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 Posted: Mon Aug 19th, 2013 03:24 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/wainwright-jay-lead-cardinals-past-215756321--mlb.html

Wainwright, Jay lead Cardinals past Cubs 6-1
By MATT CARLSON (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 3 hours ago

CHICAGO (AP) -- Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was back in charge Sunday.

Wainwright struck out 11 and allowed one run through seven innings, and Jon Jay drove in four runs with a homer and double to lead St. Louis to a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Matt Carpenter singled in two runs in the third to help back Wainwright (14-7), who allowed just five hits and one walk after going 0-2 in his previous four starts.

''It's as good as he's been all season,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ''He came out in the first and established all his pitches, had great life.

''His curveball was as sharp as we've seen it. That made the difference, it set the tone.''

Wainwright hadn't won since July 21 at home against San Diego and had allowed 14 runs in 28 innings during the span.

On Sunday, he faced only one batter over the minimum through the first five innings and only 26 through seven innings. He also beat the Cubs for the first time since April 13, 2012, a span of six starts.

''I just went out there in attack mode,'' Wainwright said, ''went out there with the right philosophy in understanding of who I was as a pitcher and just made pitches.

''I wanted to let everybody on the field know that I was in charge out there, so to speak. It's a team over there that's given me trouble over the last few years.''

St. Louis relievers Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and ninth.

One of Wainwright's strikeouts led to Cubs manager Dale Sveum and reliever James Russell being ejected from the game in the bottom of the seventh.

St. Louis was already ahead 6-1 following Jay's three-run homer off Russell in the top of the inning.

Wainwright allowed singles to Nate Schierholtz and Welington Castillo to open the bottom half, but the next batter, Donnie Murphy, was called out on a check swing.

Sveum disputed the call with plate umpire Phil Cuzzi from the dugout, then came onto the field to continue the argument following the ejection. Russell was tossed by third base umpire Tom Hallion.

''That's easily the worst checked-swing call I've ever seen. Sveum said. That's why the other umpires are there, to give him help.''

Junior Lake drove in the Cubs' run with a double in the sixth.

Chicago starter Edwin Jackson (7-13) allowed three runs, but only one earned, through six innings. He walked four and struck out three.

Jackson has been stronger in the second half after an 1-8 start. He got little support on Sunday and his defense didn't help when Lake dropped a fly ball in center field for an error in the Cardinals' three-run second inning.

''In pitching, things are going to happen,'' Jackson said. ''It was one of those things you try to battle down and do damage control.

''It definitely could have been a lot worse. You just try to keep them within striking distance.''

The Cubs have scored just 12 runs in their past eight games at Wrigley Field and have been shut out in five of those contests.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina had two doubles in his third game back after two weeks on the disabled list.

Starlin Castro was back in the Cubs lineup a day after being pulled for making a mistake the day before, and had an infield single. Manager Dale Sveum said Castro had atoned for his mistake.

On Saturday, the shortstop dawdled after catching a popup in shallow left field, allowing a run to score and Sveum pulled Castro from the game.

Carpenter's single with two outs and the bases loaded drove in two runs as the Cardinals jumped ahead 3-0 in the second.

With one out, Molina and Jay bounced back-to-back doubles just inside third base to make it 1-0.

Rookie Kolten Wong's deep fly ticked off Lake's glove for an error, putting Wong on second and Jay on third. Following an intentional walk to Daniel Descalso and fly out by Wainwright, Carpenter's hit up the middle drove in Jay and Wong.

The Cubs cut it to 3-1 in the sixth. David Dejesus, who had walked with two outs, scored on Lake's double to the gap.

Jay's three-run homer in the seventh off Russell, the second of four Chicago relievers, put the game away.

NOTES: Wainwright had a season-high 12 strikeouts on April 13 against Milwaukee. . The 23-year-old Castro, one of the Cubs' most touted young players, has struggled much of this season. He entered Sunday hitting .244 with seven homers and 32 RBIs, and was 0 for 16 in his past five games. But Sveum was willing to give him another chance. ''I don't think this kid can get better by not playing today and understanding the adversity that we all go through in a game,'' Sveum said before the same. ... Descalso, a left-handed batter, started at shortstop for St. Louis on Sunday against Jackson, a right-hander. He replaced right-handed hitting, Pete Kozma who played Saturday. Manager Mike Matheny stopped short of saying the two would platoon the rest of the season. ''I am still comfortable with (Kozma's defense), but I think we've all been becoming more comfortable with the innings (Descalso) has been playing as well, and how he's swinging the bat at times. I think you're going to see both of them.'' Kozma, was hitting .223 entering the game and Descalso was at .254. ... Wong, one of the Cardinals' top prospects, started at second on Sunday and appeared in each game of the series after making his major league debut on Friday.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 19th, 2013 03:26 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bailey-reds-beat-brewers-9-212041465--mlb.html

Bailey, Reds beat Brewers 9-1
By JOE TOTORAITIS (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 5 hours ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Homer Bailey didn't let the Milwaukee Brewers' earlier success bother him one bit.

Bailey allowed one run and three hits in eight innings, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Brewers 9-1 on Sunday.

Bailey (8-10) won his third straight decision by beating a team that has given him trouble in the past. He improved his career mark against Milwaukee to 2-7 in 14 starts with his first win in three starts against the Brewers this season.

''For some reason this team has usually done pretty well against me,'' Bailey said. ''I never really thought about it, so I just kind of went out there and tried to pitch a little bit.''

He did more than a little bit against the Brewers, thanks to good fastball location and a tough curveball.

''He's got incredible stuff,'' Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett said. ''He was getting ahead for the most part. When guys with good stuff get ahead, it makes it that much harder.''

Gennett's double in the second, and Khris Davis' solo shot in the fifth and infield single in the seventh were the only hits for the Brewers.

''We didn't have that timely hit,'' Gennett said. ''He was down for the most part, in and out of the zone, working in and out of the zone with pretty much all of his offspeed pitches, which makes it quite tough to hit.''

Bailey walked one and struck out eight, including Juan Francisco three times.

''Since we have seen these guys so many times, I am starting to get a better feel for them,'' Bailey said after earning his first win at Miller Park.

Bailey had been 0-3 in five career starts in Milwaukee.

