cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:01 PM

Preview: Red Sox (16-19) at Rays (22-14)

Game: 1
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: May 16, 2012 7:10 PM EDT

A string of impressive pitching performances is helping the Boston Red Sox make their recent struggles a distant memory.

As they seek to match their longest win streak of the season, the Red Sox will try to get a better outing from Clay Buchholz, or at least continue to provide the right-hander with some of the most generous run support in the majors Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Boston has outscored opponents 34-8 over its five consecutive victories and allowed only three runs over the last four of those wins. Josh Beckett, at the center of some recent controversy, threw seven innings in Tuesday's 5-0 home win over Seattle and the Red Sox's bullpen didn't allow a run for the third straight game.

Beckett was reportedly accompanied by Buchholz during a golf outing earlier this month that came one day after he was scratched from a scheduled start due to a sore muscle in his back.

Mike Aviles provided a pair of RBI doubles and David Ortiz drove in a run for a fourth consecutive game with a solo homer.

"We're going to bring some positive around here," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We've been playing good so we've just got to keep it rolling."

Another lackluster outing from Buchholz (4-1, 8.31 ERA) might not help the Red Sox (17-19) in their quest to match a six-game run from April 23-28. The right-hander has the highest ERA and highest opponent batting average (.337) among qualifying major leaguers.

Buchholz, though, has also been given the most runs per nine innings in the majors (9.69) and received seven runs over his 6 1-3 innings in a 7-5 victory over Cleveland on Friday. He allowed a season-low four runs, eight hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings.

"It still wasn't easy," Buchholz told the team's website. "Once again there were always runners on base."

Buchholz gave up five runs over seven innings to Tampa Bay on April 14 but got the win in a 13-5 rout at Fenway Park. He's 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his last four matchups with the Rays and 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts at Tropicana Field.

He might have to have a similar outing to outduel Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 2.95), who hasn't allowed more than three runs in a start since facing Boston last month.

The right-hander, though, hasn't gotten a decision in his last three outings. He gave up three runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings Friday in Baltimore but the Orioles rallied for a 4-3 win.

Hellickson gave up five runs over five innings while pitching opposite Buchholz on April 14 with Pedroia, Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia driving in all of those on home runs.

The Red Sox won three of four during that series but were swept in three games in their most recent visit to Tropicana, part of a September swoon that helped Tampa Bay claim the AL wild card.

The Rays (23-14) return home after winning three in a row to end an eight-game road trip after dropping six of seven. Sean Rodriguez's home run sparked a three-run seventh inning Tuesday as Tampa Bay rallied for a 4-3 win in Toronto.

"We could have easily gone 1-7 on this road trip," pitcher David Price said. "I feel like that was a pretty good road trip for us, especially with us dealing with the injuries that we're dealing with right now."

Outfielder Desmond Jennings (left knee) is among the eight players on the disabled list for Tampa Bay, including Evan Longoria whose game-ending homer Sept. 28 at Tropicana officially ended Boston's playoff hopes.




Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:01 PM

Preview: Red Sox (16-19) at Rays (22-14)

Game: 1
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: May 16, 2012 7:10 PM EDT

A string of impressive pitching performances is helping the Boston Red Sox make their recent struggles a distant memory.

As they seek to match their longest win streak of the season, the Red Sox will try to get a better outing from Clay Buchholz, or at least continue to provide the right-hander with some of the most generous run support in the majors Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Boston has outscored opponents 34-8 over its five consecutive victories and allowed only three runs over the last four of those wins. Josh Beckett, at the center of some recent controversy, threw seven innings in Tuesday's 5-0 home win over Seattle and the Red Sox's bullpen didn't allow a run for the third straight game.

Beckett was reportedly accompanied by Buchholz during a golf outing earlier this month that came one day after he was scratched from a scheduled start due to a sore muscle in his back.

Mike Aviles provided a pair of RBI doubles and David Ortiz drove in a run for a fourth consecutive game with a solo homer.

