cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:35 AM

Preview: Brewers (34-49) at Nationals (42-42)
Game: 4
Venue: Nationals Park
Date: July 04, 2013 11:05 AM EDT


After ending June and opening July with double-digit run totals, the Washington Nationals have again gone cold at the plate.

The Nationals hope to get their offense back on track and avoid their first series loss at home in nearly two months Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Though Washington (42-42) is among the majors' lowest-scoring teams with 306 runs, it displayed some pre-Fourth of July fireworks by totaling 23 runs and 26 hits in victories over the New York Mets and Milwaukee on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

The Nationals had 17 extra-base hits over those two games but have only one in the last two. They stranded 10 runners in Tuesday's 4-0 loss to the Brewers (34-49) and were held to five hits in a 4-1 defeat Wednesday. Rookie infielder Anthony Rendon homered in the seventh inning to snap Washington's 15-inning scoreless drought.

"It's putting me in my loony bin," manager Davey Johnson said of his team's offensive issues.

"It looks like we're getting good at_bats. We're just not getting it done. I don't have any answers."

Star outfielder Bryce Harper is 0 for 8 in the last two games after homering Monday in his return after missing more than a month with bursitis in his knee. His costly error led to two Milwaukee runs in the sixth inning Wednesday, and he missed a fly ball during the Brewers' four-run eighth Tuesday.

Harper has hit .138 in his last eight games at Nationals Park, where Washington has not lost a series since dropping two of three to the Cubs from May 10-12. A defeat Thursday would saddle the Nationals with their fourth home series loss of the year after having five throughout last season.

Washington is expected to have catcher Wilson Ramos for the first time since straining his hamstring in mid-May. He's hit .250 with two homers and six RBIs in 14 games.

The Nationals hope to bounce back against Milwaukee rookie Donovan Hand (0-1, 2.63 ERA), who has thrown 86 of 116 pitches for strikes in two career starts.

Both of them came last month as he pitched 9 2-3 innings and allowed two runs - both solo homers over five frames of a 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"Other than the home runs, I felt good about the way I pitched," Hand said. "I kept us in the ballgame for five and gave us a chance to win."

Manager Ron Roenicke has been pleased with the right-hander, who has a 3.14 ERA in nine relief appearances this season.

"I thought Donny threw the ball really well," said Roenicke, whose team has won two in a row following a six-game slide. "He understands how to pitch, he understands how to throw strikes."

Fellow rookie Taylor Jordan (0-1, 2.08) will make his first career home start for Washington. The right-hander gave up three runs - one earned - and five hits with two walks in 4 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets in his major league debut Saturday.

"I liked what I saw. First good outing," Johnson said of Jordan, who went a combined 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA at Double-A and Class-A this year.

He'll try to cool off Milwaukee leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki, who is 6 for 15 with three RBIs in the series after batting .175 with an RBI in his previous 11.

Talented Brewers shortstop Jean Segura, however, is 1 for 16 in his last three games following a 12-game hitting streak in which he batted .347.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Brewers at Nationals
Mon, Jul 1 Final 5 to 10
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Brewers at Nationals
Tue, Jul 2 Final 4 to 0
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Brewers at Nationals
Wed, Jul 3 Final 4 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 4
Brewers at Nationals
Thu, Jul 4 - 11:05AM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:37 AM

Preview: Diamondbacks (43-41) at Mets (35-46)
Game: 4
Venue: Citi Field
Date: July 04, 2013 1:10 PM EDT


The Arizona Diamondbacks just proved that they could hit Matt Harvey.

That could go a long way in building their confidence.

Arizona can end a mostly dismal 10-game road trip in positive fashion Thursday as it meets the New York Mets.

The Diamondbacks (43-41) entered Wednesday in an offensive slump, having averaged 2.7 runs over their previous nine games while going 1-8. In two losses at Citi Field to begin this week, they scored five runs while stranding 19 baserunners.

