cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
On 08/02/2013 02:08 AM in MLB

The Bum's Aug. MLB Best Bets + Pod's !

August Pitchers Report

August 1, 2013


With the MLB trade deadline at hand and the NFL preseason whetting our pigskin appetite, the month of August sets the table for the stretch run of the baseball season. Which pitchers can we count on to satisfy our tastes, and which ones figure to turn our stomach? Take a look below.

Listed below are hurlers that have enjoyed a two-to-one or better success ratio in team starts the last three seasons during the month of August. On the flip side, we’ve also listed pitchers that struggle in August team starts, winning 33% percent or less of their efforts. To qualify pitchers must have made a minimum of 10 starts, with at least one start each August over the last three years. I’ll be back next month with September’s Good Month Pitchers. Until then, enjoy…

GOOD MONTH PITCHERS

Chen, Bruce - 13-5

Since being placed back in the starting rotation, Chen has been a valuable commodity for Kansas City and continued to throw extremely well in producing a 2.09 ERA. If the Royals are really going to make a run at the wildcard, Chen will have to match his previous August numbers.

Cueto, Johnny - 10-5

Has been on the DL since June 30 with a right shoulder strain and there is no specific timetable for his return.

Gallardo, Yovanni - 12-4

Though just 27-years-old, the radar gun does not lie and the Milwaukee right-hander has lost three to four MPH off his fastball accounting for career-worst ERA (4.91). It does not help playing for one of the worst teams in baseball, but this is his own doing, with opposing right hand hitters ripping a robust .286 against his tosses. Can he turn it around this month like in the past?

Halladay, Roy - 12-5

On July 21, Halladay threw off a mound for the first time since having corrective surgery on his throwing shoulder. Reports have his range of motion much improved, but at this juncture his return this month is questionable.

Hernandez, Felix - 12-5

It is just remarkable. Year after year, King Felix keeps putting up phenomenal numbers, despite pitching for a mediocre Seattle club. This season has been no different and Hernandez has not lost a game since May 25 and history tells us he will not drop many this month either.

Kennedy, Ian - 13-5

After winning 36 games the last two years, it has not been a good year for the former-Arizona right-hander with only three victories. This season he’s giving up over a hit an inning and he’s on pace to surrender a career-high in walks if he generates enough innings. The Diamondbacks traded him to San Diego on July 31 to upgrade their depleted bullpen.

Oswalt, Roy - 9-3

Suffered an injury on July 22 and has been doing rehab work since. He could come back this month, but at 0-4 with 7.64 ERA with the Rockies, no reason to rush Oswalt back, who is a shell of his Astros days.

Sabathia, CC - 11-5

Sabathia turned 33 years old last month and has lost three to four MPH on his fastball. At 95+ you can miss spots and still get out big league hitters. However, with decreased movement and throwing in the low 90’s, CC’s ERA could be headed for the worst of his stellar career. Still thought of as a big-game pitcher, Sabathia has to rebound or the Yankees have no shot at the playoffs.

Santana, Ervin - 13-4

Though his record does not show it, the change of scenery helped Santana and the 30-year old Kansas City pitcher has been hovering around three all year with his ERA. Santana continues to pound the strike zone and he’s conceded only 31 walks in 21 starts. The Royals were playing good baseball at the end of July and if the Dominican dandy stays true to form, K.C. might be playing meaningful games all month long.

Scherzer, Max - 11-5

There have been Scherzer critics, pointing to his gaudy record of 15-1 being a byproduct of run support and very favorable pitching matchups. While there might be a speck of truth in this argument, ask opposing hitters what they think, batting .197 against him. And he’s second in punch-outs in the American League.

Shields, James - 13-4

The Royals righty is beginning to command his pitches better of late and working later into games, as was his custom with Tampa Bay. If Shields can continue to throw well and match his road ERA (2.50), he and Santana form a nice 1-2 combo at the top of the Kansas City rotation.

BAD MONTH PITCHERS

Burnett, A. J. - 4-11

At this time, Burnett only has 25 percent of the total wins he had in 2012, yet his ERA is a half a run lower, suggesting the lack of run support. If Burnett can keep throwing strikes with his cut fastball and sweeping curveball, the runs should come. Missing a few starts in June should help be fresher in the later stages of the season.

