cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:09 AM

Preview: White Sox (19-21) at Angels (15-27)

Game: 3
Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Date: May 18, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


While the Chicago White Sox are in the midst of their most successful stretch of the season, the Los Angeles Angels yet again find themselves in a slide.

The visiting White Sox look to extend their season-high winning streak to five games by keeping Joe Blanton winless and handing the Angels a fourth consecutive defeat Saturday.

Chicago (19-21) dropped five of seven before Chris Sale one-hit Los Angeles to salvage one victory during a three-game home set Sunday. The White Sox lost 10-3 the next night at Minnesota, but since have won four in a row, including the first two in Anaheim.

The Angels (15-27), meanwhile, have lost three straight and five of six since winning three in a row.

Sale allowed three hits and struck out 12 over 7 2-3 innings and Alex Rios homered for the second straight game in Chicago's 3-0 win at Los Angeles on Friday. The 24-year-old ace has gone 23 innings without yielding a run.

"A team like (the Angels), they've got some amazing ballplayers," Sale said. "So you've got to make adjustments.

"It's never easy facing a team in back-to-back starts."

Rios is batting .388 with four home runs and nine RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak. He's hit .350 (7 for 20) with three RBIs this season versus Los Angeles.

Teammate Adam Dunn homered for the fourth time in four games Friday. The slugger is 7 for 16 (.438) with eight RBIs during the stretch that followed a four-game span which he went 0 for 14.

Chicago looks to stay hot against Blanton (0-7, 6.46 ERA), who will try a ninth time to earn his first win as an Angel.

The right-hander allowed a season-high seven runs and 12 hits while striking out seven without a walk in 4 2-3 innings of an 11-4 loss to Kansas City on Monday. It marked the first time in franchise history that the Angels have lost each of a pitcher's first eight starts in a season.

"Joe had a rough outing, to say the least,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll turn the page on it, and hopefully he'll get where he needs to be in his next start."

Blanton is 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA against the White Sox, but has not faced them since 2008 with Oakland.

Chicago counters with Hector Santiago (1-2, 2.33), who allowed a solo homer in 12 1-3 innings to go 1-0 in his first two starts after replacing the injured Gavin Floyd, but gave up six - three earned - in 5 2-3 frames Monday.

With injured starter John Danks apparently close to returning to the rotation, Santiago could drop out. With a 3-1 record and 1.93 ERA in seven career starts, Santiago also has heard his name in trade rumors.

"I kind of try not to think about it, but you always have something in the back of your mind," he told the White Sox's official website about his uncertain future.

In his only previous appearance against the Angels, Santiago threw 2-3 scoreless innings of relief on Sept. 21.

Los Angeles' Mike Trout is 0 for 6 in the series after he hit .368 with six homers and 17 RBIs in the previous 15 contests.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
White Sox at Angels
Thu, May 16 Final 5 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
White Sox at Angels
Fri, May 17 Final 3 to 0
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
White Sox at Angels
Sat, May 18 - 4:05PM EDT

GAME 4
White Sox at Angels
Sun, May 19 - 3:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:13 AM

Preview: Reds (25-17) at Phillies (20-22)

Game: 2
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: May 18, 2013 4:05 PM EDT


The Philadelphia Phillies' pitching staff includes established stars like former World Series MVP Cole Hamels and Cy Young Award winners Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, but arguably the team's most consistent starter has never won more than 11 games in his career.

Kyle Kendrick looks to win a fifth straight decision while helping Philadelphia to its fifth victory in six tries as it hosts the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

The Phillies' starting rotation has posted a 4.16 ERA as Hamels (1-6, 4.61 ERA) has gotten off to a slow start along with Halladay (2-4, 8.65), who had arthroscopic shoulder surgery this week and isn't expected to throw again for nearly two months.

Though Lee pitched seven solid innings and lowered his ERA to 2.83 as the Phillies (20-22) beat the Reds 5-3 on Friday, it's been Kendrick (4-1, 2.47) who has shined the most.

