cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:31 AM

Preview: Marlins (49-81) at Nationals (66-65)
Game: 2
Venue: Nationals Park
Date: August 28, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Although they face long odds in their quest to get back to the playoffs, the Washington Nationals haven't given up hope during one of their best stretches.

Sending Stephen Strasburg to the mound at Nationals Park against baseball's worst offense could help add to that run.

Strasburg and the Nationals will try for their seventh win in eight games Wednesday night when they take on the visiting Miami Marlins.

Ross Ohlendorf became the latest pitcher to stymie the Marlins (49-81), allowing one run and three hits over five innings in a 2-1 win in Tuesday's series opener. NL-worst Miami has averaged 2.0 runs and hit .181 while dropping six of seven and ranks last in the major leagues with 416 runs, 73 home runs and a .230 batting average.

Ian Desmond continued his tear at home with three hits to help the Nationals (66-65) win their fourth straight in the nation's capital against the Marlins. He's 14 for 28 during a seven-game hitting streak in Washington.

The defending NL East champs moved within seven games of Cincinnati for the final NL wild-card spot - with Arizona in between - following the Reds' loss in St. Louis.

"Now's the time,' manager Davey Johnson said. "I still think we need to win close to 90 games (to make the playoffs). So every game we need to play well, we need to pitch well.'

Johnson's club will try to keep trimming that deficit by giving the ball to Strasburg (6-9, 3.00 ERA), who is 5-4 with a 1.58 ERA in 13 home starts. He's given up three runs and 11 hits with 31 strikeouts over 24 innings in his last three there.

Strasburg was an out away from his second complete game in three starts before Donnie Murphy hit a game-tying two-run homer in the Nationals' 5-4, 13-inning win at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Strasburg struck out eight while allowing four runs over 8 2-3 innings.

"I can look at the last inning or I can look at all the other innings where I was pitching really well, so I'm going to focus on the positive," Strasburg told the team's official website.

The right-hander hasn't given up a run in three of his last four home meetings against Miami after he yielded three hits over seven frames in a 2-0 opening-day victory.

The Marlins, though, got the best of Strasburg the last time they met at Marlins Park, tagging him for a career-worst seven earned runs over two innings in an 8-3 loss July 12.

Giancarlo Stanton homered off Strasburg in that meeting and is 6 for 9 with two homers and three doubles against him the past two seasons. The slugger has struggled on the road, however, with a .163 average, one home run and four RBIs since June 18.

Miami counters with Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.86), who has gone 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in his last three starts - all Miami losses. He surrendered a season-worst five runs over five innings in Thursday's 6-0 loss to the Dodgers.

The right-hander had a better performance the last time he faced the Nationals, allowing two runs and nine hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 10-inning loss on July 14.

Denard Span had two hits off Alvarez in that meeting and is batting .395 during a 10-game hitting streak overall.

Teammate Bryce Harper is 3 for 6 with a homer and double when facing Alvarez and batting .405 over a nine-game hitting streak.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Marlins at Nationals
Tue, Aug 27 Final 1 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Marlins at Nationals
Wed, Aug 28 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Marlins at Nationals
Thu, Aug 29 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:32 AM

Preview: Brewers (58-73) at Pirates (76-55)
Game: 2
Venue: PNC Park
Date: August 28, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


The Pittsburgh Pirates lineup just received an unexpected boost.

They hope the addition of Marlon Byrd and John Buck helps them snap a three-game losing streak Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.

"It's pretty neat to see us make a move like this," second baseman Neil Walker said. "We didn't expect something to happen this late. You usually figure it is something that would happen at the (July 31 non-waiver) trade deadline.

"But these are established guys who can help us get to where we want to go."

Pittsburgh (76-55), 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead, acquired Byrd and Buck from the New York Mets on Tuesday for minor league infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.

The acquisition of Byrd helps fill a void left by Tuesday's news that left fielder Starling Marte will be out for another couple of weeks with a right hand injury.

Byrd has a career-high 21 home runs along with 71 RBIs, and he'll be relied upon to provide power for a team which is among the worst in baseball with 25 home runs against left-handed pitching. Besides being one of the NL leaders with seven homers versus southpaws, Byrd tops the majors since June 28 with a .455 average against left-handers.

"We don't expect him to be a savior, but to be better in (right field) than what we've had so far," general manager Neal Huntington told the team's official website.

