 strikeouts and a 1.37 ERA in three starts. He did not allow a run for the second time in three meetings there, giving up one hit and striking out eight over seven innings in a 5-0 win April 17.

Carlos Beltran has five hits - two home runs - and seven RBIs in 15 at_bats against Burnett the past two seasons, but he's 4 for 27 in his last seven games overall.

Teammate and fellow All-Star Allen Craig is also slumping, going 0 for 17 with nine strikeouts in his last five.

While the Cardinals lead the NL with 500 runs and a .274 batting average, they've scored five runs and hit .169 during a season-high four-game losing streak.

"You're going to have times like this in a season,' manager Mike Matheny said. "You've just got to keep your head down and keep going and realize that over the long haul guys have done a real nice job producing offensively. That will be back.'

St. Louis counters with Lance Lynn (12-5, 3.98) as it tries to avoid losing five in a row for the first time since May 29-June 3, 2012.

The right-hander went 1-4 with 6.30 ERA during a five-start stretch before yielding one run and five hits over seven innings in a 3-1 win against Philadelphia on Thursday.

Lynn, though, is 1-3 with an 8.61 ERA in his last four road starts.

He'll attempt to reverse that trend as he goes for his third win versus the Pirates this season. Lynn has given up five runs over 12 innings in two starts, but allowed four in five innings to beat Pittsburgh 10-6 on the road April 15.

He's done a good job against All-Stars Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen, who are a combined 5 for 30 with nine strikeouts in this matchup.

St. Louis left-hander Tyler Lyons is scheduled to make his first big-league start since June 21 in the nightcap, while Pittsburgh's Game 2 starter has yet to be determined.

Lyons, who was demoted after going 0-3 with a 8.68 ERA in his last four starts with the Cardinals, allowed six earned runs and struck out 37 in 40 2-3 innings over a six-start stint at Triple-A Memphis.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Cardinals at Pirates
Mon, Jul 29 Final 2 to 9
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Cardinals at Pirates
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:35PM EDT

GAME 3
Cardinals at Pirates
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 4
Cardinals at Pirates
Thu, Aug 1 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:08 AM

Preview: Astros (35-69) at Orioles (58-48)
Game: 1
Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Date: July 30, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


The Baltimore Orioles would like to bolster their rotation before the trade deadline. They're about to get a particularly close look at one of the best arms available.

Bud Norris takes the mound in what could be his final start for the Houston Astros as they visit the Orioles on Tuesday night.

In their chase for a second consecutive postseason appearance, Baltimore (58-48) has been bogged down by a starters' ERA of 4.65 that ranks among baseball's worst.

The Orioles already made one move earlier this month to try to improve that weakness, acquiring Scott Feldman from the Chicago Cubs, but he's 2-2 with a 5.12 ERA in five starts with Baltimore. According to the team's official website, general manager Dan Duquette would like to do more before Wednesday's non-waiver deadline.

Houston shipped off one asset Monday, dealing closer Jose Veras to Detroit for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.

Norris (6-9, 3.93 ERA) figures to be one of the most coveted pitchers leading up to the deadline, with general manager Jeff Luhnow telling the club's official website the right-hander has attracted "significant interest."

"There's nothing close at this point, but we still have 2 1/2 days to go and still a lot of activity could happen, even though nothing's close," Luhnow said.

Perhaps the possibility of being traded has clouded Norris' focus in recent weeks. He posted a 2.85 ERA over 12 starts from May 3-July 3, but has since gone 0-2 with an 8.47 ERA in three outings.

Manager Bo Porter told the team's website he spoke to Norris last week about ignoring the swirling trade speculation.

"Just go out and pitch and don't worry about what the next day is going to bring and whether you're going to be here or someplace else," Porter said. "Let the decision-makers that are making those decisions be able to be allowed to make the decisions, and you control the portion of this that's in your hands, which is your performance."

The Astros (35-69) have lost 20 of 25 as well as eight of nine to Baltimore, including two of three in Houston from June 4-6. Norris lost the finale of that series, throwing seven innings of three-run ball in a 3-1 defeat.

However, the Orioles have lost five of six after winning four straight to begin the season's second half. The pitching woes have been magnified by an offensive slump, as the club has produced 15 runs in the last six games and is homerless in three of four.

Jason Hammel's losing streak extended to six games in a 5-0 home loss to Boston on Sunday, but the Orioles managed only five hits and were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

"The big emphasis, what I look at, is we didn't score any runs," manager Buck Showalter said. "We didn't mount much of anything offensively."

