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National League notebook -- Monday, June 25, 2012

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Arizona: RF Justin Upton has two hits and an RBI in four straight games, one game short of tying his career high for consecutive games with an RBI. Upton is hitting .324 with two doubles, two homers and 13 RBI in June, raising his batting average to .271, the highest it has been since the fifth game of the season. ... The D-backs are two games over .500 for the first time in eight weeks. "We dug ourselves a hole. We knew we were going to have to scrap to get out of it," Upton said.

Atlanta: 3B Chipper Jones is batting only .189 in 10 games since returning from the disabled list on June 10. The switch-hitting veteran says there have been a few times in his career when his swing wasn't right from either side, and this is one of them. He is feeling soreness in his legs from the time he missed. ... LHP Mike Minor has given up 18 home runs in 60 1/3 innings after allowing three more Sunday. The damage is exacerbated by the fact that he is giving up walks as well. He walked two ahead of Red Sox RF Cody Ross' homer Sunday.

Chicago: 1B Anthony Rizzo will be called up today from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. Manager Dale Sveum said Rizzo will be the Cubs' everyday first baseman but that "he's got to understand that he's not a savior of this offense right now." Rizzo was pulled from Monday's game at Des Moines after two at-bats. He is batting .342 with 23 homers and 62 RBI. ... RHP Ryan Dempster (right lat) threw from flat ground and it went well, according to Sveum. Dempster has been on the DL retroactive to June 16, but it's likely he won't return until the end of next week.

Cincinnati: CF Drew Stubbs (strained muscle in left side) was activated from the disabled list and was in the lineup after missing nine games, and IF/OF Willie Harris was outrighted to Class AAA Louisville. He was 1-for-10 in a three-game rehab with low-A Dayton (Ohio). ... Manager Dusty Baker said he wasn't ready to take LH Aroldis Chapman out of the closer role even though he blew a save Sunday for the third time in his last five opportunities. Chapman's inability to throw strikes has been his undoing.

Colorado: RHP Alex White was optioned to Class AAA Colorado Springs after his third consecutive poor start. Manager Jim Tracy said a corresponding roster move had not been finalized. White is 2-6 with a 6.45 ERA in 10 starts since being recalled May 8. ... LHP Christian Friedrich will seek to end a three-start losing streak and pitch well at Coors Field when he starts there tonight. Friedrich is 0-3 with an 8.40 ERA in his last three starts. At Coors Field, Friedrich is 1-2 with a 12.60 ERA in three starts.

Houston: 2B Jose Altuve was not in the lineup one day after he strained his right hamstring running out a groundball and had to leave the game. He is day-to-day. ... LHP J.A. Happ has had two second consecutive good starts after being on the wrong end of Matt Cain's perfect game in San Francisco. Happ allowed one run in seven innings Sunday. "I felt in control out there," Happ said. "I think the biggest thing was throwing the ball downhill and keeping the ball down in the zone."

Los Angeles: RF Andre Ethier had a streak of 2,276 consecutive innings and 264 games without an error through Sunday, the second longest active streak in MLB excluding pitchers (Franklin Gutierrez of the Mariners was at 286). Brett Butler (306 games, 1992-94) is the only Dodgers outfielder to have a longer streak. ... RH reliever Todd Coffey went into Monday with seven consecutive scoreless appearances and, as a result, was getting to pitch in more important situations. "We talked about his role, and he's been getting outs and has been building on it," manager Don Mattingly said.

Miami: CF Emilio Bonifacio (left thumb surgery) is scheduled to see a doctor today to find out when he can resume baseball activities. When he returns, he'll be wearing a protective wrap on his hand when he runs the bases. ... With a 9-0 win Sunday, the Marlins snapped a streak of 25 games without having scored more than five runs in a game, the longest such streak in franchise history. The previous record was 21 straight from Sept. 3-25, 1993.

Milwaukee: RHP Shaun Marcum tried playing catch but still felt soreness in his elbow, and he said he will shut it down for a few more days. That means that RHP Mike Fiers, who pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday, will remain in the rotation. ... INF Cody Ransom struck out in all four at-bats Sunday. Since being claimed off waivers, Ransom had struck out 40 times in 78 at-bats and was hitting .200.

New York: LH reliever Justin Hampson was called up from Class AAA Buffalo to give manager Terry Collins another lefty out of the bullpen, and OF Vinny Rottino was designated for assignment. Hampson, 32, was 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA and two saves for Buffalo and last pitched in the majors in 2008, when he was 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 35 games for the San Diego Padres. ... LF Jason Bay (concussion) was cleared to begin physical activity. Bay said over the weekend he felt "astronomically better" in the last few days. He could begin baseball activity by the weekend, Collins told reporters.

Philadelphia: 2B Chase Utley told the Philadelphia Inquirer his knees feel better than they have in "a few years." He is scheduled to play his final rehab game today for Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.) and rejoin the Phillies on Wednesday. ... LHP Cliff Lee is the second former Cy Young Award winner in baseball history to remain winless through 12 starts in any subsequent season. Vida Blue, the 1971 American League Cy Young winner, went 0-5 in 19 appearances (14 starts) in 1983 with Kansas City. ... C Erik Kratz was recalled from Lehigh Valley to replace C Brian Schneider, who went on the disabled list because of a sprained right ankle.

Pittsburgh: RH reliever Bryan Morris was optioned back to Class AAA Indianapolis after one day in the majors. The move was made to clear space on the 25-man roster for RHP Jeff Karstens, activated from the disabled list after recovering from a shoulder problem. ... IF Jake Fox was released from Indianapolis to open playing time for SS Jordy Mercer, optioned back to the minors over the weekend after a monthlong stay in Pittsburgh in which he made only nine plate appearances. The Pirates want to make up for that lost time and keep Mercer active.

St. Louis: RHP Chris Carpenter's scheduled throwing session was canceled because his shoulder felt weak. GM John Mozeliak said the team will wait a few days before re-evaluating. ... RHP Lance Lynn, after striking out 11 and then 12 in consecutive starts, has given up 11 runs in his last 10 1/3 innings over two starts, neither of them wins, and the Cardinals are watching him closely. Lynn, who never has pitched more than 164 innings in a season, already is at 92.

San Diego: 1B Yonder Alonso was out of the lineup for the second straight day because a left knee injury that required a cortisone injection. Alonso wasn't sure what his injury is. "All I know is that it was sore and since I had the shot, it feels a lot better," he said. "I don't even know what I did." ... RHP Mark Hamburger was claimed on waivers from Texas, and OF Jeremy Hermida was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to create a spot on the 40-man roster. Hamburger was 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA at Class AAA Round Rock (Texas) this season.

San Francisco: C Buster Posey was out of the lineup because of a planned day off. Posey had hit a home run in each of his previous two games, but the Giants have been careful to give him regular rest one year removed from his major ankle injury. ... RHP Matt Cain pitched well enough (one run, three hits in seven innings) Sunday to win his ninth straight start, which would have made him the first Giant since Sal Maglie in 1952 to win nine in a row, but Oakland's walk-off win left Cain with a no-decision. He still hasn't lost since May 1.

Washington: IF/OF Mark DeRosa (strained muscle in left side) was activated from the disabled list, and OF Xavier Nady went on the DL because of right wrist tendinitis, which hadn't been disclosed before the announcement. ... CF Bryce Harper had three hits in his last seven at-bats through Sunday, but before that he was 3-for-23 in his previous six games.
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