Though Byrd may play left field while Marte is out, he could eventually shift across the diamond considering regular right fielder Jose Tabata is batting .269 with four homers.

Buck also can provide some pop, having hit 15 homers and driven in 60 runs this year, but he's expected to back up catcher Russell Martin. Martin, though, has hit .111 without a homer in his last 10 games.

The Pirates did record their most hits since the All-Star break with 15 on Tuesday, but they lost 7-6 to the Brewers (58-73) to open this three-game set.

Aramis Ramirez had three hits and four RBIs for Milwaukee, which blew a five-run lead before Caleb Gindl delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.

"It's a good win for us," said Ramirez, who hit his 350th career home run. "We're not going to the playoffs, but it's fun to play teams that are going to the playoffs. This felt like a playoff game."

Pittsburgh scheduled starter Charlie Morton (5-3, 3.42 ERA) has been looking playoff-ready, going 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his last four outings. He needed just 83 pitches Friday to go 7 2-3 innings, allowing one run as he beat San Francisco in a 3-1 victory.

Morton, whose 80.1 ground ball percentage would lead the majors if he had enough innings to qualify, has not yielded a home run in his last 38 2-3 innings.

The right-hander, though, is 0-4 with a 6.25 ERA against the Brewers.

Counterpart Tom Gorzelanny (3-5, 3.60) has had no such trouble with his opponent, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in nine games versus Pittsburgh, but he's been struggling.

The former reliever has been tagged for 12 runs and 16 hits in 8 1-3 innings over his last two starts. He's 2-4 with a 4.81 ERA in eight outings since joining Milwaukee's rotation.

Buck has homered twice off Gorzelanny in eight at_bats and Byrd is 3 for 9 against him.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Brewers at Pirates
Tue, Aug 27 Final 7 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Brewers at Pirates
Wed, Aug 28 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Brewers at Pirates
Thu, Aug 29 - 7:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:34 AM

Preview: Orioles (70-60) at Red Sox (78-55)
Game: 2
Venue: Fenway Park
Date: August 28, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


A three-game winning streak has helped give the Boston Red Sox a cushion atop the AL East.

Giving John Lackey some support offensively may help them increase that lead.

After a pair of offensive outbursts in their most recent victories, the Red Sox look to keep rolling at the plate Wednesday night as they continue this three-game set with the visiting Baltimore Orioles.

Boston (78-55) was tied with Tampa Bay for first place in the division on Sunday, but winning three games in a row - while putting up 20 runs in their last two - has moved the Red Sox 2 1/2 games clear of the Rays.

They'll now turn to Lackey (8-11, 3.17 ERA) as they look for their first four-game winning streak since the All-Star break.

After missing all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, Lackey's ERA is his lowest since a career-best 3.01 with the Los Angeles Angels in 2007. He's also averaging a personal-low 1.95 walks per nine innings.

The right-hander, though, owns a losing record thanks in part to being backed by an average of 2.4 runs over his past nine games, getting none in five of those.

He's 2-6 with a 3.67 ERA over that stretch, and could've used some help in Friday's 2-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lackey allowed a two-run homer in the fourth while tossing a three-hitter as the offense mustered a pair of singles.

"That's about as good as I've felt this year. I had everything pretty much working for me," Lackey said. "It's frustrating when one pitch can decide a game."

He's split two starts versus Baltimore (70-60) with a 4.73 ERA, but those meetings came on the road. In nine starts at Fenway Park this season, Lackey is 5-2 with a 2.07 ERA that's the AL's second-best mark at home.

He's getting 5.16 runs of support per nine innings at home, and could be in for some more help after Boston pounded out 14 hits, including five doubles and three homers, en route to a 13-2 win over the Orioles in this series opener.

Shane Victorino is hitting .444 with four homers, five doubles and 11 RBIs in his last nine games. He's hit three of those homers while collecting five hits in the past two contests, and left Fenway twice while producing a career-high seven RBIs and four runs Tuesday.

The Orioles are 3 1/2 games back of Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot, but have dropped four of seven after matching their season high for runs allowed Tuesday.

"We got our butts kicked, and there's no doubt about that, but it's over now. We're (looking) forward and we're ready to go (Wednesday)," catcher Matt Wieters told the team's official website.