On Wednesday, however, the Diamondbacks touched Harvey for nine hits and five runs, the most any team has scored off the young phenom this season. They handed Harvey his second loss and pushed his ERA to 2.27.

"To beat one of the best obviously feels good," outfielder Cody Ross said. "Tonight we had a really good approach as a team."

Ross, batting .400 in his last 14 games against the Mets, hit a three-run homer off Harvey in the sixth inning that put Arizona ahead for good.

"It was a ton of energy when I came into the dugout and sort of a shot in the arm that maybe we needed," said Ross, who has two home runs in his last nine at_bats after hitting three over his first 215.

Another positive sign Wednesday was two players who recently came back from injuries each going 2 for 5. Aaron Hill, who returned June 25 after missing two-plus months with a broken hand, has five hits in this series. Eric Chavez had been 2 for 13 since returning from a strained right oblique before contributing a single and an RBI double Wednesday.

Miguel Montero, who entered the game hitting .200 since June 18, went 2 for 2 with two walks to reach in every plate appearance for the first time this season.

Ian Kennedy (3-4, 5.36 ERA) certainly wouldn't mind getting that kind of help from the batting order. Arizona has lost the right-hander's last four starts, providing him with seven runs of support.

Kennedy was as much to blame his last time out, though he escaped without a decision in an 11-5 loss to Atlanta on Saturday. He tied a season high with four walks and surrendered four runs over 4 1-3 innings.

Kennedy has surrendered home runs in six straight games, the worst such stretch of his career. His 15 home runs allowed are fourth-most in the NL.

However, Kennedy has won all four starts he's made against the Mets while posting a 3.70 ERA.

He'll face a resurgent Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60), who is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his last six starts. His latest victory came Saturday, limiting Washington to one run in six innings of a 5-1 win.

In two home starts against Arizona, Gee has fared well, limiting the Diamondbacks to two earned runs over six innings in each start. He has held several of Arizona's hitters in check, including Martin Prado (4 of 20) and Gerardo Parra (1 of 7).

Perhaps the good news for Gee is that his speed tends to top out in the low 90s, something Arizona hasn't faced much lately - especially after facing the hard-throwing Harvey.

"Lately we've been seeing a lot of 96, 97 mph pitchers," Montero said. "When we see a guy throwing 88, we don't feel as comfortable apparently."

New York (35-46) has recorded double-digit hits in three straight games, only the second time it has accomplished that feat this season.

"I think anytime you start to swing the bats better, it's infectious," manager Terry Collins told the Mets' official website. "It's like any of the other parts of the game. When somebody starts to chip in, everybody wants to be a part of it."

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Diamondbacks at Mets
Mon, Jul 1 Final 4 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Diamondbacks at Mets
Tue, Jul 2 Final 1 to 9
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Diamondbacks at Mets
Wed, Jul 3 Final 5 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 4
Diamondbacks at Mets
Thu, Jul 4 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:39 AM

Preview: Giants (39-45) at Reds (49-36)
Game: 4
Venue: Great American Ball Park
Date: July 04, 2013 1:10 PM EDT


There aren't many pitching as well as the Cincinnati Reds' Mike Leake right now.

The San Francisco Giants' Matt Cain isn't too far behind.

Runs could be hard to come by Thursday as Leake takes the mound opposite Cain, who tries to help the visiting Giants avoid their first four-game sweep against the Reds in 28 seasons.

Leake (7-3, 2.52 ERA) ranks second in the majors with a 1.31 ERA since May 15, going 5-1 over that stretch while allowing one earned run or less in seven of nine outings.

"He's thrown the ball as well as anybody in the league," catcher Devin Mesoraco said.

Leake yielded four runs - one earned - and three hits in seven innings Saturday in a 6-4, 11-inning win at Texas. The three unearned runs came in the third following three Cincinnati errors.

"Leake pitched his heart out," manager Dusty Baker told MLB's official website. "Usually when that happens, when a guy is the recipient of bad things happening behind him, he loses his cool and composure. And he didn't. He's come a long ways. He's really matured right in front of our eyes."