"We're going to bring some positive around here," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We've been playing good so we've just got to keep it rolling."

Another lackluster outing from Buchholz (4-1, 8.31 ERA) might not help the Red Sox (17-19) in their quest to match a six-game run from April 23-28. The right-hander has the highest ERA and highest opponent batting average (.337) among qualifying major leaguers.

Buchholz, though, has also been given the most runs per nine innings in the majors (9.69) and received seven runs over his 6 1-3 innings in a 7-5 victory over Cleveland on Friday. He allowed a season-low four runs, eight hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings.

"It still wasn't easy," Buchholz told the team's website. "Once again there were always runners on base."

Buchholz gave up five runs over seven innings to Tampa Bay on April 14 but got the win in a 13-5 rout at Fenway Park. He's 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his last four matchups with the Rays and 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts at Tropicana Field.

He might have to have a similar outing to outduel Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 2.95), who hasn't allowed more than three runs in a start since facing Boston last month.

The right-hander, though, hasn't gotten a decision in his last three outings. He gave up three runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings Friday in Baltimore but the Orioles rallied for a 4-3 win.

Hellickson gave up five runs over five innings while pitching opposite Buchholz on April 14 with Pedroia, Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia driving in all of those on home runs.

The Red Sox won three of four during that series but were swept in three games in their most recent visit to Tropicana, part of a September swoon that helped Tampa Bay claim the AL wild card.

The Rays (23-14) return home after winning three in a row to end an eight-game road trip after dropping six of seven. Sean Rodriguez's home run sparked a three-run seventh inning Tuesday as Tampa Bay rallied for a 4-3 win in Toronto.

"We could have easily gone 1-7 on this road trip," pitcher David Price said. "I feel like that was a pretty good road trip for us, especially with us dealing with the injuries that we're dealing with right now."

Outfielder Desmond Jennings (left knee) is among the eight players on the disabled list for Tampa Bay, including Evan Longoria whose game-ending homer Sept. 28 at Tropicana officially ended Boston's playoff hopes.




Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:03 PM

Preview: Athletics (19-17) at Rangers (23-13)

Game: 1
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: May 16, 2012 8:05 PM EDT

Not even the weather could stop Yu Darvish in his most recent trip to the mound, and it seems unlikely the light-hitting Oakland Athletics will either.

The Texas Rangers look to continue their dominance of the visiting A's by giving the ball to Darvish in the opener of this two-game set Wednesday night.

Darvish (5-1, 2.84 ERA) has won all three starts at Rangers Ballpark behind a 3.72 ERA, including Friday against Los Angeles after enduring a 1-hour, 56-minute rain delay following the opening inning. The right-hander surprisingly returned to continue his outing and lasted 5 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and three hits with seven strikeouts in the 10-3 victory.

"Yu pitched great. I was proud of him coming back out there and sticking it out, doing what he's got to do," center fielder Josh Hamilton said. "That says to his teammates about him as a player and a competitor to go back out and do that."

Darvish is living up to the lofty expectations that followed him from Japan. He leads the Rangers (23-14) in wins and strikeouts (51) while his ERA is the lowest of any member of the rotation.

"It looks like he comes as advertised. We're going to have to try to come up with a good plan, potentially try to take away from some of his strengths," A's manager Bob Melvin told the team's official website. "The first time around, I think, certainly is an advantage to the pitcher."

It seems Darvish is in a favorable position to improve on those numbers against the A's (19-18), who are last in the majors with a .217 average while their 298 strikeouts are among the most.

The Rangers went 13-6 against Oakland last year, winning 12 of the last 14 while holding the A's to .185 at the plate.

They've hit .161 with 28 strikeouts while dropping two of their last three. Oakland had five hits and fanned 11 times in a 4-0 defeat at Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The A's haven't had much trouble scoring lately with Tommy Milone (5-2, 3.92) on the mound. Oakland has given Milone 19 runs in his last two outings after scoring eight in his first five.

He didn't need much help Friday. Milone yielded two runs - one earned - and five hits with six strikeouts in seven innings of an 11-4 win over Detroit.

