cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:49 PM

Preview: Tigers (29-23) at Orioles (30-24)
Game: 1
Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Date: May 31, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


In the midst of the best start by a Detroit pitcher in six years, Max Scherzer is more pleased about what he's been able to do for the Tigers than his own success.

Looking to improve to 8-0, Scherzer tries to help the visiting Tigers avoid matching a season-high fourth straight loss Friday night against the surging Baltimore Orioles.

Scherzer (7-0, 3.42 ERA) has allowed two runs and five hits over 14 innings to win his last two starts. He allowed one run and three hits through six innings of a 6-1 win over Minnesota on Sunday.

Though Scherzer has a chance to become the first Detroit (29-23) pitcher to go 8-0 since Jeremy Bonderman in 2007, he's remained focused on what is important.

"If I was 0-7 but pitching well and giving the team a chance to win, I'd still be as proud of that,' said Scherzer, who won 43 games the previous three seasons. "For me, it's all about going out there and making sure that I'm pitching deep into games and keeping their offense down, and I've been doing that for the most part.'

The right-hander retired 25 straight batters before he allowed back-to-back walks to start the second inning against the Twins.

"He's added a curveball a little bit more, just another weapon, just kind of a `show-me' pitch,' manager Jim Leyland said. "When he gets in that arm slot and can be repetitive with it, he's pretty nasty.'

Scherzer, who is 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA in four starts versus Baltimore, hopes his teammates can get untracked at the plate after they totaled three runs and were shut out twice in three straight losses to Pittsburgh.

Miguel Cabrera had two hits Thursday, but the Tigers dropped their second 11-inning, 1-0 game in the last three to the Pirates.

Cabrera, who leads the majors with a .369 average, is batting .452 with four homers and eight RBIs in his last eight games at Camden Yards.

Miguel Gonzalez (2-2, 3.94) will try to cool off Cabrera and help the Orioles (30-24) to a fifth straight home win.

The right-hander has not factored in the decision of the two starts he's made since coming off the disabled list from a blister on his thumb, but allowed three runs and struck out 12 in 12 2-3 innings of those outings. He gave up one run, struck out seven in 5 2-3 innings and was in line for the win Sunday before closer Jim Johnson was tagged for four runs in a 6-5 loss at Toronto on Sunday.

In Gonzalez's only previous start versus Detroit last season, he allowed three runs and walked five in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-0 loss.

Nate McLouth had three hits while Manny Machado and Nick Markakis each had two with an RBI on Thursday as Baltimore won for the seventh time in 10 games, 2-0 over Washington.

Machado is 17 for 40 (.425) in his last nine games, while McLouth has hit .409 in his last 11.

Baltimore's Chris Davis is batting .353 with 19 homers and 50 RBIs, and .364 (4 for 11) against Scherzer.

"Offensively (the Orioles) look very good," Leyland told the Tigers' official website. "They've got a lot of guys with good averages."

Detroit's Torii Hunter will miss the first two of the set to attend his son's high school graduation.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:51 PM

Preview: Red Sox (33-22) at Yankees (30-23)
Game: 1
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Date: May 31, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


The New York Yankees hope the expected return of two key players from injuries will help them end their season-high five-game slide.

Regardless of who is in the lineup, they could have a hard time ending Jon Lester's success in the Bronx when they face the archrival Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

New York (30-23) has been outscored 24-10 in the past five games - the last four of which were a Subway Series sweep by the Mets. The Yankees, who mustered a Robinson Cano homer and three other hits in a 3-1 defeat Thursday, last dropped six in a row in a season May 11-16, 2011.

However, help appears on the way with Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis likely to be activated from the disabled list Friday.

"It could be a great boost for us,' manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't want to put too much pressure on the guys coming back, but it depends on what kind of starts they get off to.'

Teixeira, who averaged 34 homers and 106 RBIs in his previous four seasons, has yet to play after injuring his wrist during the World Baseball classic. Youkilis, the ex-Red Sox infielder, was batting .266 with two homers and seven RBIs in 17 games before he went on the DL on April 30 with a back injury.

Both could help New York avenge its first series with Boston (33-22), which took two of three in the Bronx to open the season. The Red Sox have moved two games up on the Yankees for the AL East lead.