Bud Norris (9-10, 4.22) will get the ball for the Orioles as he tries to put his worst start with his new team behind him. The right-hander was battered for seven runs, nine hits and two homers in 4 2-3 innings of a 9-7 win over Oakland on Friday.

He's allowed 25 baserunners over 10 1-3 innings in his last two outings after yielding just 21 over 17 innings in his first three starts with Baltimore.

He's 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two career starts versus the Red Sox, and that defeat came in his only visit to Fenway Park on April 28. He allowed five runs - three earned - while fanning six in six innings of a 6-1 loss with the Astros.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Orioles at Red Sox
Tue, Aug 27 Final 2 to 13
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Orioles at Red Sox
Wed, Aug 28 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Orioles at Red Sox
Thu, Aug 29 - 7:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:35 AM

Preview: Indians (71-60) at Braves (79-52)
Game: 2
Venue: Turner Field
Date: August 28, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


Paul Maholm's first outing after coming off the disabled list didn't go quite as well as he would have liked, but returning to the mound at Turner Field may be just what he needs.

Already with the best home record in the majors, the Atlanta Braves may get Dan Uggla back in the lineup as they look to deal the playoff-hopeful Cleveland Indians another defeat Wednesday night.

Maholm (9-10, 4.51 ERA) made his first start in more than a month Thursday and allowed five runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to St. Louis. He didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning but began to feel fatigued in the fifth.

"It was good to get out there and compete,' Maholm said after pitching for the first time since leaving a loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 20 with a bruised left wrist. "Hopefully in five days, I'll be able to make some adjustments and get back out there.'

The left-hander has lost his last four starts while posting a 9.16 ERA, though each was on the road. Maholm is 5-2 with a 1.93 ERA in seven home starts this season, allowing two earned runs or fewer in each outing.

Atlanta (79-52), which leads the NL East by 13 games over Washington, improved its baseball-best home record to 45-18 with a 2-0 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday. The Braves only had three hits, but Elliot Johnson's two-run triple in the second inning did the damage.

Uggla, who last played Aug. 12, went 1 for 30 in his last nine games before undergoing corrective eye surgery, but he went 2 for 4 with a homer in a rehab game for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the second baseman could be activated from the DL for this contest.

"His timing is getting better and better," Gonzalez told the team's official website. "Hopefully, we can get him up here and he can do what he can do."

Uggla struck out in his only career plate appearance against Justin Masterson, who takes the mound for Cleveland.

Masterson (14-9, 3.50) went 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA over his previous three starts before allowing one run in 6 2-3 innings of last Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels. He tied his season high with five walks, though, and has allowed a total of 70 - the third-most in the AL.

Teammate Nick Swisher still has been impressed with the right-hander.

"He's an All-Star for us, man," Swisher told the team's official website. "His numbers speak for themselves. This dude's doing it, man. I'm so happy I don't have to face him anymore."

Masterson has never started against the Braves, making only two relief appearances against them in 2009 while with Boston. He'll look to help Cleveland bounce back from only its second loss in seven contests.

The Indians (71-60) fell three games behind Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot after the Athletics beat Detroit 6-3 in a six-inning, rain-shortened contest.

Asdrubal Cabrera had half of the team's six hits Tuesday.

"Our pitching's been on point, but you've got to score to win,' former Brave Michael Bourn said. "You can't score zero runs and win the game. We've got to find a way to put some runs on the board and help our pitchers out.'

Atlanta has won 14 of 17 at home after snapping Cleveland's three-game road winning streak Tuesday.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Indians at Braves
Tue, Aug 27 Final 0 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Indians at Braves
Wed, Aug 28 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Indians at Braves
Thu, Aug 29 - 7:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:37 AM

Preview: Phillies (60-72) at Mets (59-71)
Game: 3
Venue: Citi Field
Date: August 28, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


Cole Hamels has often struggled against the Mets, but this might be the most depleted New York lineup he has ever faced.

The left-hander will look to take advantage Wednesday as the Philadelphia Phillies visit the Mets.

Hamels (5-13, 3.62 ERA) has a 6-12 career record versus the Mets, his worst against any team he's faced at least four times. He has lost both of his starts against them over the past three months, giving up eight runs and 14 hits in 11 innings.

Fortunately for Hamels, David Wright, who has a .339 lifetime average and four homers off the left-hander, is out with a strained right hamstring.