Leake has also baffled the Giants (39-45) during a three-start winning streak in the regular season, posting a 0.77 ERA while striking out 19 and walking two in 23 1-3 innings. Including playoffs, Pablo Sandoval is 8 for 12 with two homers and three doubles against Leake.

Cain (5-4, 4.29), meanwhile, has gone 1-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his last five starts. The three-time All-Star gave up one run and three hits in a season high-tying eight innings Saturday in a 2-1 walkoff loss at Colorado.

"What a great job he did," manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain, who retired the last 20 batters he faced.

Cain is 5-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 12 starts versus Cincinnati (49-36), including the postseason. Jay Bruce is 8 for 10 with a homer and three doubles against him since 2011, while Brandon Phillips is 8 for his last 26 with three homers and two doubles. Joey Votto, though, is 3 for his last 21.

A strong showing from Cain could go a long way for a Giants team that has hit .188 during a 1-9 slide. San Francisco has been outscored 14-3 in losing the first three games of this set, including a 3-2 defeat in 11 innings Wednesday.

San Francisco, which has dropped 10 of 13 regular season matchups to Cincinnati, is in danger of suffering its first four-game sweep in the series since April 18-21, 1985.

Sandoval is mired in a 1-for-29 slump with 11 strikeouts, Hunter Pence is 2 for his last 25 and Buster Posey is hitless in his last nine at_bats.

"We have too many guys scuffling. I don't know why, whether they are pressing or trying too hard," Bochy said. "I wish I had the answer. It seems like we've been saying this for quite a while. We need someone to give us a spark and get a big hit. When you get in a rut like this, you try too hard. We were playing to win one game to get us out of it."

The Reds have won four of five following a 1-6 stretch. Shin-Soo Choo went 2 for 6 on Wednesday, delivering a game-winning two-out single.

"I've been saying that he's one of the best hitters in the game, and I'm sticking with that," third baseman Todd Frazier said of Choo, who's batting .340 in his last 12 home games.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Giants at Reds
Mon, Jul 1 Final 1 to 8
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Giants at Reds
Tue, Jul 2 Final 0 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Giants at Reds
Wed, Jul 3 Final 2 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 4
Giants at Reds
Thu, Jul 4 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:41 AM

Preview: Padres (40-45) at Red Sox (52-34)
Game: 3
Venue: Fenway Park
Date: July 04, 2013 1:35 PM EDT


Everything seems to be going the Boston Red Sox's way right now.

The San Diego Padres, meanwhile, can't catch a break.

The surging Red Sox go for a three-game sweep of the visiting Padres, who try to avoid a season-high sixth consecutive loss Thursday.

After taking Tuesday's opener 4-1, Boston (52-34) pulled out a 2-1 victory Wednesday on Jonny Gomes' pinch-hit walkoff homer. The Red Sox, who have hit .335 in winning seven of eight during their nine-game homestand, have taken 17 of 22 at Fenway Park.

"Whether it's me or someone else, winning's fun. It's contagious," said Gomes, who has appeared in just 10 of the team's last 18 games but has three homers and nine RBIs in that span.

Gomes is batting .432 with three homers during an 11-game hitting streak versus San Diego, which has lost 11 of 15.

The Padres (40-45), limited to six hits in each of the last two games, have batted .172 during their five-game skid while getting outscored 23-5.

"When we lose a game like that, there's nothing we can do," Wednesday's starter Edinson Volquez said. "We battled the whole game. We lost in the ninth. Can't happen. We've got to come back tomorrow and win the next game."

Logan Forsythe and Chris Denorfia are a combined 0 for 27 over the last four days, and Chase Headley is 2 for his last 18.

The Padres, who have now dropped five straight on three separate occasions, haven't lost six in a row since May 25-30, 2012.

They will try to get back on track behind Eric Stults (6-6, 3.51 ERA), who was tagged for a season-high six runs and seven hits in a season-low 3 2-3 innings Saturday in a 7-1 loss at Miami.