Cecil, Brett - 4-8

Has worked exclusively out of the Toronto bullpen in 2013.

Corriea, Kevin - 4-9

The Minnesota right-hander has done his part to be a part of the worst starting pitching staff in baseball and has a 5.27 ERA in his last 10 outings. A combined 80 hits and walks over 54.2 innings will lead to a bloated ERA. No reason to believe soft-tossing Corriea will improve his stock with the Twins.

Hanson, Tommy - 3-7

His record might say 4-2, but Hanson has been another bust for Los Angeles. To this point he’s only made 11 starts after being counted on as the fourth or fifth man in the Angels rotation, with an ERA over five. Hanson’s 11-4 rookie campaign of 2009 seems a long time ago.

Hernandez, Roberto - 4-10 (formerly Fausto Carmona)

Even the normally positive skipper of Tampa Bay Joe Maddon is finding it challenging to say upbeat phrases about this pitcher. The Rays have a plethora of outstanding starting pitchers and more are on the way. Simply speaking, by whatever name, Hernandez and his 4.71 ERA is not getting it done.

Lincecum, Tim - 5-11

Though Lincecum has generally thrown better this year compared to last, chances are this will be the third straight year he will finish with a record below .500. San Francisco will have to make a decision about the undersized state of Washington native, who will likely never again reach 220 or more strikeouts, which he did from 2008 to 2011. Strictly a 50-50 proposition these days.

Maholm, Paul - 5-10

After a quick start with the Braves, Maholm has settled into career pattern of being ordinary ball chucker. His only saving grace is being on Atlanta who can hit home runs in bunches. Right-handed batters are hitting .301 against his deliveries in 2013.

Ohlendorf, Ross - 2-9

Starting the season at Triple-A Syracuse, Ohlendorf was advanced to the Washington roster in June and has pitched mostly in relief except for a couple a good spot starts for the Nationals. The more he starts, the more the righty will be exposed.

Saunders, Joe - 5-11

At this juncture of his career, Saunders is a back of the rotation hurler who can eat up innings. This year his splits are incredible, and probably should be used accordingly. The lefty has a 3.62 Safeco Field ERA, compared to 5.53 in away games. And the time of day Saunders pitches have day and night results, literally. His ERA is 3.80 after dark and an unsettling 6.58 during the day.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:28 AM

Preview: Dodgers (58-49) at Cubs (49-59)
Game: 2
Venue: Wrigley Field
Date: August 02, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to match a franchise record with a 12th consecutive road win, they were based in Brooklyn and the Chicago Cubs put an end to that run at Wrigley Field.

The host Cubs will try to play spoiler again Friday when their series with the NL West leaders continues.

With Thursday's 6-4 series-opening victory and Arizona's 7-1 loss at Texas, the Dodgers (58-49) have moved a season-high 3 1/2 games in front in the West. They've also won 11 straight away from home for the first time since April 14-May 10, 1955. That streak ended the following day at Chicago, 10-8.

The franchise mark for consecutive road wins stretched from Aug. 25-Sept. 6, 1924, when the club was known as the Brooklyn Robins.

"It was a win. That's what I like," said manager Don Mattingly, whose team is averaging 6.9 runs during its surge outside Los Angeles. "It was a little bit of a battle."

The Dodgers, winners of 27 of 35 overall, continue this four-game set with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3, 3.14 ERA) facing the Cubs (49-59) for the first time. Ryu, 4-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 10 road starts, could set the major league record for most single-season wins by a South Korean rookie pitcher - he shares that with Jae Seo - after throwing seven innings of one-run, two-hit ball in Saturday's 4-1 victory over Cincinnati.

"It was probably one of his better performances tonight," Mattingly told the Dodgers' official website. "He had a little extra on his fastball. ... I expected him to really be good. He seems to rise to the occasion all the time."

Los Angeles has won Ryu's last six starts.

Chicago, loser of four of five on its homestand, has not fared as well with Travis Wood (7-7, 2.79) on the mound even though he's among the majors' leaders with 18 quality starts. The All-Star left-hander yielded one unearned run in seven innings Sunday as the Cubs won just for just the second time in his last 10 starts, 2-1 at San Francisco.

Wood has one of the lowest run-support averages in the majors at 3.26, but he's one of the best-hitting pitchers. He went 2 for 3 with a homer against the Giants, increasing his batting average to .293.