Plus, Marlon Byrd and John Buck were traded to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, leaving New York (59-71) without three of its four RBI leaders.

"I can't tell you how much value they brought to this team, especially with what we've gone through throughout this season," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But they're not here now, so my attention has to be to the other 25 guys."

Collins was left starting three rookies along with little-used Andrew Brown on Tuesday. The Mets had only five hits, but they beat the Phillies 5-0 as Jonathon Niese pitched a shutout and had a three-run double.

"They want to pick each other up," said Collins, whose club snapped a five-game losing streak.

The offense of the Phillies (60-72) has rarely picked up Hamels, who has a 2.00 ERA over his last six starts but has gone 1-1. He's lasted at least seven innings in each of those outings, issuing a combined six walks. His last non-quality start came at Citi Field on July 20, allowing four runs in five innings of a 5-4 defeat.

Juan Lagares singled twice off him that day and is 4 for 7 against Hamels this year with two doubles. Eric Young is a .429 lifetime hitter against him, including 3 for 6 this season.

They'll look to help get Daisuke Matsuzaka his first win since last Aug. 27.

Matsuzaka (0-1, 9.00) allowed five runs in five innings of a 6-1 loss to Detroit on Friday, his first major league start after spending most of the season toiling in Cleveland's farm system. The right-hander served up two homers - he allowed 11 in 45 2-3 innings last year with Boston - but did retire the last 10 batters he faced.

"The arm issues have caused his velocity to go down a little bit," Collins said. "But I tell you what, his breaking stuff is still very good. I was happy with the way he finished up."

Matsuzaka is 0-5 with a 13.06 ERA in six starts since his last win.

One of the best outings of his career was the last time he faced Philadelphia, having a no-hitter broken up with two outs in the eighth inning of a 5-0 Red Sox win.

The Phillies have lost 14 of 16 on the road while averaging 2.0 runs and batting .194, including a combined two runs and nine hits halfway through this four-game set.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Phillies at Mets
Mon, Aug 26 Final 2 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Phillies at Mets
Tue, Aug 27 Final 0 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Phillies at Mets
Wed, Aug 28 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 4
Phillies at Mets
Thu, Aug 29 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:38 AM

Preview: Angels (59-71) at Rays (74-56)
Game: 2
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: August 28, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


In the midst of two AL postseason races, the Tampa Bay Rays want to keep from ending August the same way they started it.

The Rays look to avoid a fourth consecutive loss and prevent the visiting Los Angeles Angels from recording their fifth straight victory Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay (74-56) opened the month losing seven of nine, then won eight of 10 before its current three-game slide. One night after being blown out 11-1 at Kansas City, the Rays wasted a four-run lead in Tuesday's 6-5 loss to Los Angeles (59-71).

They led 5-1 after six innings and by a run in the ninth when Erick Aybar hit a two-run double off closer Fernando Rodney. The Rays have blown 15 leads in the seventh inning or later this year, losing 12 of those contests.

"To permit that many runs late, we've done that way too many times," manager Joe Maddon said. "We've got to stop doing that."

Rodney has the second-most blown saves in the majors with eight, including three this month.

The loss dropped the Rays 2 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the East, and left them one-half game ahead of Oakland for the top wild-card spot.

They'll look for Chris Archer (7-5, 2.93 ERA) to provide a third consecutive solid start, having allowed three runs and eight hits in 14 innings over the last two.

The right-hander ended a four-start winless streak with seven strong innings in a 7-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday.

"Confidence comes with success, and I've had a little of that," Archer told the Rays' official website. "I'm executing pitches better."

This will be the rookie's first game against the Angels, who have averaged 5.0 runs during a four-game winning streak that followed a four-game skid in which they scored nine.

Prior to Tuesday, Los Angeles had lost six straight and 12 of 13 to the Rays.

"We score runs and we've got a lot of guys that are hungry and want to do some damage in these last few weeks of the season," pitcher C.J. Wilson said. "Tampa Bay's on their way to playoffs, possibly, and if we can cause any disruptions, that's really the only thing we can do right now."

Aybar, who drove in four runs Tuesday, is 4 for 9 in the last two games after an 0-for-12 slump. He's 8 for 16 with six RBIs in his last four versus Tampa Bay.