The left-hander had gone 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his previous six starts, allowing one or two runs in each.

"It was just one of those nights where groundballs go through," manager Bud Black said. "He has been so consistent, so good, so reliable since he has been here, it was inevitable he'd have a rough game here or there."

Stults is 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four career interleague starts but has never faced Boston.

The Red Sox counter with rookie Allen Webster (0-2, 9.50), who will make his third start since his third call-up from the minors this year. The right-hander yielded four runs in six innings of Friday's 7-5 win over Toronto.

"I thought he showed a lot of poise," manager John Farrell told MLB's official website. "I thought overall he showed very good stuff. He pitched against a very good fastball hitting team. Again, I think the most encouraging thing was the number of ground balls (a season-high 14) he was able to induce."

Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is batting .400 during a 13-game hitting streak. He's hit safely in 11 straight against NL opponents, batting .458 with 10 runs and eight stolen bases.

Mike Napoli could be back in the lineup after getting the night off Wednesday. He's batting .211 with one extra-base hit - a double - over a 20-game stretch.

"We're working to try to create a little bit more of a shorter stroke, and we can't pinpoint anything physically," Farrell said.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Padres at Red Sox
Tue, Jul 2 Final 1 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Padres at Red Sox
Wed, Jul 3 Final 1 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Padres at Red Sox
Thu, Jul 4 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:43 AM

Preview: Phillies (40-45) at Pirates (52-31)
Game: 3
Venue: PNC Park
Date: July 04, 2013 1:35 PM EDT


Gerrit Cole surely couldn't have pictured a much better start to his major league career.

Cole Hamels probably couldn't have imagined a worse one to his season.

As Cole tries win the first five starts of his Pittsburgh Pirates career, Hamels looks to avoid matching his career high for losses as the Philadelphia Phillies close a three-game set at PNC Park.

Cole (4-0, 3.70 ERA) has been steady if not spectacular, winning every start he's made and allowing three runs or fewer in all of them. The Pirates have scored a whopping 23 runs in his 24 1-3 innings.

"It's really a team effort," Cole said. "I've pitched pretty well but I've gotten a lot of support defensively and our offense has been very opportunistic. It feels good to say I'm 4-0, but it feels even better because the team is playing well."
He needed the Pirates (52-31) to play well in his last start after he gave up three first-inning runs to Milwaukee, and they responded with seven runs in the second. Cole went on to pitch six innings and threw a season-high 94 pitches in the 10-3 victory.

The right-hander became the first Pittsburgh pitcher to win his first four big league starts since Nick Maddox in 1907.

While Cole has produced nothing but victories, Hamels (2-11, 4.58) has spent most of the season getting the short end of the stick. The left-hander leads the majors in losses and already has matched the highest total of his eight-year career - 11 defeats in 2009 and 2010.

His teammates helped him avoid surpassing that mark Wednesday, rallying from three runs down to beat San Diego 7-5 after Hamels allowed five runs in six innings.

"The guys really picked me up," said Hamels, who has received just 22 runs of support in his last 11 starts.

He hasn't had much luck against Pittsburgh, either. Though his 1.57 career ERA at PNC Park is his best of any stadium where he's pitched at least 20 innings, he is 0-1 in three starts there. The same trend continued in Philadelphia on April 23 in his first start against Pittsburgh this year, giving up two runs in eight innings of a 2-0 defeat.

Hamels will face an offense that emerged from a brief slump with a four-run fifth inning in a 6-5 victory Wednesday. The Pirates had scored seven runs in their previous 40 innings, including a 3-1 loss in Tuesday's series opener that ended their nine-game win streak.

"I'll tell you what - there's something special going on here," Wednesday's winning pitcher Jeff Locke said. "All the guys pull for each other every night. We're not out of a game, ever."

