cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:18 AM

Preview: Braves (15-7) at Tigers (11-10)

Game: 2
Venue: Comerica Park
Date: April 27, 2013 1:05 PM EDT

While the Detroit Tigers silenced the Atlanta Braves in the opener of this three-game set, a repeat performance could be hard to come by with Rick Porcello on the hill.

Porcello looks to get on track opposite Kris Medlen as the Tigers and Braves square off again Saturday at Comerica Park.

Anibal Sanchez struck out a franchise-record 17 and allowed five hits over eight innings as Detroit (11-10) cruised to a 10-0 win Friday.

"He was pretty good and we weren't," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That does it boys. That's all I got for you."

The Tigers backed Sanchez with four runs in the third inning and six in the fourth. Matt Tuiasosopo homered and drove in a career-high five runs while Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter combined for six hits and three RBIs

After going 2 for 2, Miguel Cabrera is batting .415 with a homer and 10 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak. He's 2 for 3 lifetime against Medlen (1-2, 2.16).

The Braves (15-7) dropped to 2-5 over their last seven games, hitting .186 with runners in scoring position over that stretch - including an 0-for-5 effort Friday.

Despite their recent efforts, the Braves could be in for a big day at the plate against Porcello (0-2, 11.08 ERA), who's posted an ugly .383 opponent batting average to rank second-worst in the AL among pitchers with at least three starts.

The right-hander was especially bad last Saturday in a 10-0 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels, allowing nine runs and nine hits before being removed with two outs in the first inning.

"He was obviously a little rusty, a little wild, a little unlucky, and that pretty much sums it up," manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm sure he wasn't a happy camper, and I don't blame him."

Porcello, who allowed an AL-worst 226 hits last season, was the first Tiger since Hank Borowy in 1951 to allow nine earned runs without getting out of the first inning.

"I struggled a little bit with my command, but it wasn't all that bad," he said. "I was keeping the ball down in the zone and throwing good sinkers. If I'm going to be inducing contact, that's my goal."

Making his first appearance against Atlanta, Porcello is 2-3 with a 7.90 ERA in his last seven interleague outings.

Medlen had allowed three earned runs in his first three starts before giving up three over six innings Sunday in a 4-2 loss at Pittsburgh.

"I was leaving pitches out over the plate, pulling off, and everything was flat," he told MLB's official website.

Medlen had compiled a 0.64 ERA in winning each of his previous six road starts. In his only appearance against Detroit, Medlen scattered six hits and struck out five over 6 2-3 innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 home win June 25, 2010.

Medlen will try to add to Prince Fielder's recent woes. The slugging first baseman has struck out 15 times during a 5-for-35 slump.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:19 AM

Preview: Reds (13-11) at Nationals (12-11)

Game: 3
Venue: Nationals Park
Date: April 27, 2013 1:05 PM EDT

As unimpressive as the Washington Nationals' starting pitchers had been lately, their performances against the Cincinnati Reds this week couldn't have been much better.

Dan Haren, looking to turn around his own struggles, gets the next shot at Cincinnati's recently anemic offense Saturday in the nation's capital.

Washington's rotation was 2-7 with a 4.78 ERA in its previous 10 outings entering this four-game set.

The Nationals (12-11) ended a four-game skid with a series-opening 8-1 win Thursday as Gio Gonzalez gave up one hit through eight innings. Their offense didn't break out in similar fashion Friday, but it didn't need to as Jordan Zimmermann limited the Reds to one hit in a 1-0 victory.

Zimmermann needed only 91 pitches to record his first career shutout, as the Reds (13-11) were held to one hit in back-to-back games for the first time since July 5-6, 1900, against Brooklyn.

"My guys, if they attack hitters like the last two days, it's going to be a problem," manager Davey Johnson said of his pitchers. "I don't care, good hitting team, bad hitting team."

Johnson would like to see Haren (1-3, 7.36 ERA) take the same approach, as he walked as many batters in his last start - three - as Gonzalez and Zimmermann in the last two days combined.