The Reds, who lost 2-0 on Saturday night, batted around in the second inning as an erratic Wily Peralta (8-13) allowed five runs. Cincinnati sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth and tacked on four more runs.

''You play for the big inning, and if not, you play for one,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''To get big innings like that is huge.''

The victory sent the Reds back to Cincinnati with a successful seven-game road trip. They swept a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs before heading to Milwaukee.

''Main thing, we had a pretty good road trip, 5-2,'' Baker said. ''We will be happy with what we got.''

Peralta gave up singles to the first four batters, capped by Ryan Hanigan's two-run hit. A walk to Shin-Soo Choo loaded the bases for Joey Votto, and a passed ball added another run.

The Brewers walked Votto intentionally and set up Peralta to face Brandon Phillips, who was 1-12 against the right-hander. Phillips' two-run single foiled the move and gave Bailey a 5-0 lead in the second.

Peralta settled down for the next two innings, but walked Phillips to start the fifth. He advanced on a wild pitch and took third on a fly ball to the warning track in right. Chris Heisey ended Peralta's 26th start of the season with a run-scoring single.

Peralta seemed puzzled trying to explain his inconsistency.

''I don't know,'' he said. ''Today was a tough day. I've got to figure out a better command with the fastball. I didn't have that much command of my pitches.''

Tyler Thornburg took over, but struggled just as much as Peralta. The Reds batted around for the second time and capitalized on Thornburg's wildness. He issued four walks, including two with the bases loaded, and allowed a run-scoring single to Hanigan, who had two hits and three RBIs.

Alfredo Simon pitched the ninth for the Reds.

Bailey struggled a bit after throwing his second-career no-hitter with a 3-0 win over the San Francisco Giants on July 2. He lost the next four starts, but turned it around with two consecutive wins.

Peralta was totally unlike the last time he faced the Reds at Miller Park. In what might have been the best start of his first full season in the majors, he threw a three-hitter on July 9 in Milwaukee's 2-0 win.

But he allowed seven runs and eight hits, walked four and struck out four over 4 1-3 innings on Sunday. He slipped to 1-3 in four starts this season against the Reds.

''Last start we faced him, we did well against him,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Bailey. ''He's got great stuff, and he's the same thing as Wily. When he's got command, and he (Bailey) had command of all his pitches, he's going to be very difficult to hit.''

NOTES: All 10 of Cincinnati's hits were singles. ... Brewers All-Star center fielder Carlos Gomez missed his third consecutive game with a sprained right knee. He was on the field for several drills and long toss before Sunday's game. He is listed as day-to-day after being injured making a twisting catch while colliding with the wall during Thursday's 2-1 loss to Cincinnati. ... Thornburg allowed two runs on one hit with five walks and one strikeout in 1 2-3 innings. ... Jay Bruce started the Reds' five-run second inning with a single and ended it by fouling out to third. ... Choo was on base five times with two singles and three walks. ... Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo (11-9) faces Diamondbacks RHP Randall Delgado (4-3) on Monday as Cincinnati opens a four-game series with Arizona at Great American Ball Park. ... Brewers RHP Marco Estrada (5-4) and Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller (11-8) open a three-game series as St. Louis visits Milwaukee.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2013 12:30 pm
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/carpenters-single-helps-cards-rally-044711848--mlb.html

Carpenter's single helps Cards rally over Brewers
By JOE DiGIOVANNI (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It took a few days for speedy St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong to show he can provide a spark for the Cardinals in the NL playoff race.

Wong got his first two major-league hits Monday night, keying a four-run rally with an infield single in an 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

''That was a spark, that's what we talked about when we brought him here,'' manager Mike Matheny said of the rookie who was hitless in his first 10 at-bats after joining the team from Triple-A Memphis Friday night in Chicago.

''It was a pretty good example of what we were hoping for,'' Matheny said.

Wong had infield singles in the sixth and eighth innings, and stole two bases. St. Louis trailed 6-5 with two outs in the eighth when he hit a high chopper to third and was ruled safe at first by umpire Marty Foster in a call disputed after the game by the Brewers.

''That's what they brought me up here for, to get on base, so the guys behind me can drive me in,'' he said. ''That's my goal. That's what I go up there every time trying to do.''

The infield hit opened the flood gates. The single was the first of six consecutive hits, capped by pinch-hitter David Freese's two-run double, and the Cardinals won for the ninth time in 11 games.

''They were relentless right there,'' Matheny said of his team. ''It started with some hustle with Wong legging that out, and guys having some big, big at-bats for us.''

Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered, and Yadier Molina had four hits for St. Louis, which got seven of its 16 hits in the eighth inning.

Aramis Ramirez snapped a 1-for-18 skid since returning from the disabled list Aug. 13 with a two-run homer off Michael Wacha (2-0) in the seventh to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead.

It didn't last long. The Cardinals erupted in the eighth off reliever Brandon Kintzler (3-1), who gave up four runs and six hits while getting just two outs.

Edward Mujica, who was unavailable during the weekend series at the Cubs because of a tired arm, pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances.

Kintzler gave up a leadoff single to Molina, but Jay grounded into a double play. The Brewers reliever needed one more out to finish the inning, but gave up five consecutive singles to lose the lead.

The Brewers thought they should have been out of the inning after Wong's infield chopper.

''I was standing right there, and I thought he was out,'' Kintzler said. ''But from his (Foster's) angle - it's a short hop - it's a tough call from his angle. I have a better angle. If you slow it down on replay, you have to really slow it down. It's a tough play. From his angle, it's tough.''

Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso then singled and pinch-hitter Matt Adams singled to tie it at 5. Matt Carpenter hit the next pitch from Kintzler for another single to score Descalso.

Beltran singled, and Freese then hit the first pitch from Burke Badenhop for a double to make it 8-5.

The Brewers had two runners on in the ninth but Scooter Gennett grounded out to end the game.

Norichika Aoki hit his seventh homer for Milwaukee.

St. Louis starter Shelby Miller allowed two runs on five hits and four walks while striking out eight in 5 1-3 innings.

Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings.

Jay's two-run homer off Estrada in the sixth snapped a 2-2 tie. It was his seventh homer this year and second in two days after hitting a three-run shot in St. Louis' 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Estrada said he threw a curveball - a pitch he didn't want to throw - to Jay.