Russell Martin broke a 3-for-23 skid with an RBI single that tied the game in the fifth, and Pedro Alvarez followed with a three-run homer. Alvarez entered the night 0 for his last 10 with six strikeouts, but he's batting .395 with six homers since June 20.

While Alvarez hit his 21st home run Wednesday, Philadelphia's Domonic Brown notched his 22nd as he went 3 for 5. The only NL player ahead of them is Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez with 23.

Brown has three homers and 10 RBIs over his last eight games and could be headed for his first All-Star appearance, but his Phillies (40-45) have lost 15 of 24. They enter Thursday looking to avoid falling a season-high six games under .500.

"I'm thinking about our team and how we can start winning some games," Brown said. "The All-Star Game would be nice but the big thing is to get things turned around here."

The Phillies also hope to avoid a fifth straight series loss at PNC Park.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Phillies at Pirates
Tue, Jul 2 Final 3 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Phillies at Pirates
Wed, Jul 3 Final 5 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Phillies at Pirates
Thu, Jul 4 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:44 AM

Preview: Orioles (48-37) at White Sox (33-48)
Game: 3
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field
Date: July 04, 2013 2:10 PM EDT


Chris Davis is keeping pace with a Triple Crown winner.

That's never a bad thing.

With Davis just two RBIs behind Miguel Cabrera for the league lead, the Orioles hope to ride Davis' hot bat to a sixth win in seven games Thursday against the Chicago White Sox.

Davis hit his major league-leading 32nd homer and added a two-run double in Baltimore's 4-2 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday. He has four homers and nine RBIs over his last four games, knocking in nine of the Orioles' 21 runs during that stretch.

"They've got a guy that's hitting .330,' Chicago's Gordon Beckham said. "Driving in a million runs and hitting a million home runs. He's really good. It's tough to say anything about our side when he's doing what he's doing.'

What Davis has been doing is leading the Orioles to wins. Baltimore (48-37) is 19-10 in games in which Davis has hit a home run, including Wednesday when his solo shot gave the Orioles a 2-1 advantage. His double in the eighth gave Baltimore the lead for good in its major league-best 69th road win since the start of 2012.

"I think it's more a feeling of comfort than anything else,' he said. ``I feel comfortable in the box. I feel like I'm seeing the ball well and getting good pitches to hit. I feel comfortable hitting with no strikes, one strike or two strikes.'

Wednesday's defeat was the sixth in seven games for Chicago (33-48), which has scored three runs or fewer four times in that stretch.

Alex Rios scored a first-inning run in the loss, but has just three singles in his last 28 at_bats.

The White Sox were 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position Wednesday and are 4 for 21 over the last three games.

Baltimore's Zach Britton (2-2, 4.50 ERA) enjoyed having Davis on his side his last time out. After the slugger failed to contribute an RBI in Britton's first three starts, Davis made up for it Saturday, belting two homers and knocking in five runs to help him defeat the Yankees. Britton ended up allowing two runs - one earned - over 5 2-3 innings in an 11-3 rout.

The left-hander was sent to the minors earlier this season after he struggled in his first start, surrendering six runs and 10 hits in six innings at Seattle. Since he was recalled June 18, Britton has posted a 2.81 ERA in three starts.

Britton is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two outings against the White Sox and struck out a career-high 10 over eight innings in a 5-3 win in the most recent meeting Aug. 30.

He hasn't pitched past the sixth inning in any of his last six starts, but Baltimore relievers have compiled a 0.47 ERA in the past six games.

For the White Sox, Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.97) seeks his first win since May 21. He hasn't recorded a decision in any of his last six starts and allowed five runs and three walks over six innings in a 9-8 loss to Cleveland on Friday.

The lefty was tagged for five runs and seven hits - including two homers - over 3 2-3 innings opposite Britton in August.

