cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 01:48 AM

Preview: Reds (15-14) at Cubs (11-17)

Game: 2
Venue: Wrigley Field
Date: May 04, 2013 1:05 PM EDT


The Cincinnati Reds had one of their more productive days at the plate in recent games in their series opener against the Chicago Cubs. Judging by his first three starts in the majors, Tony Cingrani might not need too much support from his teammates.

The rookie left-hander will try to improve to 3-0 while leading the Reds to a franchise-record eighth consecutive road win over the Cubs on Saturday.

Cincinnati registered its highest run total in 11 games in a 6-5 win Friday and needed all of those runs after closer Aroldis Chapman gave up a season-high three in the ninth.

The Reds (16-14) scored four of their runs with two outs in their 18th victory in 23 games against Chicago (11-18). Cincinnati batted .195 with 17 runs in its previous nine games.

"The team that gets the two-out hits is the team that wins the games," manager Dusty Baker said after the Reds improved to 4-10 on the road. "Those are big, big clutch hits when you get two out.

"We had some guys swing the bat pretty good today."

Cincinnati will try to duplicate that effort and help Cingrani (2-0, 1.50 ERA) remain undefeated through his first four starts. He had his first scoreless one Sunday, tossing six innings and striking out a career-high 11 in a 5-2 victory in Washington.

Cingrani gave up two runs over seven innings and fanned nine against the Cubs on April 23, but the Reds fell 4-2 in 10 innings.

Cingrani, called up April 18 to replace an injured Johnny Cueto, is trying to become the 10th Cincinnati rookie starter since 1921 to win his first three decisions. Current teammate Mike Leake was the most recent to pull off that feat by starting 5-0 in 2010.

Cubs scheduled starter Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.35) will try to prevent that while avoiding a career-worst fifth consecutive loss. The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in three of his last four outings, giving up one over six innings at Cincinnati in a 1-0 loss April 24.

Samardzija allowed three runs and struck out eight in five innings against San Diego on Monday, but he also matched a season high with four walks as the Cubs rallied for a 5-3 victory.

"Too many walks," Samardzija, who walked three in Cincinnati last month, told the Cubs' official website. "You can't put that many guys on for free. Just pitching in a lot of situations where you have to battle and make bigger pitches makes it harder on yourself."

Samardzija has a 2.89 ERA in three career starts against Cincinnati but has lost the past two in part because he's gotten a combined two runs of support.

Joey Votto, who had two hits and scored two runs Friday, is batting .375 in his last 11 at Wrigley Field. He's 2 for 14 with five strikeouts against Samardzija.

The Cubs' Carlos Marmol is seeking to surpass Lee Smith with a franchise-best 453rd career relief appearance.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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05/04/2013 01:53 AM

Preview: Cardinals (17-11) at Brewers (14-13)

Game: 3
Venue: Miller Park
Date: May 04, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


While Adam Wainwright has had plenty of success against the Milwaukee Brewers, Yovani Gallardo hasn't been able to figure out why the St. Louis Cardinals give him so much trouble.

St. Louis seeks a fifth straight win Saturday while sending host Milwaukee to a fourth consecutive defeat.

Wainwright (4-2, 2.03 ERA) has gotten off to a solid start, striking out 43 while walking only three in 44 1-3 innings. He pitched well Monday but had his four-start winning streak come to an end, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati.

"It was a tough game to lose," Wainwright told the team's official website. "Sometimes you have to match up zeros with someone who is throwing great, and I didn't match zeros."

Wainwright put up plenty of zeros in his best outing of the season April 13, tossing a four-hitter and striking out a career high-tying 12 while also going 3 for 3 with two RBIs in an 8-0 win over Milwaukee.

Two of Wainwright's five career shutouts have coming against the Brewers.

"It's always fun to pitch a complete-game shutout," Wainwright said. "I've done it against the Brewers a couple times now. I don't know what it is about that team. I think they make me focus more, because they have guys that are really dangerous."

The right-hander is 9-6 with a 2.00 ERA in 18 career starts versus Milwaukee, with four of his 12 career complete games coming against the Brewers. He's gone the distance the last two times he's faced them, allowing five hits in a 6-1 victory Aug. 4.

