cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/03/2013 08:12 AM

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

Game: 1
Venue: Turner Field
Date: May 03, 2013 7:30 PM EDT

The Atlanta Braves' all-or-nothing offense has provided closer to nothing of late, though that hasn't been case when the New York Mets have visited Turner Field.

The NL East-leading Braves will try to get back on track and beat the Mets for the eighth time in nine home games in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.

After getting shut out with only two hits a day earlier, Atlanta (17-11) was held to five hits on Thursday in a 3-1 home loss to Washington as it settled for a split of its four-game set.

Only three base runners reached scoring position over the last two games, and Dan Uggla's home run in the seventh on ended a streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings for the Braves.

Atlanta ranks near the top of the majors in home runs (39) as well as strikeouts (259), but has just four homers and 84 strikeouts while dropping six of eight.

The Braves, who still lead the NL East by 2 1/2 games, may be able to bounce back in this series since they've batted .292 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs while winning seven of eight meetings at Turner Field.

They hope to continue that trend versus right-hander Shaun Marcum, who makes his second start for the Mets (11-15) after beginning the season on the DL with a neck injury and right biceps tendinitis.

Marcum (0-2, 7.94 ERA) allowed three runs and five hits in only four innings in a 9-4 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday before giving up two runs in 1 2-3 innings of relief against Miami two days later.

He's pitched well in his career against the Braves, striking out 18 and allowing five runs over 20 innings in three starts.

Chris Johnson, Atlanta's top hitter at .369, is 1 for 12 with five strikeouts lifetime against Marcum.

After ending a season-worst six-game losing streak on Wednesday, New York looks to win consecutive games for the second time in 12 road contests.

The Mets have their own issues offensively, scoring 29 runs and batting .194 in their last 10 games.

"The most frustrating thing about the past six days is we've been in the games," manager Terry Collins said. "We've given ourselves a chance, we just haven't been able to create any offense.

Collins' club is hoping to catch Atlanta starter Mike Minor (3-2, 3.13) at an opportune time as he tries to recover from his worst outing of the season.

The left-hander gave up a total of five runs while winning three of his first four starts before allowing six runs and six hits - including two homers - in an 8-3 loss at Detroit on Sunday.

The Braves have won five of Minor's six career starts against the Mets, though he has a 6.03 ERA in this series. He limited New York to just three hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 2-0 win on Sept. 29.

John Buck, who leads the Mets with nine homers and 27 RBIs, is hitless in eight career at_bats against Minor.

The Braves have won 12 of 14 overall against the Mets.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/03/2013 08:14 AM

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

Game: 2
Venue: Miller Park
Date: May 03, 2013 8:10 PM EDT

Although they've been one of the top hitting teams in the majors at home, the Milwaukee Brewers are being tested by the St. Louis Cardinals' red-hot starting pitchers.

It doesn't figure to get any easier against a 22-year-old rookie who dominated them earlier this season.

Shelby Miller will try to provide the NL Central -leading Cardinals with yet another outstanding start on Friday night when they go for two in a row in this four-game series at Miller Park.

Jake Westbrook continued the run of gems by St. Louis (17-11) starters on Thursday when he allowed one run over six innings before the bullpen held off a late Milwaukee rally in a 6-5 victory.

While the Brewers (14-13) rank among the league leaders with 26 homers and 88 runs at home, they're facing a rotation that has allowed three earned runs or less in 20 of 23 games and leads all of baseball with a 2.09 ERA.

Milwaukee has managed one run in 29 innings against St. Louis starters while dropping three of the four meetings. The Brewers now try to avoid a third straight home defeat as they face another tough test against Miller (3-2, 2.05 ERA).

The hard-throwing right-hander struck out eight while giving up one hit over seven innings in a 2-0 win over Milwaukee on April 12.

Miller, though, will try to rebound from his worst outing in five starts after yielding three runs and seven hits - including two homers - over 5 2-3 innings in a 9-0 loss to the Pirates on Sunday.

"I probably can't even count on my fingers how many balls I threw down in the zone,' said Miller, who ranks among the NL leaders in ERA.