''It's not frustrating to give up runs, it's going to happen, but it's frustrating that I threw pitches I didn't want to throw,'' he said. ''I second-guessed myself and I got beat really bad on the one to Jay. I threw a pitch I didn't want to throw. There was no conviction behind it. I made the pitch and I got hurt.''

Beltran snapped an 0-for-7 skid with his 21st home run in the first. He had three hits.

NOTES: Brewers CF Carlos Gomez remained out of the starting lineup after spraining his right knee on Thursday night. Manager Ron Roenicke said he could play during the Cardinals series. ... Brewers 1B Juan Francisco struck out four times for the second consecutive game.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2013 12:30 pm
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/liriano-strikes-13-3-1-045020878--mlb.html

Liriano strikes out 13 in 3-1 Bucs win over Padres
By BERNIE WILSON (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Manager Clint Hurdle doesn't care whether people call Francisco Liriano the Pittsburgh Pirates' ace or No. 1 or whatever.

''I'm not big on labels. I just like to pencil his name in every fifth day,'' Hurdle said after Liriano struck out a season-high 13 to lead Pittsburgh to a 3-1 victory against the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

''I'd never take it for granted and I hope nobody else does when you watch a man go out there and pitch like he does,'' Hurdle said. ''I hope there's some appreciation. He continues to just be masterful.''

Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 31st home run and the Pirates, who had lost seven of nine coming in, maintained a one-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis.

The Padres struck out 17 times overall Monday night, giving them 59 in their last five games. They've lost nine of 13.

Liriano (14-5) tied his career-high with his 14th victory. He helped give some relief to the Pirates' bullpen, which was taxed when three of the previous six games went extra innings.

Coming off a four-hit victory at St. Louis in his last start, Liriano held San Diego to four hits in seven innings while walking two.

Liriano's previous season high was 11 strikeouts on June 1 against Cincinnati. His career high is 15.

Liriano struck out five of the first seven batters and eight of the first 11.

''I was very confident in my fastball,'' he said. ''I threw it in and out for strikes. Breaking balls were easy for me to throw. I got very confident in my pitches. Instead of trying to do too much, I just hit my spot and let whatever happen.''

The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth before Liriano got Ronny Cedeno to hit into a force.

The Padres had runners in scoring position only two other times against Liriano. Cedeno hit a leadoff single in the third and advanced on a balk before Liriano struck out the side. Chris Denorfia doubled to left with one out in the fifth and advanced to third on Will Venable's groundout before Liriano struck out rookie Jedd Gyorko.

''The situation tonight that shows his growth, and one of the reasons he's having the year he's having is his ability to continue to pitch through traffic, to pitch out of the stretch, with runners in scoring position, runners on base,'' Hurdle said. ''He was in command and never panicked when he got some people on base. He made pitches he needed to get out of it.''

In his last four starts after a Bucs' loss, including Monday night, Liriano has pitched 30 innings and allowed only two earned runs.

''He has an explosive fastball,'' Denorfia said. ''He works every part of the zone. He can duplicate his off-speed pitches. It was the first time seeing him this year. There was definitely some adjusting we needed to do. Unfortunately, we couldn't get it done.''

Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances. He allowed Nick Hundley's RBI double with two outs.

Alvarez, who had been tied for the NL lead with Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, homered on an 0-1 pitch from Andrew Cashner with two outs in the sixth to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. It landed about six rows behind the Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 party deck that sits atop the right-field wall.

The Pirates scored two runs in the fourth on two singles and an error by right fielder Denorfia. With Andrew McCutchen aboard on a leadoff single, Alvarez grounded a single to right field, which rolled under the glove of a charging Denorfia and went all the way to the fence, allowing both runners to score.

''I just missed it,'' Denorfia said. ''There really is no excuse for it. It's one of those plays that cost us the game.''

Cashner (8-8) lost his third straight start. He allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits in seven innings, struck out three and walked two.

NOTES: Padres CF Cameron Maybin returned to San Diego to have his injured knee re-examined by club doctors. Maybin has been on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson before the club shut him down. He probably is done for the season. ... Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett (5-8, 3.18) is scheduled to start against the Padres on Tuesday night. He's 1-5 with a 4.93 ERA in seven career starts against the Padres, with the one victory being a no-hitter on May 12, 2001, while with the Marlins. Burnett walked nine that night. ... In his last start on Aug. 15, Burnett allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings and got a no-decision at St. Louis. Burnett has allowed 11 runs in his last two starts after throwing a complete-game victory Aug. 4 against the Rockies. ... The Padres will counter with Tyson Ross (3-5, 2.62) Tuesday night. ... LHP Wandy Rodriguez threw a bullpen session Monday. Rodriguez, who has been on the disabled list since June 11, retroactive to June 6, with tightness in his left forearm, said he still could ''feel something'' in his arm during the session. There is no timetable for his return. ... RHP Jason Grilli was scheduled to start throwing from a 120 feet Monday, manager Clint Hurdle said. Grilli has been on the DL since July 23 with a right forearm strain. ... RHP Ryan Reid was recalled Monday from Triple-A Indianapolis. This is Reid's second stint with the Pirates.



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"We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2013 12:31 pm
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ludwick-gets-rbi-reds-beat-020136086--mlb.html

Ludwick gets RBI, Reds beat Diamondbacks 5-3
By JOE KAY (AP Baseball Writer) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ryan Ludwick had a bag of ice wrapped on his right shoulder, the one that's prevented him from doing much of anything all season. It seems to be finally coming around, just like his team.

Ludwick drove in his first run of the season with a double, and the Cincinnati Reds kept up their August surge, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Monday night for their seventh win in nine games.

The Reds moved 17 games over .500, matching their season high and keeping the pressure on Pittsburgh and St. Louis in the NL Central race.

''We've been playing pretty well since I came back,'' said Ludwick, who returned from shoulder surgery a week ago. ''We were 5-2 on the road trip, and we beat the team that's behind us in the wild-card standings, so that's a good start to the series.''

It's an important four-game series for Arizona, which now trails Cincinnati by six games for the final NL wild card spot. The Diamondbacks have won five of their last seven games, but can't afford to lose any more ground.

''We're hoping to win the next three - that's our goal,'' catcher Wil Nieves said.