"Through the first 50-plus games, both teams have answered some questions and have met challenges head-on with personnel and changes to the roster," Red Sox manager John Farrell told the team's official website. "I would expect fully that it'll be not only a focal point around the game, but one that our guys are certainly looking forward to."

Lester (6-1, 3.34 ERA) has gone 8-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 14 starts at New York, and 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last three there. He yielded two runs and struck out seven in five innings of a season-opening 8-2 victory April 1.

The left-hander, however, has given up 10 runs and 17 hits in 13 innings to go 0-1 in his last two starts after posting a 2.72 ERA in the first nine. Lester struck out a season-high eight but gave up four runs and 10 hits in seven innings of a 7-4 win over Cleveland on Saturday.

New York's CC Sabathia (4-4, 3.96) has also struggled in his latest two outings, giving up 11 runs and 19 hits in 13 1-3 innings while going 0-1. He allowed a season-high seven runs in seven innings of an 8-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday.

The left-hander went winless in six consecutive starts twice, from July 3-Aug. 1, 2002, and March 31-April 27, 2003.

"He's missing some pitches and he's not getting away with it,' Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "Early in the season, he had the same velocity and pitched really well. He was just executing pitches better.'

Sabathia yielded four runs and walked four in five innings of the opening-day loss to Lester. He's 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA in nine starts versus Boston at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury has one hit in his last seven at_bats versus Sabathia, but is 11 for 23 in the last five games overall. He had three hits and stole a club-record five bases as Boston won for the 11th time in 16 games, 9-2 at Philadelphia on Thursday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:52 PM

Preview: Rays (29-24) at Indians (29-24)
Game: 1
Venue: Progressive Field
Date: May 31, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Matt Moore's bid to become the first nine-game winner in the major leagues was supposed to come against the worst hitting team in baseball.

Instead, the Tampa Bay Rays left-hander will face a Cleveland Indians team that's starting to swing the bats well again.

Moore will try to help Tampa Bay match a season high with a sixth consecutive victory Friday night when it takes on Cleveland, which appears to be getting back on track.

The first Rays starter to win his first eight decisions, Moore (8-0, 2.21 ERA) will pitch on an extra day's rest. He was supposed to get the ball Thursday at Miami, but that start went to Alex Colome after the team pushed back Alex Cobb (finger laceration), who had been scheduled for Friday.

Colome, in his first major league start, threw 5 1-3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-2 victory to help Tampa Bay (29-24) move a season-best five games over .500. The Rays have won eight of 11 on the road.

Tampa Bay was 9-0 in Moore's starts before Fernando Rodney blew the save and Josh Lueke surrendered the winning run in a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday.

Moore gave up one run in six innings.

"(Bullpen struggles are) something that every pitcher (has gone) through," Moore told the Rays' official website. "... It's one of those things where we're going to find adjustments to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Moore can become the first pitcher since Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010 with Colorado to win nine games before June 1. He'll make his second start against the Indians (29-24) this season after striking out eight in a 4-0 home win April 5, when he yielded two hits - both to Michael Bourn - in six innings.

Cleveland lost 6-0 the following night before pounding out 17 hits in the series finale, a 13-0 victory April 7.

The Indians have again rebounded from a rough stretch at the plate, totaling 12 runs and 20 hits in back-to-back victories after scoring 14 runs during a season-high five-game skid. In a 7-1 victory over Cincinnati on Thursday, Cleveland plated all of its runs with two outs in the fourth inning.

"That was impressive," manager Terry Francona said.

Winner of 15 of 19 at home, Cleveland opens this three-game series with Corey Kluber (3-3, 4.57) getting his first look at the Rays. The right-hander, 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in six starts since joining the rotation April 20, turned in his best outing of the year Sunday.

Kluber went 6 2-3 innings and allowed one run and three hits while striking out a career-high 10 in a 6-5 loss at Boston on Sunday. Like Moore's last start, Kluber was in line for the win before the Red Sox scored four times in the ninth.

"He's gaining confidence," Francona told the Indians' official website. "You can see it in the way he attacks pitches, the way he attacks hitters, and the results of this game weren't what we wanted at the end, but his start was fantastic."