Kendrick has posted a 1.84 ERA in seven outings since losing his first start of the season, highlighted by a three-hit shutout over the New York Mets on April 26. The right-hander has allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings in each of his last two starts, beating San Francisco 6-2 on May 7 before Philadelphia's 4-2, 10-inning win over Arizona on Sunday.

The last time the Phillies lost when Kendrick started was April 16, when he allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings before Jay Bruce's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave Cincinnati a 1-0 victory.

Kendrick has a 1.37 ERA in his last three starts versus the Reds but no victories to show for it, getting three runs of support over 19 2-3 innings.

Philadelphia, which was outscored 16-4 during a three-game sweep in Cincinnati from April 15-17, had enough offense in a 5-3 win Friday as Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer to help end the Reds' six-game winning streak.

Rollins, batting .118 (2 for 17) over his last five versus Cincinnati, hit only the third home run in the last six games for the Phillies as they've manufactured runs in other ways during their hot stretch.

``When you talk about playing small ball, you have to have the talent,' manager Charlie Manuel said.

Bruce and Joey Votto homered Friday for the Reds (25-17), who lost for just the third time in 13 games. They'll send Bronson Arroyo to the mound Saturday as he seeks his third straight victory over the Phillies.

Arroyo (3-4, 3.76) scattered five hits in 6 2-3 scoreless innings of a 5-1 win over Milwaukee on Sunday, ending a three-start losing streak during which he posted a 5.50 ERA.

``I didn't have a whole lot of stuff,' said Arroyo, who was feeling ill during his last outing. ``I was grinding from the first inning on. I knew I was getting away with pitches that I normally wouldn't. Luckily, they were beating them into the ground.'

The right-hander had not won since giving up two runs in eight innings of a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on April 15. Arroyo had the same stat line to beat the Phillies 3-2 on Aug. 22 in his previous start against them, ending a six-start regular-season skid versus Philadelphia.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Reds at Phillies
Fri, May 17 Final 3 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Reds at Phillies
Sat, May 18 - 4:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Reds at Phillies
Sun, May 19 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:16 AM

Preview: Astros (11-31) at Pirates (25-17)

Game: 2
Venue: PNC Park
Date: May 18, 2013 7:05 PM EDT


Following a stunning late-inning rally, the Pittsburgh Pirates send the NL strikeout leader to the mound against the most strikeout-prone team in the majors.

A.J. Burnett will try to lead the surging Pirates to their season-high fifth straight win Saturday night when they take on the AL-worst Houston Astros at PNC Park.

After Pedro Alvarez hit a game-tying homer in the eighth, the Pirates were gifted a 5-4 victory Friday night when Houston's Jimmy Paredes and Jake Elmore collided and dropped a pop-up with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth.

The Pirates (25-17) won for the seventh time in eight games to move a season-high eight games over .500.

``I like the direction we're headed, the effort and the attitude,' manager Clint Hurdle said.

Now Hurdle turns to Burnett (3-4, 2.73 ERA), who could be in line for a big day against a Houston offense that has already amassed 417 strikeouts.

The right-hander has fanned 72 and hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in each of his nine starts.

The Pirates, though, have given him only two runs over his four defeats, including a 5-1 loss at Milwaukee on Monday. He matched a season low with six strikeouts and allowed three earned runs over seven innings.

While he's 4-5 with a 4.54 ERA in 11 career meetings versus the Astros, Burnett has won his last two against them, yielding three runs and striking out 16 over 15 1-3 innings.

Burnett, though, has had trouble keeping runners close. Milwaukee stole six bases, and the 13 steals he's allowed rank among the most in the league. Pittsburgh's catchers have yielded 39 stolen bases, also among the league's worst totals.

The Astros (11-31), however, have only 21 steals and rank in the bottom third of the majors in stolen base percentage (61.8).

Jose Altuve, who is expected to be activated from the bereavement list Saturday following the death of his grandmother, Brandon Barnes and Marwin Gonzalez lead Houston with four stolen bases apiece.

