Atlanta: 1B Freddie Freeman has slid to seventh in the lineup, but manager Fredi Gonzalez liked his newfound patience at the plate Tuesday. Freeman is a notorious first-pitch hitter. "(It) was noticeable that he was taking pitches," Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "There are some times, I'm not kidding you, where we think let's just start the runner because he is going to swing the bat." ... RF Jason Heyward hit second the for the second consecutive game after the Braves got 17 hits the night before. Chicago: RHP Randy Wells was designated for assignment after walking four in just three innings Tuesday, and RH reliever Rafael Dolis was recalled from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. "The command and the walks still are a major issue that he's got to get better at," manager Dale Sveum said of Wells. "Those things are killing him. ... 1B Anthony Rizzo has looked comfortable in his first two games after being called up. His struggles with the Padres last season actually have helped. "I was the savior last year, too, and that's why I think it's easier this year to come up," he said. Cincinnati: Manager Dusty Baker got word to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke expressing his dismay about the two somersaults LH closer Aroldis Chapman did after converting the save Tuesday. "That's not how we play it," said Baker, who wouldn't divulge exactly what he told the Brewers. ... RH reliever Nick Masset (shoulder) put a date on his return for the first time. "Hopefully I'll be back with the team in another two or three weeks," he said. Masset has been on the disabled list the entire season. Colorado: RH reliever Zach Putnam was optioned to Class AAA Colorado Springs to make room on the roster for LHP Edwar Cabrera, who was recalled from Class AA Tulsa to make his major league debut. ... LHP Jorge De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery) will be out until at least September and might not pitch at all for the Rockies this season, GM Dan O'Dowd said in a conference call with season-ticket holders. He was twice shut down during rehab assignments, first because of forearm stiffness and later because of fluid on his elbow. Houston: 2B Jose Altuve (right hamstring) was out of the lineup for the third consecutive day. "Those hamstring strains, man, those things are a touchy item," manager Brad Mills said. "I want this guy to run at 100 percent before he's able to get out there and do something." ... LHP Dallas Keuchel will remain in the rotation even with RHP Bud Norris returning from the disabled list Friday -- the Astros plan to go with a six-man rotation through the All-Star break. Los Angeles: RF Andre Ethier strained a muscle in his left side in the first inning, apparently while trying to break up a double play, and had to leave the game. Manager Don Mattingly said Ethier, who leads the team with 55 RBI, would have an MRI today. ... 2B Mark Ellis (left leg surgery) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Saturday at high-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) if a baserunning drill goes well today. Miami: Three roving team executives returned to Miami and are scheduled to meet with upper management today to discuss what to do with their fading team, the Miami Herald reported. The Marlins had been outscored 144-74 this month through Tuesday. ... CF Emilio Bonifacio (torn ligament in left thumb) was cleared by a doctor to hit off a tee and play catch. "He likes the way it looks," Bonifacio said. "I'm feeling great." Bonifacio still is looking at a post All-Star break return. Milwaukee: LF Ryan Braun sat out because of a bruised left elbow, the result of being hit by a pitch Tuesday by Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo. With a scheduled off day today, the hope was that Braun would be able to return to action Friday. ... Since June 12, RH closer John Axford has blown three of six save opportunities while being saddled with three losses. By comparison, Axford blew only two saves during the entire 2011 season, converting 46 of 48 opportunities. New York: OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, a left-handed hitter, was out of the lineup even though RHP Jeff Samardzija started for the Cubs. "He's just not seeing the ball," manager Terry Collins said of Nieuwenhuis, who had one hit in his last 14 at-bats. "And when you don't see it, it's tough to hit it." ... 3B David Wright's 15-game hitting streak, which had been the longest active streak in the majors, ended Tuesday when he went 0-for-3, but he rebounded with two hits and five RBI on Wednesday. Philadelphia: IF Michael Martinez was optioned to Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.) to make room on the roster for 2B Chase Utley, who was activated from the disabled list and played in his first game of the season. ... C Carlos Ruiz's three-hit game Tuesday was his 11th of the season. "When you feel good at home plate, you can find out the way they are going to pitch to you and that's a good thing," he said. Pittsburgh: RHP Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, was diagnosed with a bruised jaw after being struck in the head by a line drive Tuesday night while pitching for Class AA Altoona (Pa.). Cole also was given a CT scan and X-rays, neither of which detected any issues. He resumed regular activity immediately. ... IF/OF Oscar Tejeda was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox and assigned to Altoona. To clear 40-man roster space, the Pirates designated for assignment LH reliever Doug Slaten, who had been demoted to Class AAA Indianapolis the previous day. St. Louis: RHP Chris Carpenter, out all season with shoulder weakness attributable to a nerve irritation, is scheduled see a specialist today in Dallas. Carpenter, whose shoulder strength had been improving, had been scratched from a bullpen session on Monday but felt good enough for an extensive throwing session off flat ground Wednesday. ... RF Carlos Beltran said he had not yet been approached about participating in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game and didn't know if he would accept an invitation. San Diego: A group headed by former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley has reached the "small details" stage in its quest to buy the Padres from John Moores, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. San Diego businessman Ron Fowler denied a CBSSports.com report that he is "fronting" the O'Malley group, which includes golfer Phil Mickelson. "I have nothing to do with the negotiations between the O'Malleys and John Moores," said Fowler. "If I have a role with the O'Malleys, it will be after the sale. We have talked, but there is nothing I have committed to." ... 1B Yonder Alonso was back in the lineup after missing three starts because of a sore left knee. San Francisco: C/1B Buster Posey played first base, manager Bruce Bochy said, because it was a day game after a night game and the Giants' starter, Tim Lincecum, had thrown well in his previous start with Hector Sanchez behind the plate. ... 2B Freddy Sanchez has not made significant progress in returning from a major shoulder injury, Bochy said. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Sanchez has not, however, incurred any new injury or setback, as had been rumored. Washington: LF Tyler Moore's home run Tuesday at Coors Field was measured at 462 feet, the ninth longest in the majors this year, according to Hit Tracker. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman said Tuesday that the cortisone shot and other treatments on his ailing right shoulder are working, and that's what he'll go back to if the problem pops up again. He got a shot Sunday and had six hits in the next three games.
- Daniel Hudson