This time, Miller will have to slow down Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez, who went 2 for 4 in the opener to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He's 17 for 33 (.515) with three homers, four doubles and six RBIs over that span.

Ryan Braun has also been heating up with eight hits in 18 at_bats in his last four games.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who has missed 22 games with a strained left knee, is expected to return on Friday. He's batting .388 during a 14-game hitting streak at Miller Park.

Although it hasn't translated to many wins, Kyle Lohse (1-2, 2.53) has pitched well for Milwaukee after winning 16 games for the Cardinals last season.

The right-hander, who signed a three-year, $33 million contract as a free agent on March 25, hasn't allowed more than three runs in each of his first five starts.

He'll make his second start against his former club after giving up two runs and six hits over seven innings in a 2-0 loss to Miller on April 12 at St. Louis.

"He's a huge addition to our pitching staff,' manager Ron Roenicke said. "That's not a knock on our young guys, but having him on the staff along with Yo (Yovani Gallardo), I think that makes us a very good team.'

Carlos Beltran should be happy to get another look at Lohse since he's 23 for 42 (.548) with four homers in this matchup.

Yadier Molina will try to continue his recent tear after going 8 for 15 over his last four games. He's 4 for 7 with a homer and double against his former battery mate.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/03/2013 08:16 AM

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

Game: 1
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: May 03, 2013 8:05 PM EDT

Mike Napoli played a major role as the Texas Rangers won an AL championship in 2011 and appeared in the playoffs in each of his two seasons. When he sought a multiyear deal in free agency, though, the team wasn't prepared to commit given his injury history.

The Boston Red Sox took a chance on him, and that risk has paid off so far.

Napoli faces his former team for the first time as Boston visits Texas in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.

After batting .275 with 54 homers and 131 RBIs in 221 regular-season games with the Rangers, Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with the Red Sox during the offseason.

During his physical, though, a hip issue was discovered and he signed a one-year deal with a $5 million base salary and incentives that could make the total value of the deal reach up to $13 million.

Napoli battled injuries and missed 103 games while with Texas, though he hasn't missed a single contest this season. He's hitting .283 with team highs of six homers and 31 RBIs after going 1 for 5 in Thursday's 3-1 victory over Toronto.

Boston (20-8), off to its best start since opening 20-7 in 2002, has won seven of eight and scored fewer than six runs for the first time in that stretch Thursday.

Napoli is 3 for 6 with a homer in his career off former teammate Derek Holland, who seeks his fifth straight victory over the Red Sox.

Holland (1-2, 3.38 ERA) posted a 1.64 ERA over his first three starts, but he allowed six runs in 5 2-3 innings of Texas' 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels on April 22. He pitched better Saturday by allowing three earned runs and five hits in seven innings, though he suffered a 7-2 loss at Minnesota.

The left-hander has been stellar when facing the Red Sox recently, winning each of his last four starts against them while posting a 2.22 ERA. Holland allowed three runs and struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-3 victory in the latest matchup July 25.

Texas (17-11) has dropped four of five after falling 3-1 to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, scoring two or fewer runs in each defeat. The lone run in its last contest came on a second-inning homer from Adrian Beltre, who hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs for Boston in 2010.

Beltre, hitting .215, is 3 for 24 over his last six games, with each hit being a home run. His only hit in his last 12 at_bats versus the Red Sox left the ballpark.

"He's going to be the run producer," manager Ron Washington said. "What you see now, you won't see through the season."

Felix Doubront (3-0, 4.24) is scheduled to take the mound looking to help Boston win for the third time in 10 meetings with Texas.

Doubront has won his last three starts after giving up three runs and four hits while striking out eight in 6 2-3 innings of Saturday's 8-4 win over Houston. He walked three, threw a wild pitch and allowed two runs in the first inning before settling down.

"I'm just waiting for that moment that I can put it all together to get more efficient," Doubront said.

The left-hander hasn't been very good against Texas, though, going 0-2 with a 10.32 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances. He allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings of a 9-1 loss in his most recent start against the Rangers on July 23.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/03/2013 08:18 AM

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

Game: 1
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: May 03, 2013 8:10 PM EDT

When Jeremy Guthrie beat the Chicago White Sox back 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.