Chris Davis is 3 for 22 over his last six games and is homerless in 10 straight, his longest drought of the season, while fellow All-Stars Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy are mired in 4-for-32 and 3-for-22 slumps, respectively. That trio was 0 for 12 on Sunday with Davis striking out three times.

Hardy was 3 for 3 off Norris earlier this year while Davis went 2 for 4.

Baltimore will hand the ball to Wei-Yin Chen (5-3, 2.78), who has remained solid amid the rotation's recent struggles. He's 2-0 in three starts with a 2.18 ERA since returning from a strained oblique.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Astros at Orioles
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 2
Astros at Orioles
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Astros at Orioles
Thu, Aug 1 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:09 AM

Preview: Nationals (52-54) at Tigers (59-45)
Game: 1
Venue: Comerica Park
Date: July 30, 2013 7:08 PM EDT


Stephen Strasburg made a huge impression in his first appearance in a big-league uniform in spring training three years ago by striking out Miguel Cabrera.

Those two will finally meet when it counts Tuesday night.

The Washington Nationals starter has never faced Cabrera or the Detroit Tigers in the regular season heading into the opener of this two-game set at Comerica Park.

Strasburg's spring debut with the Nationals on March 9, 2010 against Detroit drew plenty of attention. He yielded two hits in two scoreless innings, striking out Cabrera with a high-90s fastball and drawing praise from the Tigers slugger and Detroit manager Jim Leyland.

Strasburg (5-8, 2.85 ERA) will pitch to the reigning AL MVP for the first time in interleague play. He is 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA in eight career outings against the AL.

Both Strasburg and Cabrera endured frustrating efforts in their last games.

The Nationals right-hander was charged with last Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh despite yielding one run and two hits in eight innings with a season-high 12 strikeouts. Afterward, he emphatically stated that the defending NL East champions needed to start turning their season around.

Washington (52-54) has responded with a 4-1 stretch, winning 14-1 over the New York Mets on Sunday.

"This is definitely what we envisioned coming out of spring training,' outfielder Denard Span said. "Being able to score runs like this and put a lot of pressure on the other teams' (pitching)."

Cabrera, meanwhile, was ejected by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild for arguing a strike call in the third inning of Sunday's 12-4 win over Philadelphia. Leyland was also tossed.

"I said the call was horrible and he threw me out,' Cabrera said. "I think it's not time to blame anybody - to blame the umpires, to blame somebody else. You want to compete and you want to do something special and try to win games. I'm kind of upset at how he threw me out, but that happens."

Detroit (59-45) outscored the Phillies 24-5 in a three-game sweep to improve to 6-2 against the NL East, but both defeats came at Washington on May 8 and 9.

The Tigers have won seven straight and 12 of 14 at home versus the NL East.

The Nationals' five-game surge following a season-high six-game losing streak has coincided with Ryan Zimmerman going 10 for 21. He was 3 for 4 to lead a season-high 18-hit attack Sunday.

"I think we all know what this group is capable of and what kind of people we have in here,' he said. "That's one of the biggest strengths of this team is not worrying about things that happen, good or bad.'

Washington looks to defeat Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 2.68) for the second time after he allowed three runs over six innings in a 3-1 loss May 8.

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in seven home starts.

While Zimmerman is a .222 hitter against Sanchez, Jayson Werth - who missed the first series between these clubs with a strained right hamstring - is worse at 5 for 30 with 19 strikeouts. No player has fanned more versus Sanchez.

The Tigers bolstered their bullpen Monday by acquiring right-hander Jose Veras from Houston for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Nationals at Tigers
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:08PM EDT

GAME 2
Nationals at Tigers
Wed, Jul 31 - 1:08PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:11 AM

Preview: White Sox (40-63) at Indians (57-48)
Game: 2
Venue: Progressive Field
Date: July 30, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


A fire sale has started on the South Side, and Jake Peavy could be the next player out of the White Sox locker room.

As speculation mounts with the trade deadline drawing closer, Peavy may or may not make his scheduled start Tuesday night when Chicago continues its series against the surging Cleveland Indians.

Peavy (8-4, 4.28 ERA) has been on display all of July as contenders ponder whether to add the right-hander - arguably the most sought-after starter - for a playoff push and help the last-place White Sox (40-63) build for the future. Jesse Crain was dealt by first-year general manager Rick Hahn, who sent the injured reliever - Crain has been sidelined with a right shoulder strain since July 3 - along with cash to Tampa Bay on Monday for either players or cash.