Ryan Braun is 9 for 49 (.184) with 13 strikeouts lifetime off Wainwright, but he's batting .423 during a six-game hitting streak after going 2 for 4 in Milwaukee's 6-1 loss to the Cardinals (18-11) on Friday.

Aramis Ramirez went 2 for 3 in his return after missing four weeks with a sprained left knee, but the Brewers (14-14) have dropped the first two of this four-game series and eight of the last 11 meetings with St. Louis.

Matt Holliday went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran also homered Friday for the Cardinals. Holliday has three home runs while Beltran is 6 for 15 lifetime off Gallardo, who is pitching well of late but hasn't had any success against St. Louis recently.

Gallardo (3-1, 4.25) had a 6.61 ERA over his first three starts, including allowing six runs in 5 1-3 innings while opposing Wainwright last month. He's won his last three outings, though, posting a 2.29 ERA after giving up two runs - one earned - in seven innings of a 10-4 win over Pittsburgh on Monday. He also hit his second homer of the season.

"Glad he went the length that he did," manager Ron Roenicke told the team's official website. "He struggled with his command early, then he got the rhythm and started throwing strikes, and finished, I thought, outstanding."

The right-hander has been anything but versus the Cardinals, though. Gallardo is 0-7 with a 9.56 ERA in his last eight starts - including a Game 3 loss in the 2011 NLCS - and 1-11 with a 6.86 ERA in 16 career outings against St. Louis.

"I know I haven't had very many good ones against them, and it's frustrating," Gallardo said. "There always seems to be something."

St. Louis found out Friday that closer Jason Motte won't pitch this season and will have Tommy John surgery next week.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 01:55 AM

Preview: Nationals (15-14) at Pirates (16-12)

Game: 2
Venue: PNC Park
Date: May 04, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


The Washington Nationals have been so protective of Stephen Strasburg since he entered the majors that even the potential of an injury creates a stir.

After the concern was alleviated earlier in the week, Strasburg seeks to end his five-start winless streak as Washington looks to avoid a third straight loss to the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Since allowing three hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win over Miami on opening day April 1, Strasburg (1-4, 3.13 ERA) has gone winless with a 3.86 ERA while throwing at least 110 pitches four times.

He walked four and gave up two runs in six innings of Washington's 3-2 loss to Atlanta on Monday, and manager Davey Johnson was concerned his ace was experiencing potentially serious arm trouble as he said Strasburg was shaking his arm between pitches more than normal.

The right-hander, though, knew right away there weren't any major problems.

``I'm not missing my next start. I'll tell you that right now," Strasburg said after the game.

General manager Mike Rizzo agreed.

"Stephen had some irritation on his forearm. He's healthy, happy and ready to pitch Saturday," Rizzo told the team's official website Tuesday. "He was seen by the team doctor here in the clubhouse and was given a clean bill of health."

That's good news for the Nationals (15-15), as Strasburg has been dominant in his two career outings versus Pittsburgh. He gave up two runs and four hits while striking out a career-high 14 in seven innings of a 5-2 victory in his first major league start June 8, 2010. He then finished with 13 strikeouts and allowed one earned run in six innings of a 4-2 win May 10.

Washington, though, has dropped four of six after falling 3-1 to the Pirates in Friday's series opener. Danny Espinosa had an RBI single but Ryan Zimmerman went 0 for 4 in his return to the lineup after missing 14 games with a strained left hamstring.

The Nationals have scored three runs or fewer in six straight games.

"I don't know if it's being aggressive early in the count or not, but I do feel we're trying too hard to make things happen," Johnson said. "Everyone just needs to relax a little bit.'

Andrew McCutchen has been hitting much better lately for Pittsburgh (17-12), which improved to 16-7 since starting the season 1-5. McCutchen went 3 for 4 with a solo homer Friday and is 8 for 17 with two homers and four RBIs over his last four contests to bump his average up 41 points to .257.

The Pirates, who have taken five of the last seven meetings with the Nationals, will look to win a fifth straight home game as they send Jeff Locke to the mound.

Locke (3-1, 2.83) got off to a rocky start but has been stellar over his last two outings while extending his scoreless streak to 13 innings. He allowed two hits and struck out six in six innings of a 2-0 win over Philadelphia on April 23, then gave up three hits in seven innings of a 9-0 victory over St. Louis on Sunday.