The Angels hand the ball to Garrett Richards (4-5, 3.95), who allowed four hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 2-0 victory at Seattle on Friday.

"I didn't have my sharpest stuff in the beginning and as the game went on I got a feel for the breaking ball and the extension on my fastball," said Richards, 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in six starts since replacing Joe Blanton in the rotation. "I was just filling up the zone and throwing quality strikes and going right at guys."

This will be his first appearance against the Rays.

With three hits and three RBIs on Tuesday, Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina is 6 for 10 with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs in his last three games against the Angels.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Angels at Rays
Tue, Aug 27 Final 6 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Angels at Rays
Wed, Aug 28 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Angels at Rays
Thu, Aug 29 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:40 AM

Preview: Astros (44-87) at White Sox (55-76)
Game: 3
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field
Date: August 28, 2013 8:10 PM EDT


Runs could be tough to come by for the offensively challenged Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros with their respective top young hurlers set to pitch in the series finale.

Chris Sale will attempt to lead the White Sox to their 10th win in 12 games Wednesday night when he opposes Jarred Cosart and the visiting Astros.

Jordan Danks finished with three hits - including a go-ahead two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning - as Chicago rallied to defeat Houston 4-3 on Tuesday.

"Obviously we haven't done it the whole year but we know this is how we can play and we're very excited about it," said Danks, who is 11 for 22 in his last seven home games.

While they rank last in the AL with 496 runs and near the bottom with 120 home runs, the last-place White Sox (55-76) have shown improvement by averaging 4.9 runs with 13 homers during this 9-2 stretch.

Recent acquisition Avisail Garcia has collected two hits in each of the first two games of this series and is batting .370 in his last 14 overall.

Another solid performance at the plate would certainly help the 24-year-old Sale (9-12, 3.08 ERA) get back in the win column.

After posting a 1.93 ERA while winning his previous three starts, the left-hander gave up a career-worst four homers and matched a career high by allowing eight runs over seven innings in an 11-5 loss to Texas on Friday.

"When you don't do your best and quite honestly get your rear end kicked around for seven innings you're going to get frustrated and I was,' said Sale, who was shown slamming his glove down repeatedly following the seventh.

The All-Star might be able to bounce back against a Houston team that ranks near the bottom of the AL with a .240 batting average.

He hasn't allowed an earned run in two career starts versus the major league-worst Astros (44-87), but suffered a 2-1 loss at Houston on June 14 when he fanned a season-high 14 and gave up two unearned runs over eight innings.

Sale has done a nice job against slugger Chris Carter, who is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts lifetime in their matchups. Carter is batting .357 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 12 career games versus the White Sox.

Teammate Matt Dominguez is 5 for 8 with three RBIs in this series and hitting .400 with five homers and 12 RBIs in his last 16 road games. Rookie Robbie Grossman is batting .365 over a 14-game hitting streak - the longest active run in the majors and tied for third in Astros history by a rookie.

The 23-year-old Cosart (1-1, 1.60), though, has received just 12 runs of support while recording the lowest ERA by an Astros starter through his first seven starts in franchise history.

He'll try to recover from his first defeat after allowing three runs over six innings in a 4-2 loss at Texas on Aug. 20.

"I thought command-wise, it was my best game of the year,' said Cosart, who gave up more than two runs for the first time.

Cosart has held opponents to a .165 batting average in five road outings.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Astros at White Sox
Mon, Aug 26 Final 10 to 8
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Astros at White Sox
Tue, Aug 27 Final 3 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Astros at White Sox
Wed, Aug 28 - 8:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:42 AM

Preview: Royals (67-64) at Twins (57-73)
Game: 2
Venue: Target Field
Date: August 28, 2013 8:10 PM EDT


The odds are stacked against the Kansas City Royals in their pursuit of a playoff berth, but that hasn't stopped manager Ned Yost from planning ahead.

With the postseason in mind, Yost sent the struggling Wade Davis to the bullpen and will call up Danny Duffy to start Wednesday night's contest against the Minnesota Twins as visiting Kansas City seeks a fourth straight victory.

The Royals (67-64) are seven games behind Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot - with three teams in between - and trail Detroit by 9 1/2 games in the Central with Cleveland also in their way. They've bounced back from a seven-game losing streak, though, to beat three teams in three days.