"We cannot say enough about what Jesse has meant to our bullpen, and the positive impact he's had on our young relievers," Hahn said. "We certainly think he has the ability to influence this year's pennant race very positively for the Rays.'

Peavy, who won the NL Cy Young Award with San Diego in 2007, has been through this before - the White Sox acquired him at the 2009 deadline. Despite being on the disabled list with a broken rib earlier this year, plenty of teams have made inquiries, and he is taking it all in stride.

"I'm here and expect to go out and, unless I hear anything, pitch against Cleveland tomorrow,' Peavy said before Monday's 3-2 loss. "Obviously, there's stuff being talked about. The coaches and general manager have kept me up to date. As a professional, I've got to be ready for the Cleveland Indians tomorrow. I will be. I expect to win. I hear a lot. All I can do as a player is get ready to do what I know is scheduled for me to do and that's pitch tomorrow night.'

Should he take the mound, Peavy will try to win a third consecutive start. He survived giving up three home runs that led to all four of the runs he allowed over seven innings of a 7-4 victory against Detroit on Thursday.

Peavy, who's served up 14 homers in 80 innings over his 13 starts, already has won at Cleveland this year. He limited the Indians to a solo homer and four other hits in seven innings of a 3-1 victory April 14, his fourth straight victory over the Indians.

As Peavy waits to learn his fate, the Indians (57-48) pushed their winning streak to five games with Jason Giambi's walkoff pinch-hit homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Cleveland has won a season-best eight straight at home, its longest run there since reeling off 14 in a row April 3-May 1, 2011.

"That's what keeps you coming back,' Giambi said. ``There's no moment more special than when you get that embrace from your teammates and all those smiles. It's exciting.'

Cleveland's starters have posted a 0.79 ERA in the last three victories, and Scott Kazmir (6-4, 3.96) will try to extend that impressive stretch. The left-hander was outstanding Wednesday, limiting Seattle to an unearned run and one hit in a season-high eight innings of a 10-1 victory. ``I don't have to throw hard every pitch," said Kazmir, who hasn't allowed an earned run in 14 innings over his last two starts. "I can throw hard when I need it but I'm throwing my secondary pitches more now. I'm more of a complete pitcher.'

This will be his first appearance versus Chicago since 2010 with the Los Angeles Angels.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
White Sox at Indians
Mon, Jul 29 Final 2 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
White Sox at Indians
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
White Sox at Indians
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 4
White Sox at Indians
Thu, Aug 1 - 12:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:12 AM

Preview: Giants (46-58) at Phillies (49-56)
Game: 1
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: July 30, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


The Philadelphia Phillies are on the brink of their longest losing streak in nearly 14 years.

Perhaps returning home to face Barry Zito, who has yet to win a road start this season, will help them avoid it.

Philadelphia tries to end an eight-game skid Tuesday night when it faces a struggling Zito and the San Francisco Giants.

The Phillies (49-56) started their trip with a 13-8 win over the New York Mets on July 19, then dropped the next eight games while being outscored 52-14. Three errors and three walks led to them allowing eight unearned runs in the sixth inning of a 12-4 loss at Detroit on Sunday.

Michael Young is 3 for 24 during the losing streak - he hit .342 in the previous 10 games - and 1 for 8 off Zito since the left-hander joined the Giants in 2007.

An 11-game slump from Sept. 4-14, 1999, marked the last time Philadelphia lost more than eight in a row.

"It's hard, man. It's tough," catcher Carlos Ruiz said. "We're not playing good baseball right now. It's embarrassing to see that."

The Phillies took two of three in San Francisco from May 6-8, though Zito (4-7, 4.92 ERA) started in the Giants' lone win, holding Philadelphia to one run and four hits over seven innings May 8.

Zito's season has taken a turn for the worse more recently. He's 0-4 in his last nine outings with a 6.35 ERA and only one quality start since his last win May 30.

He's struggled all year away from home, with an 0-6 record in eight games and a 9.89 ERA that is the highest among all pitchers with more than three road starts. Opponents are hitting .426 against him in those matchups.

Another loss Tuesday would mark his longest road losing streak since an eight-game slide in 2010.

Zito's last road outing, a 10-1 loss at San Diego on July 14, saw him allow four runs in two innings - his shortest start in more than two years.