"Locke pitched a great game (Sunday)," catcher Russell Martin told the team's official website. "Getting my pitcher putting up scoreless innings gets us in a place to win."

The left-hander, who had one victory in 10 career starts entering this season, has never faced the Nationals nor any hitter currently on their roster.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 01:56 AM

Preview: Marlins (8-21) at Phillies (13-16)

Game: 3
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: May 04, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Facing the Miami Marlins provided the Philadelphia Phillies a great chance to recover from an ugly series, and they've taken advantage.

Cole Hamels looks to become the latest Phillies starter to shut down the light-hitting Marlins on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

After getting outscored 20-2 in a two-game sweep at Cleveland, Philadelphia (14-16) has bounced back with consecutive victories over Miami. A day after Kyle Kendrick went seven strong innings in a 7-2 win, rookie Jonathan Pettibone allowed one run in 6 1-3 innings Friday to help the Phillies to a 4-1 victory.

Philadelphia's pitching staff allowed 31 hits in two games versus the Indians but has limited Miami to 13 halfway through this four-game set. The NL-worst Marlins (8-22) have gone 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position.

"We've got to do a better job of putting some runs up," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's tough for our pitching when we're just scoring one run a night."

That's been a problem against the Phillies, losing four of five meetings this season while scoring seven runs and batting .169. Philadelphia has won 11 of 14 versus Miami as its starters have gone at least six innings in all but one of those games, going 10-1 with a 1.98 ERA.

There's little reason to think Hamels (1-3, 4.78 ERA) can't keep that trend going, especially considering the Marlins are hitting .154 (6 for 39) against left-handers over their last six games. Hamels is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last three outings against Miami, including a 2-1 loss April 13 as he allowed one run and three hits in six innings.

That strong outing came after two mediocre ones to begin the season and he has continued to pitch well, posting a 2.33 ERA in his last four starts with 27 strikeouts in 27 innings. Hamels is coming off his first win despite a career high-tying six walks, giving up one run and two hits over six innings in a 5-1 victory over the Mets.

"I was able to get away with it," the veteran left-hander said of his lack of command.

As good as Hamels and the Phillies starters have been against the Marlins this year, Ryan Howard has caused them big problems as well. He's homered in the first two games of this series and is 9 for 17 with five doubles in five meetings this season.

Howard, who has hit safely in 10 straight at home, has four homers and 12 RBIs over the last nine games. He went deep once and drove in six runs through his first 19.

"He's more patient, he's starting to get good balls to hit and he's staying on the ball better," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Howard went 0 for 3 against Miami's Jose Fernandez on April 13 when the rookie right-hander outpitched Hamels, yielding two hits over six shutout innings. Fernandez (0-2, 4.50), though, has struggled since that game.

He's lasted just 13 innings over his past three starts, giving up 11 runs and 15 hits. Hernandez needed 81 pitches to get through four innings Monday as he allowed two runs, three hits and three walks in a 4-3, 15-inning win over the Mets.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 01:58 AM

Preview: White Sox (12-15) at Royals (15-10)

Game: 2
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: May 04, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


When Jeremy Guthrie beat the Chicago White Sox in August, there's no way he could have realized it would be the beginning of an unbeaten streak that's only been seen one other time in Kansas City Royals history.

Now he can't stop hearing about it.

After Friday's originally scheduled series opener was wiped out due to freezing rain, Guthrie looks to extend his streak to 17 starts without a loss Saturday night as the Royals host the White Sox in this now-extended three-game set.

After allowing six hits and striking out five in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-0 win over Cleveland on Sunday, Guthrie improved to 8-0 with a 2.44 ERA over his last 16 starts. The unbeaten streak, which began with a 2-1 win over the White Sox on Aug. 8, ties the Royals' franchise record set by Paul Splittorff spanning the 1977 and 1978 seasons.

"I knew it's been a number of starts in a row, because people kept reminding me of it," said Guthrie, who is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in five starts in 2013. "Ultimately, it means a lot because hopefully the guys behind me when I go out are confident that we have a chance to win the game."