After taking the series finale with Washington 6-4 on Sunday, Kansas City beat Tampa Bay 11-1 in a makeup game Monday before Tuesday's 6-1 victory over the Twins.

Alex Gordon hit a bases-clearing double in a five-run eighth inning before Billy Butler's solo homer in the ninth as the Royals improved to 13-4 versus Minnesota this season.

"That's the great part about us," outfielder Jarrod Dyson said. "We fight through everything.'

Despite his club's deficits in the playoff race, Yost still is making moves to prepare it for the postseason. Duffy (1-0, 1.86 ERA) will get a chance to stick with the big club after Davis (6-10, 5.67) disappointed as a starter.

"We haven't given up on making the playoffs. We want Duffy on our playoff roster," Yost told the team's official website. "And if we do make the playoffs, we're probably going to go with three starters and Wade is going to be in the bullpen at that time."

Duffy, who underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2012, made his first start of the season Aug. 7 against Minnesota, allowing two runs and striking out seven while throwing 93 pitches in just 3 2-3 innings of Kansas City's 5-2 win.

The left-hander was solid in his last outing, though, as he gave up one hit in six scoreless innings of a 2-1 win over Detroit on Aug. 16.

Duffy will face a Twins club that has scored four runs during a three-game losing streak. Minnesota (57-73) managed only four hits Tuesday, with Brian Dozier driving in the only run.

"Good ballgame until we got into the eighth, and then things kind of unraveled there,' manager Ron Gardenhire said

The Twins have lost seven of the last eight meetings with the Royals, with the only victory coming Aug. 6 after a stellar major league debut from Wednesday's starter Andrew Alberts.

Albers (2-1, 3.00) gave up four hits in 8 1-3 innings of a 7-0 victory.

"It's hard to put into words, but it was special to go out and have that kind of performance in your debut,' Albers said after that outing. "Unfortunately, it's probably not going to get much better from there.'

His next outing indeed was better as he tossed a two-hitter for a 3-0 win over Cleveland on Aug. 12, but he hasn't been nearly as good since. After giving up five runs in seven innings of an 8-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 17, the left-hander allowed five runs in 5 2-3 frames before the Twins beat Detroit 7-6 on Thursday.

"It would've been nice to get through the sixth inning," Albers said. "But other than that, I was pretty happy with my outing."

Minnesota has lost five straight home meetings with Kansas City.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Royals at Twins
Tue, Aug 27 Final 6 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Royals at Twins
Wed, Aug 28 - 8:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Royals at Twins
Thu, Aug 29 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:43 AM

Preview: Reds (74-59) at Cardinals (78-54)
Game: 3
Venue: Busch Stadium
Date: August 28, 2013 8:15 PM EDT


Adam Wainwright is a contender for the NL Cy Young Award, but he's surely more concerned with increasing the St. Louis Cardinals' lead atop the NL Central.

Wainwright looks to become the NL's first 16-game winner Wednesday night when the surging Cardinals go for their first home sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in almost five years.

Tied with Washington's Jordan Zimmermann for the most wins in the NL, Wainwright (15-7, 2.58 ERA) is also third in the league with 182 strikeouts and his ERA is baseball's fourth-best.

The right-hander has certainly pitched like one of baseball's best while winning his last two starts, allowing two runs with 20 strikeouts in 16 innings. He notched his major-league leading fifth complete game of the season Friday, tossing a six-hitter on a season-high 128 pitches in a 3-1 win over Atlanta.

"He's our horse," manager Mike Matheny said. "Those are the kind of statements your ace loves to make. That was his game."

He's split two starts against the Reds this year despite giving up two runs in seven innings each time. Cincinnati has won four of its last six matchups with Wainwright, including three straight at St. Louis.

The Cardinals (78-54) have won four in a row at home against the Reds and are in position to sweep a series from them at Busch Stadium for the first time since Sept. 26-28, 2008.

St. Louis, 1 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh and 4 1/2 in front of Cincinnati for the NL Central lead, has won nine of 11 following Tuesday's 6-1 victory.

Matt Holliday has three hits - one homer - and four RBIs through the first two games of the series. He's driven in a run in seven straight games, batting .346 in that span with three homers and four doubles.

Holliday has hit .393 with 10 RBIs in the past eight meetings with Cincinnati, and he's 8 for 19 in the last two years versus Homer Bailey, the Reds' scheduled starter.