Bronson Arroyo (12-9) won his third straight start, allowing three runs in six innings. Aaron Hill hit a solo homer, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.

J.J. Hoover retired the side in the eighth, his 23rd straight scoreless appearance - a club record and the longest active streak in majors.

Aroldis Chapman gave up a pair of singles in the ninth while getting his 31st save in 36 chances. It was the left-hander's first appearance since he gave up a two-run homer to Jonathan Lucroy for a 7-6 loss in Milwaukee on Friday night.

Ludwick got his long-awaited RBI during a three-run fourth inning against Randall Delgado (4-4), who had won his last three decisions. The left fielder tore cartilage in his right shoulder while sliding headfirst into third base on opening day.

He returned a week ago and had a pair of singles in 14 at-bats on a road trip, showing a lot of rust from his long layoff while recovering from surgery. Manager Dusty Baker has dropped him from the cleanup spot to sixth in the order while he gets his swing straightened out.

He doubled down the line at third base during the three-run fourth inning, his first RBI since a solo homer off Matt Cain during San Francisco's 6-4 win in Game 5 of their divisional playoff series at Great American Ball Park last Oct. 11.

''I actually felt a little better tonight,'' Ludwick said. ''I don't know if it was being home in familiar surroundings or what.

''It's baby steps. It's a process. You feel like you want it all at once. You want to hit a home run in every one of your first 10 at-bats. Obviously, it's a rhythm and timing issue. Tonight, I felt like I had a pretty good rhythm at the plate.''

The Reds could use a consistent right-handed run producer in their lefty-dominated lineup. Ludwick led the offense when Joey Votto missed most of the second half of last season with a knee injury, leading the Reds to the NL Central title.

''Like I've said, our best days are ahead of us,'' Baker said. ''We've just got to keep winning in the meantime.''

The Diamondbacks were coming off a 16-inning, 4-2 win in Pittsburgh that left their bullpen worn down. They needed a solid start from Delgado, who came up short.

Todd Frazier hit a solo homer. Brandon Phillips had a triple among his three hits off Delgado and scored a pair of runs. Zack Cozart drove in two with a sacrifice fly and a groundout, helping the Reds pull ahead 5-1 after five innings.

The Diamondbacks loaded the bases in the sixth, and Martin Prado singled for a pair of runs that cut it to 5-3. Arroyo allowed seven hits but didn't walk a batter for the third straight start.

Notes: Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero, on the DL since Aug. 1 with a strained lower back, is scheduled to catch on Wednesday, take a day off, then catch Friday and Saturday. He'll be evaluated then. ... LH Matt Reynolds, on the DL since June 10 with a strained left elbow, is playing catch but hasn't thrown off a mound. ... Hill is 8-for-21 career against Arroyo with three homers. ... Phillips is 8-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak. ... Cozart leads the NL with nine sacrifice flies. ... The Diamondbacks will start LH Patrick Corbin, who hasn't won on the road since June 2, in the second game of the series. LH Tony Cingrani makes his first career appearance against the Diamondbacks.



____________________
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Our great computers
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We are the priests
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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 03:05 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/goldschmidts-3rd-slam-sends-dbacks-015016309--mlb.html

Goldschmidt's 3rd slam sends Dbacks over Reds 5-2

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Paul Goldschmidt doesn't keep track of his RBIs. The rest of the Diamondbacks are voluntarily doing it for him.

Goldschmidt set a Diamondbacks record with his third grand slam of the season on Tuesday night and became the first NL player to drive in 100 runs, powering Arizona to a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Goldschmidt connected in the eighth inning off J.J. Hoover, ending the reliever's streak of 23 scoreless appearances. His 31st homer tied him with Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez for the NL lead. All of his career grand slams have come this season.

''I hope he's got a big run left in him,'' manager Kirk Gibson said. ''The team feeds off Patrick (Corbin) and Goldy. They've been our most consistent guys all year.''

Goldschmidt knew his RBI total was in the 90s coming into that at-bat, but didn't realize he'd reached triple digits until he rounded the bases and his teammates pointed it out.

They don't mind doing the counting.

''He's impressive to watch play every day,'' catcher Wil Nieves said. ''He's so clutch. He's unbelievable.''

Corbin (13-3) stymied Cincinnati's lefty-dominated lineup, allowing six hits, including Chris Heisey's two-run homer, during his second complete game. Corbin matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. He threw first-pitch strikes to 27 of the 33 batters he faced and didn't walk a batter in his most dominating performance of the season.

''Today I had my best slider,'' Corbin said. ''I felt good warming up in the bullpen. I thought it would be a good game. I knew I could go to my slider at any time.''

The left-hander shut down the Reds' left-handed threats - Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce were a combined 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts.

''He makes some of their hitters look so bad - and they're unbelievable hitters, especially Votto and Bruce,'' Nieves said.

The Diamondbacks evened their series at a game apiece and moved five games behind the Reds for the final NL wild card berth. Arizona has won six of its last eight games.

''We've got some work to do,'' Goldschmidt said. ''There's some good teams ahead of us. It's not like we're one game behind.''

Cincinnati lost for only the fourth time in its last 14 games. A bigger concern: Tony Cingrani (6-3) left in the fourth inning with a strained lower back.

The left-hander has been filling in for Johnny Cueto, who is on the disabled list for the third time this season with soreness behind his pitching shoulder. Cingrani said his back has bothered him in his last few weeks.

''It finally bothered me enough that it was noticeable,'' Cingrani said. ''I felt it before. It came on gradually. It hasn't been this bad.''

Cingrani retired the first 10 batters before Martin Prado hit his 12th homer. One out later, Aaron Hill doubled off the wall in left-center, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. A trainer and manager Dusty Baker went to the mound to talk to Cingrani, who was replaced by Alfredo Simon.

Baker said Cingrani had kept quiet about his bad back until he had to leave the game.

''He didn't tell me,'' Baker said. ''These young guys want to stay in the big leagues and stay in the rotation.''

The defending NL Central champions were feeling good about getting their starting lineup back to full strength with Ryan Ludwick's return last week from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him since opening day. Now, the rotation is in flux as they try to overtake Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

Cingrani's injury spoiled a matchup of left-handers born two weeks apart in July 1989. Corbin, who is two weeks younger than Cingrani, kept the Reds off-balance with his slider.