Carlos Pena has hit safely in six straight games, but he's 6 for 37 (.162) with two homers and 14 strikeouts in this matchup.

Scheduled starter Erik Bedard (0-2, 6.67) showed some signs of improvement by reaching the fifth inning for the first time in his last start on Saturday, giving up two runs and striking out seven versus Texas, but Houston's bullpen blew a two-run lead in an 8-7 loss. That's been a common theme for a relief corps that is last in the majors with 30 home runs allowed and a 4.99 ERA.

Bedard, who went 7-14 with a 4.15 ERA for Pittsburgh last season, is 4-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 12 career starts at PNC Park and facing the Pirates for the first time.

Although the Pirates are hitting just .231 against left-handers, they're hitting .297 against them over their last 16 games.

Starling Marte leads Pittsburgh with a .417 (15 for 36) batting average, while Gaby Sanchez is 11 for 32 (.344) with three homers when facing left-handers.

Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 5 with a homer Friday and is hitting .388 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 26 career games against the Astros at PNC Park.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Astros at Pirates
Fri, May 17 Final 4 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Astros at Pirates
Sat, May 18 - 7:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Astros at Pirates
Sun, May 19 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:19 AM

Preview: Red Sox (25-17) at Twins (18-20)

Game: 2
Venue: Target Field
Date: May 18, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The Boston Red Sox are on the verge of matching their longest road winning streak over the Minnesota Twins in 12 years.

The last-place Twins may be hoping Joe Mauer is around to help keep that from happening.

The Red Sox may not have to deal with the injured Mauer again Saturday night when they go for a fifth straight win at Minnesota.

Boston (25-17) has won six of seven at Target Field, including four straight while hitting .338 with six homers and 27 runs. It last won five in a row as the visitor against the Twins from 2000-01 at the Metrodome.

Despite their gaudy offensive numbers of late in Minneapolis, the Red Sox had nine singles among their 10 hits Friday while Jonny Gomes' sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run in a 3-2, 10-inning win to open this three-game set.

Boston's chances at another win may increase if Mauer is out again. The five-time All-Star catcher has a stiff back that sidelined him for the series opener, leaving the Twins without their leading hitter at .349.

"We're hoping this is short-term," manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website.

Mauer is on a 14-game hitting streak, during which he has a .446 average with 11 doubles and 11 walks. He's 8 for 18 with five doubles over four meetings with the Red Sox this season.

Scott Diamond (3-3, 4.08 ERA) is scheduled to get the ball looking to build on his own success versus Boston. He tossed seven scoreless innings in a 6-1 road win in his only meeting against the Red Sox on May 7, and that came at the expense of Ryan Dempster, who will oppose him again.

"He makes it real easy," catcher Ryan Doumit said. "He's one of the most prepared pitchers I've ever been around. He has a game plan every time out and sticks to it. Nights like those are fun."

Doumit certainly didn't enjoy Diamond's latest performance, as the left-hander surrendered six runs and nine hits with a career-high three homers in 5 2-3 innings of Sunday's 6-0 loss to Baltimore. He allowed two over his first five starts.

Dempster (2-4, 3.75) is looking to get untracked against the Twins after allowing four runs - two earned - with eight strikeouts in seven innings versus Diamond. He defeated them twice last year behind a 1.29 ERA.

Dempster followed his latest meeting with Minnesota with his worst performance of the season in Sunday's 12-4 loss to Toronto. He was tagged for season highs of six runs, seven hits and three homers in five innings, but he insists he's physically fine.

"I've been feeling really good this year," Dempster told the team's official website. "It's nice as you get older to continue to feel good. That's an important thing, but at the same time, you can feel as good as you want or as bad as you want, you've got to execute pitches.

"Hopefully, I can continue to do that on a consistent basis."

Dempster has had tremendous success against Mauer, who is 1 for 10 with six strikeouts against him.