Guthrie, who hasn't won more than 11 games in his career and hasn't had a winning season since 2007, has seemed to rejuvenate his career in Kansas City after being acquired from Colorado in July.

"I have the kind of confidence I want to go into each start (thinking) that good stuff or not, I can keep us in it and give us a chance to win the game," Guthrie said.

The right-hander has been stellar against the White Sox since being traded to the Royals, going 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA as Kansas City has won each of his five starts. He's struck out 28 and walked three over 35 2-3 innings.

Kansas City (15-10) should be well rested as it looks for its third straight victory. Its series finale versus Tampa Bay on Thursday was postponed after 3 1/2 innings due to snow, and freezing rain wiped out Friday's game.

The teams will now finish their three-game set Monday, an originally scheduled day off for both clubs.

"I used to worry about these kinds of things, but not anymore. There's nothing you can do about it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We'll play when we can play."

Injuries have been an issue for the White Sox, though they took the final two of a three-game set at Texas with Thursday's 3-1 victory. Scheduled starter Jake Peavy was scratched earlier in the day because of back spasms, but Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to provide all the offense Chicago (12-15) would need.

Hector Santiago was scheduled to pitch in this opener but had to be moved up to replace Peavy, putting Dylan Axelrod in line to start. Gavin Floyd is on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his right arm.

"I think every day you go through the list and figure out who's available, and the training room's full," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's just part of playing the game. You just deal with it."

Axelrod (0-1, 3.95) has given up a total of six runs while pitching six innings in each of his last three starts. He didn't get a decision in any of those outings, though, including after giving up three runs to Tampa Bay in an 8-3 loss Sunday.

The right-hander has never started against Kansas City, though he earned the victory after pitching two scoreless innings of relief in a 9-8 win July 13.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 01:59 AM

Preview: Red Sox (20-8) at Rangers (17-11)

Game: 2
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: May 04, 2013 8:05 PM EDT


The Texas Rangers have routinely pounded Boston pitching recently, and they'll look for another big offensive display as they try for their 10th win in 13 meetings with the Red Sox on Saturday night.

Texas' offense has keyed the team's success in this series, as the Rangers (18-11) have hit .334 with 20 homers while averaging 7.7 runs in the last 12 matchups.

The Rangers battered the visiting Red Sox (20-9) again in the opener of this three-game series Friday, collecting a season-high 18 hits on their way to a 7-0 win as Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland combined for 10 hits.

Kinsler, who had three hits, is batting .417 with seven RBIs and eight runs over his last 10 meetings with Boston.

The second baseman is on a tear overall, compiling a .462 average during a nine-game hitting streak as his season mark increased 62 points to a team-leading .342. He's batting .438 with three homers versus John Lackey, Boston's scheduled starter.

Beltre has a .196 average with two homers against Lackey, but he enters this matchup with some momentum. The third baseman had a three-run double among his four hits Friday after enduring a 4-for-31 slump with three homers over his previous nine games.

"Beltre has got a track record, and the guys in my lineup have got a track record," manager Ron Washington said. "Beltre is a run producer, there wasn't anyone more upset about it than Beltre. But I'm happy that he said he's not frustrated because when you get frustrated you go blind."

Lackey (1-1, 2.61 ERA) certainly doesn't have any frustrations as he looks to build on an impressive return from the disabled list.

The veteran right-hander yielded one run while throwing 81 pitches in six innings of Sunday's 6-1 win over Houston. It was his first victory since Aug. 23, 2011, after missing last year recovering from Tommy John surgery.

He started this season with a scare, suffering a strained right biceps in a 5-0 loss at Toronto on April 6 and going on the DL four days later.

"The elbow's fine," Lackey said. "I was relieved probably to know I'm going to get my next start, just to come out of it healthy more than anything."

Lackey is 2-5 with a 9.34 ERA over his last 10 starts against the Rangers, who are hitting .367 off him over that stretch. He's split his last two visits to Arlington, allowing 13 runs in 10 1-3 innings.

The Rangers will counter with Alexi Ogando (2-2, 3.38), who is getting the ball for the second time at home. The right-hander won his first home start by yielding one run and three hits in 5 1-3 innings to beat Tampa Bay 5-4 on April 8.