Haren did yield a season-low six hits Monday in a loss to St. Louis, but he still hasn't gone longer than five-plus innings this year and is averaging a career-worst 20.2 pitches per inning.

"I have to just stay positive," Haren told the team's official website. "It's been eating at me, it really has. This week, I tried to make a conscious effort to have more fun out there and not to put so much stress on myself. I want to do well more than anybody."

Haren was already blasted by Cincinnati for six runs and nine hits, including a career worst-tying four homers, in four innings of a 15-0 loss in his season debut April 5.

But the Reds, 1-7 on the road, don't currently appear capable of producing anything close to that. They've lost three of four while totaling four runs and 16 hits. Cincinnati averaged 5.6 runs in 20 games prior to that stretch.

Brandon Phillips, the team leader with 21 RBIs, was hitless for the fourth straight game Friday. Shin-Soo Choo, leading the majors in on-base percentage at .505, didn't reach base for the first time this season.

"Things go in streaks and sometimes there's no explaining why," manager Dusty Baker said. "We went through this last year. There was a streak when you couldn't buy a run and another streak when you get all the runs you need or want, or even more than you want. Right now we're in that can't buy a run phase."

Cincinnati hopes to pick up its offense in support of Mike Leake (1-0, 3.81), who posted two subpar starts to begin the season but has since had two good ones as he allowed two runs over 14 innings.

Leake will need to turn around his recent struggles against the Nationals, who scored 11 runs in 9 1-3 innings against him last season. He wasn't much better against Washington on April 6, giving up four runs - all on two homers - and walking four over six innings in a 7-6, 11-inning loss.

Bryce Harper homered off Leake in that game and is 3 for 6 with three extra-base hits in this series.

Jayson Werth is 6 for 15 off Leake, including 2 for 3 earlier this month.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:21 AM

Preview: Blue Jays (9-15) at Yankees (13-9)

Game: 3
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Date: April 27, 2013 4:05 PM EDT

CC Sabathia will be forced to have a new batterymate Saturday for the New York Yankees.

Sabathia hasn't been caught by anyone this year besides Francisco Cervelli, whose long-term injury is the latest blow for the Yankees heading into this home matchup against surging Edwin Encarnacion and the Toronto Blue Jays.

New York (13-9) has taken the first two of this four-game set, but the injury-plagued club will now have to carry on without its starting catcher. Cervelli will miss a minimum of six weeks after breaking his right hand in Friday's 6-4 victory.

"It's disappointing, and I know it's really disappointing for him because of all that he's been through to get to this point,' manager Joe Girardi said.

Starter Ivan Nova also left with pain in his right elbow. He and Cervelli could join a long list of Yankees on the disabled list that may soon also include Kevin Youkilis, who was not available for the sixth straight game because of lower back tightness.

Chris Stewart replaced Cervelli on Friday. The Yankees will bring up catching prospect Austin Romine from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.

Sabathia (3-2, 3.34 ERA) will work with one of them as he tries to improve to 9-1 over an 11-start span against Toronto (9-15). He is 6-1 with a 2.43 ERA in eight starts against the Blue Jays since joining the Yankees.

The left-hander had a three-game win streak snapped Monday when he gave up season highs of three homers and five runs over seven innings in a 5-1 defeat at Tampa Bay.

Encarnacion will try to homer for a fifth straight game for the first time. He's 8 for 32 with no homers and seven strikeouts against Sabathia.

The slugger has eight RBIs in his last four games, with three homers and four RBIs in this series in which the teams have combined to go deep nine times.

Toronto's Jose Bautista, meanwhile, is 1 for 19 with eight strikeouts against Sabathia. The struggling Bautista hit his sixth homer Friday and is batting .185.

The Blue Jays have dropped four of five, with every defeat by one or two runs.

"Basically what's happening is we're playing good enough to lose, we're not playing good enough to win,' manager John Gibbons said.

Toronto is 1-4 when opponents start left-handers. Maicer Izturis is 7 for 18 against Sabathia while Adam Lind is 7 for 15, but he's been away on paternity leave the past three games.

The only current Blue Jays batter to homer off Sabathia is former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera.