Rays right fielder Matt Joyce had one hit in 10 at_bats last month against Cleveland, but he's batting .375 during a seven-game hitting streak after delivering a two-run homer Thursday.

Cleveland's Michael Brantley came into the game on a 1-for-15 skid and had an RBI single while going 1 for 3. Jason Kipnis added a run-scoring single, but he's in a 5-for-37 slump.

The two players were a combined 1 for 14 versus Tampa Bay last month, going hitless in four at_bats off Moore.

Moore allowed five runs and walked five in 4 2-3 innings in his only start in Cleveland, a 7-3 loss June 7.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:53 PM

Preview: Brewers (19-33) at Phillies (26-28)
Game: 1
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: May 31, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Cole Hamels and Yovani Gallardo are front-line starters for their respective teams, but their records are unbecoming of that status as they fight through struggles.

Yet both have reason to be optimistic when they square off in the opener of a three-game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Hamels (1-8, 4.43 ERA) has exceeded his loss total from 2012 and is within three of his career high set in 2009 and matched in 2010. The left-hander dropped his career-worst fifth straight start Sunday, giving up five runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-1 defeat at Washington.

While Hamels didn't pitch well in that game, a lack of run support has also plagued the 17-game winner from last year. The Phillies have provided him 20 runs in his 11 starts, and he hasn't pitched with a lead since April 7.

``It's just part of the game,' Hamels said when asked about the lack of offensive support. ``You have to go out there and execute pitch after pitch and try to get through the hitters, through the innings, and obviously through the game.'

Hamels has certainly battled Milwaukee well, winning his last four matchups with a 2.08 ERA. He won his only start versus the Brewers last season, giving up three runs - all on two homers - in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-3 victory Aug. 18.

Ryan Braun had one of those home runs, his third in 25 at_bats against Hamels.

The Phillies (26-28), who have scored more than five runs once in their last 12 games, settled for a split of their four-game set with Boston after a 9-2 defeat Thursday.

``It's a battle for us to win games,' Manuel said after his team dropped to 8-23 when scoring three or fewer runs. ``We haven't blown many people out. In order for us to get a winning streak, we have to score more runs.'

Domonic Brown had two hits and is batting .359 with six homers and 12 RBIs in his last 10 contests.

Gallardo (3-5, 4.79) can certainly empathize with Hamels, both in terms of struggles and run support. He has a 5.40 ERA during a career-worst four-start losing streak, but the Brewers (19-33) have given him little help by providing four runs of support in that span.

Gallardo gave up four runs in four innings of a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday. Opponents are hitting .284 against him, well above his career mark of .244.

"It's definitely frustrating. I don't know how to explain it, really,' the right-hander said. ``It's just one of those weird days. You go out there and have pretty good command of all of your pitches but obviously the results aren't there.'

If there's a silver lining for Gallardo entering Friday, it's his domination of the Phillies. He's gone 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in as many starts, striking out 28 in 20 2-3 innings, though this will be his first appearance in Philadelphia.

Ryan Howard has had some success versus Gallardo, going 3 for 8 with a home run and a double.

Milwaukee has dropped a season-worst six in a row after Thursday's 8-6 defeat at Minnesota in which it allowed four home runs. The Brewers, who have allowed 14 homers during their skid, have dropped three in a row on the road and 13 of their last 16 away from Miller Park.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:54 PM

Preview: Reds (33-21) at Pirates (34-20)
Game: 1
Venue: PNC Park
Date: May 31, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Outstanding pitching has spurred the Pittsburgh Pirates to one of the best records in the NL.

Despite some recent struggles, the Cincinnati Reds aren't far behind.

Wandy Rodriguez is slated to get the ball in an attempt to help the Pirates conclude May with their longest home winning streak in over five years Friday night against the Reds.

Pittsburgh (34-20) has won 16 of its last 20 thanks in large part to a 2.21 ERA from the staff - 1.96 while going 10-2 at home. That success has put the Pirates in second place in the NL Central, one game ahead of Cincinnati as both teams chase first-place St. Louis.