The Diamondbacks are 21-4 when Corbin starts. He has allowed two runs or less in 19 starts this season, tied with the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw for most in the NL.

He got a few words from Choo after throwing a chin-high fastball to the leadoff hitter in the sixth. Plate umpire Jerry Meals stepped in, Choo pointed to chin and said something, then got back in the batter's box without further complaint and struck out.

Notes: Fans brought more than 600 dogs to the game as part of an annual pet promotion. No fireworks were set off on Heisey's homer so as not to scare the dogs. ... Goldschmidt's 100 RBIs match Adam LaRoche's club record for a first baseman. ... Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero, on the DL since Aug. 1 with a strained lower back, felt fine a day after he caught five innings on a rehab assignment. He got the day off and will catch again on Wednesday. ... RH Brandon McCarthy (2-7) starts the third game for Arizona, trying to emerge from a slump. He's 0-4 with a 6.41 ERA in his last four starts. The Reds go with RH Mike Leake (10-5), who has a 6.12 career ERA against Arizona.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 03:49 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/lohse-brewers-beat-cardinals-6-032024556--mlb.html

Lohse, Brewers beat Cardinals 6-3
By JOE TOTORAITIS (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 9 minutes ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Kyle Lohse beat the Cardinals for the first time this season and Sean Halton knocked in a career-high three runs to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat St. Louis 6-3 Tuesday night.

Lohse (9-8) beat the Cardinals in his fourth try this season and improved to 3-5 in nine outings overall against his former team.

Lohse left after six innings with the Brewers leading 6-3. He earned his team-leading 17th quality start, including six in his last seven. He struck out four, walked two and allowed six hits and three runs, two coming on Yadier Molina's two-run homer in the fourth. Molina doubled and scored in the second on Matt Adams' single.

After John Axford and Brandon Kintzler each pitched a scoreless inning, and Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 22 chances.

Lance Lynn (13-7) got roughed up in the Brewers' five-run fourth, highlighted by Halton's two-run single with the bases loaded.

Milwaukee's first six batters in the frame reached, loading the bases twice with no outs. Scooter Gennett drove in the first run with a single. After Aramis Ramirez singled and Khris Davis reached on Lynn's fielding error, Halton drove them in with a line drive to center that doubled his season RBI total. Logan Schafer followed with an RBI single and Norichika Aoki tacked on the last run with a sacrifice fly.

Halton set a career mark in the fifth with his third RBI of the game. Davis singled, stole second and scored on Halton's grounder into center.

Carlos Beltran singled and scored on Molina's 10th home run of the season.

Adams beat the Brewers defensive shift in the second inning and knocked in Molina with the Cardinals' first run. Adams blooped a single over the head of shortstop Jean Segura, positioned on the right side of second base. Molina was on with a double over the head of center fielder Schafer. The ball flicked off Schafer's glove and rolled to the wall.

NOTES: Kolten Wong, who had his first two major league hits on Monday night, continued getting on base. He went 3 for 5 with two singles and a double. The team's No. 1. pick in the 2011 draft joined the Cardinals from Triple-A Memphis Friday night in Chicago. ... Brewers 1B Juan Francisco got the game off. He's struck out four times in consecutive games. ''If I think he just needs one day, I will get him back in there tomorrow,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. Halton replaced him. ... Lynn is 2-2 in four starts facing the Brewers. ... Brewers CF Carlos Gomez remained out of the starting lineup after spraining his right knee colliding into the center-field wall on Thursday night. He's missed five consecutive games. ... Segura stole his 37th base, matching Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres for the NL lead.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 05:49 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/burnetts-7-strong-innings-help-050858983--mlb.html

Burnett's 7 strong innings help Pirates beat Pads
By BERNIE WILSON (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 28 minutes ago

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A.J. Burnett threw seven strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates had six extra-base hits, including Neil Walker's home run, to beat the Padres 8-1 Tuesday night.

Burnett (6-8) held San Diego to one run and four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He bounced back from two starts in which he allowed 10 earned runs and 16 hits in 10 innings.

The right-hander improved to 2-5 lifetime against the Padres. His only previous victory against San Diego was a no-hitter on May 12, 2001, while with the Marlins. Burnett walked nine that night.

The Pirates opened a two-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis, which lost 6-3 at Milwaukee.

The Padres have lost 10 of 14 and tied their season high by dropping 17 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Burnett was backed by some nice defense. Left fielder Jose Tabata made a diving catch of Alexi Amarista's sinking liner in the first. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez made a diving stop of Nick Hundley's grounder in the second and Walker, the second baseman, made a diving stop of Jaff Decker's grounder in the third.

Walker homered into the sandy play area beyond the fence in right-center on a 3-1 pitch from Tyson Ross with one out in the first. It was his eighth. Alvarez reached on second baseman Jedd Gyorko's throwing error and Russell Martin followed with an RBI double to right.

Alvarez tripled in the third to bring in Walker, who was hit by a pitch leading off the inning.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run triple in the seventh. His fly ball landed just in front of diving center fielder Alexi Amarista and rolled into the gap. After Alvarez and Russell Martin walked, pinch-hitter Josh Harrison tripled to right-center to clear the bases and cap the five-run inning.

Gyorko homered to left on a 1-2 pitch from Burnett leading off the fourth, his 14th.

The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the third before Burnett struck out Yonder Alonso.

Ross (3-6) allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked two.

NOTES: The series concludes Wednesday afternoon when Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.88 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Ian Kennedy (4-9, 5.12 ERA). .... Pirates closer Jason Grilli, on the disabled list since July 23 with a strained right forearm, is improving, although there is no timetable for his return. ''Jason is moving forward at a very good fashion,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ... OF Starling Marte didn't start for the second straight game because of a bruise on his right hand. He was stepped on during a head-first slide against the Arizona Diamondbacks. ... LHP Wandy Rodriguez will throw live batting practice Thursday before the Pirates begin a four-game series in San Francisco. Rodriguez said he continued to feel discomfort in his left arm after a bullpen session Monday. He went on the disabled list June 11 (retroactive to June 6) with left forearm tightness.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2013 10:27 pm
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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/21/remember-felix-pie-hes-batting-leadoff-for-the-pirates/

Remember Felix Pie? He’s batting leadoff for the Pirates

Aaron Gleeman

Aug 21, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Here’s a blast from the past: Felix Pie, the former top Cubs prospect turned 28-year-old journeyman, has been called up from Triple-A by the Pirates and is batting leadoff tonight. For a first-place team. In 2013.