Toronto third baseman Brett Lawrie is 8 for 20 against New York this year and 0 for 19 against other teams. He's 1 for 7 against Sabathia.

The Yankees have won three straight when opponents start left-handers after victories in this series with Mark Buehrle and fill-in starter Aaron Laffey going for the Blue Jays ahead of fellow southpaw J.A. Happ (2-1, 3.68) on Saturday.

Happ went 2-0 despite a 6.75 ERA in two 2012 starts against New York, although he limited Robinson Cano to a homer in six at_bats.

Cano is batting .474 during a nine-game hitting streak against Toronto, which issued a season-high 10 walks Friday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:23 AM

Preview: Orioles (14-9) at Athletics (13-11)

Game: 3
Venue: Coliseum
Date: April 27, 2013 4:05 PM EDT

The Baltimore Orioles continue to roll forward with solid pitching. The Oakland Athletics would like to recapture the same power they displayed in a red-hot start to the season.

Baltimore will try to stick to the same formula as it seeks an eighth win in 10 games Saturday in Oakland.

The Orioles (14-9) claimed a 3-0 victory Friday, quieting the Athletics' bats for a second straight night after a 10-2 win Thursday. Baltimore has a 1.91 ERA over the last five games, including a masterful performance Friday from Wei-Yin Chen, who gave up three hits in eight innings.

His outing helped drop the Orioles' opponent batting average to .228. That's among the best in baseball as is the bullpen's 2.31 ERA. Closer Jim Johnson improved to 9 for 9 in save opportunities by closing out Friday's win.

The Athletics (13-11), meanwhile, have lost seven of eight. Behind the slide has been a serious drop in power production. They hit 19 home runs during a 9-2 start, the most in the majors during that span, but have just five homers while going 4-9 since. They're homerless in five of the last seven.

Jed Lowrie hasn't homered since hitting three in his first seven contests, and Coco Crisp has one over his last 13 games after going deep in four straight games from April 5-9.

The loss of Yoenis Cespedes, who had three home runs before succumbing to a strained left thumb April 12, also hasn't helped, though he's likely to be activated for Sunday's game.

Oakland received a good pitching performance Friday from Tommy Milone, who gave up only an unearned run over 6 2-3 innings. But the defense didn't lend much help as the Athletics committed a season-high three errors.

"When you are in close games like that - defensive miscues end up really costing you," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's maddening for us."

Chris Tillman (0-1, 5.23 ERA) will try to continue the Orioles' strong pitching. Though his numbers aren't impressive, he's coming off his best outing of the year, holding Toronto to one run and four hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 2-1 win.

"I was able to get ahead with my pitches early and my secondary stuff was there for me," he said. "I was able to pound the strike zone early and kind of make the pitches when I needed to."

Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (2-1, 4.50 ERA) will face Baltimore for the first time as he tries to shake off the worst performance of his young career. Griffin saw his ERA double after he surrendered a career-worst nine runs - seven earned - and eight hits over four innings in a 9-6 loss at Boston on Monday.

He hadn't surrendered more than five runs in his first 18 major league starts.

"It humbles you a little bit," Griffin said. "Obviously not going to go out there and be lights out every time."

Tillman didn't record a decision in his only previous start against the Athletics, giving up two runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings May 27, 2011.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:25 AM

Preview: Rangers (16-7) at Twins (9-10)

Game: 3
Venue: Target Field
Date: April 27, 2013 4:10 PM EDT

The Texas Rangers have used dominant back-to-back outings from rookie starters to take the first two of a four-game set from the Minnesota Twins, who have seen their top sluggers neutralized.

Both teams send left-handers to the mound Saturday at Target Field as Texas aims for its eighth win in nine tries while Minnesota tries to snap a three-game skid.

After a 2-1 win in the opener Thursday, Texas (16-7) followed that with a 4-3 victory Friday. While the offense produced just enough runs to scrape by both times, it was strong showings from first-year pitchers Nick Tepesch, who gave up one run in 6 2-3 innings Thursday, and Justin Grimm, who threw seven shutout innings Friday, leading the way.