Cincinnati (74-59) has a five-game lead on Arizona for the NL's second wild-card spot, but manager Dusty Baker isn't pleased his team has dropped three in a row.

"A loss is a loss, you've just got to play better baseball," he said. "There are a few things we've still got to learn about playing winning baseball."

Running the bases may be one thing after Zack Cozart didn't see Jay Bruce being held up at third Tuesday, resulting in both of them on the base to end the fourth.

"It's my (mistake) definitely," Cozart said. "It was a bad play. You have to keep your head up. When I got to third I was surprised Jay was even there. That was a big part of the game."

Bailey (8-10, 3.71) is 0-5 with a 6.90 ERA over seven career starts in St. Louis. He's lost two visits this year, surrendering 11 runs and 18 hits - four homers - in 10 1-3 innings.

However, the right-hander has been pitching well away from home, going 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA over his past three road outings.

He won the most recent in Milwaukee on Aug. 18, yielding one run and three hits in eight innings of a 9-1 victory, but five days later he gave up three runs in six innings while not getting a decision in a 6-4 home loss to the Brewers.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Reds at Cardinals
Mon, Aug 26 Final 6 to 8
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Reds at Cardinals
Tue, Aug 27 Final 1 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Reds at Cardinals
Wed, Aug 28 - 8:15PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25009 Followers:33
08/28/2013 09:45 AM

Preview: Giants (59-73) at Rockies (62-72)
Game: 3
Venue: Coors Field
Date: August 28, 2013 8:40 PM EDT


Two of the hottest pitchers in baseball meet at Coors Field on Wednesday night when Madison Bumgarner leads the San Francisco Giants against Jhoulys Chacin and the Colorado Rockies.

Bumgarner ranks fourth in the majors with a 2.15 ERA since June 11, and Chacin is fifth at 2.26. Bumgarner (11-8, 2.84 ERA), though, has been plagued by poor run support - the Giants have backed him with only 10 runs while he's gone 1-3 with a 2.35 ERA in his last seven starts.

The left-hander's lone mistake in eight innings Friday was a costly one - a three-run homer by Clint Barmes in a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh.

"I thought I made a good pitch," said Bumgarner, whose run-support average of 3.63 per start is among the lowest in the majors. "It was pretty much where I wanted it. He just made an adjustment."

The homer also went against form for Bumgarner, whose .200 batting average by opponents with runners on base is one of the best in the league. He is 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA in his last nine starts against Colorado, with the only loss coming May 17, when he allowed nine runs - seven earned - in 4 2-3 innings of a 10-9 defeat.

Bumgarner bounced back with seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-2 win on June 30, yielding only a homer to Carlos Gonzalez - currently on the disabled list with a sprained finger - and three other hits.

He has pitched at least seven innings in 11 of his last 13 starts.

Chacin (12-7, 3.22), meanwhile, is coming off a 3-2 win Friday in Miami, where he allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. It was an emotional victory after spending the week leading up to his start in his native Venezuela for his grandmother's funeral.

"I was real excited to pitch," said Chacin after the Rockies (62-72) rallied to give him his career-best 12th victory. "It was a tough situation back home, but when I got here I wanted to have all of my concentration to try to throw strikes and a lot of innings."

Chacin has lasted at least seven innings in six of his last seven starts. The right-hander has been hit-and-miss in two starts versus the Giants this year, scattering three hits and three walks in eight shutout innings of a 4-1 win June 28, but getting tagged for a season-worst eight runs in 5 1-3 innings of an 8-6 defeat May 13.

Pablo Sandoval, 7 for 21 lifetime off Chacin with four extra-base hits, helped the Giants earn their third win in four games Tuesday with a first-inning solo homer among his three hits. It was his first home run since July 11, ending a string of 139 at_bats without one.

Brandon Belt, with four hits Tuesday, is batting .361 in his last 21 games. After entering this year 0 for 10 versus Chacin, he has two hits in five at_bats.

The Rockies, who are 10-11 since Gonzalez got hurt, have lost seven of 11 overall. Center fielder Dexter Fowler is expected to miss his second straight game with a bruised knee suffered Monday trying to steal second base.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Giants at Rockies
Mon, Aug 26 Final 1 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Giants at Rockies
Tue, Aug 27 Final 5 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Giants at Rockies
Wed, Aug 28 - 8:40PM EDT

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