That pushed him to 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA in three home starts, but it's been a different story away from the spacious O.co Coliseum. Milone has a 7.84 ERA in four outings on the road, where he's surrendered all five of his homers.

He's never faced Texas, and now may not be the best time to get a first look at Hamilton. The 2010 AL MVP leads the majors with 18 homers and 45 RBIs, and he's batting .418 with 10 of those blasts during a 15-game hitting streak.

Hamilton is hitting .368 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 28 meetings with the A's in Arlington.

Oakland's Jemile Weeks hit .340 in 12 games against the Rangers last year.




Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:05 PM

Preview: Phillies (18-19) at Cubs (15-21)

Game: 1
Venue: Wrigley Field
Date: May 16, 2012 8:05 PM EDT

Because of an injury to Vance Worley, the Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Kendrick will face the Chicago Cubs' Matt Garza for the second time this season.

The first matchup went in favor of Chicago, which isn't surprising considering Garza's success against Philadelphia.

Garza has a terrific history against the Phillies heading into Wednesday night's opener of a two-game set at Wrigley Field.

Worley will not make the trip to Chicago (15-21) due to arm soreness, with Kendrick (0-3, 7.32 ERA) taking his place. That seems to be a break for the Cubs considering Worley is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in his last five outings, while Kendrick has gone 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in three 2012 starts - the last one coming May 4.

One of those outings was April 29 at Citizens Bank Park as Kendrick allowed three runs over six innings in a 5-1 loss to the Cubs.

Garza (2-1, 2.56) outdueled him by striking out a season-high 10 batters and yielding one hit over seven scoreless innings.

"I just stuck to the game plan, keep them off balance and try to get popups or ground balls," Garza said.

Garza improved to 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in four career regular-season starts against Philadelphia (18-19). The right-hander's poorest outing against the Phillies came in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series when he surrendered four runs over six innings in a 5-4 defeat for Tampa Bay.

That Phillies lineup included stalwarts Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, who are out with injuries. Garza has enjoyed success against current regulars Jimmy Rollins (2 for 14), Placido Polanco (2 for 14) and Shane Victorino (1 for 11).

Kendrick, meanwhile, is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the Cubs in three career appearances - two starts. The only Chicago hitter with more than five at_bats against him is Ian Stewart, who is 3 for 13.

The right-hander has a tough act to follow as the Phillies try to stretch their season-high win streak to four. Philadelphia starters own a 2.92 ERA for one of the majors' best marks, with each allowing one run during this win streak.

The Phillies are looking to take advantage of another struggling NL Central team after sweeping two games at home from Houston. Hunter Pence hit his second homer of the game in the bottom of the 10th inning of Tuesday's 4-3 victory to atone for an error in the ninth that allowed the Astros to tie it.

"I felt horrible that it happened," Pence said. "The team really picked me up."

Pence has five hits - no homers - in his last 32 at_bats against Chicago.

This was the longest stretch of games (37) into a season without a three-game win streak for the Phillies since 1971, when they needed 51 games.

These teams split four games April 27-30, with Cubs slugger Bryan LaHair going 7 for 15 with a homer and four doubles. Ty Wigginton was the hitting star in that series for the Phillies, going 5 for 13 with a homer.

The Cubs completed a 2-3 road trip with Tuesday's 7-6 defeat in St. Louis as Alfonso Soriano went deep for the first time. They have won six of nine at home.




Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:08 PM

Preview: Brewers (15-20) at Astros (15-21)

Game: 1
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Date: May 16, 2012 8:05 PM EDT

On the verge of their longest losing streak of the season, the Houston Astros might be thankful that it's Bud Norris' turn in the rotation. He might not feel the same way, however, about facing the Milwaukee Brewers or having to pitch opposite left-hander Randy Wolf.

While Wolf will seek a sixth straight win over Houston, Norris will try to help the Astros snap a four-game skid Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Houston (15-21) is 2-7 in its last nine with the two victories by one run apiece. Norris (3-1, 3.95 ERA) earned one of those Friday by giving up three hits over six innings and matching a season high with eight strikeouts in Pittsburgh.