San Francisco (46-58) is reeling after a 2-1 home loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, its eighth defeat in 11 games. The Giants have homered once over that span while totaling 22 runs. They were 6 1/2 games out of first place prior to that stretch but now trail Los Angeles by 10.

Buster Posey accounted for the one homer but is 1 for 23 over his last eight games.

"We're not playing good baseball," Posey said. "That's about it. We have to play better. When you're struggling, the battle is sometimes trying not to do too much."

Philadelphia will counter with a southpaw of its own in John Lannan (2-4, 4.13). He limited opponents to one run over 16 innings in his final two starts before the All-Star Break, but after waiting 11 days for his next outing, he gave up four runs and eight hits over four innings in an 11-3 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday.

Lannan is 0-1 in three starts versus San Francisco despite a 1.74 ERA, though he hasn't faced them since a 5-4 road loss June 6, 2011.

Jeff Francoeur, 7 for 35 in 11 games since being signed by the Giants, is 15 for 28 off Lannan with six doubles.

Chase Utley is 7 for 20 off Zito, with four of those hits going for extra bases. John Mayberry is 4 for 8 with three home runs.

San Francisco has won five of its last seven in Philadelphia.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Giants at Phillies
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 2
Giants at Phillies
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Giants at Phillies
Thu, Aug 1 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:14 AM

Preview: Cardinals (62-41) at Pirates (62-42)
Game: 2
Venue: PNC Park
Date: July 30, 2013 7:35 PM EDT


An erratic offense, some inconsistent play and a 20-year playoff drought hasn't prevented the Pittsburgh Pirates from remaining near the top of the NL Central.

Now the resilient Pirates have a chance to move past the St. Louis Cardinals atop the division with a doubleheader sweep Tuesday at PNC Park.

Francisco Liriano won for the sixth time in seven starts and Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th home run in Monday's 9-2 series-opening victory that moved Pittsburgh (62-42) within a half-game of the slumping Cardinals (62-41).

Since averaging 3.2 runs and hitting .229 over a 14-game stretch, the Pirates have batted .267 and scored seven runs or more in three of their last five. They fanned four times Monday after striking out 62 times in their previous five games.

"We're a confident team,' said manager Clint Hurdle, whose club seeks its first playoff berth in 21 years. "I think we're a team whose confidence isn't built on its last game. It's not shattered by a losing streak."

Although they're 9-10 since July 6, the Pirates can take over the division lead behind A.J. Burnett (4-7, 2.96 ERA) in the first game of the doubleheader, which includes a make up of an April 16 rainout.

Burnett hasn't won since coming off the disabled list July 7 despite allowing only six earned runs over 23 1-3 innings in four starts, thanks largely to Pittsburgh's nine runs of support.

The right-hander has pitched well at PNC Park against the Cardinals, going 2-1 with 18 strikeouts and a 1.37 ERA in three starts. He did not allow a run for the second time in three meetings there, giving up one hit and striking out eight over seven innings in a 5-0 win April 17.

Carlos Beltran has five hits - two home runs - and seven RBIs in 15 at_bats against Burnett the past two seasons, but he's 4 for 27 in his last seven games overall.

Teammate and fellow All-Star Allen Craig is also slumping, going 0 for 17 with nine strikeouts in his last five.

While the Cardinals lead the NL with 500 runs and a .274 batting average, they've scored five runs and hit .169 during a season-high four-game losing streak.

"You're going to have times like this in a season,' manager Mike Matheny said. "You've just got to keep your head down and keep going and realize that over the long haul guys have done a real nice job producing offensively. That will be back.'

St. Louis counters with Lance Lynn (12-5, 3.98) as it tries to avoid losing five in a row for the first time since May 29-June 3, 2012.

The right-hander went 1-4 with 6.30 ERA during a five-start stretch before yielding one run and five hits over seven innings in a 3-1 win against Philadelphia on Thursday.

Lynn, though, is 1-3 with an 8.61 ERA in his last four road starts.

He'll attempt to reverse that trend as he goes for his third win versus the Pirates this season. Lynn has given up five runs over 12 innings in two starts, but allowed four in five innings to beat Pittsburgh 10-6 on the road April 15.

He's done a good job against All-Stars Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen, who are a combined 5 for 30 with nine strikeouts in this matchup.

St. Louis left-hander Tyler Lyons is scheduled to make his first big-league start since June 21 in the nightcap, while Pittsburgh's Game 2 starter has yet to be determined.

