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National League notebook -- Sunday, June 10, 2012

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Arizona: SS Stephen Drew (right ankle surgery in July 2011) had two hits, including his first home run, in five at-bats for Class AAA Reno on Saturday, the second game of his rehab assignment. In his first game Thursday, Drew singled in his first at-bat and made a diving catch of a foul ball down the left field line. There is no return date set for Drew. ... RHP Ian Kennedy left the team Sunday to be with his wife as they await the birth of their second child. If Kennedy is unable to make his scheduled start Tuesday against Texas, the D-backs could use LHP Wade Miley on regular rest because of Monday's off day.

Atlanta: 3B Chipper Jones (left leg hematoma) was activated from the disabled list Sunday and was back in his usual third spot in the batting order. OF Jose Constanza was optioned to Class AAA Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.). ... RHP Tim Hudson (left ankle bone spurs) skipped his Sunday start vs. the Blue Jays. Hudson has had the spurs for years, but they worsened between his May 30 start vs. the Cardinals and his June 5 start against the Marlins, even though he pitched a complete-game shutout vs. Miami. He got a cortisone shot Friday and plans to start Wednesday against the Yankees. RHP Julio Teheran was called up to start Sunday, and C J.C Boscan was optioned to Gwinnett.

Chicago: LF Alfonso Soriano has 12 home runs in his past 25 games, tops in the major leagues in that span. He didn't hit his first home run of the season until May 15. Soriano extended a hitting streak to seven games Sunday. ... C Geovany Soto is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Monday with Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. Soto has been out since May 17, the day before he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Cincinnati: 1B Joey Votto set a career high by extending his hitting streak to 15 games with his league-leading 26th double Saturday. Votto went into Sunday's game hitting .563 (27-for-48) over his past 13 games, the best by a Red over any 13-game stretch since Gordy Coleman hit .571 in May 1965, according to Elias Sports Bureau. ... LH reliever Bill Bray (strained groin) allowed a walk and had a strikeout in one scoreless inning Saturday in the first appearance of a rehab assignment with low-A Dayton (Ohio). Out since April 19, Bray is scheduled to pitch another inning Monday.

Colorado: SS Troy Tulowitzki (left groin strain) took batting practice Sunday for the first time since he was injured May 30. He has progressed steadily, and if he completes a two- or three-game rehab assignment, Tulowitzki could be activated Friday at Detroit. ... CF Dexter Fowler didn't play Sunday. Since the conclusion of his nine-game hitting streak, Fowler is 2-for-15 with nine strikeouts. Tyler Colvin started in center and homered Sunday after hitting two homers Saturday while starting in right field.

Houston: CF Jordan Schafer (pinkeye) was out of Sunday's lineup. ... OF Fernando Martinez (post-concussion syndrome) was placed on the seven-day disabled list. The Astros believe the first impact was a hit-by-pitch while he was still in Class AAA Round Rock (Texas) on a rehabilitation assignment. IF/OF Matt Downs was recalled from Round Rock. ... 1B Carlos Lee, on the disabled list due to a strained left hamstring, is keeping himself busy. He took out the lineup card Saturday and was raking the infield dirt before Sunday's game.

Los Angeles: RF Andre Ethier hit a grand slam in the second inning Sunday in Seattle to snap a 1-for-26 slump. Before the homer, Ethier had been hitting just .103 (4-for-39) since CF Matt Kemp was placed on the disabled list. ... IF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. had a career-high five RBI on Saturday, 13 days after setting a career high with five hits in a game. Hairston has graduated from a reserve role and will be the regular second baseman when 3B Juan Uribe (sprained left wrist) returns from the disabled list Monday.

Miami: 1B Gaby Sanchez was recalled from Class AAA New Orleans (Metairie, La.), where he batted .310 with three homers and 10 RBI in 19 games. Sanchez, an All-Star last year, was optioned May 19. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI double for the Marlins on Sunday. IF Donnie Murphy was designated for assignment to make room. ... RHP Carlos Zambrano (lower back stiffness) was taken out of his start Saturday with one out in the third inning. Zambrano is expected to be ready to make his next start on time.