Orioles backup catcher Taylor Teagarden homered off Quintana in that game and is likely to start Thursday. Teagarden is 3 for 31 (.097) with two home runs this season.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Orioles at White Sox
Tue, Jul 2 Final 2 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Orioles at White Sox
Wed, Jul 3 Final 4 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Orioles at White Sox
Thu, Jul 4 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:46 AM

Preview: Indians (45-39) at Royals (39-42)
Game: 3
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: July 04, 2013 2:10 PM EDT


James Shields has been more than reliable in his first season for the Kansas City Royals, while the team's offense hasn't necessarily returned the favor.

But with the way Eric Hosmer has been swinging the bat lately, Shields could have a good chance to increase his deceptively low win total Wednesday.

He tries to win his second straight start for the first time this season as Kansas City hosts the Cleveland Indians.

Shields (3-6, 2.99 ERA) has given the Royals (39-42) a chance to win almost every time out, posting quality starts in 14 of his 17 outings. And while Kansas City has won his last six starts, only the most recent resulted in a victory for Shields as he yielded three runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 9-3 win at Minnesota on Friday. He had been winless over his last 10 outings.

His 3.53 run-support average is the AL's third-lowest despite the Royals' nine runs of support his last time out, powered by a season-high four homers.

Shields ranks ninth in the AL in ERA, but is tied for 70th in wins.

"We won the last six of my games, and I have no doubt in my mind that we're just going to keep going up from here," Shields said.

Friday's contest also saw the first time he received a lead of more than one run since his last victory April 30.

"Hopefully we can put up more offensive outings like that for Shields," said Hosmer, who homered twice in Shields' last start.

Shields likely would have been pleased with Wednesday's output, as Kansas City claimed a 6-5 victory over Cleveland with Hosmer again at the crux of the attack. He went 2 for 4 and provided the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning - his sixth in 11 games and eighth this season.

Hosmer was hitting .261 and slugging .333 with one homer and 16 RBIs in 50 games through May. Since June 1, he's batting .305 with a .551 slugging percentage, as well as seven home runs and 18 RBIs in 29 games.

Additionally, the Royals' 51 home runs rank second-to-last in the majors, but their 13 over the last nine games rank among the highest totals in baseball dating back to June 23.

After having their winning streak snapped at five, the Indians (45-39) turn to Ubaldo Jimenez, who looks to continue his success on the road, where he owns a 3.10 ERA in nine games compared to a 6.82 mark at home.

But he failed to record a decision in Cleveland's 4-3 road win over the White Sox on Saturday, yielding three runs and nine hits over five innings while striking out eight. Jimenez threw 112 pitches.

"You know what, he limited damage," manager Terry Francona told the team's official website. "It was a high pitch count, and he didn't get as deep into the game as we hoped, but he gave us a chance to win."

Jason Kipnis was 2 for 4 Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, during which he's hitting .479 with 20 RBIs.

Alex Gordon left in the sixth with a possible concussion and bruised right hip after trying to catch Kipnis' flyball, which would up an inside-the-park home run. Gordon, who leads the Royals with 93 hits, will be re-evaluated Thursday.

``We'll just monitor it day to day,' manager Ned Yost said.

Michael Bourn was 2 for 5 after missing two games for the birth of his daughter.

Nick Swisher is 8 for 45 (.178) against Shields with 15 strikeouts.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Indians at Royals
Tue, Jul 2 Final 6 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Indians at Royals
Wed, Jul 3 Final 5 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Indians at Royals
Thu, Jul 4 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:48 AM

Preview: Yankees (45-39) at Twins (36-45)
Game: 4
Venue: Target Field
Date: July 04, 2013 2:10 PM EDT


Robinson Cano is simply scorching during this road trip for the New York Yankees, and he doesn't have an explanation as to why the Minnesota Twins haven't been pitching around him in this series.

Cano looks for a seventh consecutive multihit effort to cap this trip Thursday as he tries to help the Yankees complete a four-game sweep and hand the Twins a fifth straight defeat.

New York (45-39) was swept over three games in Baltimore to start the trip before bouncing back in this series behind its star second baseman.