Lyons, who was demoted after going 0-3 with a 8.68 ERA in his last four starts with the Cardinals, allowed six earned runs and struck out 37 in 40 2-3 innings over a six-start stint at Triple-A Memphis.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Cardinals at Pirates
Mon, Jul 29 Final 2 to 9
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Cardinals at Pirates
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:35PM EDT

GAME 3
Cardinals at Pirates
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 4
Cardinals at Pirates
Thu, Aug 1 - 7:05PM ED

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:16 AM

Preview: Mariners (50-55) at Red Sox (63-44)
Game: 1
Venue: Fenway Park
Date: July 30, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The Boston Red Sox once again find themselves out of first place after completing a mediocre stretch against the other three AL East contenders.

A visit from the Seattle Mariners could be what they need to get back on track.

Boston seeks a seventh straight home victory over Seattle in the opener of a three-game series Tuesday night.

The Red Sox (63-44) went 5-5 against the Yankees, Baltimore and Tampa Bay over the last 11 days, falling to the now first-place Rays for the third time in that stretch Monday.

Brandon Snyder's homer in the sixth inning accounted for Boston's only run in the 2-1 defeat, which was a makeup for Thursday's rainout. Manager John Farrell was ejected in the eighth inning after arguing Daniel Nava being called out at home plate. Replays showed Nava was safe.

"He had every right to be upset,' outfielder Shane Victorino said when asked about Farrell's ejection. "The human error is part of the game and that stuff happens."

The Red Sox have dropped four of their last six at home, but they've won six straight over Seattle at Fenway Park and took the final three of a four-game series from the Mariners at Safeco Field from July 8-11.

Brandon Workman made his major league debut in that set, and he hopes this outing turns out better.

Workman (0-1, 4.40 ERA) gave up a homer to Brendan Ryan - the first batter he faced - and allowed three runs in two innings of relief in Boston's 11-4 victory July 10.

"That's not the way I saw it going in my head," Workman told the team's official website after his debut.

The right-hander will be making his third career start Tuesday after giving up two runs in six innings of a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay on July 22. He'll be opposed by Joe Saunders, who is looking to bounce back from a loss of his own.

Saunders (9-9, 4.48) had won his previous four starts while posting a 1.73 ERA before allowing six runs - five earned - in 4 2-3 innings of Wednesday's 10-1 loss to Cleveland.

"Just one of those days," Saunders said.

The left-hander went 0-4 with an 11.25 ERA in his first five road starts this season, but he's gone 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his last six outings outside of Seattle. His last start against Boston also went well as he allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-3 win Sept. 30 while pitching for Baltimore.

Saunders will be looking to help the Mariners (50-55) win their fifth straight road game after they completed a 4-3 homestand with Sunday's 6-4 win over Minnesota.

Shortstop Brad Miller and second baseman Nick Franklin, both rookies, had solid efforts. Miller, batting leadoff, went 2 for 3 with a walk, and Franklin, the No. 2 hitter, went 3 for 4 with a three-run homer in the fourth and a solo shot in the seventh.

"They spark us at the top of the order," said acting manager Robby Thompson, who has guided the team the last seven games while Eric Wedge recovers from a mild stroke. "It's not often you see a couple guys come up from Triple-A and hit 1-2 in the order in a short period of time."

Seattle activated Michael Morse from his month-plus stay on the disabled list Monday while also designating veteran outfielder Jason Bay for assignment. Morse, who was battling a strained right quad, could be in the lineup Tuesday.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Mariners at Red Sox
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Mariners at Red Sox
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Mariners at Red Sox
Thu, Aug 1 - 7:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:17 AM

Preview: Rockies (51-56) at Braves (61-45)
Game: 2
Venue: Turner Field
Date: July 30, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


While outstanding pitching keyed the start of their winning streak, the Atlanta Braves needed their highest run total in more than three weeks to extend it.

The surging Braves might need another big day at the plate as they seek their fifth straight victory Tuesday night when rookie Alex Wood faces the Colorado Rockies.

Andrelton Simmons hit a walkoff triple in the 10th inning as NL East-leading Atlanta (61-45) beat Colorado (51-56) for the ninth time in 10 tries at Turner Field with Monday's 9-8 win.

After their pitching staff limited major league-best St. Louis to three runs over 27 innings in a three-game sweep, the Braves bailed out starter Brandon Beachy, who gave up seven runs over 3 2-3 innings in his first start in 13 months after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery.