Dustin Pedroia is a .405 hitter at Minnesota, going 7 for 19 over the past four visits. He went 0 for 3 versus Diamond earlier this month, but is batting .459 in nine games since.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Red Sox at Twins
Fri, May 17 Final 3 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Red Sox at Twins
Sat, May 18 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Red Sox at Twins
Sun, May 19 - 2:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:21 AM

Preview: Dodgers (17-23) at Braves (23-18)

Game: 2
Venue: Turner Field
Date: May 18, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


Perhaps a little time at home was all the Atlanta Braves needed to emerge from their recent slump.

One night after rallying for a victory, the Braves look to squeeze another win from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field on Saturday night.

Atlanta, which played 26 of 34 on the road before starting this three-game set, came home having lost five of six to end a 10-game trip. The Braves hit .210 and scored just 2.8 runs per game over that six-game stretch.

They've been much better at home, improving to 10-5 there with an 8-5 win over the Dodgers on Friday. Atlanta scored six times over the sixth and seven innings to erase a two-run deficit.

The Braves, at long last, have all of their top hitters available. Right fielder Jason Heyward reached base three times and scored twice in his return from an emergency appendectomy. It marked his first action since April 20, after which he hit the disabled list with a paltry .121 batting average.

Friday marked the first time this season that Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann and Heyward, who have all been on the DL, were on the field together.

"We've played 40 games and it's the first time we've had the lineup we talked about all winter," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Atlanta (23-18) still could use more help from its rotation, which has a 6.32 ERA over the last seven games. No Braves starter has made it through the seventh inning since May 9.

Among the Braves pitchers looking for a rebound performance is Saturday's starter, Kris Medlen (1-5, 3.44 ERA). He gave up season highs of three homers and five walks against San Francisco on Sunday, surrendering five runs - three earned - and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss.

It was just the second time in eight starts an opponent scored more than three runs off Medlen, but he remains stuck on one win - April 9 at Miami - partly because his run support average of 2.72 is among baseball's worst. Atlanta has lost his last five starts.

Medlen, though, has a good history against the Dodgers, going 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in six games. He's handled Matt Kemp well, allowing just a double in seven at_bats while striking him out four times.

Kemp saw his 14-game hitting streak end Friday. He's 3 for 35 in his last 10 games in Atlanta.

The Dodgers (17-23), who had won four of five before Friday, look to get back on track with Chris Capuano (1-2, 6.60) on the mound. The left-hander is coming off his first win and easily his best performance, throwing just 79 pitches and yielding one run in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-3 victory over Miami.

That came six days after he was ripped for six runs in four innings of a loss to Arizona following a three-week stint on the disabled list for a strained left calf.

"It's been a bit of a nightmare the past week. It's nice to wake up from it," Capuano said. "I was trying to watch some of the good games I had last year, look at what I did to be successful and try to stick with my strengths instead of worrying about getting to the hitters' weaknesses."

Capuano has been very successful versus the Braves lately, going 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his last eight starts against them.

However, this will be his first time facing Justin Upton in an Atlanta uniform, and he's gone 5 for 14 with a homer off Capuano. Upton hit a grand slam Friday for his major league-leading 14th homer.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Dodgers at Braves
Fri, May 17 Final 5 to 8
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Dodgers at Braves
Sat, May 18 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Dodgers at Braves
Sun, May 19 - 1:35PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:23 AM

Preview: Diamondbacks (24-18) at Marlins (11-31)

Game: 2
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: May 18, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


It turns out a trip to Miami may have been just what the Arizona Diamondbacks needed to heat up their bats.

Nothing seems to be doing that for the Marlins.

Arizona looks to build on one of its best offensive performances of the year and extend light-hitting Miami's losing streak to seven Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks (24-18) tied a season high with three home runs in a 9-2 victory in Miami on Friday night. Their nine runs and 16 hits were both one shy of season highs.

"I just hope we can do this more often," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It would sure help our pitching staff."

Gibson's team had only three homers over the previous seven games while scoring 16 runs.