Pittsburgh is on a six-game home winning streak, during which its pitchers have compiled a 1.45 ERA. The Pirates haven't put together a longer run at home since winning seven straight from April 27-May 12, 2008.

Matching that feat would mean beating Cincinnati (33-21) at PNC Park again after sweeping a three-game set from April 12-14.

Pittsburgh got another dazzling effort Thursday, when six pitchers combined to scatter nine hits in a 1-0, 11-inning victory over Detroit - its second such win over the Tigers in three games.

"It goes back to the staples of pitching we've been talking about since the start of spring training," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Have intent with every pitch and have conviction with every pitch and execution will follow."

That seems to be the case for Rodriguez (6-2, 3.58 ERA), who is looking to win a career-high five straight starts in the opener of this three-game series.

The left-hander has won four games in a row with a 3.00 ERA, but his latest outing was his shortest of that stretch.

Rodriguez allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 5-4 win at Milwaukee on Sunday.

A return home could be just what Rodriguez needs to keep his winning streak going since he's compiled a 1.93 ERA while winning four of five home starts. However, he's 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA over his last five outings versus Cincinnati.

Rodriguez has also struggled versus Joey Votto, who is hitting .373 against him after going 6 for 11 with two doubles and a homer last year.

The Reds' slugging first baseman is a career .357 hitter at Pittsburgh, and he's batting .414 with six homers, 25 runs and 14 RBIs on the road this season. However, he went 1 for 8 while Cincinnati dropped back-to-back games to Cleveland, including 7-1 on Thursday.

The Reds are expected to turn to Johnny Cueto (2-0, 2.76), who returns to Pittsburgh for the first time since getting hurt in a 3-1 loss April 13.

The right-hander allowed one run and two hits before exiting in the fifth inning due to a strained right triceps, which sidelined him for five weeks.

Cueto earned a 4-3 win over the New York Mets in his return to the mound May 20, yielding three runs and three hits with eight strikeouts and four walks in five innings. He was even better six days later, allowing one run in seven innings while not getting a decision in a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

"Outstanding stuff," manager Dusty Baker told the team's official website. "That's Johnny. He was throwing like he wasn't afraid of hurting anything. He was a little tentative his last time out, but he was a lot sharper and more aggressive than he was in New York."

Cueto is 12-4 with a 2.52 ERA in 20 career starts against the Pirates, going 7-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 12 games at Pittsburgh.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:55 PM

Preview: Mets (22-29) at Marlins (13-41)
Game: 1
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: May 31, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


A surprising five-game winning streak has changed the mood of the New York Mets.

The last-place Miami Marlins certainly aren't enjoying themselves.

The Mets go for their longest winning streak in more than two years as they attempt to deal the Marlins a 10th straight defeat Friday night.

New York (22-29) is on the verge of its first six-game win streak since April 21-27, 2011, and the current surge has been wholly unexpected following a 3-12 stretch in which the Mets posted a 5.39 ERA.

"I tried everything that I knew to try and it wasn't working: the pats on the back, the 'hang with them,'" manager Terry Collins said. "So you just had to say, 'Hey look, it's got to be now. It's got to be stepped up right this minute,' and they did it."

The Mets did it in stunning fashion, compiling a 1.80 ERA during the winning streak and holding the Yankees to seven runs while sweeping the four-game Subway Series, capping it with a 3-1 victory Thursday.

"It's a lot more fun to come to the ballpark. Guys are smiling, laughing, having a good time, playing a little more loosely," third baseman David Wright said. "When you go out there and you feel like you have to play perfect to win games, that's when you get a little tense and start making some silly mistakes."

Wright went 5 for 14 over the past four games, and might have a good chance to continue that hot hitting in this three-game set. He's a .356 hitter at Miami in his last 12 contests there.

The Marlins (13-41) have batted .209 while losing nine in a row, falling 5-2 to Tampa Bay on Thursday. They haven't endured a longer slide since dropping 11 straight from June 11-20, 2011.

Shaun Marcum (0-5, 5.77 ERA) will try to take advantage as he looks to avoid becoming the first Met to start a season with six straight losses since Mike Pelfrey was 0-7 in 2007.

Marcum seemed headed for that elusive victory Sunday. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 12, but left after giving up two runs in the seventh in a 4-2 win over Atlanta.