He also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in his final frame of that 1-0 victory and did the same during an 8-2 home win over St. Louis on May 5 in which he allowed only one unearned run over six innings.

"He knows he's got enough good stuff to work through that, and he did for the second time in a row," manager Brad Mills told the team's website. "We wish he wouldn't have to go through it like that, but at the same time, it's good to see him battle and tighten the screws a little bit."

Norris, though, hasn't worked himself out of too many jams against the Brewers (16-20) as he's 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA in his last three matchups. He matched a career high by giving up seven runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 9-6 loss at Miller Park on April 24.

Wolf (2-3, 5.63) was also the opposing starter in that game, and allowed two runs and four hits over six innings. The veteran left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA in his last seven starts against Houston and has surrendered one run in each of his last two outings at Minute Maid Park, although he didn't receive a decision in either game.

He's also coming off one of his best performances of the season.

Wolf tossed six scoreless innings Friday against the Chicago Cubs but did not get a decision in an 8-7 home victory.

He'll next face a team that snapped an 11-game skid to the Brewers last month. The Astros have dropped six straight at home to their NL Central rivals and might not be at their freshest as they've played 31 innings over the last three games.

They rallied for two runs in the ninth inning Tuesday in Philadelphia but Brett Myers gave up a homer to former teammate Hunter Pence in the 10th for a 4-3 defeat.

The Brewers, meanwhile, are 4-11 in their last 15 road games, but produced an 8-0 rout at the New York Mets on Tuesday behind Travis Ishikawa's two homers and career-high five RBIs.

Rickie Weeks also snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a solo homer, and Aramis Ramirez extended his hit streak to 12 games.

Ramirez is 5 for 11 (.455) with two home runs in his career against Norris and is batting .400 in his last 17 games against the Astros. He's also 11 for 21 (.521) during a five-game hit streak in Houston.




Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:08 PM

Preview: Brewers (15-20) at Astros (15-21)

Game: 1
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Date: May 16, 2012 8:05 PM EDT

On the verge of their longest losing streak of the season, the Houston Astros might be thankful that it's Bud Norris' turn in the rotation. He might not feel the same way, however, about facing the Milwaukee Brewers or having to pitch opposite left-hander Randy Wolf.

While Wolf will seek a sixth straight win over Houston, Norris will try to help the Astros snap a four-game skid Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Houston (15-21) is 2-7 in its last nine with the two victories by one run apiece. Norris (3-1, 3.95 ERA) earned one of those Friday by giving up three hits over six innings and matching a season high with eight strikeouts in Pittsburgh.

He also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in his final frame of that 1-0 victory and did the same during an 8-2 home win over St. Louis on May 5 in which he allowed only one unearned run over six innings.

"He knows he's got enough good stuff to work through that, and he did for the second time in a row," manager Brad Mills told the team's website. "We wish he wouldn't have to go through it like that, but at the same time, it's good to see him battle and tighten the screws a little bit."

Norris, though, hasn't worked himself out of too many jams against the Brewers (16-20) as he's 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA in his last three matchups. He matched a career high by giving up seven runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 9-6 loss at Miller Park on April 24.

Wolf (2-3, 5.63) was also the opposing starter in that game, and allowed two runs and four hits over six innings. The veteran left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA in his last seven starts against Houston and has surrendered one run in each of his last two outings at Minute Maid Park, although he didn't receive a decision in either game.

He's also coming off one of his best performances of the season.

Wolf tossed six scoreless innings Friday against the Chicago Cubs but did not get a decision in an 8-7 home victory.

He'll next face a team that snapped an 11-game skid to the Brewers last month. The Astros have dropped six straight at home to their NL Central rivals and might not be at their freshest as they've played 31 innings over the last three games.

They rallied for two runs in the ninth inning Tuesday in Philadelphia but Brett Myers gave up a homer to former teammate Hunter Pence in the 10th for a 4-3 defeat.