The Diamondbacks have had no such problems in Miami lately. They've won seven of eight there while averaging 7.4 runs and batting .317 with 10 homers and 20 doubles.

Paul Goldschmidt will look to stay hot and take advantage of a Marlins staff which has let opponents hit .340 during a six-game losing streak. Coming off a three-game set against Atlanta in which he batted .545 with five extra-base hits, Goldschmidt homered in each of his first two at_bats Friday and finished 4 for 5 with four RBIs.

"Watch the kid, watch the way he stays with his approach, he's dangerous," Gibson said of Goldschmidt, who has six homers and 13 RBIs in his last four road games.

Third baseman Eric Chavez also enters Saturday on a tear. He tallied four hits Friday, including his first home run since April 29, and is batting .486 in May with nine RBIs in 11 games.

It seems no one is swinging a hot bat for Miami (11-31). The Marlins have combined for 11 runs while batting .219 during the six-game skid, which matches a season high.

With key bats like Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Donovan Solano, Casey Kotchman and Chris Valaika all sidelined, the Marlins depend on production from players like Justin Ruggiano, who is 3 for his last 29 with 10 strikeouts.

Hoping to take advantage of Miami's struggles is Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 5.63 ERA), who is looking to avoid going a career-high 10th straight start without a victory.

The right-hander deserved to win Sunday following his best start of the season, shutting out Philadelphia for eight innings, but Arizona went on to lose 4-2 in 10 innings. He had surrendered three-plus runs in each of his prior seven starts.

"The disappointment is us not getting a win," said McCarthy, who hasn't won since Aug. 31. "I really don't care if I don't get a win. It's an inconsequential stat."

Miami's Tom Koehler (0-1, 3.31) is looking for his first major league win, having lost his only two previous starts.

The right-hander was used out of the bullpen after being called up from Triple-A New Orleans on April 19, throwing 7 1-3 scoreless innings over his first four appearances. In his last three games, however, he has given up six runs and 10 hits over nine innings while striking out just two.

His first start of 2013 came Sunday, contending with baserunners in every inning but giving up just two runs in five innings of a 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I don't feel much different than if I would have been starting consistently," Koehler said. "So I guess that's a good sign, and now I can build off it."

Koehler threw a career-high 79 pitches in that game, so it seems unlikely he'll provide much rest for a Marlins bullpen which has gone at least three innings in seven straight games. Three Miami relievers combined to throw six innings Friday.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Diamondbacks at Marlins
Fri, May 17 Final 9 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Diamondbacks at Marlins
Sat, May 18 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Diamondbacks at Marlins
Sun, May 19 - 1:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:25 AM

Preview: Brewers (16-24) at Cardinals (27-14)

Game: 2
Venue: Busch Stadium
Date: May 18, 2013 7:15 PM EDT


The St. Louis Cardinals have given their outstanding rotation the best run support in the NL, though no starter has benefited from that production more than Lance Lynn.

With the right-hander going for his seventh win, the Cardinals look to keep rolling Saturday night at Busch Stadium against a Milwaukee Brewers team they've dominated this season.

St. Louis improved to 6-2 on a 10-game homestand by holding on for a 7-6 victory over Milwaukee in Friday's series opener, as David Freese's grand slam - his first homer of the season - capped a five-run first inning.

"That's the biggest thing about this, you want to join the fun,' said Freese, who entered the contest with a .209 average, four RBIs and a .287 on-base percentage. ``Fortunately enough, I haven't done squat this year and we've got a heck of a record.'

The Cardinals (27-14), who have won 13 of 16 and own the best record in the majors, have given their starters the most runs in the league with 162. They've also scored 49 runs for their starters and batted .300 with nine homers while winning seven of eight against the Brewers (16-24).

Allen Craig went 3 for 3 Friday and is hitting .406 versus Milwaukee this year, while John Jay (12 for 29), Matt Holliday (10 for 28) and Yadier Molina (11 for 31) have also done damage in the season series.