Marcum has gone 0-1 while allowing six runs in 7 1-3 innings over two games versus the Marlins - both in Miami. He was charged with a 4-3, 15-inning loss to them April 29, giving up two runs in the final inning.

Jacob Turner is set to make his season debut for the Marlins after going 3-4 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A New Orleans.

The right-hander was 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts for Miami last year after being acquired in a five-player trade with Detroit in July.

"Obviously, he was a guy in spring training that we anticipated being in the rotation, and it didn't work out," manager Mike Redmond told the team's official website. "So we're looking for him to come up and be a spark and take advantage of this opportunity. Hopefully, he's pounding the strike zone, and he'll go out there and log some innings for us and give us a chance to win."

Turner pitched 7 2-3 innings of one-run ball in a 4-3 victory over the Mets on Oct. 2, though he didn't get the decision. He has a 2.84 ERA in two career starts versus New York.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:57 PM

Preview: Nationals (27-27) at Braves (32-21)
Game: 1
Venue: Turner Field
Date: May 31, 2013 7:30 PM EDT


If the Washington Nationals are going to begin closing the gap on the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, they'll need consistency from their ace.

Stephen Strasburg has certainly delivered that over his past three starts.

Strasburg attempts to turn in another strong performance when the sputtering Nationals open a three-game series with the Braves on Friday night.

Repeating as NL East champion isn't proving easy for Washington (27-27), which finds itself 5 1/2 games behind Atlanta (32-21).

Consistent dominance from Strasburg (3-5, 2.49 ERA) could help the Nationals tighten the race, as they've dropped four of six after a 2-0 loss at Baltimore on Thursday.

The right-hander has gone 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his last three starts after posting an 0-5 record and 3.61 ERA during the previous seven outings. He has allowed three earned runs in his past four games.

"My fastball command has gotten a little better as the season has gone on, and I've gotten more comfortable out of the stretch," Strasburg told the team's official website. "It's all about making adjustments. Sometimes you're not going to start the year where you want to be, but it's all about how you end the season."

Strasburg was sharp Sunday, allowing a run on an eighth-inning balk and striking out nine in a 6-1 win over Philadelphia.

In two starts versus Atlanta this year, he's gone 0-1 while allowing four runs - two earned - in 12 innings with 15 strikeouts. He received three total runs of support.

The Braves are coming off their most impressive offensive display of the season, pounding out 16 hits in an 11-3 victory over Toronto. The outburst came after manager Fredi Gonzalez shuffled the lineup, sitting the struggling trio of Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton, who are all hitting below .200.

Ramiro Pena, Jordan Schafer and Evan Gattis capitalized on the opportunity, combining for eight hits, seven runs and six RBIs - four from Pena.

"We'll see," Gonzalez said of staying with the changes. "The guys played well. One thing you always want to do is put your best team out there."

Uggla and Heyward may be back in the lineup due in large part to their success against Strasburg. Uggla is 11 for 23 with two homers off him, while Heyward is 7 for 14.

Gattis, however, hit a two-run shot off Strasburg in a 3-1 win April 13.

Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.67) has gone 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his last six starts after compiling a 7.31 ERA in his first three outings.

The rookie right-hander has been particularly impressive over his last two starts, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA.

He didn't get a decision Sunday in another impressive performance, giving up one run in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-2 road win over the New York Mets.

"He's getting better and he's more in the zone," catcher Gerald Laird told the team's official website. "He's getting confidence in pitching to halves of the plate. I'm not afraid to call certain pitches that I was timid to call earlier in the year."

Teheran is 0-0 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts against the Nationals this season. He allowed two runs and a season-high 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-2 home win over Washington on April 29.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:58 PM

Preview: Royals (22-29) at Rangers (33-20)
Game: 1
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: May 31, 2013 8:05 PM EDT


The Texas Rangers' offense got in gear and they ended their longest losing streak of the season.

After much delay, so did the Kansas City Royals, who still need to improve their offense under interim hitting coach George Brett.

The AL West-leading Rangers and Royals meet for the first time this season Friday night in Arlington.