Guthrie looks to extend his streak to 17 starts without a loss as the Royals host the White Sox in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.

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 allowed two earned runs in 35 2-3 innings while striking out 28 and walking just three.

Guthrie will look to help Kansas City (15-10) earn a third straight victory after its series finale versus Tampa Bay on Thursday was postponed due to snow. The Royals led 1-0 after 3 1/2 innings and wanted to finish out the contest.

"I can't control the weather. I've tried before and it never worked," manager Ned Yost said. "You just deal with it.'

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 contest but had to be moved up to replace Peavy, putting Dylan Axelrod in line to start Friday. 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 the playing the game. You just deal with it.'

Axelrod (0-1, 3.95) has given up 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 Chicago's 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:32996 Followers:38
05/03/2013 08:20 AM

Preview: Tigers (16-11) at Astros (8-21)

Game: 2
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Date: May 03, 2013 8:10 PM EDT

Despite dealing with some wildness, Doug Fister is off to the best start of his career.

The undefeated right-hander looks for a fifth victory Friday night while trying to help the visiting Tigers hand the lowly Houston Astros a fourth consecutive loss.

Facing Houston for the first time, Fister (4-0, 2.38 ERA) fared much better this April than last year when a rib injury limited to one start during the month. Healthy and confident, Fister allowed nine earned runs and one homer in 34 innings of his first five 2013 outings.

He gave up three runs and struck out a season-high eight in seven innings of an 8-3 win over Atlanta on Sunday in his 100th career start.

However, Fister leads the majors with eight hit batters - twice as many as any other pitcher. Teammate Justin Verlander in 2007 and Frank Lary in 1960 each hit 19 in a season to share the team's post-World War II record.

Fister insists he's not trying to purposely plunk anybody despite hitting 35 batters since breaking into the majors in 2009.

"Unfortunately, I think it's more mechanics for me," he told the Tigers' official website. "Not staying back at times, my arm kind of drags and the sinker gets away from me. For me, it's never intentional to hit a guy. I'm looking over and making sure that they know that it's not intentional.

"Yes, I'm trying to go inside and trying to keep the sinker down and in. But by no means is it ever intentional."

Houston (8-21) batters have been hit nine times, but lead the majors with 294 strikeouts. The Astros and Tigers each fanned 18 times in Detroit's 7-3, 14-inning win Thursday.

Tigers pitchers have recorded a major league-high 281 strikeouts, and 10 or more in seven straight games.

Don Kelly had the go-ahead single in the 14th and Austin Jackson added three hits Thursday as Detroit (16-11) snapped a four-game road skid by winning for the sixth time in seven overall.

"To keep battling and come out with a win is just awesome," said Kelly, who did not start but went 2 for 3. "Games like this, you try to find a way win and keep grinding it out."

Jackson is batting .344 (11 for 32) during an eight-game hitting streak.

Teammate Miguel Cabrera added two more hits, including his 1,000th as a Tiger, to raise his average to .373.

Houston's Bud Norris (3-3, 4.20) makes his first start against the Tigers when he takes the mound.

Plagued by inconsistency, Norris has a 1.53 ERA in the games he's won and an 8.03 ERA in those losses. After he gave up one run in five innings of a 3-2 win over Seattle on April 23, the right-hander yielded five - three earned - in six innings of a 6-1 loss at Boston on Sunday.

Ex-Tiger Carlos Pena homered and had two of the six hits for Houston, which has dropped seven of eight. Pena has gone 9 for 20 in five games to raise his average from .188 to .240.

He's 0 for 6 versus Fister.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/03/2013 08:22 AM

Preview: Orioles (17-12) at Angels (10-18)

Game: 2
Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Date: May 03, 2013 10:05 PM EDT

Based on the way Baltimore played in its series opener against the Los Angeles Angels, the Orioles seem poised to end their recent struggles in Anaheim.

The Orioles look to win consecutive road games against the Angels for the first time in almost three years Friday night.

Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer and Chris Tillman pitched eight scoreless innings in Baltimore's 5-1 win at Los Angeles on Thursday. The Orioles (17-12) are 5-3 on an 11-game western trip but had dropped three of the previous four.