Pie last played in the majors for the Orioles in 2011, hitting .220 with zero homers in 85 games, and is a career .249 hitter with a .673 OPS. He also hit just .251 with a .325 on-base percentage in 105 games at Triple-A for the Pirates before the call-up, so the move–and particularly the decision to bat him leadoff tonight–doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Pie first cracked Baseball America‘s top-100 prospects list in 2003. That year Francisco Liriano was 11 spots below Pie on the same prospect list, Andrew McCutchen was a sophomore in high school, and Gerrit Cole was in junior high. So yeah, it’s been a while.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 02:39 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/beltran-craig-homer-lift-cards-214336853--mlb.html

Beltran, Craig homer to lift Cards over Brewers
By RICH ROVITO (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 2 hours 45 minutes ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jake Westbrook didn't last long enough to earn the victory on Wednesday, but the light-hitting St. Louis pitcher used his bat to spark a six-run, second-inning outburst that led to a Cardinals win over the Milwaukee win.

The Cardinals jumped out to a seven-run lead and then held on for an 8-6 victory.

Westbrook, who entered the game hitting only .167 with two RBIs this season, smacked a bases-loaded double into the left-center field gap that scored two runs, starting an onslaught that propelled the Cardinals a 7-0 lead.

''I'm happy to be able to contribute in that sense, especially with the bases loaded and nobody out and to put a good swing on the ball,'' Westbrook said.

Westbrook didn't fare as well on the mound, however. He fell one out short of earning this eighth win of the year, giving up four earned runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out one during a 75-pitch outing.

In his previous start on Aug. 16, when he threw a career-high 124 pitches, Westbrook gave up six earned runs in 6 2-3 innings.

''I still felt like I pitched a lot better than I have been in terms of throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys,'' Westbrook said. ''I actually made some good pitches that they put some good swings on. Getting two quick outs in the fifth and not being able to finish it off is pretty frustrating for me.

''The bullpen came in and picked me up and finished it off, and the offense was great.''

Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig hit towering home runs in the game-changing second inning. Matt Holliday also homered later in the game and Shane Robinson had three hits for the Cardinals, who remain close behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central race.

''It was a big win,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ''Those are the ones you've got to find a way to win, when you put that kind of offensive production up early.''

After taking a one-run lead in the first inning on a double by Craig, the Cardinals torched Brewers starter Tom Gorzelanny (3-5) in the second.

''You make mistakes and you pay for them, especially against good-hitting teams,'' Gorzelanny said. ''I left balls over the middle, (and made) bad pitch selection.''

Following Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly, Beltran launched a two-run shot that caromed off the center-field scoreboard. With two out, Craig hit a solo homer to right-center.

''We are happy that we were able to win the series,'' Beltran said. ''That is basically what is important for us right now.''

The Brewers cut into the lead in the third on a three-run homer by Aramis Ramirez, and then added two runs in the fifth.

Juan Francisco broke out of an 0-for-15 slump, during which he struck out 10 times, with a run-scoring single. Sean Halton drove in another run with a hit, cutting the deficit to 7-5 and chasing Westbrook.

''(Westbrook) started out pretty good, but for whatever reason they were finding the good part of the bat and finding holes,'' Matheny said.

Kevin Siegrist struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning. Siegrist (2-1) recorded two outs to notch the victory. Four Cardinals relievers held the Brewers to one run over the final 5 1-3 innings to preserve the win.

Holliday's solo home run in the ninth extended the lead to 8-5.

Edward Mujica earned his 33rd save in 35 attempts despite giving up a long solo home run to Logan Schafer with one out in the ninth.

Gorzelanny surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.

''He didn't command the ball that well early and then they also hit some pretty good pitches. We know they are a good hitting club, and when you don't hit your spots, they are going to put a good swing on it,'' Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said.

Khris Davis had a career-best three hits for Milwaukee.

''He keeps showing he can hang in there. He works the count well, which I really like,'' Roenicke said. ''He's an aggressive swinger, but he's not a hacker. He doesn't just go up there and swing at everything. He swings at the pitch he wants to swing at.''

NOTES: Milwaukee reliever Rob Wooten was placed on the paternity list. Wooten didn't make it back to North Carolina in time for the birth of his daughter. ''He walked into the room and (his wife) was holding the baby,'' Roenicke said. ''But everyone is fine.'' ... Pitcher Donovan Hand was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to replace Wooten. Hand was optioned back to Nashville immediately after the game, as was INF/OF Sean Halton. Corresponding moves will be forthcoming, according to a team spokesman. ... OF Norichika Aoki was held out of the lineup due to right knee soreness. ''It has been bugging him for a while. We aren't worried too much,'' Roenicke said. ... The Cardinals concluded a 12-game stretch against NL Central clubs. ... St. Louis returns home to face the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. Milwaukee returns to action Friday at Cincinnati.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 02:39 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/kennedy-alonso-lead-padres-over-012739250--mlb.html

Kennedy, Alonso lead Padres over Pirates 2-1
By BERNIE WILSON (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 52 minutes ago

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Ian Kennedy pitched seven strong innings, combining with two relievers on a four-hitter, and Yonder Alonso drove in two runs as the San Diego Padres beat the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Kennedy, who played at Southern Cal, outpitched Gerrit Cole, who pitched at UCLA before the Pirates made him the first pick overall in the June 2011 draft.

Kennedy (5-9) won for the second time in four starts since being obtained from the NL West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31. He held Pittsburgh to four hits, struck out eight and walked three.

In his previous start, Kennedy allowed three home runs in 4 2-3 innings in a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Friday.

Luke Gregerson pitched the eighth, walking Felix Pie and allowing Andrew McCutcheon's sacrifice fly, and Huston Street worked the ninth for his 24th save in 25 chances.

The Pirates' lead in the NL Central was reduced to one game over the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat Milwaukee 8-6.

Kennedy got into and out of trouble in the first, when the Pirates had two singles and two walks in the first inning, and didn't score. Pie, who was promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier Wednesday, beat out an infield single before being thrown out trying to steal second. With two outs, McCutcheon singled and Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin walked to load the bases. Kennedy got out of the jam by striking out Garrett Jones.