Grimm and Tepesch are in the rotation primarily only because of injuries to Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison.

"They know they have the potential to get guys out and that's what they're doing," said Elvis Andrus, who was 2 for 5 and one of five Rangers to record a double. "We trust in every guy who comes here and pitches."

The Rangers will give the ball to Derek Holland (1-1, 3.25 ERA) as they seek their 12th win over the Twins in 14 games.

Holland carried a 1.64 ERA into Monday's road start against the Angels, but surrendered six runs on six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He issued four walks after totaling that number in his first three outings.

The 26-year-old will try to keep the big bats of the Twins (9-10) at bay. The combination of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham is 5 for 23 (.217) to start the series, with Mauer going hitless in both games. It's just the second time he's gone hitless in consecutive games and he's 2 for 17 over his last five after starting the season 24 for 61 (.393).

Holland is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA versus Minnesota, with those three batters only 8 of 34 (.235) against him.

The Twins' only runs the last two games have come from homers - a solo shot by Willingham Thursday and a three-run shot from rookie Oswaldo Arcia off Joe Nathan on Friday. The Twins hit .320 with runners in scoring position during a five-game winning streak but are 5 of 24 (.208) in such situations during their three-game skid.

"Hopefully we'll heat up here as an offense," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We've been a little inconsistent."

Nelson Cruz stayed hot for the Rangers, driving in a run for the sixth straight contest. Cruz is 13 of 33 (.394) over his last nine games with 14 RBIs.

He'll dig in against Pedro Hernandez (0-0, 3.48), who makes his second start for the Twins. He gave up three runs in five innings in his first start April 7 and has allowed one run over 5 1-3 innings of relief since. The long drought between starts is due to how the Twins' schedule has unfolded with four postponements.

"Ultimately things happen," Gardenhire told the team's official website. "He'll get innings in, he'll get to pitch. We've got to find innings for him."

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:27 AM

Preview: Pirates (13-10) at Cardinals (14-8)

Game: 2
Venue: Busch Stadium
Date: April 27, 2013 4:15 PM EDT

The Pittsburgh Pirates' A.J. Burnett was at his best against the St. Louis Cardinals last week, but his most recent outing at Busch Stadium was definitely one to forget.

The veteran right-hander seeks a better performance in St. Louis on Saturday as he faces the only team he's beaten this season, looking to prevent the Cardinals from matching their longest win streak of the past year.

Burnett (1-2, 2.79 ERA) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against St. Louis on April 17 before giving up a two-out double to Carlos Beltran. He retired the next batter and did not return for the eighth in the 5-0 victory, recording what remains his longest outing of the season.

"My goal every time out is to throw a no-hitter. I know they are major league hitters that I'm facing and I respect them, but my job is not to give up hits. You should go to the mound with that mindset," said Burnett, who threw his only no-hitter in 2001.

Burnett did not get a decision in his ensuing start at Philadelphia on Monday, yielding two runs over five innings in a 3-2 loss. He had seven strikeouts and leads the NL with 42.

"He threw everything but the kitchen sink at them," manager Clint Hurdle told the team's website. "It's a sign of a pretty good pitcher when he doesn't have his best stuff and he doesn't do that well, and he leaves the game and it's 2-2 in the fifth."

Burnett was far from good in his latest start at Busch Stadium, giving up a career-high 12 runs and 12 hits over 2 2-3 innings in a 12-3 loss May 2. Beltran had two three-run homers and an RBI single in that matchup against Burnett, who was 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his first three starts in St. Louis.

Beltran is coming off another two-homer game, hitting one from both sides of the plate in a 9-1 rout in Friday's series opener. St. Louis is 26-7 when Beltran homers since the start of last season, including 4-1 this year.

"Every time you hit a homer and you do something positive to help the team win, it feels great," Beltran said. "Today I was able to do that twice."

His performance Friday helped end the Pirates' win streak at three and extend the Cardinals' run to four. The only longer winning streak St. Louis (14-8) has had over the last year was a five-game run June 22-26.