"We're starting to come together," said Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who is batting .345 with seven homers and 20 RBIs on the road. "We're looking forward to getting back out there (Friday). It's been a long road trip for us and we need to just continue to focus."

The victory was Baltimore's third in 11 games at Anaheim. The Orioles, who were shut out in their previous two road contests against the Angels (10-18), last won back-to-back contests there during a three-game sweep Aug. 27-19, 2010.

McLouth is batting .429 (18 for 42) with three homers and nine RBIs in his last 12 games.

Teammate Manny Machado has batted .426 (20 for 47) with seven RBIs during a hitting streak that reached 11 games with two hits Thursday.

Miguel Gonzalez (2-1, 4.60 ERA) takes the mound for the Orioles after he allowed four runs in the sixth inning and never made it out of the frame in Sunday's 9-8, 10-inning loss at Oakland.

"I tried to do too much,' said Gonzalez, who allowed two baserunners through the first five innings. "A couple of pitches I was forcing it instead of just letting it go."

In his only previous outing versus Los Angeles, the right-hander gave up a solo homer to Mark Trumbo and two other hits in seven innings of a 3-2 win July 6.

Trumbo went 0 for 3 with a walk Thursday for the Angels, who managed four hits while losing for the seventh time in nine games. Albert Pujols homered in the ninth for his first hit in 12 at_bats over three games.

The Angels missed a prime chance to score in the first inning when Mike Trout was thrown out at the plate.

"Obviously we're not on any kind of a roll, so the small things become that much more important," Trumbo said.

Trying for a sixth time to earn his first win with his new team, Los Angeles' Jason Vargas (0-3, 4.85) looks for a third consecutive strong outing.

The left-hander allowed five runs in 15 innings while he's gone 0-1 in his last two starts after he yielded 10 over nine frames of his previous two. Pitching in his former home at Safeco Field on Sunday, Vargas gave up two homers and struck out seven in eight innings of a 2-1 loss to the Mariners.

"Just a couple mistakes there late and (Seattle's Jason) Bay and (Michael) Morse didn't miss them and that ended up being the ballgame, but he pitched a great game,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "If he pitches like that he'll win a lot of games for us.'

Vargas is 1-2 in six starts versus Baltimore despite a 2.03 ERA.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/03/2013 06:56 PM

Date WLT Pct Net Units Record

05/03/13 0-­2-­0 0.00% -­1060 Detail
05/02/13 6-­7-­0 46.15% -­1090 Detail
05/01/13 19-­11-­0 63.33% +­4395 Detail

Totals 25-­20-­0 55.56% +2245

Friday, May 3

Game Score Status Pick Amount

Minnesota - 7:05 PM ET Cleveland -154 500
Cleveland - Over 8.5 500

Miami 0 Bot 0 Philadelphia -174 500
Philadelphia 0 Under 7.5 500

Oakland 0 Bot 0 Oakland +132 500 POD # 1
NY Yankees 0 Over 8 500

Washington 0 Bot 0 Pittsburgh -135 500
Pittsburgh 0 Over 7 500

Seattle - 7:07 PM ET Toronto +116 500 POD # 4
Toronto - Under 7.5 500

NY Mets - 7:30 PM ET NY Mets +174 500 POD # 3
Atlanta - Over 7 500

Boston - 8:05 PM ET Boston +118 500 POD # 2
Texas - Over 9 500

Detroit - 8:10 PM ET Detroit -185 500
Houston - Over 8 500

St. Louis - 8:10 PM ET Milwaukee -110 500
Milwaukee - Under 8 500

Tampa Bay - 8:40 PM ET Tampa Bay -126 500
Colorado - Under 9 500

Baltimore - 10:05 PM ET Baltimore +120 500
LA Angels - Over 8.5 500

Arizona - 10:10 PM ET Arizona -116 500
San Diego - Under 7.5 500

LA Dodgers - 10:15 PM ET LA Dodgers -133 500
San Francisco - Over 6.5 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/04/2013 01:43 AM

Preview: Athletics (16-13) at Yankees (17-10)

Game: 2
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Date: May 04, 2013 1:05 PM EDT

Bartolo Colon is off to a solid start in his return to the Oakland Athletics.