"I'm not up there trying to hit homers," Wood, who leads all pitchers with three home runs, told the Cubs' official website. "I'm just trying to put good swings on it."

The Cubs have an NL-best 72 homers at home after Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo both went deep twice Thursday. The last time two Chicago players hit two homers in the same game was June 27, 2011, when Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez did it.

"Other than that they shut us down," Rizzo said.

It's been hard to shut down Hanley Ramirez on the road. The Dodgers shortstop is batting .383 in 26 games outside Los Angeles after going 1 for 5 with a two-run double Thursday.

Ramirez has two doubles in five at_bats off Wood, who is 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in three starts against Los Angeles.

These clubs have alternated wins and losses in their last 12 matchups on Chicago's North Side.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Dodgers at Cubs
Thu, Aug 1 Final 6 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Dodgers at Cubs
Fri, Aug 2 - 4:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Dodgers at Cubs
Sat, Aug 3 - 4:05PM EDT

GAME 4
Dodgers at Cubs
Sun, Aug 4 - 2:20PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:33 AM

Preview: Mariners (50-58) at Orioles (60-49)
Game: 1
Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Date: August 02, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


After their newest acquisition helped them get back on track, the Baltimore Orioles appear to have a good chance to keep it going behind one of baseball's winningest pitchers.

Chris Tillman tries for his 14th victory Friday night in the opener of a three-game home series against a Seattle Mariners team he's dominated.

One day after being acquired from Houston, Bud Norris allowed two runs and four hits over six innings in Thursday's 6-3 victory to give the Orioles a series win over his former club.

"These guys got a great club over here," Norris said. "I just want to bring my part to the table."

Baltimore (60-49) certainly bounced back at the plate, going 4 for 6 with runners in scoring position and finishing with 11 hits. The Orioles had totaled 19 runs while hitting .140 (6 for 43) in those situations during a 2-6 stretch.

Slugger Chris Davis hit his second home run in three games after a season-worst 10-game drought, while Manny Machado went 2 for 4 following a 3-for-34 slump.

Machado has hit safely in each of his six career games versus the Mariners (50-58) and is 5 for 13 with three doubles and a homer against them this season.

They'll attempt to continue that production and help Tillman (13-3, 3.62 ERA) pull within one win of Detroit's Max Scherzer for the major league lead.

Tillman has posted a 2.98 ERA over his last 10 starts, winning nine of those after holding Boston to two hits over seven innings in Friday's 6-0 victory. The right-hander matched a career high with eight strikeouts in becoming the Orioles' first 13-game winner since Erik Bedard in 2007.

"He's going out there and doing it," outfielder Adam Jones said. "That's what we ask of him. He's got the talent. He's got the stuff."

Tillman has been outstanding at Camden Yards with a 2.25 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 32 innings during a five-start winning streak there.

He's also been especially dominant versus the Mariners, going 4-0 with an 0.98 ERA in four career starts.

Kyle Seager, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley are a combined 2 for 24 in this matchup, though Seager is hitting .400 since July 1.

The Mariners hope to regroup after their bullpen blew a six-run lead in the final two innings of an 8-7 loss in Boston on Thursday. They'll try to avoid their seventh loss in nine games following an eight-game winning streak.

Kendrys Morales had a season-high four hits Thursday, leaving him 9 for 13 over his last three games. He's batting .394 with 10 RBIs in nine career games in Baltimore.

Aaron Harang (5-9, 4.89) looks to give Seattle a solid performance after allowing one run and three hits over five innings in Saturday's 4-0 loss to Minnesota.

The right-hander has gone 1-4 with a 6.03 ERA in six road starts.

Harang helped the Mariners take two of three from the Orioles in Seattle when he allowed two runs and four hits over six innings in an 8-3 win on May 1.

Nate McLouth went 0 for 3 against Harang in that contest, dropping his career average in their matchups to .100 (3 for 30).

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Mariners at Orioles
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 2
Mariners at Orioles
Sat, Aug 3 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Mariners at Orioles
Sun, Aug 4 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:35 AM

Preview: White Sox (40-66) at Tigers (61-45)
Game: 1
Venue: Comerica Park
Date: August 02, 2013 7:08 PM EDT


There's a good chance that Miguel Cabrera will be back in the lineup Friday night.