Losers of three straight heading into Thursday's contest with Arizona, Texas (33-20) went 5 for 13 with runners in scoring position in the 9-5 victory. The Rangers were 5 for 29 in those situations during their slide.

"Honestly, I hadn't even thought about us losing three games,' said Mitch Moreland, who hit a two-run homer. "We're going to go out and play our style of ball. We got out of it for a couple of games, but came back out today and made it work and it was a good win for us.'

Kansas City (22-29) finally ended its eight-game skid at 3:14 a.m. local time Friday, defeating host St. Louis 4-2 in a contest that ended eight hours after the original start time, which was pushed back an hour because of a rain delay. The teams endured a second rain delay, which lasted 4 hours, 32 minutes, after the Royals rallied for three runs - as many as they had scored in any of their previous six games - in the top of the ninth and loaded the bases with no outs.

Kansas City, which finished with just four hits in Brett's debut, couldn't tack on any runs when the game resumed, but it didn't matter as the Cardinals went down in order.

The Royals, who won for just the fifth time in 24 games, were fortunate umpire crew chief Joe West decided to wait out the storms instead of suspending the game - the final one between these clubs in 2013 - and invoking a rule that would have erased the ninth-inning rally and made the Cardinals a 2-1 winner.

"I wasn't sure we were going to get that game in, and to lose in that fashion after coming back in the ninth inning wouldn't have been right,' manager Ned Yost said. ``I credit Joe West for hanging in there. I credit their grounds crew for getting the field playable.'

Kansas City will now have to make a quick turnaround in Arlington against Derek Holland (4-2, 2.97 ERA) to open this three-game set.

Texas' left-hander is looking to win his fourth straight decision after giving up two unearned runs and four hits in Saturday's 5-2 victory at Seattle. Holland's 10 strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings were a season high.

"I've got to go out and try and match the pitcher. That's what it really comes down to,' he said after outdueling Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.

The Royals will counter with Wade Davis (3-4, 5.71), who has been pitching better of late despite his opponents batting .341 against him. The right-hander didn't allow a baserunner past second base in the first six innings of Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Davis, though, was replaced in the seventh after giving up a leadoff homer and walking two.

"The walks put us in a bad spot," he said after getting charged with three runs in 6 1-3 innings.

Davis faced the Rangers three times out of the bullpen last season while with Tampa Bay, going 1-0 with no runs allowed in four innings. However, he's 0-2 with a 22.50 ERA in two starts versus Texas.

Adrian Beltre, 4 for 8 off Davis, hit a team-best .371 with team-best three homers and six RBIs against Kansas City last season when Texas won five of nine matchups.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 04:59 PM

Preview: Mariners (23-31) at Twins (23-28)
Game: 1
Venue: Target Field
Date: May 31, 2013 8:10 PM EDT


While the Minnesota Twins appear to be playing some of their best baseball, they're likely in for a tough test against a right-hander who hasn't lost in more than a month.

The surging Twins look to match their season-best winning streak Friday night when they face the Seattle Mariners' red-hot starter Hisashi Iwakuma.

Minnesota (23-28) took advantage of struggling Milwaukee by sweeping the season series for the first time in franchise history with an 8-6 victory in the finale Thursday. Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee each homered to lead the Twins to their fifth win in six games following a 10-game losing streak.

"It's a totally different vibe, I'm going to be honest with you,' said Dozier, who hit safely in each of the four games.

Minnesota now hopes to win five in a row for the first time since April 15-23 while handing Iwakuma (5-1, 2.35 ERA) his first defeat since a 3-2 loss at Houston on April 23.

Iwakuma, who is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings over his last six outings, ranks among AL leaders in ERA, strikeouts (69) and batting average against (.194).

He fanned eight and gave up two runs and five hits over eight innings before leaving without a decision as the Mariners (23-31) snapped a season-high eight-game skid in a 4-3, 13-inning win over Texas on Sunday.

"I had a strong feeling inside, needing to stop the losing streak," Iwakuma told the league's official website through an interpreter. "That was one thing that I had in mind."

Iwakuma pitched well against the Twins last August, allowing two unearned runs and five hits over 13 innings while winning a pair of starts.