Milwaukee: CF Carlos Gomez has been an effective hitter off the bench. His single in the eighth inning Saturday against San Diego gave him a .625 batting average (5-for-8) as a pinch hitter. ... 2B Taylor Green is the fourth player in Brewers history to have his first two major league home runs come as a pinch hitter. The others were Prince Fielder in 2005, Trent Durrington in 2004 and Bob Hansen in 1974.

New York: LHP Jon Niese (elevated heart rate) made his scheduled start Sunday. Niese, who will have a minor surgical procedure in the offseason to correct the issue, allowed no earned runs and seven hits in seven innings, but he did not get a decision. ... LF Jason Bay had a rare appearance at the second spot in the lineup Sunday, going 0-for-4. Manager Terry Collins said he put his struggling slugger there because of good numbers against LHP Andy Pettitte and the chance to see better pitches hitting in front of No. 3 hitter David Wright. Bay is 0-for-11 since returning from the disabled list Friday.

Philadelphia: RH reliever BJ Rosenberg was called up from Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.) on Saturday to replace LH reliever Raul Valdes, who was sent down after going 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 11 games. Rosenberg was 2-0 with three saves and a 1.57 ERA in 16 appearances in Class AA and Class AAA. ... DH Jim Thome hit a homer in the third inning Saturday to increase his all-time-leading total of interleague homers to 60. The homer was his 18th in 66 games at Camden Yards. Thome was in the cleanup spot for the third game in a row Sunday (1-for-4 with an RBI), playing the third of what is scheduled to be nine games as a designated hitter.

Pittsburgh: RHP Jeff Karstens (right shoulder inflammation) sustained a mild hip flexor injury in a Class AAA rehab appearance Thursday. He learned over the weekend it shouldn't delay him long. "It's extremely frustrating because it was supposed to be my last rehab start," Karstens said. "It's a minor setback." ... 3B Pedro Alvarez will remain in the No. 5 spot for the foreseeable future after struggling for a month at cleanup. He sat out three consecutive starts last week to clear his head from an 0-for-18 slump, and he was on the bench again Sunday. "Sometimes it helps just to watch and learn," Alvarez said.

St. Louis: C Steven Hill was sent to Class AAA Memphis to make room on the roster for RHP Joe Kelly, who made his major league debut Sunday against Cleveland. Kelly allowed one run on seven hits over five innings and struck out four in a no-decision. ... RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder weakness) was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day list to enable the Cardinals to put Kelly on the 40-man roster. ... LF Matt Holliday sat out a second day in a row experiencing back spasms before Saturday's game. He is expected to be able to play Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox.

San Diego: RHP Andrew Cashner made his first start as a Padre, against the Brewers on Saturday, after 27 relief appearances. He allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out five in 2 1/3 innings. Cashner was optioned to Class AA San Antonio after the game and is expected to rejoin the Padres at the end of June after three or four starts to refine his third pitch and extend his pitch count. RH reliever Brad Boxberger was called up from Class AAA Tucson. ... OF Will Venable tied a franchise record Sunday with his seventh career homer leading off a game. It was his second of the season.

San Francisco: 3B Pablo Sandoval returned to the Giants and played his first games Saturday and Sunday since fracturing the hamate in his left wrist in early May. He went 1-for-7 over the weekend. ... LF Melky Cabrera, who is hitting .364, was out of the lineup for all three weekend games with a strained right hamstring, which he sustained on a stolen base Thursday. The Giants hope he can return to the lineup Tuesday. ... RH reliever George Kontos was recalled from Class AAA Fresno, and RH reliever Steve Edlefsen was optioned.

Washington: CF Bryce Harper (stiff back) was not in the starting lineup Sunday for the first time since being recalled from Class AAA Syracuse (N.Y.) on April 28. However, he walked as a pinch hitter and scored the winning run in the ninth inning. In the past 18 games, Harper is hitting .338 (23-for-68) with two doubles, three triples, four homers and 12 RBI. ... RH reliever Tyler Clippard (seven saves, 10 holds) has secured the closer role after RH reliever Henry Rodriguez struggled. Clippard saved all three games in the weekend series at Boston.
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