Allen Craig matched a season high with three RBIs, and he's batting .421 with 12 RBIs in a 10-game home hitting streak against the Pirates (13-10). Craig also was hit in the helmet by a Jonathan Sanchez pitch in first inning Friday, leading to the Pittsburgh starter and Hurdle getting ejected.

Jake Westbrook (1-1, 1.25) will try again for his 100th career victory.

After pitching a five-hit shutout in Cincinnati on April 10, the right-hander was skipped in the rotation when his scheduled start against Pittsburgh on April 16 was rained out. Working on plenty of rest, Westbrook gave up three runs over six-plus innings Sunday in Philadelphia and did not get a decision as the Cardinals lost 7-3.

He hasn't been nearly as effective in nine career starts against the Pirates, going 1-7 with a 5.91 ERA. He was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits over five innings in his most recent matchup, a 9-0 drubbing in Pittsburgh on Aug. 28.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:28 AM

Preview: Astros (7-16) at Red Sox (16-7)

Game: 3
Venue: Fenway Park
Date: April 27, 2013 7:10 PM EDT

At 37 years old, David Ortiz isn't getting any younger. The eight-time All-Star, though, still has plenty left in the tank.

Ortiz looks to continue his recent surge as the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros play the third of four meetings Saturday night at Fenway Park.

While an Achilles injury kept him sidelined for most of the second half of 2012 and the start of this year, it hasn't taken long for Ortiz to heat up. The slugging designated hitter has hit safely in each of his six games since returning from the disabled list last Saturday, collecting 12 hits in 24 at_bats.

Ortiz kept things going Friday with his second homer in as many nights, helping lead Boston to a 7-3 win.

"I've been working, just like to stay short and quick to the ball, not trying to do too much," said Ortiz, batting .460 during an 18-game hitting streak dating to July 2. "And I always tell you guys, I'm old enough to know what it takes for me to be what I want to be."

Besides Ortiz, backup catcher David Ross went deep twice and Will Middlebrooks added his sixth homer as Boston collected a season-high 17 hits.

"It seems like with this team, it's been somebody else every night," Ross said. "I'm excited to be part of this team."

Batting .355 during a three-game winning streak, Boston (16-7) - which has taken 11 of 14 - is two wins shy of tying the club record for April. The Red Sox, who are 12-0 when scoring first, posted 18 wins in April 1998 and 2003.

The Astros (7-16) went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position Friday while suffering their seventh consecutive road loss. Houston, which has been outscored 45-20 during its skid, is a major league-worst 23-68 as the visiting team since the start of 2012.

"Never have I seen, and I don't think we will see, these guys fold at any point," manager Bo Porter said as Houston dropped to 0-5 all-time at Fenway. "They're resilient all the way to the end."

Looking to add to the Astros' woes is Felix Doubront (2-0, 4.32 ERA), who's on the verge of winning a career best-tying third consecutive start. After giving up two runs over five innings in a 7-2 victory at Cleveland on April 16, the left-hander yielded three in a season-high 6 2-3 innings during Monday's 9-6 win over Oakland.

While Doubront struck out 15 and allowed seven hits in those outings, he issued nine walks - including a career worst-tying five Monday.

"I feel good. I was throwing the ball real good. My arm feels a lot easier throwing the ball," Doubront, who won three consecutive starts May 7-17, told MLB's official website.

Doubront will be making his first appearance against the Astros, who counter with Brad Peacock (1-2, 7.50). The right-hander is coming off an outing to forget, surrendering career highs of seven runs, nine hits and three homers over 4 1-3 innings of Monday's 7-1 loss to Seattle.

"I didn't have it," he said. "I was getting behind in the count. I've got no excuses. I just have to keep working. I need to get ahead. I fell behind on almost everybody."

Boston outfielder Shane Victorino is expected to miss a third straight game due to lower back troubles.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:30 AM

Preview: Rays (10-13) at White Sox (10-12)

Game: 3
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field
Date: April 27, 2013 7:10 PM EDT

The Tampa Bay Rays have the reigning AL Cy Young award winner on their staff, but young left-hander Matt Moore has been their most effective starter to open the season.