The Detroit Tigers have reason to believe Jhonny Peralta won't be.

Cabrera is expected back for the Tigers, who could give Jose Iglesias his club debut depending on Peralta's status for the opener of a three-game home set with the lowly Chicago White Sox.

Detroit (61-45) played without the reigning AL MVP in Wednesday's 11-1 win over Washington. Cabrera was out after re-aggravating a strained lower abdomen.

"I feel better," Cabrera said. "Hopefully, we can get this out of the way quick and try to be 100 percent Friday."

Athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Cabrera's injury is related to the hip issue that kept the slugger out of four games last week.

Manager Jim Leyland said the situation has been difficult for him as well as Cabrera.

"That's one of those tough things for the player because he wants to play so bad," Leyland said. "It's also one of the tough things for the manager because you don't know if you should give him another day, is he good to be put back in there? I don't really know that."

While Cabrera is no doubt Detroit's biggest threat, Peralta has turned in a solid season with a team-high 29 doubles and a .307 average. The shortstop, however, has been linked to the Biogenesis case and could draw a suspension from Major League Baseball.

"I don't feel nervous," Peralta said. "But yeah, I worry a little bit because I want to play every day here, and I love to be here in Detroit."

The Tigers protected themselves from the possibility of losing Peralta by acquiring Iglesias from Boston in a three-team trade Tuesday night that also involved Chicago. Iglesias batted .330 in 63 games for the Red Sox this year.

"If it were a 15-day thing, like a typical injury, I think we could have comfortably dealt with it with the players we already have," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "But when you start to talk about 50 days and a possible playoff run, we feel better going ahead with Jose."

The Tigers are seeking their first six-game win streak since last Aug. 1-7, and they've won nine of 10 overall.

Detroit's lead in the AL Central is two games over Cleveland, which added to Chicago's woes by sweeping a four-game set this week.

The White Sox (40-66) lost the first three games by allowing the Indians to score the go-ahead or winning runs in their final at_bats before Thursday's 6-1 defeat.

"They just outplayed us," manager Robin Ventura said. "Today is probably magnified because of what happened earlier in the series."

Chicago will try to avoid matching a season-high eight-game slide from May 27-June 4 by sending Hector Santiago (3-6, 3.33 ERA) to the mound. The White Sox have dropped Santiago's last six starts.

The left-hander's lone career start against Detroit was a 6-2 loss July 23 in which he allowed six runs - three earned - over six innings.

Tigers starter Doug Fister (9-5, 3.67) has posted a 1.35 ERA in winning his last three outings. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 3.89 ERA in seven starts against the White Sox, who are last in the AL at 3.7 runs per game.

Detroit has taken four of seven 2013 meetings.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
White Sox at Tigers
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:08PM EDT

GAME 2
White Sox at Tigers
Sat, Aug 3 - 7:08PM EDT

GAME 3
White Sox at Tigers
Sun, Aug 4 - 1:08PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:37 AM

Preview: Braves (64-45) at Phillies (50-58)
Game: 1
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: August 02, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


The Atlanta Braves have powered their way to their largest division lead in a decade.

Perhaps the NL East leaders can carry over some of that offense to a Kris Medlen start.

The right-hander will try to guide the visiting Braves to an eighth consecutive victory in Friday night's series opener against the slumping Philadelphia Phillies.

Led by two homers and five RBIs from Justin Upton and a seventh consecutive multi-hit game from NL batting leader Chris Johnson, Atlanta (64-45) capped a perfect seven-game homestand with Thursday's 11-2 victory over Colorado. The Braves moved 11 1/2 games in front of idle Washington, a first-place cushion they last had on Sept. 21, 2003.

"I feel like this is the best I've seen us play consecutively so far,' shortstop Andrelton Simmons said.

While Atlanta is batting .336 with 7.3 runs per game since its last defeat, it hasn't been doing much to back Medlen (7-10, 3.74 ERA), who has a team-low 3.53 run-support average.

The Braves had scored three total runs in Medlen's previous three starts - all losses - before a 5-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday when he threw six innings of two-run ball.

Medlen hasn't been at his best in two starts against the Phillies (50-58) this season, compiling a 6.97 ERA while losing each time.