Alonso's sacrifice fly in the third brought in Will Venable, who hit a leadoff double and advanced on Chris Denorfia's groundout. In the fifth, Alonso singled in Denorfia, who singled with two outs and stole second.

Cole (6-6) allowed two runs and 10 hits in six innings, struck out five and walked none.

NOTES: To make room for Pie, the Pirates optioned RHP Ryan Reid to Triple A. To make room on the 40-man roster for Pie, Wandy Ramirez was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. ... The Pirates open a four-game series at San Francisco on Thursday night, when LHP Jeff Locke (9-4, 2.90 ERA) is scheduled to start against RHP Matt Cain (8-8, 4.35). ... The Padres are off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. RHP Edinson Volquez (9-10, 5.72 ERA) is scheduled to start opposite RHP Edwin Jackson (7-13, 4.89).



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 01:19 pm
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Current NL Central Standings for contenders

Pirates 74-52 .587
Cardinals 73-53 .579 1 game back
Reds 72-55 .567 2.5 games back



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 Posted: Sat Aug 24th, 2013 10:48 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/barmes-3-run-homer-leads-045016959--mlb.html

Barmes' 3-run homer leads Pirates to 3-1 victory
The Associated Press – 4 hours ago

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Clint Barmes gave Charlie Morton a chance to stay in the game.

Barmes hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, Morton pitched into the eighth and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Friday night.

Barmes came up with two runners on and Morton in the on-deck circle. The home run gave Pittsburgh the lead and helped prevent manager Clint Hurdle from going to a pinch hitter.

''I was looking to stay inside,'' Barmes said. ''My mindset at that time was to at least get one of them in, to at least tie it. I saw the slider pretty well. It was a pretty good pitch but I was able to drop the barrel on it and stay inside of it.''

Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison each had two hits for the Pirates, who have won four of five and maintained their one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

Morton (5-3) allowed one run on seven hits, two after the Giants scored their first run, over 7 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

''I was pretty efficient and the guys were making good plays,'' Morton said. ''It all added up to me going pretty deep. My whole game plan is to keep the ball on the ground.''

Over his last four starts, Morton has given up 56 groundballs and 17 flyballs.

Madison Bumgarner (11-8) took a shutout into the seventh and wound up allowing three runs on seven hits over eight innings. He walked four and struck out five.

''I thought I made a good pitch,'' Bumgarner said. ''It was pretty much where I wanted it. He just made an adjustment. That's what makes them so good, there is no one way to beat them.''

Roger Kieschnick drove in a run for the Giants, who have lost three straight and five of six overall. Hunter Pence added a pair of hits.

Morton, who has worked through hip and wrist issues, improved to 4-1 over his last eight starts with his longest outing of the season.

''I was very happy for Barmes,'' Morton said. ''We all were, because he's worked so hard. To see him put that swing on the ball, it was a thing of beauty. If he doesn't hit that, I'm out.''

Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.

The Giants broke through in the fourth. Buster Posey hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored when Kieschnick's blooper fell safely in short left field.

The Giants had runners on in each of the first four innings. Following Kieschnick's RBI single, Morton retired 12 of the next 13 before giving up a double to Brandon Crawford with two outs in the eighth.

Tony Watson entered the game and struck out Brandon Belt to end the inning.

Bumgarner retired 14 of 16 before giving up consecutive singles to Gaby Sanchez and Harrison ahead of Barmes' three-run shot in the seventh.

Russell Martin has thrown out a major-league leading 26 runners after getting both Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco.

McCutchen extended his hitting streak against the Giants to 10 games and is hitting .475 (19 for 40) over that stretch.

NOTES: Pirates RHP Jason Grilli is scheduled for a bullpen session on Sunday and could throw a simulated game in his following appearance. ... Pirates OF Starling Marte has not played in five days because of a right hand contusion. Marte leads the league in hitting (.407) against left-handers. ... Pirates IF Jordy Mercer made his first MLB start at 3B. ... LHP Francisco Liriano (14-5, 2.53) gets the start against the Giants, the team who signed him, on Sunday. ... RHP Tim Lincecum (6-13, 4.53) goes for the Giants on Saturday. ... RHP Yusmeiro Petit was recalled from Triple-A Fresno to replace Giants RHP Matt Cain, who went on the DL. The Giants also recalled LHP Mike Kickham and optioned IF Nick Noonan. ... Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt (groin strain) is close to resuming baseball activities and could return to the bullpen Sept. 1. ... Giants OF Angel Pagan (left hamstring surgery) had his rehab transferred to Fresno from the Arizona Rookie League.



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 Posted: Sat Aug 24th, 2013 10:48 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/davis-2-hrs-send-brewers-023505303--mlb.html

Davis' 2 HRs send Brewers over Reds 6-4
By JOE KAY (AP Baseball Writer) | The Associated Press – 7 hours ago

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension created a big hole in Milwaukee's lineup. A hard-swinging rookie is trying to fill it in a bit.

Khris Davis hit a pair of two-run homers in consecutive at-bats for the first multihomer game of his career, powering the Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

''I don't see any flaws in him right now,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. ''He's really doing a good job.''

The Brewers played their first game since Braun acknowledged in a statement that he used performance-enhancing drugs while recovering from an injury in 2011, when he won the National League MVP award. Players called it a good first step for Braun, who is serving a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball.

Davis rejoined the Brewers the day after Braun was suspended, getting his third stint of the season. He's hit all eight of his homers in the 23 games since, including the two-run shot that put Milwaukee ahead 3-2 in the sixth. His next homer snapped a 3-all tie.

''I'm just having fun with it and trying to be loose out there,'' said Davis, who is batting .386 in Braun's absence.

Scooter Gennett also homered for Milwaukee, which won at Great American Ball Park for only the second time in seven games this season.

The Reds lost for only the fifth time in their last 17 games, a surge that has tightened the NL Central race. They came in a season-high 18 games over .500.

Davis connected in the sixth off Homer Bailey and again in the eighth off Alfredo Simon (5-4), who had a rough inning. He also gave up Gennett's solo homer, which was upheld on review. Gennett also singled and doubled and scored twice.