Looking to become the franchise's first pitcher to win five April games, Moore tries to help the Rays avoid a fourth straight road defeat and prevent the Chicago White Sox from a fourth consecutive victory Saturday night.

While Tampa Bay (10-13) Cy Young winner David Price is winless in five starts, Moore (4-0, 1.04 ERA) has a chance to join Boston's Clay Buchholz as the majors' only five-game winners.

Moore, who went 11-11 with a 3.81 in 31 starts during his first full season in 2012, has allowed three runs, 10 hits and struck out 29 in 26 innings. He gave up a homer and one other hit while fanning nine in eight innings of a 5-1 win over the New York Yankees on Monday.

Moore made it a point to be better out of the gate after going 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in his first five starts last year.

"Probably because we've talked about it so much; we made such a big issue about it, he wanted to prove us wrong," manager Joe Maddon told the Rays' official website. "Which, you know, most of your children always want to do."

Moore went 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA against the White Sox last season. In his final start of 2012, he allowed a hit in 5 1-3 scoreless innings of a 10-4 win at U.S. Cellular Field.

He'll try to help the Rays somehow improve on their AL-worst 2-9 road mark. Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria each homered and James Loney had three hits, but Tampa Bay blew a 3-0 lead in Friday's 5-4 loss at Chicago (10-12).

"The bigger issue is that we have to figure out how to win on the road,' Joyce said. "For us, that's more at the forefront of our minds.'

Loney has been a recent bright spot, going 10 for 13 with four RBIs in the last four road games after he went 1 for 13 in the first seven away from home.

Half of Longoria's 12 hits in his last 47 at_bats overall have been home runs.

He's batting .360 with three homers and 10 RBIs in his past 12 games against the White Sox. His only two hits in 13 at_bats versus scheduled starter Gavin Floyd (0-3, 4.98) have left the park.

Floyd has allowed three earned runs and struck out 21 in 19 innings while winning three straight starts against the Rays.

The right-hander gave up nine runs in 9 2-3 innings of his previous two starts before he yielded a run and three hits while not factoring in the decision of a 5-3 loss to Minnesota on Sunday.

Backup infielder Tyler Greene and catcher Hector Gimenez each hit their first homers and two of the three Friday for Chicago, which has won three straight after losing three in a row.

"We're not like a Detroit who's going to line up and here we go man-for-man," winning pitcher Jake Peavy said. "We've got to have contributions from everybody and we understand that.'

Of Chicago's 76 runs, 43 have come off 27 homers.

Slugger Adam Dunn did not homer, but had two hits and is 3 for 8 in the series after going 1 for 37 in his previous 11 contests.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:32 AM

Preview: Indians (8-11) at Royals (11-8)

Game: 2
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: April 27, 2013 7:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals newcomer Ervin Santana has overcome slow starts in each of his last three outings.

Santana's former teammate, Scott Kazmir, hopes he'll be able to bounce back from a rough season-opening performance for the Cleveland Indians.

He'll get that chance Saturday night against the AL Central-leading Royals, who open a season high-tying 10-game homestand with this four-game series after Friday night's matchup was postponed by rain.

Since surrendering four runs in his Royals debut - a 5-2 road loss to the Chicago White Sox on April 3 - Santana (2-1, 2.48 ERA) has given up four runs in 23 innings. All of those were plated in the first inning of his three starts.

"Once he gets settled in, he gets on a nice roll," manager Ned Yost said after Santana threw seven innings of two-run ball in Sunday's 4-2 win at Boston.

The former Los Angeles Angel has walked five while striking out 26.

"When I don't give any walks, it gives me more opportunity to attack the zone and work more comfortably," Santana told the Royals' official website.

Kazmir (0-0, 16.20) admitted he was "a little jittery" in a 19-6 win at Houston last Saturday when he gave up six runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings. It was his first appearance since April 3, 2011, at Kansas City, where he gave up five runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 12-9, 13-inning defeat. The Angels put the left-hander on the disabled list less than a week after that outing - his only one of 2011 - then released him two months later.

