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National League notebook -- April 25, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: LF Jason Kubel led major league outfielders with five assists after throwing out Phillies RF Hunter Pence attempting to score from second base on a double in the first inning Wednesday. Kubel has three assists in the last four games. ... The D-backs have not announced starters for Sunday and Monday, which would be the days LHP Wade Miley and RHP Josh Collmenter would be scheduled. "It's a very complex situation," manager Kirk Gibson said. RHP Daniel Hudson (shoulder impingement) is not expected to be ready when he is eligible to return from the disabled list May 4, which compounds the issue.

Atlanta: SS Tyler Pastornicky was back in the lineup Tuesday after three games off. Pastornicky did extra work with hitting coaches Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher. Manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't want to put pressure on the rookie at the plate, but he is hoping for a little more than the .091 (1-for-11) he'd hit on this road trip coming into the game. And he got it. Pastornicky was 3-for-3 with a walk. ... RHP Tim Hudson completed his rehab assignment by allowing one earned run in 5 2/3 innings Tuesday for Class AAA Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.). He threw 110 pitches, 68 for strikes, gave up six hits and two walks and struck out four. If he feels no ill effects, he is expected to be activated this weekend.

Chicago: 1B Bryan LaHair hit his second home run in two days, both opposite-field shots to left-center. "When I'm going pretty good, I go the other way," he said. "They're attacking me away right now. They'll probably start coming in, which is always a good thing, too. I'll take it." LaHair has four homers; no one else on the team has more than one. ... RH reliever Kerry Wood (shoulder) threw off a mound Tuesday but won't be rushed back, team officials said. His DL stint is backdated to April 14, but he won't necessarily come off after the 15 days are up. "Everything's going good," manager Dale Sveum said. "He feels a lot better. We'll just keep building that up. We're not putting any timetable on his return or anything. We're just going to make sure that he's ready to go when we activate him."

Cincinnati: RH reliever Nick Masset, on the disabled list all year because of a sore shoulder, underwent an MRI and was hoping to get cleared to throw for the first time since late March. "I feel good," Masset said. ... SS Zack Cozart was out of the lineup, replaced by IF Wilson Valdez against Giants LHP Barry Zito, who doesn't throw hard. "It's not really a day (off)," manager Dusty Baker said. "It's a day against a softer throw. Most young guys aren't crazy about soft throwers -- old guys, either. I believe in playing everybody."

Colorado: LH reliever Rex Brothers allowed six straight batters to reach base, the two he faced Sunday and all four Tuesday. He said his problems are mental and have nothing to do with mechanics. GM Dan O'Dowd said Brothers, 24, is trying too hard. Pitching coach Bob Apodaca said, "He has the wrong formula right now. He knows how important his role is, and he's just attempting to do things he's not capable of doing." ... The Rockies won the first game of the doubleheader with two sacrifice flies and three hits. The three hits were a season-low total, and the two sacrifice flies matched the Rockies' total from their first 16 games.

Houston: RHP Kyle Weiland, originally scheduled to pitch Friday, will instead be skipped in the rotation because of shoulder soreness in the wake of his best outing and also his longest -- seven innings and 105 pitches. This won't prompt a roster move if Weiland can still be slotted in for his subsequent turn Tuesday because the Astros have an off day in the interim. LHP Wandy Rodriguez will start on Friday instead. ... C Jason Castro was not in the lineup for the second consecutive game because of lingering neck soreness from his collision with Brewers 1B Mat Gamel at the plate on Monday. With the team off today, he expects to be back Friday.

Los Angeles: LF-1B Juan Rivera strained his left hamstring while running to first base on a single in the sixth inning Tuesday. Rivera left the game and is considered day-to-day. He did light running and stretching drills Wednesday. ... RH Kenley Jansen's 19 strikeouts through Tuesday led all major league relief pitchers. Dodgers relief pitchers had an NL-leading 61 strikeouts in 57 innings. ... RH reliever Matt Guerrier (elbow tendinitis) was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to April 19, and LH reliever Michael Antonini was recalled from Class AAA Albuquerque.

Miami: Manager Ozzie Guillen said he has thought about it flip-flopping Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio in the batting order, but he's not ready to pull the trigger just yet. "Right now, I think it's too early," Guillen said. "If I do it, right now, it's kind of pushing the panic button." Reyes, the leadoff man, was hitting .215 going into Wednesday's game, and Bonifacio was at .295. ... RHP Jose Fernandez, the organization's top draft pick (14th overall) in 2011, combined with two other pitchers to throw a no-hitter for low-A Greensboro (N.C.). Fernandez threw six innings, Gregory Nappo two and Kevin Cravey one in the Grasshoppers' 6-0 win over Hickory (N.C.).