However, he didn't fare well in two outings versus New York since his one season with the Yankees in 2011.

Making his first start at Yankee Stadium since leaving the Bronx, the veteran right-hander looks to start 4-0 while trying to end his recent struggles against one of his many former teams Saturday.

Colon (3-0, 3.38 ERA) went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games - 26 starts - for New York in 2011. Oakland then signed him prior to the 2012 season and he went 10-9 with 3.43 ERA in 24 starts before he was suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone in August.

Though Colon enjoyed a solid season in 2012, he went 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA in two home starts against the Yankees.

Oakland (17-13) hopes that changes as it tries to improve to 6-0 with him on the mound. Colon, who turns 40 later this month, also looks for a better effort after he posted season highs with five runs and nine hits in six innings of a 9-8, 10-inning win over Baltimore on Sunday.

A.J. Griffin pitched seven solid innings to outduel CC Sabathia on Friday, and Jed Lowrie and Nate Freiman each had three hits as the A's won for the fourth time in five games, 2-0.

"It doesn't really matter what else goes on when you get seven shutout innings from your starter in this ballpark and you've got a fresh bullpen behind you," Oakland manager Bob Melvin told MLB's official website.

Lowrie, who has posted consecutive three-hit road games, is batting .341 in 14 career contests at Yankee Stadium.

Grant Balfour got the final out for his fourth save of the season and 23rd in a row, including the playoffs, since blowing one April 29, 2012.

Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix each had two hits for New York (17-11), which dropped to 6-2 on a 10-game homestand.

"You're not going to be able to get them every night," New York outfielder Vernon Wells said. "I think you just want guys to try to have good at_bats. Sometimes the outcome is out of your hands, but it's just guys continuing to keep the same approach. We'll continue doing that day in and day out."

New York's Robinson Cano is batting .322 this season and .429 (6 for 14) with two doubles and a homer versus Colon. Teammate Ichiro Suzuki is 6 for 13 in the last three games and hitting .341 with two home runs against him.

Phil Hughes (0-2, 4.67) will try a sixth time to earn his first win when he takes the mound for the Yankees on Saturday. The right-hander has allowed two runs in three straight starts, most recently Sunday over six innings when he struck out a season-high nine in a 3-2 win over Toronto.

Hughes, who is 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in five starts versus Oakland, has allowed 13 runs and 16 hits in seven innings without a decision in his last two against the A's at Yankee Stadium.

With seventh-inning specialist Joba Chamberlain already on the disabled list with a strained oblique, the Yankees also are minus setup man David Robertson for this series because of a leg injury.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/04/2013 01:45 AM

Preview: Mariners (13-17) at Blue Jays (10-19)

Game: 2
Venue: Rogers Centre
Date: May 04, 2013 1:07 PM EDT

Some back and neck pain won't keep R.A. Dickey from making his next start.

The knuckleballer looks to avoid a third straight defeat while trying to help keep the Toronto Blue Jays from a fourth consecutive loss Saturday against the surging Seattle Mariners.

Dickey (2-4, 4.50 ERA) underwent an MRI on Wednesday that revealed mild inflammation in his neck and back. Manager John Gibbons opted to give the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner an extra day of rest.

"The doctors indicated that it's just a matter of time before it goes away," Gibbons told the Blue Jays' official website. "But you keep irritating it when you throw it, but we need him out there and he wants to be out there. Plus, they looked at it and there's nothing serious at all."

The right-hander has allowed seven runs and walked six over 13 innings to lose two straight after he yielded a run and three walks in 12 1-3 innings to win the previous two. Dickey, who gave up three runs on two homers and two other hits in seven innings of a 3-2 loss at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, understands he must work through his health issues.

"If I have to battle it for a while, I'll battle it for a while until it goes away," he said. "It gets marginally better between starts. It's just that when I have to start it breaks down again."

Dickey, who went 5-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 32 games for Seattle in 2008, is 3-1 with a 4.43 ERA in nine appearances against the Mariners. His only start came in 2005 with Texas when he gave up six runs in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-6 victory.