Cano is 14 for 24 over the last six games, including 7 for 11 with three homers and eight RBIs against Minnesota. The No. 3 hitter is puzzled that the Twins (36-45) continue to pitch to him, and Yankees cleanup hitters behind him are 4 for 13 with no extra-base hits or RBIs in this series.

"The only way you can look at it is it's a team that's not in the race," Cano said. "So maybe when you're in the race, the last thing you want is the same guy to beat you twice or the third hitter beat you. Maybe I would say that's the difference. They're taking their chances: 'All right, let's pitch to him.'"

The last time Cano had a longer run of multihit games was a nine-game stretch to close 2012 as he hit an astounding .615 with three homers, 14 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

He had a tying two-run double as part of New York's three-run sixth inning in Wednesday's 3-2 victory. The Yankees won despite being outhit 8-4 as the Twins went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position to drop to 4 for 27 in this series.

All three wins this week have been closed out by Mariano Rivera, who has improved to 28 for 29 on save chances but likely won't be available Thursday to pitch for a fourth straight day.

This is New York's second four-game set at Target Field, where it is 12-3 all-time including two playoff victories. The Yankees' last four-game sweep in Minnesota was at the Metrodome from April 18-21, 2003.

Justin Morneau is 0 for 11 in this series and Joe Mauer 2 for 10. The Twins are already without Josh Willingham, placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Those Minnesota hitters have never faced New York starter David Phelps (5-5, 4.95 ERA), who surrendered a career-worst nine runs over 2 1-3 innings in Saturday's 11-3 defeat to the Orioles. Phelps had been 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA over his previous four starts.

Twins rookie starter Kyle Gibson (1-0, 3.00) makes his second career appearance after allowing two runs over six innings in Saturday's 6-2 home victory over Kansas City in his big-league debut.

The right-hander was a 2009 first-round pick who had to bounce back from Tommy John surgery during his time in the minors before becoming the first Minnesota first-rounder to win a start in his debut.

"We've been waiting for this for a while, and I'm sure he has, too," manager Ron Gardenhire said.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Yankees at Twins
Mon, Jul 1 Final 10 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Yankees at Twins
Tue, Jul 2 Final 7 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Yankees at Twins
Wed, Jul 3 Final 3 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 4
Yankees at Twins
Thu, Jul 4 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:49 AM

Preview: Rays (45-40) at Astros (31-54)
Game: 4
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Date: July 04, 2013 2:10 PM EDT


The Tampa Bay Rays have never fared too well on the road on Independence Day, but could be facing the right pitcher at the right time.

Houston Astros starter Jordan Lyles has been much worse in day games compared to night contests heading into Thursday's finale of this four-game set at Minute Maid Park.

Tampa Bay (45-40) has dropped eight of nine road games on July 4.

Although Lyles (4-3, 3.99 ERA) has never faced the Rays, he's 1-3 with a 7.01 ERA in five day starts as opposed to 3-0 with a 2.14 mark in seven at night.

The right-hander had gone seven straight starts in which he allowed two runs or fewer before he yielded 12 - nine earned - in losing his last two. He gave up four runs over four innings in Saturday's 7-2 defeat to the Angels.

Lyles will hope for the kind of support Chris Carter provided Wednesday with two homers and a career-high four RBIs in a 4-1 victory. Carter broke a 22-inning scoreless drought for Houston with a solo shot in the second, and he's the only Astros hitter to drive in a run over the last four games.

The Rays totaled 20 runs in winning the first two games of this series.

"It's nice to score some runs and get a win after the last two games where we didn't score and they outscored us by 20 runs,' Carter said. "I'm just happy we came out with a win right there.'

Houston (31-54) ended a five-game slide even though it has still only totaled nine runs over its last six contests. The Astros also halted a seven-game slide against the Rays - all at home.

Rays first baseman James Loney is 5 for 11 in this series and batting .411 during a 14-game streak. He leads the majors with a .371 road average.

Desmond Jennings is 5 for 12 in this series while batting leadoff after being in the No. 2 slot over his previous four games.