Milwaukee: 3B Aramis Ramirez was doubled off second base Tuesday when he forgot the number of outs and took off on a one-out flyball. But manager Ron Roenicke said there was no need to speak to Ramirez. "He came up and said something to me," said Roenicke. "The guys always come up to me and say something. They're embarrassed; they feel bad about it. By me saying something doesn't help any." ... The Brewers have allowed the opposition to score first in each of the last eight games and in 14 of their 19 games this season. They are 4-1 when scoring first and 5-9 when the opponent scores first.

New York: 1B Ike Davis was dropped to seventh in the lineup against Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle. Davis, who mostly has batted cleanup this season, was 1 for his last 19 before Wednesday and began the season in a 2-for-28 funk. "I think the message has been sent," manager Terry Collins said. "It's about the team as a whole." ... OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis will play both left and center field when CF Andres Torres returns from the disabled list, Collins said. Nieuwenhuis, a natural center fielder, will receive at-bats in place of injured LF Jason Bay but will continue logging time in center as well. "I think you've got to figure out some way to keep his bat in the lineup as best you can," Collins said.

Philadelphia: RH reliever Michael Schwimer pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning after being promoted from Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.) to replace RH reliever Michael Stutes, who was placed on the disabled list because of a sore right shoulder. ... IF Pete Orr's three-run triple in the seventh inning Tuesday was the first three-RBI game of his career, and it came in his 397th game. His 396-game streak without as many as three RBI was the longest for an active position player, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Royals 2B Chris Gets now has the longest streak, 319 games through Tuesday.

Pittsburgh: RHP James McDonald probably wouldn't have been able to finish the game even if his no-hitter in the doubleheader opener hadn't been broken up by an infield single in the seventh inning. He needed 101 pitches to get through seven innings, and only 53 of his pitches were strikes. "When you get to the seventh, you're aware of it," McDonald said of his no-hitter. "But was I thinking about it pitch by pitch? No. I've still got to keep doing what I was doing." ... LF Alex Presley increased his career-best hitting streak to 10 games with hits in both games of the doubleheader. "We've been working with Alex on a few things to just make sure he stays within himself, gets on base," hitting coach Gregg Ritchie said.

St. Louis: Manager Mike Matheny was ejected for the first time as a manager Tuesday after the second of two disputed calls that went against the Cardinals. Matheny was ejected only twice in his playing career, but it took him only 18 games to be run for the first time as a manager. "To see our guys get short-ended twice and not say anything ... would have been a tragedy," he said. ... RHP Adam Wainwright still is winless through four starts. However, after giving up 15 earned runs in his first 13 2/3 innings over three starts, he held the Cubs to one run and fanned seven in six innings Tuesday. He said he changed his grip on his signature curveball while he was warming up before the game.

San Diego: LHP Clayton Richard allowed two runs on three hits and five walks in 6 1/3 innings Tuesday after giving up 16 runs (12 earned) on 16 hits and six walks over 11 1/3 innings in his two previous starts. He had worked to modify his arm angle. Said manager Bud Black: "His arm slot was a little lower than in his last two starts. His velocity was up, his movement was outstanding." ... OF-1B Kyle Blanks had surgery Tuesday to repair a tear in the posterior of the labrum in his left shoulder. He is expected to miss the rest of the season.

San Francisco: 1B-LF Aubrey Huff was placed on the disabled list because of an anxiety disorder, and IF Joaquin Arias was called up from Class AAA Fresno. Huff had left the team on Monday for what manager Bruce Bochy called a "family emergency." The Giants said Huff intends to rejoin the team Friday even though he won't be eligible to play. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval tied the franchise record, previously set by Johnny Rucker in 1945, by hitting in his 18th straight game to start the season. Sandoval had broken the San Francisco record, which Willie Mays set in 1960, when he singled in the ninth inning Tuesday.

Washington: An MRI on 3B Ryan Zimmerman's right shoulder showed no structural damage, but he still could land on the disabled list if he can't swing a bat without pain today. "I guess it's good peace of mind," he said. "Now it's just a matter of figuring out the right combination to get it to relax, and once that's done, I'll be ready to go." He is expected to fly back to Washington and get a cortisone shot if the shoulder doesn't feel better today. ... RH reliever Henry Rodriguez ended Tuesday's game with five straight pitches of at least 100 mph -- the last at 101. He retired the side in order to lock up the victory.
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