National League notebook -- Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: CF Chris Young (shoulder) and SS Stephen Drew (knee) are expected to play in an intrasquad game today as part of the D-backs' extended spring training program. Drew has been playing for about two weeks, but it will be Young's first game activity since he partially tore a shoulder ligament when he ran into the fence while making a catch April 17. ... RHP Ian Kennedy's 10-game home winning streak was snapped Tuesday. It was the longest streak by a right-hander in franchise history and third longest overall, behind LHP Randy Johnson (13) and LHP Brian Anderson (11).

Atlanta: C Brian McCann did not start because it was a day game after a night game, but he pinch hit in the ninth inning and grounded out. McCann is hitting just .176 (3-for-17) on the road trip and .229 for the season. ... CF Michael Bourn's 12-game hitting streak was snapped when he went 0-for-4. Bourn batted .352 (19-for-54) during the streak. ... The Braves scored four runs in the series against the Cubs after scoring 29 at Coors Field in Denver over the weekend.

Chicago: Manager Dale Sveum said he wasn't overly concerned about RH reliever Kerry Wood's angry display Tuesday. Wood threw his cap and glove into the stands and also cut short his postgame session at his locker, using profanity when asked about the tantrum. "I don't condone it or wish it to happen all the time, but we all know in this game there is frustration that happens," Sveum said. ... LF Alfonso Soriano (left knee) sat for the second time in three games and will be rested further with an off day today. "We have three day games on the road trip, a noon game (Saturday in Milwaukee), so let's give him a little time with the knee," Sveum said.

Cincinnati: 2B Brandon Phillips had his third straight two-hit game, which means his hamstring problem might be fully behind him. "I'm starting to get healthy," he said. "I'm getting my legs underneath me. When I hit, I squat and get on my toes. When your lower half feels good, it helps. I'm happy I'm starting to get healthy." ... IF-OF Todd Frazier made his first start in left field this year. "We're trying to get Frazier in the lineup," manager Dusty Baker said. "I thought about playing him at third, but (Wilson) Valdez is a more accomplished third baseman. Left field is one of Frazier's many positions. It may be his best position."

Colorado: SS Troy Tulowitzki didn't play because of lingering soreness in his left groin, an injury he aggravated Tuesday as his foot hit first base. Because the Rockies don't play today, Tulowitzki will have two days to rest. "I kind of took a smart day here," he said. "It's tough because we aren't playing well. It's not an easy thing for me." ... RH reliever Adam Ottavino was optioned to Class AAA Colorado Springs to clear a roster spot for Wednesday's starter, LHP Christian Friedrich, because manager Jim Tracy decided RH reliever Carlos Torres could do better in long relief if Friedrich faltered. Tracy called it "a very difficult decision." Ottavino made two hitless appearances totaling 2 2/3 innings. ... 3B Chris Nelson (left wrist) was back in the lineup after missing three games.

Houston: RHP Aneury Rodriguez was sent back to Class AAA Oklahoma City immediately after his start Tuesday, and RH reliever Rhiner Cruz (sprained right ankle) was activated from the disabled list. Rodriguez pitched six strong innings even though he had the stomach flu the day before, and manager Brad Mills characterized it as a "great impression." ... RH closer Brett Myers was 8 for 8 in save opportunities going into Wednesday and was limiting the opposition to a .152 average (5-for-33).

Los Angeles: 1B James Loney went 2-for-4 Tuesday to snap an 0-for-13 slump but still was hitting just .211 with one home run. "To me it's gotten to the point where it's a production thing. You've got to throw some numbers out there somehow, some way. It's that simple," said manager Don Mattingly. ... 3B Juan Uribe was in a 1-for-15 slump through Tuesday and had gone 166 plate appearances and 45 games since his last home run, on June 20, 2011.

Miami: 3B Hanley Ramirez's defensive play has been a pleasant surprise, manager Ozzie Guillen said. Ramirez has made only one error through 30 games in his first season after switching from shortstop. "It's 100 percent better than what I thought," Guillen said. "He takes groundballs every day, works hard, is making adjustments. He feels comfortable now. It looks like he's been there before. This kid has a chance to be a good one. That's a position he's going to play, I think, for the rest of his career." ... C John Buck hit home runs in consecutive games Monday and Tuesday for the first time since Aug. 8-9, 2011.