Kazmir spent last season pitching in the Atlantic League, and his 2013 season debut was pushed back due to an oblique injury.

"Overall, stuff I can take out of this start and bring into my next start is what not to do, I guess," he said.

Indians first baseman Mark Reynolds needs to maintain his approach at the plate. He's hitting .375 (6 for 16) with two homers and a team-best six RBIs in the last five games.

"Typically, Mark, when he's started out well, those have been his bigger years," manager Terry Francona told MLB's official website of Reynolds, who leads the club with seven homers and 19 RBIs.

Left fielder Alex Gordon could be on his way to one with the Royals (11-8). His batting average has been well above .300 since the first week of the season, and now he's starting to deliver some power, hitting both of his home runs during the last three games.

Gordon's first career grand slam was the big blow in the 10th inning as Kansas City capped a 4-3 trip with an 8-3 win over Detroit on Thursday.

Gordon hit .333 with three homers - tied with Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer for the team lead - and 11 RBIs against the Indians last season. Kansas City won 10 of 18 in this divisional matchup.

Cleveland (8-11) ended a five-game skid at Kansas City and seven-game slide in the series with a 15-4 victory in its last game visiting the Royals on Sept. 23.

Santana dropped two of his three starts against the Indians last year to fall to 2-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 14 matchups. However, one of those victories was a no-hitter July 27, 2011, at Cleveland.

Friday's game will be made up Sunday as part of a day-night doubleheader.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33240 Followers:38
04/27/2013 10:33 AM

Preview: Cubs (8-14) at Marlins (5-18)

Game: 3
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: April 27, 2013 7:10 PM EDT

The Chicago Cubs' Travis Wood has pitched well so far this season but hasn't been given much support.

The left-hander hasn't helped himself in his two career starts against the Miami Marlins and will try to end those woes while helping the Cubs extend their first win streak of the season Saturday night.

Wood (1-1, 2.08 ERA) has given up three runs or fewer and pitched at least six innings in each of his four starts this season, but has been given only a combined four runs of support. He got two runs in Cincinnati on Monday but exited a tied game in the seventh inning of a 5-4 loss.

This time, he'll get to face the team with the worst record in the majors but Wood is 0-2 with a 16.88 ERA in his two starts against the Marlins (5-18), easily his worst against any opponent. Neither of those starts were in Miami, including a 9-5 loss for the Cubs on July 17.

Wood was charged with eight runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings in that game but will take on a club that's batted .189 while going 2-9 at home. That's played a significant part in the Marlins matching their worst start in franchise history.

Miami is also the only remaining team in the majors that hasn't recorded back-to-back wins.

"We just have to keep talking to them," manager Mike Redmond said. "If they see me starting to panic, then that puts more pressure on everybody else. I'm not that way."

After scoring 15 runs in the first six of 10 consecutive road games, the Cubs (8-14) have produced a combined eight in their first two in Miami. Florida native Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of home runs in Friday's 4-2 victory and recent addition Kevin Gregg converted his second straight save opportunity.

"You can say it as many times as you want, but winning is so much more fun than losing," pitcher Scott Feldman said. "Hopefully this is a start to a little hot streak here and we can keep playing well."

Rizzo's eight home runs in April are a franchise record for a left-handed hitter. He also has team-best 18 RBIs despite hitting just .200.

"It's all about production and that's what I'm supposed to do. After yesterday, it means a lot," said Rizzo, who went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the series opener and was 1 for 20 before Friday's win.

While seeking to provide a more consistent effort, Alex Sanabia (2-2, 5.09) will try to help the Marlins avoid a season high-tying fourth straight home loss and their third in a row overall. The right-hander gave up five runs over six-plus innings in a 10-6 defeat in Cincinnati on Sunday.

He allowed three of those during an eight-run seventh, which he was forced to pitch because of a tired bullpen.

"He did everything he could; I could not ask anything more from him," Redmond told the team's website.

Sanabia was on the wrong end of a 2-0 result in his only start against the Cubs on Sept. 17, 2010. He gave up two runs and four hits over 5 2-3 innings in that game.

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