Tampa Bay star Evan Longoria is 2 for 8 with four strikeouts in this series after sitting out his third straight game in the opener due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He has served as the designated hitter in this series, and it's not clear when he will return to third base.

"We'll just have to wait to get him on the field, but we have him as a DH we'll take it,' manager Joe Maddon said.

Tampa Bay will start right-hander Chris Archer (2-3, 4.40), who said that his changeup wasn't effective Saturday when he gave up three runs over five innings and did not receive a decision in a 4-3 win over Detroit.

Archer, making his 11th career start, has never faced the Astros. Maddon believes the 24-year-old has a bright future.

"He's got the stuff to be a really high-end starter," Maddon told the Rays' official website. "He's got a great fastball, slider, changeup. He's got everything he needs."

Former Rays slugger Carlos Pena went 0 for 3 for Houston on Wednesday in his return to the lineup after missing four games following the drowning death of his nephew.


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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Rays at Astros
Mon, Jul 1 Final 12 to 0
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Rays at Astros
Tue, Jul 2 Final 8 to 0
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Rays at Astros
Wed, Jul 3 Final 1 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 4
Rays at Astros
Thu, Jul 4 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26740 Followers:33
07/04/2013 09:51 AM

Preview: Cubs (36-46) at Athletics (49-36)
Game: 3
Venue: O.co Coliseum
Date: July 04, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


The Chicago Cubs are again toiling near the bottom of the NL, but it's not because of their play against the AL.

Looking to continue their interleague success, the Cubs try to win their fourth straight series Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.

At 11-5 against AL opponents with four such games remaining, Chicago (36-46) secured its first winning interleague record since going 8-4 in 2007 with a 3-1 win at Oakland on Wednesday. The Cubs have hit .293 and averaged 6.1 runs against the AL, compared to .231 with 3.7 per contest against the NL.

Luis Valbuena homered and was one five players with two hits Wednesday for Chicago, which improved to 5-3 on a nine-game trip. A victory Thursday would give the Cubs a fourth consecutive series win after losing nine of the previous 11.

Alfonso Soriano has keyed their good results against AL opponents, batting .378 with 10 RBIs during a 10-game interleague hitting streak. He's hit .409 with nine RBIs in the last five, and 37 of his 39 RBIs this season have come in his last 50 games.

The Cubs hand the ball to Travis Wood (5-6, 2.85 ERA) on Thursday. The left-hander had a 3.06 ERA in five June starts but went 0-3 while his teammates provided him with an average 2.51 runs of support.

Wood, who went 0-8 during a 10-start stretch last season, allowed two runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings Friday at Seattle and left with a two-run lead before Chicago lost 5-4 in 10 innings.

"Travis pitched another heck of a ballgame," manager Dale Sveum said. "About as snakebit as it can get, giving up his wins."

Making his first appearance against the A's, Wood is 1-1 with a 3.16 ERA against AL opponents this season.

Brandon Moss homered for one of the four hits Wednesday for Oakland (49-36), which lost for the fourth time in 21 home contests. Josh Donaldson went 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts after going 10 for 20 with four homers and nine RBIs in his previous six contests.

The A's will recall Dan Straily (4-2, 5.00) from Triple-A to start in place of Jarrod Parker, who will be pushed back to Saturday because of a tight hamstring.

Sent to the minors June 23, Straily is 3-0 with a 3.54 ERA in his past seven major league starts but failed to complete five innings in the last two - both on the road. He allowed a combined eight runs and 14 hits in eight frames.

"He's done some good things for us this year," manager Bob Melvin told the Athletics' official website. "The last couple of starts haven't been his best, but he was on quite a roll for us there, too."

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last three home starts.

If the A's lose, they will have dropped two of three games in all three series they have played against the Cubs.


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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Cubs at Athletics
Tue, Jul 2 Final 7 to 8
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Cubs at Athletics
Wed, Jul 3 Final 3 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Cubs at Athletics
Thu, Jul 4 - 4:05PM EDT

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