The Reds' bullpen has lost set-up man Jonathan Broxton to an elbow injury and been forced to pitch a lot of innings lately.

''That was uncharacteristic of Simon,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ''I think you saw some signs of fatigue, and that Davis is the best young player I've seen come into the league this year.''

Rob Wooten (2-0) hit a batter during his one inning in relief. Zack Cozart singled home a run in the eighth off Brandon Kintzler. Jim Henderson gave up a hit in the ninth while getting his 20th save in 23 chances, leaving him with 14 straight scoreless appearances.

Bailey repeatedly went deep in the count to batters and retired the side in order only once during his six innings.

Norichika Aoki singled home a run in the third. Aramis Ramirez doubled ahead of Davis' homer to left-center field in the sixth off Bailey, who is 2-7 career against Milwaukee.

The Reds got a pair of runs in the fourth off Yovani Gallardo with the help of an error. Brandon Phillips singled, Ryan Ludwick walked, and both runners scored when Cozart singled to center and Carlos Gomez bobbled the ball. Gomez hadn't played since last Thursday when he ran into the outfield wall, hurting his right knee.

Phillips led off the sixth inning with his 16th homer, which cleared the wall in center and tied it at 3. Gallardo also went six innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs.

Davis won it with his second homer.

''It's pretty impressive,'' Gallardo said. ''We saw him swing the bat in spring training. He impressed a lot of people in spring training, and he's doing it now. He's able to drive the ball the other way with power.

''It's a big challenge when you have a hitter with power who can also go the other way and still drive it out of the park.''

NOTES: OF Caleb Gindl joined the Brewers for the start of the series, replacing utility player Sean Halton, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday. ... Gennett extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... Aoki reached in all five plate appearances - twice on singles, twice on errors and once on a walk. ... Reds RH reliever Jonathan Broxton had surgery as planned on Friday to repair a tear in his right forearm. The estimated recovery time is six months. ... The Reds will top 2 million in attendance this weekend, the fastest in Great American Ball Park's 11 seasons. ... RHP Bronson Arroyo (12-9) tries to win his third straight decision on Saturday, facing Milwaukee RHP Wily Peralta (8-13). Arroyo hasn't walked a batter in 22 2-3 innings.



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 Posted: Sat Aug 24th, 2013 10:49 am
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/wainwright-sharp-cardinals-beat-braves-030021271--mlb.html

Wainwright sharp, Cardinals beat Braves 3-1
By R.B. FALLSTROM (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Adam Wainwright bolted out of the dugout before the bottom of the ninth inning. No way was the St. Louis Cardinals' ace coming out of this one.

Wainwright persuaded manager Mike Matheny, a former four-time Gold Glove catcher who handled the right-hander's warmup tosses before the ninth, to finish the game. Then he put the finishing touch on his NL-leading 15th win and fifth complete game for a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

''He's our horse,'' Matheny said. ''Those are the kind of statements your ace loves to make. That was his game.''

Wainwright joked that the manager was out there to ''size me up a little bit,'' and Matheny said the pitches had plenty of heat.

''I like to do that, let them know that I'm not tired and ready to battle for those last three outs,'' said Wainwright who had a key sacrifice fly. ''It's always good to do that and I feel like our team needed it.''

Matt Holliday's 432-foot home run off Kris Medlen (10-12) snapped a sixth-inning tie for St. Louis, which took the first two games of a four-game set against the NL East leaders.

Having already thrown 101 pitches, Wainwright was allowed to bat with the one out and the bases loaded in the seventh inning and hit a long sacrifice fly off Scott Downs for his third RBI of the season to make it 3-1. He then retired the side in order in the eighth and worked around a one-hit single to Chris Johnson in the ninth on a night when the Cardinals didn't have their closer.

Edward Mujica was unavailable for the second straight game with back and neck pain that he believed was caused by working two innings three straight times. He felt much better after visiting a chiropractor, played catch before the game and said he'd be ready Saturday.

''I feel good but I didn't want to force it today,'' Mujica said. ''I'm much better than two days ago.''

Medlen singled to lead off the sixth and scored on Freddie Freeman's second hit of the game and retired 12 in a row at one point. But he allowed Holliday's 17th homer on a liner deep into the left field stands. He's lost his last two times out, including a relief appearance in a 15-inning game, and wasn't pleased about getting taken out after 78 pitches.

''I thought I was cruising pretty good,'' Medlen said. ''I hadn't had to battle yet but I wasn't given the opportunity, so I guess I'm voicing the fact that I didn't appreciate that.''

The Cardinals lost three in a row at Atlanta to start a seven-game losing streak in late July that knocked them out of the Central lead and entered the night a game behind Pittsburgh. Wainwright (15-7) took one of the losses in that series, but the Brunswick, Ga., native is 7-2 against the Braves.

Wainwright allowed a run on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts, passing injured teammate Chris Carpenter for third on the franchise career list and putting him just six behind Dizzy Dean for second, and he has 16 career complete games. He's worked seven or more innings seven straight starts and retired 10 in a row at one point.

Yadier Molina had three hits with a pair of doubles to raise his NL-leading average to .337, five points ahead of the Johnson, who had a pair of singles.

Molina doubled and Jon Jay singled to open the seventh and chase Medlen. Downs got a brief reprieve earlier in the inning when a wild pitch ricocheted back to catcher Brian McCann.

The Braves' Justin Upton was ejected in the sixth for arguing with home plate umpire Paul Nauert after a groundout. He believed he'd been tossed because he'd cursed himself leaving the box and ''heard something I didn't say.''

''To be honest, if I can't get frustrated with myself and say what I want to myself, then it's really sad,'' Upton said. ''I have no clue what he heard and it's just sad.''

NOTES: Braves SS Andrelton Simmons made an outstanding sliding catch on Kolten Wong's foul popup in the second. ... B.J. Upton snapped an 0-for-25 slump with a single in the second. ... Wainwright tied his career best for complete games in a season, also throwing five in 2010. He threw a season-high 128 pitches, second most in his career. ... Molina is batting .419 (13 for 31) with seven doubles in seven games since coming off the 15-day disabled list from a knee injury. The Cardinals are 6-1 in that stretch. ... Freeman is 12 for 27 (.444) during a six-game hitting streak.



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