He's 0-2 with a 4.87 ERA in four starts since but has been backed by five runs.

Ogando didn't get any help from the bats Sunday, when he allowed three runs in six innings of a 5-0 loss at Minnesota.

He's 1-2 with a 5.11 ERA in eight games versus the Red Sox, and his only start ended in a 6-0 home loss Aug. 25, 2011. Ogando was tagged for six runs and four homers in four innings.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 08:01 AM

Preview: Cardinals (17-11) at Brewers (14-13)

Game: 3
Venue: Miller Park
Date: May 04, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


While Adam Wainwright has had plenty of success against the Milwaukee Brewers, Yovani Gallardo hasn't been able to figure out why the St. Louis Cardinals give him so much trouble.

St. Louis seeks a fifth straight win Saturday while sending host Milwaukee to a fourth consecutive defeat.

Wainwright (4-2, 2.03 ERA) has gotten off to a solid start, striking out 43 while walking only three in 44 1-3 innings. He pitched well Monday but had his four-start winning streak come to an end, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati.

"It was a tough game to lose," Wainwright told the team's official website. "Sometimes you have to match up zeros with someone who is throwing great, and I didn't match zeros."

Wainwright put up plenty of zeros in his best outing of the season April 13, tossing a four-hitter and striking out a career high-tying 12 while also going 3 for 3 with two RBIs in an 8-0 win over Milwaukee.

Two of Wainwright's five career shutouts have coming against the Brewers.

"It's always fun to pitch a complete-game shutout," Wainwright said. "I've done it against the Brewers a couple times now. I don't know what it is about that team. I think they make me focus more, because they have guys that are really dangerous."

The right-hander is 9-6 with a 2.00 ERA in 18 career starts versus Milwaukee, with four of his 12 career complete games coming against the Brewers. He's gone the distance the last two times he's faced them, allowing five hits in a 6-1 victory Aug. 4.

Ryan Braun is 9 for 49 (.184) with 13 strikeouts lifetime off Wainwright, but he's batting .423 during a six-game hitting streak after going 2 for 4 in Milwaukee's 6-1 loss to the Cardinals (18-11) on Friday.

Aramis Ramirez went 2 for 3 in his return after missing four weeks with a sprained left knee, but the Brewers (14-14) have dropped the first two of this four-game series and eight of the last 11 meetings with St. Louis.

Matt Holliday went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran also homered Friday for the Cardinals. Holliday has three home runs while Beltran is 6 for 15 lifetime off Gallardo, who is pitching well of late but hasn't had any success against St. Louis recently.

Gallardo (3-1, 4.25) had a 6.61 ERA over his first three starts, including allowing six runs in 5 1-3 innings while opposing Wainwright last month. He's won his last three outings, though, posting a 2.29 ERA after giving up two runs - one earned - in seven innings of a 10-4 win over Pittsburgh on Monday. He also hit his second homer of the season.

"Glad he went the length that he did," manager Ron Roenicke told the team's official website. "He struggled with his command early, then he got the rhythm and started throwing strikes, and finished, I thought, outstanding."

The right-hander has been anything but versus the Cardinals, though. Gallardo is 0-7 with a 9.56 ERA in his last eight starts - including a Game 3 loss in the 2011 NLCS - and 1-11 with a 6.86 ERA in 16 career outings against St. Louis.

"I know I haven't had very many good ones against them, and it's frustrating," Gallardo said. "There always seems to be something."

St. Louis found out Friday that closer Jason Motte won't pitch this season and will have Tommy John surgery next week

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 08:03 AM

Preview: Mets (11-15) at Braves (17-11)

Game: 2
Venue: Turner Field
Date: May 04, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


A rare outburst offensively has sparked consecutive victories, and the New York Mets appear to have a decent chance to keep swinging hot bats Saturday night at Turner Field.

The Mets look to match a season high with their third straight win as they face Julio Teheran, who has been the Atlanta Braves' least effective starter but has seen them win all of his games.

After totaling 11 runs and hitting .165 with three homers during its season-worst six-game losing streak, New York (12-15) has scored 14 times while batting .263 with six homers in back-to-back victories.