Holliday (6 for 12) and Molina (8 for 15) have also had success against Saturday's scheduled starter Marco Estrada.

Lynn is receiving a league-high 7.02 runs per game, but he may not need much support with the way he's pitched lately.

He has gone at least seven innings in each of his last five outings, posting a 1.80 ERA with 37 strikeouts over 35 innings in that span. Lynn overcame a career-high five walks by striking out seven and surrendering three runs and four hits over seven innings in a 6-3 win over the New York Mets on Monday.

Lynn has allowed two runs with 18 strikeouts over 13 2-3 innings in two career starts against the Brewers.

Unlike the Cardinals, Milwaukee starters have struggled with a 6.78 ERA during the team's 2-13 stretch.

Estrada (3-2, 5.32) will try to prevent the Brewers from their second five-game skid this month and third this season. He allowed one run and a season-low three hits over seven innings in a 5-1 win at Pittsburgh on Monday.

Estrada, who is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in four career starts against the Cardinals, was tagged for eight runs with five walks over 3 1-3 innings in a 10-1 loss to St. Louis in his previous outing.

Milwaukee hopes Aramis Ramirez can find a groove after breaking out of a 1-for-16 slump with a pair of homers and six RBIs Friday.

``Nice to see Rammy get a couple,' manager Ron Roenicke said. ``I think he's been swinging the ball really well and hasn't had much to show for it.'

Ramirez, though, is 0 for 6 with three strikeouts all-time against Lynn.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Brewers at Cardinals
Fri, May 17 Final 6 to 7
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Brewers at Cardinals
Sat, May 18 - 7:15PM EDT

GAME 3
Brewers at Cardinals
Sun, May 19 - 2:15PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:27 AM

Preview: Tigers (23-17) at Rangers (27-15)

Game: 3
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: May 18, 2013 8:05 PM EDT


Miguel Cabrera is the first AL Triple Crown winner in 45 years, and the Texas Rangers know first-hand about his dominance.

Cabrera looks to lead the Detroit Tigers to a second straight victory over the Rangers on Saturday night.

Cabrera led the league with a .330 average, 44 homers and 139 RBIs last year, making him the AL's first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

The reigning league MVP and seven-time All-Star is already making a case for another run at that rare feat. He's first in the majors with a .376 average - .509 with runners in scoring position - and 42 RBIs, while his eight homers rank among the AL leaders.

That offensive dominance is regularly on display against the Rangers (27-15). He's hit .378 with 12 homers and 62 RBIs in 60 career meetings - including playoffs - and he has a .411 average while knocking in 14 runs over his last 15 games in Arlington.

Cabrera is at it again, collecting four hits with two doubles in the first two of this four-game series. One of his three hits Friday was the go-ahead double in the sixth inning of a 2-1 win after Detroit (23-17) fell 10-4 in the opener.

Despite the slugger's staggering production, the Tigers have dropped nine of 12 in Texas, including all three while losing the 2011 ALCS in six games.

Scheduled starter Anibal Sanchez (4-3, 2.05 ERA) will face the Rangers for the first time since July 1, 2011, while with Florida. He's 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA in two career starts versus Texas.

The right-hander, though, has compiled a 2.33 ERA while fanning 42 in 27 innings over his last four starts, splitting four decisions during that span.

He yielded two runs with eight strikeouts in seven innings of Monday's 7-2 win over Houston.

The Rangers, winners of seven of nine, hope to have Ian Kinsler back in the lineup after he suffered bruised ribs when he was hit by a pitch from Justin Verlander on Thursday.

The second baseman is a .361 hitter at home against the Tigers.

Justin Grimm (2-3, 4.28) counters for Texas looking to avoid a fourth consecutive losing start.

He's been roughed up to the tune of a 7.02 ERA during his skid, allowing four homers and nine walks in 16 2-3 innings. Grimm had won his two previous starts, posting a 0.69 ERA.