They went 5 for 10 with seven RBIs with runners in scoring position, raising their average to .419 (13 for 31) in those situations during their winning streak. Atlanta's nine runs were its most since a 13-4 rout of Philadelphia on July 6.

Atlanta hopes to continue that production with Wood (0-2, 3.42 ERA) making his second straight start filling in for Paul Maholm (wrist contusion), who was placed on the disabled list July 22. The left-hander, 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA in two starts, surrendered four runs and eight hits over 4 1-3 innings before leaving without a decision in a 7-4 loss to the Mets on Thursday.

"I thought for his second major league start he did OK," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It was a good experience for him. (Now) he'll get another opportunity to improve."

Wood, though, will likely have to deal with Carlos Gonzalez as he faces the Rockies for the first time.

The All-Star left fielder matched a career best by going 5 for 5 on Monday after missing three games with a sprained right middle finger. He's hitting .444 (12 for 27) with two homers and six RBIs in eight career games at Atlanta.

Catcher Wilin Rosario also is heating up, going 5 for 9 with two homers in his last two games. Nolan Arenado is 8 for 20 in his last five, but his error Monday keyed Atlanta's six-run third inning.

The Rockies will try to avoid their sixth loss in nine games by giving the ball to Juan Nicasio (6-4, 4.40), who looks to win his third straight.

The right-hander has given up one run and eight hits in 19 innings since being recalled from the minors on July 12. He struck out a season-high nine batters and limited Miami to two hits over seven shutout innings before the Marlins rallied for a 5-3 victory Thursday.

"I had good location on my fastball and I was throwing strikes,' Nicasio said. "I can throw it hard when I want to, and I've been able to put it inside, away or down in the zone.'

Nicasio is 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in three career starts versus the Braves, though, and he'll make his first start in Atlanta since 2011.

All-Star Freddie Freeman has pounded Nicasio with two home runs, a triple, and a double in six career at_bats. Freeman, though, is 4 for 26 with one homer over his last seven games.

Simmons has gone 7 for 13 with five RBIs in his last three contests, while Chris Johnson is batting .462 (12 for 26) over a seven-game hitting streak.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Rockies at Braves
Mon, Jul 29 Final 8 to 9
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Rockies at Braves
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Rockies at Braves
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 4
Rockies at Braves
Thu, Aug 1 - 7:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:19 AM

Preview: Mets (47-56) at Marlins (40-64)
Game: 2
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: July 30, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


Matt Harvey is the New York Mets' young ace who receives most of the publicity, but Zack Wheeler is making sure no one forgets there's another up-and-coming pitcher to help guide the franchise into hopefully better days.

Wheeler looks to remain unbeaten on the road as he faces the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.

Headlines regarding the Mets often involve Harvey, the 24-year-old who started the All-Star Game earlier this month in New York and is among the major league leaders with a 2.11 ERA.

Wheeler (4-1, 3.72 ERA) may not be receiving as much attention, but he's pitched nearly as well as Harvey lately. The prized rookie is 3-0 with a 2.78 ERA over his last four starts after giving up four runs - three earned - in six innings of Thursday's 7-4 win over Atlanta.

He had allowed nine runs in the two starts - both Mets losses - before this unbeaten run.

``I'm starting to feel a little bit more comfortable with my mechanics. I've just got to trust my stuff and go after guys,' Wheeler said. ``I've just got to get ahead and start setting guys up. It's a lot easier when you do that.'

While the 23-year-old right-hander has had some success to begin his career, manager Terry Collins knows he isn't even close to a finished product despite opponents hitting only .114 off Wheeler with runners in scoring position.

``He's a work in progress, but I'll tell you one thing: The sky's the limit with him," Collins said. "He's got plus stuff. He's tougher than people give him credit for. He's going to be fine, but he's got to make some adjustments."

Wheeler hasn't faced Miami in his seven-start career, but he's 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four road outings. He'll look to improve that mark after the Mets (47-56) ended a five-game skid versus the Marlins with a come-from-behind 6-5 victory in Monday's series opener.

Daniel Murphy, hitting .483 with two homers and 11 RBIs over his last seven games, drove in three runs for New York, which was outscored 20-3 while dropping the final three of a four-game series with Washington over the weekend.

"(I'm) just seeing the ball a little bit better. I don't know, it's baseball,' Murphy said. ``Sometimes you get beat up and sometimes you don't.'