David Wright provided one of the big blows Friday with a game-tying homer off Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning before New York scored twice in the 10th to win 7-5.

"He's as dominant as anybody in the game," Wright said of Kimbrel, who allowed a home run for the first time since Aug. 31. "You've just got to hope he makes a minor mistake or really you don't have much of a chance."

Wright, who also homered in a 7-6 win at Miami on Wednesday, now tries to lead New York to its first three-game win streak since April 6-8.

The Mets notched their second victory in nine games in Atlanta while tying a season high with four homers, and they'll look to continue that kind of production as they face Teheran (1-0, 5.08 ERA).

Opponents are hitting .333 against the right-hander, who has the worst ERA of any pitcher on the Braves' active roster. He has one quality start in five tries - every other Atlanta starter has at least four - but the Braves (17-12) have won all of them while scoring a combined 31 runs.

Teheran, though, has managed to avoid the big inning lately, allowing three runs despite 18 hits over 12 1-3 innings in his last two starts. He surrendered 10 hits and two runs in 5 1-3 innings Monday, not getting a decision in a 3-2 win over Washington.

"We're watching him grow up in front of our eyes," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

The East-leading Braves haven't given their pitchers much support following a 12-1 start, hitting .226 with 156 strikeouts while dropping 11 of 16.

Atlanta, however, has batted .295 with 10 homers and 57 RBIs over the last nine home games against the Mets. Evan Gattis hit his seventh homer Friday, Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs and B.J. Upton had two hits to break a 1-for-22 slump.

"Our offense went out there and did what they had to do," said Kimbrel, who blew his second save in three games. "They scored when we needed to score, and we weren't just able to hold it down."

The Braves hope to do some damage against left-hander Jonathon Niese (2-2, 3.31), winless in his last three starts while getting three runs of support.

Niese allowed three runs - one earned - in 6 2-3 innings in a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, showing no ill effects from the comebacker that hit him near the right ankle and knocked him out of his previous start.

"It felt good," said Niese, who threw a season-high 117 pitches. "I was able to pound the zone with all of my pitches for the most part."

Niese is 5-1 with a 2.93 ERA in seven starts against the Braves since the start of the 2011 season, yielding three runs in 21 innings over the last three.

Two of those runs came off homers by Freddie Freeman, but the first baseman is homerless since opening day.

Justin Upton is 5 for 11 off Niese without a homer, and he hasn't gone deep in a season-high six consecutive games but still leads the majors with 12 home runs.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27334 Followers:33
05/04/2013 08:05 AM

Preview: Diamondbacks (15-13) at Padres (11-17)

Game: 2
Venue: PETCO Park
Date: May 04, 2013 8:40 PM EDT


Chase Headley says talks regarding a potential contract extension with the San Diego Padres were becoming a distraction, so he's decided to wait until the offseason to focus on the negotiations.

He hasn't seemed too distracted at the plate, though.

San Diego seeks a sixth consecutive home victory Saturday night as it faces the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have lost four straight.

Headley had one of the best seasons in Padres history in 2012, hitting 31 homers with an NL-best 115 RBIs while also winning a Gold Glove at third base. The sides couldn't work out a long-term deal in the offseason, though, and Headley signed a one-year, $8.575 million contract.

Discussions have continued, but Headley has seemed to grow tired of those talks taking his focus off the field, not because he's frustrated with the negotiations.

"The reasoning for my wanting to do this in the offseason is because I know me better than anybody else," Headley said. "For me to go out and play the best that I can, I need to be completely focused on the field. That's the sole and only purpose behind it."

He hasn't seemed too bothered while batting .364 during his current hitting streak, which reached eight with an RBI double in the eighth inning of Friday's 7-6 win over Arizona. Headley drove in a run for the fourth straight game after having four RBIs through his first 11.

The switch hitter has four homers and 16 RBIs in his last 12 games versus the Diamondbacks.

San Diego (12-17), which hasn't won six straight at home since Aug. 1-25, 2010, has won seven of nine overall. The Padres have averaged 6.1 runs in the last seven with 31 extra-base hits, including six Friday as part of a 14-hit attack.

"I've sensed us starting to swing the bats better the last couple weeks," manager Bud Black said. "It showed again with double-digit hits, some good at_bats, some hard contact along the way."