The rookie right-hander was hit hard in five-plus innings Monday, surrendering five runs and seven hits, including a season-high two homers, in a 5-1 loss at Oakland.

"I think he has been very competitive," manager Ron Washington told the team's official website. "He just has to make certain he gets his pitches down in the zone. He's got a couple balls up lately and they've left the ballpark.

"When he takes the mound, I feel good. He's a young guy and he's facing quality hitters he hasn't seen before."

Grimm has seen the Tigers, and it ended quickly. He was battered for six runs and eight hits before being lifted with no outs in the second inning of an 8-2 home defeat June 25.

Cabrera went 2 for 2 with a double off him.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland needs one win to become the 15th manager to reach 1,700.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Tigers at Rangers
Thu, May 16 Final 4 to 10
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Tigers at Rangers
Fri, May 17 Final 2 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Tigers at Rangers
Sat, May 18 - 8:05PM EDT

GAME 4
Tigers at Rangers
Sun, May 19 - 8:05PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:29 AM

Preview: Giants (24-18) at Rockies (22-20)

Game: 3
Venue: Coors Field
Date: May 18, 2013 8:10 PM EDT


Inconsistency plagued Tim Lincecum during a career-worst season in 2012, and he's still trying to recapture the form he was accustomed to having earlier in his career.

He'll look to build off his latest victory while helping the San Francisco Giants win for just the second time in five games Saturday night against the host Colorado Rockies, who ended their lengthy losing streak against their NL West rivals in the last contest.

Lincecum went 10-15 with a career-worst 5.18 ERA in 2012, and the two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched mainly out of the bullpen in the postseason during San Francisco's run to a World Series title.

He didn't get off to a great start this season, either, but has showed signs of turning things around. After allowing five runs in each of his previous two starts, Lincecum (3-2, 4.07 ERA) gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings of a 5-1 win over Atlanta on Sunday.

"I'll take it,' Lincecum said. "But I'm not jumping up in the air right now. ... I'm happy about it, but it's still a work in progress. I'm still working to get better.'

One of Lincecum's worst outings came against Colorado on April 9, when he allowed six runs - including a homer to Troy Tulowitzki - in six innings before San Francisco rallied for a 9-6 victory.

Lincecum, though, is 4-1 with a 3.79 ERA in his last six starts at Coors Field. He'll look to help the Giants (24-18) bounce back after their 10-game winning streak over Colorado was snapped with Friday's 10-9 loss.

The Rockies (22-20), who haven't won back-to-back games since an eight-game run April 12-20, got a tie-breaking grand slam from Jordan Pacheco in the fifth before fending off a San Francisco rally in the late innings.

The Giants came back from six down Thursday to win the series opener 8-6.

``We know they've had our number over the last couple of years. They're the world champions, so you have to go through them eventually," manager Walt Weiss said. "We know all that stuff. (We've) got to go out and play well, find ways to win games.'

Buster Posey homered and is hitting .484 with six home runs over his last 17 versus the Rockies, while former Colorado second baseman Marco Scutaro went 3 for 5 and is hitting .467 during a 14-game hitting streak against his former team.

Scutaro's overall hitting streak reached 16, batting .485 in that stretch.

Tyler Chatwood has been recalled from Triple-A to make the start for Colorado on Saturday, and he'll be tasked with slowing a San Francisco offense that has scored at least five runs in six of its last seven contests.

After giving up five hits in six scoreless innings of a 12-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, Chatwood (1-0, 3.00) was sent back to the minors with Jhoulys Chacin coming off the disabled list.

The right-hander now is taking the roster spot of Jeff Francis, who is out with a strained groin.

"Anytime you go down (to the minors), you want to prove yourself and keep proving yourself," Chatwood said.

Weiss lauded Chatwood, who is 1-2 with a 2.93 ERA and one save in three starts and one relief appearance versus San Francisco.

"His command has been much better, and he was throwing the ball well (in Triple-A)," Weiss said. "I like the way he competes."