The Brewers, meanwhile, are 4-11 in their last 15 road games, but produced an 8-0 rout at the New York Mets on Tuesday behind Travis Ishikawa's two homers and career-high five RBIs.

Rickie Weeks also snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a solo homer, and Aramis Ramirez extended his hit streak to 12 games.

Ramirez is 5 for 11 (.455) with two home runs in his career against Norris and is batting .400 in his last 17 games against the Astros. He's also 11 for 21 (.521) during a five-game hit streak in Houston.




Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:10 PM

Preview: Orioles (22-14) at Royals (14-20)

Game: 1
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: May 16, 2012 8:10 PM EDT

If the Kansas City Royals had any lingering memories from last month's 12-game losing streak, their play of late should put those completely out of mind.

Coming off two impressive wins over one first-place team, the Royals look to continue their best stretch of the season against another Wednesday night when they host the Baltimore Orioles.

The season appeared to be slipping away from the Royals when they matched the third-longest losing streak in team history April 11-24 and fell to 3-14. But a surprising turnaround has followed and Kansas City (15-20) enters this two-game series with a season-high four straight wins and 12 in the last 18 contests.

After taking two of three from the White Sox, the Royals finished their road trip with two games against West-leading Texas. Kansas City's pitchers were able to keep the AL's most potent offense in check, limiting the Rangers to five runs en route to the team's first two-game sweep of Texas since 1977.

"To come in here and win two games is big for us,' manager Ned Yost said. "Our pitching has been pretty good. That shows you how good.'

While an ERA of 1.50 is the biggest reason for the team's four-game run, the hitters have also done their share by going 14 for 38 (.369) with runners in scoring position.

Leading the offense has been Mike Moustakas, who homered and reached base in his 22nd straight game in Tuesday's 7-4 win. He's batting .369 (24 for 65) during that stretch.

Baltimore (23-14) completed a challenging stretch against the Yankees, Boston, Texas and Tampa Bay with a 9-6 record after Tuesday night's 5-2 victory over New York. Wei-Yin Chen pitched seven strong innings and Adam Jones hit his team-best 11th home run to help the Orioles stay tied with the Rays atop the AL East.

"It started with our pitching,' Jones said. "Chen halted that lineup and gave us an opportunity.'

Much of Baltimore's surprising success can be attributed to its play on the road, where it is 11-5 - a major league-best .687 winning percentage. The Orioles are seeking their first six-game win streak away from home since Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2004.

J.J. Hardy had five hits in the team's most recent road game and is batting .409 (18 for 44) with five homers and nine RBIs in his last 10 contests overall.

Jones is 18 for 50 (.360) during an 11-game hitting streak against the Royals.

This series features two of the league's best bullpens.

Orioles relievers rank second in the league in ERA (2.28) and closer Jim Johnson is 12 for 12 in save opportunities, yielding one run in 16 2-3 innings. Kansas City's bullpen has compiled a 1.04 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 26 innings over the last seven games.

Tommy Hunter (2-2, 5.14 ERA) gets another chance to establish himself in Baltimore's rotation. Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday to pitch on three days' rest, the right-hander allowed four runs and five hits over six innings in a 7-3 loss to Texas.

Since pitching very well in consecutive starts at the end of April, Hunter has been roughed up for nine runs and 13 hits in two outings this month spanning 10 1-3 innings. He's 0-1 with a 9.56 ERA in three road starts, giving up seven homers in 16 frames.

Hunter won his only career start against the Royals on Sept. 1, 2010, while with Texas.

Felipe Paulino (1-1, 3.09) makes his third start of the season for Kansas City. After pitching six scoreless innings to beat the Yankees in his season debut, the right-hander gave up four runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 5-0 loss to the White Sox on Friday.




Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:12 PM

Preview: Diamondbacks (15-21) at Rockies (13-21)

Game: 1
Venue: Coors Field
Date: May 16, 2012 8:40 PM EDT

Wins haven't been very plentiful lately for the Arizona Diamondbacks or the Colorado Rockies, but the two teams are each coming into this series off a victory.