The Padres will seek to win for the 11th time in 13 meetings with the Diamondbacks (15-14), who have lost each of Clayton Richard's last six starts against them.

He's 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA in that span, but Richard (0-3, 7.94 ERA) enters his start Saturday in a funk. The left-hander allowed five runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday, six days after giving up six runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 6-3 loss to Milwaukee.

"I wish I could have put us in a better position to win a baseball game. That's all that really matters," Richard said.

He's looking to avoid going winless in a career-high eight straight starts dating back to last season, having allowed at least five runs in five of his last seven.

Arizona scheduled starter Patrick Corbin (3-0, 1.91) is off to a significantly better start, allowing seven runs in 33 innings over five outings. He hasn't walked a batter in either of his last two, including giving up two runs in 6 2-3 innings of Sunday's 4-2 win over Colorado.

"He just competes," manager Kirk Gibson told the team's official website. "He understands the tools he possesses and he has utilized them."

The left-hander faced San Diego three times as a rookie last season, losing both starts and posting a 5.27 ERA as the Padres hit .358 against him. Chris Denorfia went 3 for 6 with a pair of solo homers off Corbin.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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05/04/2013 08:06 AM

Preview: Dodgers (13-14) at Giants (16-12)

Game: 2
Venue: AT&T Park
Date: May 04, 2013 9:05 PM EDT


As the reigning NL MVP on a World Series champion, Buster Posey is loved by San Francisco Giants fans.

His play at home against the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers only reinforces those feelings.

Coming off a clutch performance, Posey looks to continue his success against the Dodgers at AT&T Park on Saturday night and lead the Giants to their longest winning streak of the season.

Posey enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2012, batting a league-best .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBIs - all career highs.

So far, he's struggling to replicate those impressive numbers, hitting .281 with four homers and 17 RBIs. However, facing the Dodgers at home may be triggering a change.

Posey has a .333 average in 22 home meetings with Los Angeles - .408 over the past 14.

The All-Star catcher came up big in the opener of this three-game series Friday, connecting for a walkoff homer to clinch a 2-1 win. He also knocked in San Francisco's other run on a sixth-inning double, as the Giants (17-12) matched their season-high four-game winning streak.

"He's the guy you want up there. He ran a deep count there," manager Bruce Bochy said of Posey's homer. "It doesn't come at a better time than when he hit it. That's another great comeback for us."

Scheduled starter Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, 6.23) will try to rebound from his shortest - and perhaps worst - start of the season. It was also the most recent defeat for the Giants, 6-4 at San Diego on Sunday.

Vogelsong was battered for six runs and eight hits, including a career high-tying three homers, with three walks in five innings. He's surrendered seven homers over his last four starts.

"I'm just off, man. I can't get anything really going," Vogelsong told the team's official website. "I don't feel like I'm as far off as I was last year."

Last year, the right-hander went 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA over his first four starts before going 6-0 and compiling a 1.76 ERA over his next eight.

Coincidentally, that run started with a 2-1 win over the Dodgers (13-15) on May 8, when he yielded one run in 7 1-3 innings.

Vogelsong is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA over his last seven starts versus Los Angeles.

Injuries continue to mount for the Dodgers, who lost Hanley Ramirez to a left hamstring injury Friday. The shortstop returned Monday from a torn ligament in his right thumb, which kept him out of the lineup for the first 25 games.

"It sounds like he got it pretty good," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's usually a pretty good amount of time. It's not like he's going to be back in a couple days."

Adrian Gonzalez's status is unclear after he was a late scratch for the series opener due to neck pain, stemming from a collision with an umpire earlier this week.

The injury issues have given Matt Magill an opportunity to showcase himself, and this time it's for Ted Lilly - placed on the DL Friday with a strain in his right rib cage.

Magill made his major league debut last Saturday because Stephen Fife went on the DL with bursitis in his right shoulder. The right-hander impressed, yielding two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings while not getting a decision in a 6-4 loss to Milwaukee.

"He's a guy that just seems to be under control," Mattingly told the team's official website. "He's a guy that you can just see his precision really in his work. He's been a guy that has to locate. He's kind of constantly getting better."

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