Despite Friday's win, the Rockies have dropped 12 of the last 15 home meetings with San Francisco.

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

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Giants at Rockies
Thu, May 16 Final 8 to 6
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Giants at Rockies
Fri, May 17 Final 9 to 10
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Giants at Rockies
Sat, May 18 - 8:10PM EDT

GAME 4
Giants at Rockies
Sun, May 19 - 4:10PM EDT

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:26598 Followers:33
05/18/2013 09:31 AM

Preview: Nationals (23-19) at Padres (18-23)

Game: 3
Venue: PETCO Park
Date: May 18, 2013 8:40 PM EDT


If Adam LaRoche can keep up his production at Petco Park, Jordan Zimmermann might have an easier time taking over the major league lead in wins.

LaRoche looks to stay hot in support of Zimmerman, who goes for his eighth victory Saturday night when the Washington Nationals try for three in a row against the San Diego Padres.

After LaRoche hit two more home runs in San Diego on Friday, Chad Tracy's pinch-hit solo shot in the 10th inning proved to be the decisive blow in a 6-5 victory over the Padres (18-23).

After dropping two of three in Los Angeles, Washington (23-19) has won two in a row at Petco Park to move above .500 on its 10-game road trip.

LaRoche has keyed the team's success against the Padres, going 3 for 7 with three homers and six RBIs in the first two games of this four-game series.

He's hitting .407 (11 for 27) with eight extra-base hits and eight RBIs in his last seven visits to Petco. His 10 career homers in San Diego are his most in a city where he hasn't played for that team, and he's driven in 28 runs in 34 games there.

The left-handed slugger has homered in three straight games and is batting .396 with 11 RBIs during a 14-game hitting streak overall.

"He's been on fire for a couple weeks now," manager Davey Johnson said. "It's been impressive to watch him hit like he's able to."

LaRoche, however, might have a difficult time keeping it going against scheduled starter Eric Stults (3-3, 4.57 ERA) since he's 0 for 2 against the left-hander and 5 for 30 off southpaws this season.

Washington also has struggled as a team when facing left-handers, batting a major league-low .194 including 9 for 58 (.155) with no extra-base hits since May 9.

The Nationals hope to reverse that trend and provide some run support for Zimmermann (7-1, 1.69), who is tied with Texas' Yu Darvish and Tampa Bay's Matt Moore for the major league lead in wins.

Zimmermann has been especially tough lately, walking three and striking out 24 while posting an 0.85 ERA during his four-start winning streak.

The right-hander allowed two runs in 7 2-3 innings in a 6-2 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.

"I've always been confident. I feel like I haven't changed anything from last year," said Zimmermann, who won a career-high 12 games in 2012. "I feel if I keep that up I'm going to have a lot more quality starts."

Zimmermann has surrendered one run and eight hits while striking out 16 over 13 innings in two career starts at Petco - both Washington victories.

Padres leading hitter Chase Headley is batting .436 with eight extra-base hits over an 11-game hitting streak at home, though he's 2 for 9 lifetime when facing Zimmermann.

The Padres hope to avoid their sixth loss in eight games as Stults tries to pick up a San Diego rotation that has a 6.83 ERA over its last six starts.

After allowing three runs over 13 innings in his previous two outings, Stults wasn't as sharp Sunday when he had a season-high five walks and gave up three runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-2 loss at Tampa Bay.

"That's not my game. For me, I have to attack the strike zone," said Stults, who has never faced the Nationals.

Ryan Zimmerman, who homered Friday, is 5 for 11 with three homers and five RBIs in his last three games in San Diego.

According to Johnson, Jayson Werth is still experiencing hamstring tightness and may not come off the 15-day disabled list when eligible Saturday.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Nationals at Padres
Thu, May 16 Final 6 to 2
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Nationals at Padres
Fri, May 17 Final 6 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 3
Nationals at Padres
Sat, May 18 - 8:40PM EDT

GAME 4
Nationals at Padres
Sun, May 19 - 4:10PM EDT

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