Judging by Jamie Moyer's recent struggles, the visiting Diamondbacks might have a good chance to start their first winning streak in a little more than two weeks Wednesday night.

Arizona (16-21) is 3-10 over its last 13 but won 5-1 in Los Angeles on Tuesday as Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Jason Kubel all singled in runs during the fifth inning.

"Guys have been loose, even though we've been going through tough times, and tonight we got rewarded with some results," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Colorado had dropped nine of 10 before beating San Francisco 5-4 on Tuesday thanks to Marco Scutaro's tiebreaking home run in the ninth after his team blew a three-run lead. Troy Tulowitzki also went 2 for 5 and drove in a run one night after being hit by a foul ball from teammate Dexter Fowler while standing on the top step of the dugout.

"Losing is no fun," Scutaro said. "It gets tired real quickly. Hopefully this will spark us."

The Rockies (14-21) will seek their first win streak since a three-game run April 17-20 when they welcome the Diamondbacks and try to help the 49-year-old Moyer (1-3, 4.66 ERA) get back on track.

The left-hander became the oldest player to win a major league game April 17 when he allowed two unearned runs over seven innings to San Diego, but has struggled since.

Moyer is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in his last four outings and has an 8.40 ERA in his last three. He gave up five runs over five innings Friday in Los Angeles while being handed his first defeat since April 12.

"It is frustrating, but that's the game of baseball," Moyer said. "It's a pitch here, a pitch there, a hitter here, a hitter there, a base hit ... it can change a game. It can allow a mediocre game to be a mediocre game, a decent game to turn into a poor game or a decent game to turn into a really good game."

The 25-year veteran will make his 636th start against Patrick Corbin (2-1, 4.50), who will be making his fourth. The 22-year-old left-hander gave up a solo homer and two singles over seven innings in Friday's 5-1 win over San Francisco.

"One thing coming into today, I wanted to attack the hitters," he told the team's official website.

Corbin, who split his first two starts while posting a 7.00 ERA, will make his first start against a Colorado team that's batting .282 and scoring 6.5 runs per game at home. The Rockies are hitting .219 with 3.2 runs per contest away from Denver.

Moyer is 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA in his last three games against the Diamondbacks but hasn't faced them since Aug. 18, 2009.

Arizona hasn't earned back-to-back victories since a three-game win streak April 29-May 1.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:12 PM

Preview: Diamondbacks (15-21) at Rockies (13-21)

Game: 1
Venue: Coors Field
Date: May 16, 2012 8:40 PM EDT

Wins haven't been very plentiful lately for the Arizona Diamondbacks or the Colorado Rockies, but the two teams are each coming into this series off a victory.

Judging by Jamie Moyer's recent struggles, the visiting Diamondbacks might have a good chance to start their first winning streak in a little more than two weeks Wednesday night.

Arizona (16-21) is 3-10 over its last 13 but won 5-1 in Los Angeles on Tuesday as Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Jason Kubel all singled in runs during the fifth inning.

"Guys have been loose, even though we've been going through tough times, and tonight we got rewarded with some results," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Colorado had dropped nine of 10 before beating San Francisco 5-4 on Tuesday thanks to Marco Scutaro's tiebreaking home run in the ninth after his team blew a three-run lead. Troy Tulowitzki also went 2 for 5 and drove in a run one night after being hit by a foul ball from teammate Dexter Fowler while standing on the top step of the dugout.

"Losing is no fun," Scutaro said. "It gets tired real quickly. Hopefully this will spark us."

The Rockies (14-21) will seek their first win streak since a three-game run April 17-20 when they welcome the Diamondbacks and try to help the 49-year-old Moyer (1-3, 4.66 ERA) get back on track.

The left-hander became the oldest player to win a major league game April 17 when he allowed two unearned runs over seven innings to San Diego, but has struggled since.