The Marlins (40-64) had won five of seven prior to Monday's defeat. Rookie third baseman Ed Lucas hit his second career homer, and catcher Jeff Mathis drove in two runs.

"We were one big hit away from winning it," manager Mike Redmond said. "We were one hit away from playing extra innings.'

Miami will look to bounce back with help from Nathan Eovaldi, who has allowed three runs or fewer six times in seven starts since coming off the disabled list June 18.

After giving up six runs in four innings of a 6-0 loss to Milwaukee on July 20, Eovaldi (2-1, 3.54) bounced back by allowing three hits in six scoreless frames of Miami's 5-3 win over Colorado on Thursday. He had his outing cut short, though, due to a 93-minute rain delay after just 78 pitches.

"It's disappointing since I was throwing so good, but (I'm) still pleased with the outing," Eovaldi said.

The right-hander made four starts versus the Mets last season, going 1-2 with a 3.74 ERA.

Murphy is 4 for 8 with two doubles off Eovaldi.


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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Mets at Marlins
Mon, Jul 29 Final 6 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Mets at Marlins
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Mets at Marlins
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 4
Mets at Marlins
Thu, Aug 1 - 12:40PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27500 Followers:33
07/30/2013 11:20 AM

Preview: Diamondbacks (54-51) at Rays (63-43)
Game: 1
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: July 30, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The Tampa Bay Rays returned home with the AL East lead.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to climb back into the top spot in the NL West.

The surging Rays open their second-half home schedule Tuesday against the Diamondbacks trying to tie their franchise record for wins in a single month.

Tampa Bay (63-43) made the most of its chance to grab the division lead Monday, beating Boston 2-1 in a makeup game from Thursday for its fourth win in five games. The Rays have set a club mark with 20 wins in July and have two chances to match the team record set in August 2008 with a 21-7 mark.

After trailing the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games at the All-Star break, they have won 22 of 26 to overtake them by one-half game. Rays starters improved to 18-3 with a 2.17 ERA during that run after David Price threw 7 1-3 innings of one-run ball Monday.

However, Tuesday's pitcher Roberto Hernandez (5-11, 4.92 ERA) has yielded at least three runs in each of his last nine outings.

The right-hander, tied with Toronto's R.A. Dickey for the second-most losses in the AL, could be on his way to the bullpen with Joe Maddon contemplating using a four-man rotation of Price, Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson starting later this week.

Hernandez, though, can't shoulder all the blame for his recent struggles. His run-support average is a team-worst 2.89 since June 16, and he's 2-6 with a 4.98 ERA in that stretch.

"I think that's called bad luck," catcher Jose Molina told the Rays' official website after Hernandez gave up three runs in five innings in last Tuesday's 6-2 loss at Boston."... It's a shame that we can't perform the way we know we're capable of when he's pitching. That's pretty much wasting an outing for that pitcher."

The Diamondbacks (54-51) did that Sunday, finishing with three hits and going 0 for 5 with runners scoring position to waste eight strong innings from Patrick Corbin in a 1-0 loss to San Diego.

Arizona has dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the West lead after heading into the break leading by that margin.

"We haven't played our best baseball, we know that," Corbin told the Diamondbacks' official website. "I don't know why, but we're trying to figure it out. Hopefully, we can go over there and get some wins."

The Diamondbacks, though, open a stretch of 18 of 21 against teams with winning records.

They'll open their six-game trip with Kennedy (3-7, 5.22) getting his 10th chance to record win No. 50. The right-hander, riding the longest winless stretch of his career, avoided a fifth consecutive loss Wednesday when Arizona rallied from six down before falling 7-6 in 12 innings to the Chicago Cubs.

"It's all about pitch execution," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He started out pretty good, but then he made some mistakes - they hammered them."

Rays rookie Wil Myers has been doing that to opposing pitchers, batting .463 with four homers and 12 RBIs in a 10-game hitting streak.

Evan Longoria, who has hit safely in a team-best 11 straight, has one hit in six at_bats off Kennedy. James Loney is 6 for 13 with a homer and three doubles in that matchup.

Jason Kubel, who was scratched Sunday with a sore back, has faced Hernandez more than any other Diamondback, going 14 for 38 (.368) with three homers and three doubles.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Diamondbacks at Rays
Tue, Jul 30 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Diamondbacks at Rays
Wed, Jul 31 - 7:10PM EDT

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