He will try to help the Blue Jays (10-20) find a way to regroup after being outscored 17-2 in three games since Tuesday's 9-7 win over Boston. Toronto managed five hits against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez and closer Tom Wilhelmsen while losing for the seventh time in eight games, 4-0 on Friday.

The Blue Jays have dropped six of seven against the Mariners (14-17) and could have a hard time against Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1, 1.67), who is 0-1 in his last three starts despite allowing two earned runs and striking out 21 in 17 innings.

His teammates have scored one run during that span with the right-hander on the mound.

Iwakuma yielded an unearned run, three hits and fanned eight in six innings of a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. He said a blister that he's had on his middle finger all season was not much of a problem.

"It's a lot better than the last start," Iwakuma told the Mariners' official website. "So hopefully we're making progress from here on."

Iwakuma faced Toronto twice in 2012, including one start when he gave up a leadoff homer to Rajai Davis and three other hits while striking out 13 in eight innings of a 4-1 home win July 30.

Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer for one of his three hits Friday as the Mariners won for the fifth time in six games.

Seager is batting .370 with four home runs and 14 RBIs while hitting safely in 20 of 21 games. He's batted .514 (18 for 35) during a nine-game hitting streak against the Blue Jays.

Teammate Dustin Ackley is batting .395 in his last 12 contests.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32996 Followers:38
05/04/2013 01:47 AM

Preview: Twins (12-12) at Indians (12-13)

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

Scott Kazmir has gone nearly three years without a victory. His current teammates, meanwhile, have done nothing but win lately.

With five straight wins, the Indians hope Kazmir can help continue that run Saturday against the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Cleveland (13-13) has been firing on all cylinders during its streak, producing 46 runs and 12 homers while batting .357 despite the absence of injured regulars Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.

The pitchers have also done their share, posting a 2.15 ERA. Cleveland starters had allowed five runs over the first four games of the streak before Justin Masterson was reached for five in 6 2-3 innings Friday.

That sub-par outing, however, wasn't enough to slow the Indians, who returned to .500 for the first time since April 13 after winning the opener of this three-game set, 7-6 in 10 innings on Drew Stubbs' RBI double - his fourth hit. Jason Kipnis matched a career high with four RBIs for Cleveland, which seeks its first six-game run since capturing seven in a row April 26-May 3, 2011.

"It makes you feel really good because he's a very hard worker," manager Terry Francona said of Stubbs. "We got Drew because we love his athleticism, his ability to play the outfield, and the way he runs the bases. And since Bourny went out, he's played Gold Glove-caliber center field - and I don't think he's getting enough credit for that."

This will be the third start of the season for Kazmir (0-1, 8.64 ERA), who's in search of his first win since beating Tampa Bay on Sept. 19, 2010.

After pitching poorly in his season debut, the left-hander was much better at Kansas City last Saturday, yielding two runs and five hits over five innings in a 3-2 loss. Kazmir, who spent last season pitching in the independent Atlantic League, hasn't faced the Twins (12-13) since April 29, 2009.

Justin Morneau is 5 for 14 with two homers against Kazmir, while reserve infielder Jamey Carroll is 6 for 10.

Kazmir will also want to be careful with Trevor Plouffe, who went deep Friday and is batting .395 with five home runs in 12 games at Progressive Field.

Cleveland's hot offense should get a boost with Swisher's expected return. The first baseman missed the last three games to rest his sore left shoulder.

"We didn't take these last (few) days off to get better and then blow it back out again," Swisher told the team's official website. "You want to get this thing behind you, put it in the rearview mirror and then get back in there."

The Twins, winners of 12 of 16 against the Indians, will have their most effective starter on the mound as Kevin Correia (3-1, 2.33) looks to win his fourth start in a row.

He's turned in five consecutive quality outings and pitched at least seven innings in each appearance. The right-hander scattered six hits - all singles - over eight innings and allowed one runner to reach third base in a 5-0 win over Texas on Sunday.

"Getting balls hit to people right now," Correia said. "Right now it's just going my way."

Correia lost his only start against the Indians on June 17, 2011, while with Pittsburgh. He allowed two runs and four hits over 5 2-3 innings.

Mark Reynolds has the most experience of any Indians player against Correia, going 13 for 44 (.295) with three homers and 18 strikeouts.

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