The Braves, who plated three total runs in those starts, have scored seven times in three losses to Philadelphia this season compared to 29 in their three wins.

The Phillies moved a game above .500 by winning their first contest after the All-Star break, but they're 1-10 since after Thursday's 2-1 loss to San Francisco. Jonathan Papelbon blew his sixth save in his last 13 chances, and Philadelphia wasted a bases-loaded, no-out chance in the bottom half of the ninth.

"I want to preserve these wins for the starters,' Papelbon said. "Some nights you just scratch your head.'

The Phillies will try to regroup with Ethan Martin making his major league debut. The 24-year-old right-hander, 11-5 with a 4.12 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, is taking the spot of Cliff Lee (sore neck).

"I want to come up here and show what I got and prove to them that I can be here," Martin, who was acquired in last season's deal that sent Shane Victorino to the Dodgers, told the Phillies' official website. "If Cliff comes back and it's my time to go back down, I want to show to them and put it in the back of their heads whenever they need somebody else."

The Athens, Ga., native has some extra motivation by facing the team he grew up supporting.

"I don't really think it's set in yet," Martin said. "Hopefully, it doesn't until afterward. But, we'll go from there, walk out on the mound and see how it goes."

It hasn't gone well for pitchers facing Johnson, who can tie a Braves record with an eighth consecutive multi-hit game. The last to accomplish this feat was Hank Aaron from September 9-17, 1959, when the team was based in Milwaukee.

Johnson, who has hit safely in 10 straight to raise his batting average to .346, is 6 for 19 with a homer off Phillies pitching in 2013.

The Braves dropped two of three in their only visit to Philadelphia this season from July 5-7.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Braves at Phillies
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 2
Braves at Phillies
Sat, Aug 3 - 4:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Braves at Phillies
Sun, Aug 4 - 8:05PM EDT


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:39 AM

Preview: Rockies (51-59) at Pirates (65-43)
Game: 1
Venue: PNC Park
Date: August 02, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


The Pittsburgh Pirates' pitching staff looked nothing like the best in the majors Thursday, but Gerrit Cole's steady improvement offers hope things will be much different Friday night.

The Pirates try to forget about their most lopsided loss of the season by giving the ball to Cole in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies.

Pittsburgh (65-43) came into Thursday with a 3.03 ERA, the best in baseball by more than a quarter-run, after holding St. Louis to seven total in opening a five-game series with four wins.

The wheels came off in the finale, as starter Charlie Morton surrendered five runs in six innings before the bullpen was responsible for an eight-run seventh in a 13-0 loss that cut the Pirates' NL Central lead over the Cardinals to 1 1/2 games.

"We had kept the cat in the bag for four games," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Tonight, we let it out."

Pittsburgh's past two starters allowed a total of 20 hits - the club's worst back-to-back showing this season - and nine earned runs in 10 innings, but there's reason to believe those brief struggles won't continue.

Cole (5-4, 3.56 ERA) won four of his first five starts despite having a 3.94 ERA and striking out just 16 in 29 2-3 innings, but he's been better in his last four starts despite going 1-3. The right-hander has made it through seven innings three times - something he didn't do once in his first five outings - and posted a 3.16 ERA.

He's struck out 21 in 26 innings, including a season-high eight while going seven in Sunday's 3-2 loss at Miami. That impressed his counterpart, young Marlins All-Star Jose Fernandez.

"He's a great pitcher," Fernandez said. "His stuff is good. I saw it hitting, and I didn't like it."

This will be Cole's first look at the Rockies (51-59), and it appears he'll catch at least one big break - if not two. Carlos Gonzalez likely won't play in this series after his sprained right middle finger flared up Wednesday, and fellow All-Star outfielder Michael Cuddyer's status is unclear after he missed Thursday's game to tend to a family issue.

Cole made his major league debut June 11, the same day Jhoulys Chacin (9-5, 3.54) began to reverse his early season woes. Armed with a 4.59 ERA coming into that outing against Washington, Chacin has since gone 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in nine starts.

What bodes well for him Friday is how he's excelled away from Coors Field. The right-hander has a 1.90 ERA on the road, a mark that's on pace to surpass his own 2010 ERA (2.44) for the best outside Denver in franchise history.