Moyer is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in his last four outings and has an 8.40 ERA in his last three. He gave up five runs over five innings Friday in Los Angeles while being handed his first defeat since April 12.

"It is frustrating, but that's the game of baseball," Moyer said. "It's a pitch here, a pitch there, a hitter here, a hitter there, a base hit ... it can change a game. It can allow a mediocre game to be a mediocre game, a decent game to turn into a poor game or a decent game to turn into a really good game."

The 25-year veteran will make his 636th start against Patrick Corbin (2-1, 4.50), who will be making his fourth. The 22-year-old left-hander gave up a solo homer and two singles over seven innings in Friday's 5-1 win over San Francisco.

"One thing coming into today, I wanted to attack the hitters," he told the team's official website.

Corbin, who split his first two starts while posting a 7.00 ERA, will make his first start against a Colorado team that's batting .282 and scoring 6.5 runs per game at home. The Rockies are hitting .219 with 3.2 runs per contest away from Denver.

Moyer is 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA in his last three games against the Diamondbacks but hasn't faced them since Aug. 18, 2009.

Arizona hasn't earned back-to-back victories since a three-game win streak April 29-May 1.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23815 Followers:32
05/16/2012 12:16 PM

Preview: White Sox (17-20) at Angels (15-21)

Game: 1
Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Date: May 16, 2012 10:05 PM EDT

With one of his best showings at the plate this season, Albert Pujols took another step toward ending his early season struggles.

The high-priced first baseman, though, will have to continue that work and try to rediscover his power with a new hitting coach when the Los Angeles Angels begin a two-game set against the visiting Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

Pujols is 8 for 25 (.320) since seeing his average drop to .190 on May 8 and went 3 for 4 with two RBIs in a 4-0 win over Oakland on Tuesday. While he boosted his average to .212 with his second three-hit game of the season, the three-time NL MVP also went without an extra-base hit in an eighth straight contest as he had all infield singles.

Pujols has 15 hits over the last 23 games but with just one double and his lone home run of the season May 6 against Toronto.

His struggles and the Angels' lackluster showings at the plate during their 16-21 start played a part in Mickey Hatcher's dismissal following Tuesday's victory.

Los Angeles is hitting .272 over its last 13 games but has also been blanked four times over that stretch. The Angels have endured a major league-worst eight shutouts already this season and their 134 runs are among the fewest in the AL.

"Sometimes in the sports world a point is reached where perhaps a new voice is needed in order to attain the desired goals and objectives. Unfortunately, we feel this is one of those times," general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "Offensively, we have underachieved, and everyone shares in the responsibility."

Jim Eppard is being promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake to take Hatcher's spot on the staff and will try to help jump-start his new team against a White Sox club that's given up a combined 29 runs and 47 hits while dropping three of four.

Chicago (17-20) gave up eight runs in the sixth inning of a 10-8 home loss to Detroit on Tuesday with reliever Will Ohman allowing the tiebreaking three-run homer.

"Obviously the momentum changed pretty quickly," said Ohman, who was charged with a season-high four runs. "I didn't do what I needed to do."

Another strong outing from Gavin Floyd (3-3, 2.53 ERA) might help the White Sox, losers in 14 of 21, get back in the win column. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA in his last three starts and pitched a season-high 7 2-3 innings in a 5-0 win over Kansas City on Friday.

"I'm really honestly just trying to be aggressive with whatever I'm throwing," Floyd said. "I'm trying to simplify things, go out there and attack guys."

Floyd is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his last three games against the Angels but gave up one run over seven innings in the lone win July 5, 2010.

He's 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA in his two all-time starts in Anaheim and the White Sox are 2-6 in their last eight versus the Angels after winning seven straight matchups.

Jerome Williams (3-1, 4.19) will try to add to those struggles while regaining the form he showed before an impromptu relief appearance in Friday's 10-3 loss to Texas.

The right-hander gave up six runs over 6 2-3 innings after a rain delay forced C.J. Wilson out of the game. Williams is 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA in his last four starts.


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