He's been tough on Mauer, Doumit, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham, who are a combined 2 for 21 versus Iwakuma.

Doumit, however, may be heating up after going 5 for 16 with two homers and eight RBIs in the four games versus Milwaukee.

Scheduled Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey (3-5, 6.85), who takes on the Mariners for the first time, is winless over his last four starts

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 7.64 ERA over that span after getting tagged for five runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 6-1 loss at Detroit on Sunday.

Pelfrey hopes to bounce back against a Seattle offense that hit a season-high five homers in a 7-1 win at San Diego on Thursday to earn a split of the four-game interleague series.

Rookie Nick Franklin hit his first two big league home runs for the Mariners, who snapped a seven-game road losing streak.

"It's always nice just to get those out of the way,' Franklin said. "Not only that, but to win and split the series with San Diego."

Seattle may continue to be without left fielder Michael Morse (quad) and first baseman Justin Smoak (oblique) in the opener of this three-game series.

Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe was activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list Wednesday, but strained his left calf in a workout before the game and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday.

The Mariners have won eight of the last nine meetings.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25787 Followers:33
05/31/2013 05:00 PM

Preview: Giants (29-25) at Cardinals (35-18)
Game: 1
Venue: Busch Stadium
Date: May 31, 2013 8:15 PM EDT


The San Francisco Giants hope their latest victory will provide some much-needed momentum as they begin a difficult stretch of games.

Returning to the place where they began their undefeated run to the 2012 World Series title, the Giants face the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

San Francisco (29-25) has lost 10 of 16, but hopes to build on Thursday's 5-2 win over Oakland that prevented a season series sweep at the hands of its Bay Area rival.

"If this game got away from us, it would have been a long flight to St. Louis, believe me,' manager Bruce Bochy said. "I thought (Thursday) was really critical."

Pablo Sandoval delivered a go-ahead two-run single to highlight a four-run sixth for the Giants, who remain confident despite their recent struggles.

"We've been losing some games but the attitude's been good. That's one thing we never lose," center fielder Angel Pagan told the Giants' official website. "We play with a lot of perseverance and determination to go out there and try to get everything better and play hard and believe that things will change."

Perhaps a return to Busch Stadium will help San Francisco start to string together wins yet again.

The Giants trailed the Cardinals 3-1 in last year's NL championship series but ran off seven straight victories to win the World Series, starting with a 5-0 win at Busch in Game 5.

St. Louis (35-18), however, owns the best record in the majors and outscored the Giants 20-7 while taking two of three at San Francisco in early April. This series begins a stretch of 12 of 14 on the road for the Giants, featuring games against the NL's top teams in the Cardinals, Arizona, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. San Francisco also hosts Toronto for two games during that span.

"We have to be on top of our game," Bochy said.

San Francisco's Matt Cain (4-2, 5.00 ERA) has gone 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA in five starts this month, allowing four runs and six hits in 12 innings to go 1-0 in his last two. He gave up two runs and walked five in five innings of a 7-3 win over Colorado on Sunday.

However, the right-hander is 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in four starts at St. Louis, including postseason. He allowed nine runs over 3 2-3 innings of a 14-3 home loss to the Cardinals on April 7.

Matt Carpenter is 7 for 9 with a home run against Cain, and has batted .395 during an overall nine-game hitting streak.

Carpenter went 2 for 4 in Thursday's 4-2 loss to Kansas City that ended after 3 a.m. Central Time due to an hour rain delay to start and one of 4 hours, 32 minutes in the ninth inning. The Cardinals led 2-1 heading into the ninth, but fell to 20-7 in May.

St. Louis' Shelby Miller (5-3, 2.02) allowed one run and struck out 24 in 20 2-3 innings while going 2-0 in his first three May starts, but he's given up six runs in 11 innings to go 0-1 in the last two.

The right-hander allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-3 win at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

"I don't think my fastball was as good as it had been earlier on (in the season)," Miller told the Cardinals' official website. "I feel just a little off, but not much. Hopefully I can get that taken care of."

He allowed two runs and walked four in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-3 win at San Francisco on April 6.

Including postseason, Sandoval has batted .375 with three homers and nine RBIs in his last eight games against the Cardinals.

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