What's far less encouraging for manager Walt Weiss is Chacin's brief track record against the Pirates. He's 1-3 with a 6.97 ERA in four starts and has allowed four homers in 20 2-3 innings - the same number he's surrendered in 127 innings in 2013 for the majors' best home run per nine innings rate (0.28).

Garrett Jones hit two of those, while Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez also have taken Chacin deep.

The Rockies have lost four of their last five series in Pittsburgh, but they have to be thrilled to be anywhere but Turner Field after the past four days. The Braves scored at least nine runs each time in a four-game sweep, capping it with Thursday's 11-2 win.

"I'll make sure that we still compete," Weiss said. "I don't question these guys in that respect. ... That's something that is expected all the time."

Colorado has been outscored 123-60 in losing 17 of 23 on the road.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Rockies at Pirates
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 2
Rockies at Pirates
Sat, Aug 3 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Rockies at Pirates
Sun, Aug 4 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:41 AM

Preview: Diamondbacks (55-53) at Red Sox (66-44)
Game: 1
Venue: Fenway Park
Date: August 02, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


Based on the way Jon Lester has pitched of late and fared against NL opponents in his career, the Boston Red Sox would appear to have a good chance to continue their success during interleague play.

Looking for a third straight winning start, Lester tries to help the Red Sox to a seventh consecutive interleague victory Friday night against the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks.

At 7-2 and with 11 interleague games remaining, Boston (66-44) appears in good position to record a ninth straight winning season against NL opponents. The Red Sox have batted .376 with 31 extra-base hits while outscoring their last six interleague opponents 39-13.

Boston's also averaged 6.0 runs during a five-game home winning streak against Arizona (55-53).

Lester (10-6, 4.27 ERA) is 11-5 with a 3.04 ERA in 22 interleague starts, and though he's 0-2 in his last four against the NL at Fenway Park, the left-hander has posted a 3.10 ERA during that stretch. Lester allowed a run in seven innings of a 2-1 walkoff victory over San Diego on July 3.

He yielded a two-run homer and three other hits in seven innings of a 6-2 win over visiting Arizona in 2010.

Lester has given up two runs over 13 1-3 innings of his last two outings overall, allowing four hits over seven in Sunday's 5-0 victory at Baltimore.

"A Jon Lester pitching to his capabilities is going to be one of the better pitchers in the league," manager John Farrell told the Red Sox's official website. "He's shown it the last couple of times out."

Owner of a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East, Boston looks for a fourth consecutive win after it scored six times in the ninth to beat Seattle 8-7 on Thursday. Daniel Nava delivered a deep game-winning single less than 24 hours after the Red Sox won 5-4 in 15 innings early Thursday morning.

"We don't quit. Ever," said Farrell, whose team has a major-league high 11 walkoff victories. "We truly believe we have a chance to do something special on a given night or given year. And that happens to be this year."

Shane Victorino drove in three runs Thursday and went 7 for 15 in the series after going 4 for 29 in the previous seven contests.

Victorino has hit .381 (8 for 21) during interleague play this season.

Teammate Dustin Pedroia is batting .394 with a homer and 11 RBIs against NL opponents this year. He's 2 for 2 with a double against scheduled Arizona starter Randall Delgado (3-3, 2.85), who has thrown 14 2-3 scoreless innings while winning two straight starts.

The right-hander recorded his first career complete game while pitching a three-hitter in last Friday's 10-0 victory over San Diego.

"This is what he's been building up toward," manager Kirk Gibson said about Delgado, who went 5-10 with a 3.98 ERA in 24 starts the past two seasons for Atlanta before being dealt to Arizona in the Justin Upton deal.

Delgado hopes this trip to Fenway goes better than his first one last year when he allowed four runs and six hits in 1 1-3 innings of an 8-4 loss.

Aside from a 7-0 win at Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Diamondbacks have totaled six runs during four losses over a five-game stretch.

All-Star Paul Goldschmidt is 3 for 28 with 12 strikeouts in his last seven games.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Diamondbacks at Red Sox
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Diamondbacks at Red Sox
Sat, Aug 3 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Diamondbacks at Red Sox
Sun, Aug 4 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:43 AM

Preview: Indians (60-48) at Marlins (42-65)
Game: 1
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: August 02, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The Cleveland Indians are on the verge of their longest win streak in five seasons but are heading on the road, where victories haven't been plentiful lately.