Milwaukee: 2B Rickie Weeks is among the league leaders in walks with 22, but his batting average is down to .164, the lowest in the NL among hitters with at least 100 at-bats. But manager Ron Roenicke said he doesn't think the time has come to give Weeks a day off. "Actually, I think his at-bats have been better," said Roenicke. "He did something a little different with his hands, and I actually thought he was on time with most of his swings." ... Wednesday marked the first time the Brewers have lost a home game that RHP Zack Greinke started. They had been 18-0 during regular-season starts by Greinke and 20-0 including the playoffs.

New York: RHP Jenrry Mejia made his first minor league appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. Mejia, who ultimately could start or relieve for the Mets, allowed two runs in five innings for high-A St. Lucie (Port St. Lucie, Fla.). He is scheduled to make three more rehab starts before the Mets will consider activating him. ... RH closer Frank Francisco was available out of the bullpen Wednesday after asking for a day off Tuesday. Francisco had warmed up five days in a row, prompting the Mets to use RH reliever Jon Rauch as the closer Tuesday.

Philadelphia: With LHP Cliff Lee coming off the disabled list and returning to the rotation, RHP Kyle Kendrick could become a much needed reliable piece in a struggling Phillies bullpen. Kendrick had a 1.93 ERA in three relief appearances before replacing Lee in the rotation. RH reliever Michael Schwimer was sent to Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.) to create a roster spot for Lee. ... C Carlos Ruiz (hand), IF Ty Wigginton (strained muscle in side) and OF Laynce Nix (left calf) all were out of the lineup because of their injuries. In each of the previous two games, Nix was announced as a pinch hitter only to be pulled back for a right-handed hitter when the Mets countered by bringing in a left-handed reliever. But manager Charlie Manuel said Nix would have hit -- though he would have needed a pinch runner -- if there hadn't been a pitching change.

Pittsburgh: RH reliever Joel Hanrahan will take a bereavement leave, beginning Friday, because of the death of his grandmother. The bereavement list requires that a player misses three days. ... LF Alex Presley sat for a second consecutive game. He's healthy, but manager Clint Hurdle chose OF Yamaico Navarro because the Pirates were facing Nationals LHP Ross Detwiler. Also, Presley went into the game in a 3-for-28 slide. ... 1B Casey McGehee is seeing more time as a starter, but he's also been valuable off the bench. He was 3-for-4 this season as a pinch-hitter through Tuesday, which gave him a career pinch-hitting average of .289.

St. Louis: X-rays showed no fracture in C Yadier Molina's left hand, which was badly bruised when RH reliever Mitchell Boggs crossed him up and threw a fastball instead of a slider Tuesday. The bruise is in the same area where a pitch hit him while he was batting in 2005, breaking the hand. Molina said he was concerned at first, but the pain had subsided when he got iced afterward. ... 1B Lance Berkman (left calf) likely will return from the disabled list on Friday. Manager Mike Matheny said that RF Carlos Beltran would see some time in center field to ensure that Berkman, IF-OF Allen Craig and CF Jon Jay all get significant playing time.

San Diego: LHP Cory Luebke was scheduled to see Dr. Lewis Yocum today to get a second opinion on his left elbow. Luebke landed on the disabled list last week with what the team called a strained left elbow, but an MRI revealed ligament damage. There is a possibility that he will require season-ending ligament-replacement surgery. ... RF Will Venable's two-hit game Tuesday was his first since April 18. He has, however, hit safely in 20 of his last 22 starts, going 23-for-84 (.274).

San Francisco: 2B Freddy Sanchez is a candidate to play third base when (or if) he returns, manager Bruce Bochy said. With 3B Pablo Sandoval out four to six weeks, 3B Conor Gilaspie has played third. The Giants seem to want more production, and Sanchez (coming off August shoulder surgery) is a proven hitter. Sanchez, who has struggled making throws across his body throws from second, played third base in an extended spring training game Tuesday. He also played third for the 2006 Pirates when he won a batting title. ... CF Angel Pagan left in the eighth inning Tuesday with a left hamstring cramp and was not in the lineup Wednesday. Pagan was hurt legging out an infield single, which gave him hits in 21 of 22 games.

Washington: RH Henry Rodriguez, the temporary closer until RH closer Drew Storen returns from surgery at midseason, couldn't hold a lead in the ninth inning Tuesday for the second time in five appearances. But manager Davey Johnson said he's sticking with Rodriguez in that role. "That's just part of maturing as a closer," Johnson said. "He'll learn from that." ... RHP Edwin Jackson, signed as a free agent in the offseason, allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings Tuesday, the fourth time in six starts this season he has given up two runs or fewer.
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