A matchup with the NL's worst team Friday night would appear to help Cleveland's chances, but the Miami Marlins have played relatively well of late and will have All-Star right-hander Jose Fernandez on the mound.

Cleveland (60-48) hasn't won nine in a row since a 10-game streak Aug. 17-27, 2008, but is close to pulling off that feat after sweeping a homestand against Texas and the Chicago White Sox. Ryan Raburn homered twice and drove in four runs in a 6-1 victory over Chicago on Thursday.

"The thing about it, which I enjoy, is the fact that every night it's somebody different. That shows you the kind of chemistry we have," infielder Mike Aviles told the team's website. "We're always rooting for each other. It shows you the type of depth we possess right now. It's a fun way to win every night. Something different."

Raburn is hitting .409 with three homers and nine RBIs in his last six games, and Yan Gomes is 11 for 18 with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs in his last six.

While they've helped push Cleveland's home winning streak to 11, the club has dropped six of eight on the road. The Indians have batted .242 in that stretch but are hitting .307 over their last eight games.

Cleveland also has a 2.28 ERA during the win streak, and Ubaldo Jimenez (8-5, 4.17 ERA) helped by giving up two hits over eight innings in a 6-0 victory over Texas on Sunday.

"It's good competition," Jimenez said of the Indians' pitching success. "You don't want to be the guy who goes out there and doesn't pitch well. Everybody wants to pitch a good game."

In the Indians' first visit to Marlins Park, Jimenez will seek to win back-to-back starts for the first time since a three-game win streak April 29-May 11. However, he's failed to get through six innings in six straight road starts, going 0-1 with a 4.60 ERA in the last three.

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in four career matchups with the Marlins.

He'll face a team that has hit .172 in its last five games but has won seven of 11. Miami has a 2.55 ERA in that span following a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday.

The Marlins (42-65) now try for a season high-tying third win in a row behind Fernandez (7-5, 2.71), who looks to earn a career-best third straight victory.

Fernandez, who has a 2.14 ERA in his last three starts, set a team rookie record with 13 strikeouts and gave up two runs over eight innings Sunday in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh.

"We've seen Jose kind of get to that next level. He was able to do that and he dominated. It was nice," manager Mike Redmond told the team's website.

Fernandez will face the Indians for the first time while the Marlins will have their second matchup with Cleveland in as many seasons. Miami took two of three from the Indians from May 18-20, 2012.

Cleveland won its final two games in its most recent visit to Miami in 2007 after losing five straight there, beginning with Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Indians at Marlins
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Indians at Marlins
Sat, Aug 3 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Indians at Marlins
Sun, Aug 4 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:45 AM

Preview: Royals (54-51) at Mets (48-58)
Game: 1
Venue: Citi Field
Date: August 02, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The Kansas City Royals' current string of victories hasn't come against impressive competition, and Friday night's series opener against the New York Mets wouldn't appear to be much more difficult.

They likely won't care if it means the team's longest winning streak in 19 years.

Kansas City aims for its 10th straight victory as it plays in Citi Field for the first time.

The Royals (54-51) claimed a 7-2 victory at Minnesota on Thursday, marking their ninth win in a row for the first time since starting 9-0 in 2003. They were again led by strong pitching, with James Shields allowing two runs in six innings and Luke Hochevar and Louis Coleman combining for three scoreless.

The last six wins have come against the Chicago White Sox and Twins, who are a combined 41 games under .500. The first three were against Baltimore, which was 12-13 in July.

However, Kansas City has received a quality start in all nine wins while the bullpen has allowed three runs in 24 2-3 innings.

The Royals haven't won 10 straight since a 14-game streak July 23-Aug. 5, 1994.

"We're playing some really good baseball and we believe in ourselves right now," Shields said. "Going into this last two months, this is the kind of baseball we need to play."

Scheduled starter Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50 ERA) will look to keep the Royals' run going as he comes off one of his best performances of the season. The right-hander allowed four singles over 7 1-3 innings to outpitch Chris Sale in a 1-0 win at Chicago on Saturday.

Davis had lost each of his past four starts while posting a 10.91 ERA.

"I got ahead of a lot more guys tonight," said Davis, who threw a scoreless inning of relief with Tampa Bay in his only appearance against New York on June 13, 2012. "I got some early swings to help me get deeper in the ballgame, too."

Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13) hadn't lost in six straight starts while registering a 3.05 ERA before allowing four runs - all on three homers - over seven innings of a 4-1 loss at Washington on Saturday. He hadn't surrendered a homer in his previous five starts, spanning 33 1-3 innings.

"The balls they hit out, they were mistakes, they weren't good pitches," Gee said.

New York (48-58) was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 in a 3-0 loss at Miami on Thursday, the first time the club had been shut out since May 25 against Atlanta.

The Mets have scored 15 runs in the past seven games.

"There's no secret," manager Terry Collins said. "If we knew what it was, we'd fix it. Guys aren't driving in runs. There's nothing wrong with the approach. We're not getting good swings at the pitches we can hit and we're fouling them off. Therefore we're not driving them in."

Royals left fielder Alex Gordon tripled for the third time in seven games Thursday and is hitting .383 in 11 interleague contests this year.

Kansas City can earn its seventh straight road victory for the first time since an eight-game streak Sept. 13-27, 2008.

These teams have split six all-time matchups and will be meeting for the first time since 2004.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Royals at Mets
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Royals at Mets
Sat, Aug 3 - 1:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Royals at Mets
Sun, Aug 4 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24898 Followers:33
08/02/2013 09:47 AM

Preview: Cardinals (63-44) at Reds (60-49)
Game: 1
Venue: Great American Ball Park
Date: August 02, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The St. Louis Cardinals began a daunting 11-game trip leading the NL Central.

They'll enter the final stretch of that trek hoping not to lose any more ground in the division standings.

After snapping their longest slide of the season, the Cardinals try to continue their recent success against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

St. Louis (63-44) held a 2 1/2-game division lead when the trip began in Atlanta last Friday. However, the Cardinals totaled three runs during a three-game sweep at the hands of the Braves, then dropped the first four at Pittsburgh before ending their seven-game skid with a 13-0 rout of the Pirates on Thursday.

The Cardinals trail Pittsburgh by 1 1/2 games after Allen Craig, Jon Jay and Tony Cruz each had two RBIs in helping the club confidently exhale for the moment.

"(Thursday) was a good sign for our team,' said Craig, who went 3 for 9 the last two games after suffering through an 0-for-22 slump. "There was no panic. We brought a lot of energy.

"You hate to go into lulls like we did because we've played so well all season long but I think this game should get us going again.'

St. Louis has won six of nine against the Reds (60-49) this season, and scored 22 runs while taking two of three at Great American Ballpark in June.

Craig, however, is 1 for 14 against Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo (9-8, 3.36 ERA), who is 0-3 with a 4.13 ERA in his last four starts against the Cardinals.

He's 0-2 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts this season versus St. Louis, with five of the eight runs he allowed coming on home runs by Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday and Matt Adams.

A lifetime .344 hitter with two homers against Arroyo, Beltran is 8 for 22 with two home runs in his last five games versus Cincinnati.

The right-hander gave up a run over 16 innings to win two straight starts before he yielded three in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-1 loss at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

Owners of the NL's second wild-card spot, the Reds snapped a five-game losing streak by ending a 5-6 trip with a 4-1 victory at San Diego on Wednesday. Cincinnati, which has scored nine runs over its last six contests, is 5 1/2 games back of the Pirates and four behind the Cardinals in the Central.

"From the won-loss standpoint, we've been pretty good," Arroyo told the Reds' official website. 'We have to turn it up another notch to keep up with those guys.

"If we don't beat those guys, they're not going to lose enough games elsewhere for us to catch them."

First baseman Joey Votto is batting .375 against the Cardinals this season but he's 0 for 2 against St. Louis starter Shelby Miller (10-7, 2.79 ERA). The right-hander allowed just one hit and struck out seven in six innings of a 1-0 victory over Cincinnati in the final regular-season game of 2012.

Miller held the Phillies to three hits over six scoreless innings in a 4-1 win July 23, but gave up three runs over 5 2-3 in a 5-2 loss at Atlanta on Sunday.


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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Cardinals at Reds
Fri, Aug 2 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 2
Cardinals at Reds
Sat, Aug 3 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Cardinals at Reds
Sun, Aug 4 - 1:10PM EDT

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